About The Agri-Industry Summit

CCH Learning's flagship summit conference will return for the second time in 2017.

Following on from the success of the first 2015 summit, the 2017 Agri-Industry Summit will be held in Napier at the newly redeveloped Napier Conference Centre. The Summit’s two day programme will feature a diverse range of presentations from thought leaders, practitioners and advisors from a broad spectrum of primary industry and related organisations.

The summit will provide delegates with varied and informative discussions around some of the key issues, challenges and growth opportunities for New Zealand’s Agri Industries.

Opening with welcoming drinks at the iconic art deco Masonic Hotel and with a Gala dinner to be held at stunning Church Road Winery, the conference will provide plenty of social networking opportunities for both delegates and sponsors.

Who will be attending

The innovative mix of presentations will appeal to

  • Accountants
  • Lawyers
  • Farm advisors
  • Government policy makers
  • Executives in agriculture and horticultural industries
  • "It was a privilege to be involved in such a quality well run event and look forward to the next one."
  • "I loved the conference, it exceeded my expectations"
  • "Success breeds success, the feedback I have heard was very good"
  • "From both a sponsor’s and a delegate perspective I thought it was excellent"


The theme of the 2017 conference is Future Thinking – Maximising the Agri Opportunity.

  • Global changes, challenges and trends
  • Innovation and disruptive technologies
  • Information for opportunity – integrating financial and productive information for investment decisions and to drive efficiencies
  • Succession

Chair of the Conference: Ross Verry, Syndex

The programme is now available.

Download Programme VIEW SPEAKERS BIOS

Thursday 10th August

8.00am Registration

Ross Verry
CEO, Syndex
Opening from the Chair

Ngāhiwi Tomoana
Chairman, Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated

Tautane - 500 years on

Kate Sargeant
Programme Facilitator, DairyNZ

Dr Steven Kelly
Acting Director Sector Policy,
Ministry for Primary Industries

The changing role of rural professionals

Steven Saunders
Agri Entrepreneur Plus Group
Ag Reality “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less”
Investment in technology and innovation requires focus, courage and execution. Steve will discuss some of his personal journey, insights and experience along with trends that are driving transformational change in the global Agri Sector.
10.40am Morning Tea

Panel Discussion
Chair: Matthew Pickering,
Coach & Facilitator, Coach Approach Rural Ltd

Succession Planning – advisors responsibility to make this happen
A panel discussion format that will examine barriers and enablers for farmers to tap into the depth of expertise that their professional advisors have.

Topics covered will be:
  • A fresh look at the internal and external barriers that stop farmers starting
  • The mindset of the advisor – Why I can’t or how I can
What’s working that creates an aligned network of professional advisors for farmers to benefit from.

Mike Jenkins
Director, Syndex
Key Considerations in Attracting and Managing Investment in Agri Assets
Exploring the fundamentals of attracting investment into agri assets and the importance of maintaining functional relationships with investors.

Dianne and Richard Kidd
Whenuanui Farm
Selling the sustainable food production story
Supreme winners in the Auckland Ballance Farm Environment Awards 2016 and national winners of the 2016 Gordon Stephenson Trophy for sustainable farming, Dianne and Richard Kidd are recognised as ambassadors for the promotion of sustainable and profitable farming in New Zealand. Passionate sheep and beef farmers, the Kidds will discuss their establishment of Kaipara Lamb as a leading local producer to the urban Auckland market and how sound environmental stewardship on city-fringe farms like the Whenuanui can help build connectivity with urban consumers. They will also share learnings from their recent European trip looking at sustainable farming programmes in Ireland and the Netherlands, as well as their thoughts on whether some of these systems could be replicated in New Zealand.
1.15pm Networking Lunch

Ian Blackman
BlackmanSpargo Rural Law

Trusts - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Trusts abound in the rural sector in New Zealand.

  • The Good - A family trust is essential for a farming family’s estate and succession plan
  • The Bad - The cost and inconvenience of a trust can only be justified if the trust is properly used and administered in accordance with strict legal rules
  • The Ugly - Using a trust to operate a farming business risks exposing the individual trustees to significant liability This paper will demonstrate how to enhance the good, manage the bad and avoid the ugly.

Sally Peart
Marks and Worth
Leveraging the No. 8 fencing wire ingenuity
The rural sector is home to some of the most innovative businesses in NZ. In many cases, that innovation could be more effectively leveraged to provide valuable off-farm income and creative ways to plan for succession. Sally Peart of Marks & Worth Lawyers in Dunedin, an intellectual property specialist, will look at ways rural businesses can unlock and exploit intellectual property they may not even know they have. This presentation will seek to dispel some of the myths which surround intellectual property using real life case studies and look at ways rural businesses can exploit their own ingenuity.
3.40pm Afternoon Tea

Hilton Collier
Managing Director
Pakihiroa Farms
The changing Agri value chain
In this session Hilton will discuss some emerging trends based on his experience in industry and with the Te Hono movement at Stanford University. He will cover the PFL Group’s move into producing Wagyu beef in partnership with Firstlight and trailing the use of Merino genetics, with Merino NZ, to influence both meat and wool traits for supply to targeted customers. Both of these work streams are about trying to produce to a clearly defined market with a clear line of site through the supply chain, thus enabling direct communication between “farm gate” and “customer plate”, something today’s consumers are demanding. He will also discuss his work with “Waka Aotearoa” a group that owns 350 farming properties who are similarly interested in realigning their farm operations to match customer expectations, this touches on environmental, animal welfare and social support plans.

Susan Kilsby
Senior Analyst
AgriHQ, NZX Ltd
Data enables decision making and efficient markets
Access to timely and accurate data is vital for markets to operate efficiently. Susan will speak about why NZX has an agricultural data business and how their clients use data to make informed decisions. They way data and information is accessed in the future will be considerably different to how it is today. The challenge is to foresee these changes and adapt as the world becomes more and more connected.
5.20pm Closing remarks from Chair
5.30pm Close Day One
6.30pm Buses depart for Gala Dinner, Church Road Winery

Friday 11th August


Ross Verry
CEO, Syndex
Opening from the Chair

Mike Chapman
Chief Executive
Horticulture NZ
Horticulture – New Zealand’s future export leader
Horticulture is the primary industries’ quiet achiever – expanding, growing and meeting global consumer demands for healthy food. Food trends are changing and consumers are seeking out the provenance of their food, information about its impact on their health, and assurances around the environmental impact of its production. With these demands, a diet based on fresh fruit and vegetables is increasingly popular and Horticulture New Zealand believes that within a generation, horticulture will be one of New Zealand’s leading primary sector exports. Horticulture is already showing rapid growth with exports increasing in value by 40% between June 2014 and 2016. We are a $5.4 billion industry, exporting to 125 countries and employing 60,000 people. To continue this growth we need to protect our growing land, have access to water, be able to source people to work across all levels of the industry, and have market access for exports. Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman will outline future plans for horticulture in his presentation.

Con Williams
Agri Economist
The twists and turns of global food markets

Nathan Meo &
Leigh Austin
Relationship Managers
ACC - transforming how our customers do business with us
ACC is improving the way they work with customers though their online services. In this session, they’ll explore some of the planned changes, talk about the changes that have been made and how these will improve customer experience for advisers and their clients.
10.45am Morning Tea

Jacqueline Rowath
Chief Scientist Environmental
Protection Authority
Food Futures and New Zealand’s role
Increasing food demand is putting pressure on the world’s resources in a manner deemed unacceptable by an increasing number of people in the developed world, including New Zealanders. New Zealand, unique in that its export economy still relies heavily on primary production, is farming without subsidies, and with ever increasing environmental compliance requirements. As a consequence, the sector is looking for new tools to assist on-farm economic viability. New organisms, as well as hazardous substances and the managementof the Emissions Trading Scheme, are in the portfolio of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), whose role is to protect the environment while enabling the development of the economy. Getting the balance right is a model for the rest of the world.

Nicole Rosie
Chief Executive,

Chris Alderson
Director, Health & Safety,
Health and Safety in Agriculture – the reality
Fatality and serious injury data are trending downwards and on current performance, it’s likely the Government’s target of a 25% reduction by 2020 will be met. Agriculture, however, remains at levels well in excess of other industries. Momentum must be kept up and businesses, workers and influencers must continue to make health and safety their priority. This session brings two perspectives – that of the regulator which is mandated to lead health and safety system improvements – and that of a key influencer in the system.
12.25pm Networking Lunch

Helen Down
Managing Director
Advisory Boards NZ
Unlock the value of Advisory Boards for farmers
Learn how Advisory Boards provide an innovative pathway to governance, succession and growth for New Zealand farmers, their advisors and the wider agricultural industry. Hear case studies of how farmers and advisors are using Advisory Boards in New Zealand.

Simon Limmer
Chief Operating Officer
Beyond recovery: growth, value and innovation in the New Zealand kiwifruit

A resilient, cohesive kiwifruit industry has staged a strong recovery from the devastating impact of Psa that struck in late 2010. Support from the government, decisive action on biosecurity and a pathway out of Psa with the SunGold variety underpinned the result. Today, a resurgent industry is delivering strong growth in kiwifruit volumes, led by SunGold expansion, and Zespri delivered over $2bn in global sales in 2016. Zespri’s ambition is now to grow global sales to $4.5bn by 2025, with production from locations outside New Zealand growing rapidly to support a 12-month supply strategy. Meanwhile, Zespri’s investment in innovation continues to target new successful varieties to expand the kiwifruit category globally.
2.45pm Closing remarks from Chair
3.00pm Conference closes - Afternoon Tea


Conference - Napier Conference Centre

The Agri-Industry Summit is being held at the Napier Conference Centre on Napier’s picturesque waterfront. The newly refurbished conference centre has substantially expanded exhibition spaces and beautifully designed conference facilities.

Welcome Drinks - Masonic Hotel

Arriving delegates, speakers and sponsors will be welcomed with complimentary drinks and nibbles at the Gatsby Bar in the iconic Masonic Hotel just along the waterfront from the conference centre.

Gala Dinner - Church Road Winery

The Gala Dinner, featuring a keynote speaker, will be held in the the striking Tom McDonald Cellar which opens out to the parkland.
Pre-dinner drinks will be served in the atmospheric Cuve Room which is dominated by stunning large oak cuves and will feature food and drink from a variety of local producers.

The Topp Twins at the Gala Dinner!

We are thrilled to announce that The Topp Twins will be the after dinner entertainment at the Agri-Industry Summit Gala Dinner!

It promises to be a truly Kiwi evening full of fun and laughter, networking, wonderful local food, great wine and good company!

Register for the conference

There are 3 options available:

For 2 days Day 1 only Day 2 only

Register for the Gala Dinner

Spaces for the Dinner are limited and reserved for delegates only so please book early!


Primary Sponsor

Gala Dinner Sponsor

Artisans Producers Showcase