The Joint Venture between Milk New Zealand and Landcorp, formed in 2012 to manage 16 North Island farms, was celebrated at an event in Hamilton today.
Known as Pengxin NZ Farm Management, the joint venture was charged with restoring the environment, productive capacity and animal welfare on the farms which were in a state of disrepair at the time of purchase. More than $23 million dollars has been invested, to date, in the restoration of the farms.
Guests at the Hamilton event included David Trewavas, Mayor of Taupo, Fan Zhang, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of China Embassy in New Zealand, Erwen Xu, Consul General of China Consulate in Auckland, and a number of industry leaders.
Terry Lee, Milk New Zealand’s Managing Director said the North Island farms, known as Theland Tahi, have been transformed under Landcorp’s leadership and now have a “a high standard of professionalism, in terms of farm management/productivity, environment protection, animal welfare and looking after people.
The impact of that transformation has been manifest, bolstering and motivating the farm teams, their families and local and wider communities – and this has been widely acknowledged within the dairy industry. We could not have achieved this without Landcorp – they have done a great job.
“This event celebrates that transformation and the friendship and respect which have been generated over those years, and which will endure beyond the end of the Joint Venture (in June 2017).”
From left to right
Traci Houpapa MNZM JP – Chairman of Landcorp, Director of Pengxin New Zealand Farm Management Limited,
Bruce Hunter, Senior Business Manager Dairy Pastoral
Justine Kidd – CEO Agribusiness of Theland Farm Group, Director of Pengxin New Zealand Farm Management Limited
Hon Louise Upston – MP for Taupo
Terry Lee – Managing Director of Milk New Zealand Holding,
Rick Braddock – Chairman of Pengxin New Zealand Farm Management Limited
Terry Lee said he hoped the future would include opportunities where Landcorp and Milk New Zealand could again work together on mutually beneficial projects. This intention was reflected in a future focused friendship agreement.
Justine Kidd, CEO Agribusiness for Theland Tahi and Purata (South Island) Farm Groups said the company is now looking to build on the great work Landcorp has done.
“We have an interesting and diverse farm asset in the Tahi Farm Group and this presents both opportunities and challenges.
“Our underlying strategy is to grow our asset value, with the asset being described as our people, our community, our environment and our farms. We are very focused on understanding where the opportunities are to improve our productivity, how we can keep producing great quality milk for our consumers in New Zealand and China while improving our sustainability and enhancing the impact we have in our local communities and environments.
“The dairy industry is facing continual change and the continual improvement culture that the Purata Farm Group has led will be fundamental to Tahi leading positive responses and positive outcomes as we navigate the changes and challenges in front of us. It is easy to focus on the environmental regulation but we really see that these challenges and changes are about farming in a wider community and ensuring what we do enhances that community, economically and socially.
“We are creating a nationally led and nationally focused business, so the Purata Farm Group and the Tahi Farm Group will operate as one business. This provides us with wonderful opportunities to grow our people across a wider business that can provide new challenges for individuals as they grow in their career with Theland Farm Group. It also enables us to share and learn from each other and our different farm assets and the different places that we farm.”
Justine Kidd said the farms will largely have farm managers in place, with six of the eight available management roles being taken up by the existing farm managers who worked with Landcorp and one being taken up by a Purata team member who is taking on his first management role.
“We also have four new business to business opportunities which have offered three new contract milking roles and one 50% sharemilking role. We are very excited about the team that is joining us on the 1st of June.
“Theland Farm Group is looking to add value, we will continue to seek out opportunities to add value to the people who work with us, to the land we farm and the communities we farm within,” Justine Kidd said.
Improvements to Theland farms (North Island and South Island) include:
• Four new dairy sheds
• Installation of new technology in 11 dairy sheds
• Refurbishment of farm housing
• Construction of six new homes
• Installation of six new effluent systems
• 1300 ha regressed
• 300 km of fencing and riparian
• 900 additional water troughs
• 300 ha irrigation upgrade
• Establishment of the North Island Dairy Training Academy