Hosting Industry Workshops
Facilitating Major Events
Connecting The Dots
Delivering the Goods
On 21 July 2020, Ministers Phil Twyford and Damien O’Connor formally launched the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) in Tauranga.
In his May budget, Finance Minister Grant Robertson had already announced that $11.4M of funding had been allocated to support the delivery and implementation of the Plan. For New Zealand’s agritech sector, these were pivotal moments.
Time then to go back to 23 May 2018. This was the day that Agritech New Zealand was launched. Wharf42 had just hosted one of Techweek 2018’s headline events at the ASB Arena – ‘10 billion mouths’. A number of international agritech thought leaders had joined Jacqui and myself at Mills Reef Winery to celebrate the launch. It was an awesome moment, fulfilling our mission first started in 2015.
The two years since the launch of Agritech New Zealand have been a blast. Our vision for a connected and impactful agritech ecosystem has come together. Today, Agritech New Zealand has over 140 members, representing New Zealand’s key agritech stakeholder groups; industry, research, government and support players, including banks, consultancies and investors.
In December 2019, the Precision Agriculture Association of New Zealand (PAANZ) voted to join Agritech New Zealand at their AGM. A Practitioner Working Group was established within Agritech New Zealand and today it is delivering a number of PAANZ’s core initiatives; an audit of precision agriculture technologies on New Zealand farms and orchards, together with a focus on developing agriculture data standards and regulation that is fit for purpose.
The integration of PAANZ into Agritech New Zealand has created an even stronger organisation.
Looking ahead, Agritech New Zealand is going to play a major role in the delivery and implementation of the Agritech ITP. By building an effective working relationship with the government’s Agritech ITP taskforce, industry and government are now well placed to support the growth of New Zealand’s agritech sector. This will both increase export sales and provide our farmers and growers with the tech they need to become more productive, profitable and sustainable.
Our change of focus means a new role for Wharf42 within Agritech New Zealand. Since we launched Agritech New Zealand back in 2018, Wharf42 has been contracted by the NZ Technology Association to lead the organisation. Jacqui and I have held the roles of Executive Director and Projects Director respectively. We are vacating these positions and are assuming a new part-time role which will focus on scaling Agritech New Zealand’s global footprint. This maps our new direction and is designed to increase the visibility of New Zealand’s agritech sector in the global market.
To learn more about Agritech New Zealand, please visit the website at www.agritechnz.org.nz