Category Archives: Membership

2017 Annual General Meeting

Notice to Members

The Annual General Meeting of LandWISE Inc. was be held during the 2017 Annual Conference “Are we ready for Automation?”

When: 2:30 PM on Wednesday 24 May 2017
Where:  Havelock North Conference Centre


Proposal to Revise the Constitution

Click here to review the proposed revised Constitution 2017

In 2016 the Board set about a review of itself and the Constitution.

  • The Board recommended to members that its numbers be cut to five of whom at least three should be practising farmers.
  • The Board recognised that our membership is wider than when we were established largely for cropping farmers, and the proposed changes expand the focus to all land based production and more clearly identifies the technology sectors that support it. 
  • The description and classes of membership have also been amended to reflect what is effectively happening. 

A number of Constitution changes are required to formally change the Board size and structure and Membership, and the opportunity was taken to tidy up some other minor aspects.  These were put as a block to the AGM which approved the changes.

Retiring Board Members

In light of the proposed changes to the Constitution, and specifically the recommendation that the Board reduce in size to five members, many of the current Board have signalled their intention to step down. Together they have made a very large contribution.

Those stepping down are:

  • Bruce Searle – Elected 2006
  • Brendan Powell – Elected 2011
  • Paul Munro – Elected 2012
  • Mark Redshaw – Co-opted 2014, Elected 2015
  • Stuart Dykes – Elected 2016
  • Andrew Dawson – Elected 2016

Board Elections

The remaining Board members are:


  • John Evans – farmer/grower (arable)

Board members

  • Simon Wilcox – farmer/grower (vegetables)
  • John van der Linden –  farmer/grower (viticulture)
  • Mark Burgess – researcher (University of Auckland)

One additional member was required and a nomination was been received

  • Oliver Knowles – nominated Mark Redshaw, seconded Matt Flowerday was duly elected

Ollie Knowles is Science Extension Specialist, Precision Agriculture at Ballance Agri-Nutrients based in Mount Maunganui. Ollie joined Ballance in 2010 and initially worked in the sales team before transferring to his current role in science extension. He completed his Bachelor of Agricultural Science Honours degree at Lincoln University, Canterbury.

New LandWISE Chair – John Evans

The LandWISE Board recently appointed John Evans as LandWISE Chair, replacing long serving Chair Hugh Ritchie.  We are delighted that John has agreed to take on the Chairmanship role as we navigate a rapidly changing future for farming and for LandWISE itself.

John and partner Kai Tegels farm a 271 ha Arable and Stock property at Dorie in mid-Canterbury, specialising in vegetable seed production. He actively seeks new knowledge and applies it in innovative ways to achieve sustainable development of the farm.

John was an early adopter of GPS autosteer, high accuracy implement guidance and has trialled most precision agriculture technologies, retaining those that demonstrate value and utility in his farming system. He is a sought after research partner across  arable and precision farming and regularly hosts research trials for a range of organisations.

John has been involved with LandWISE since 2004 when he assisted the field testing protocols in the Code of Practice for Irrigation Evaluation with his boom and linear-move irrigators being the first assessed. He has since hosted training courses for people undertaking the National Certification in Irrigation Performance Assessment.

In recent years the farm has seen considerable investment in irrigation development including new technologies and on-farm water storage. John and Kai have an ongoing program planting trees and shrubs to enhance the environment and benefit bees and other beneficial insects.

John noted the strip-tillage work being carried out in Hawke’s Bay and saw a place for it in Canterbury. We arranged a loan of parts from Hugh Ritchie, John built a tool bar and tested the system initially for seed carrot production. He also demonstrated it at a FAR Chertsey field day.

LandWISE links have been maintained through various Sustainable Farming Fund and Foundation for Arable Research projects such as “Short-term forecasting of weather conditions for cropping farmers” which involved assessment of site specific hourly forecasts.

As a farmer member of “Advanced Farming Systems” which included assessing satellite NDVI imagery he was able to identify different plots in a FAR carrot seed trial.

John has maintained a watchful eye on our other initiatives, offering insight and advice.  He featured in the LandWISE publication “A Guide to Smart Farming”.

John completed a B Ag Com degree at Lincoln in 1979. He was instrumental in setting up the Certificate in Seed Technology at Lincoln University and completed its first course in 2000. He is a long standing member of FAR’s Mid-Canterbury ARG, a Board member of Process Vegetables NZ and active in process vegetables research.

John’s knowledge and achievements have been widely recognised, including being awarded the Agronomy Society of New Zealand Certificate of Achievement in Agronomy, winning the Ballance AgriNutrients Nutrient Management award and the WaterForce Integrated management award in the 2012 Canterbury Ballance Environmental Awards, and being a finalist in the Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of The Year and Innovation Finalist in 2011.

LandWISE Board 2016-17

A new Board was elected at the Special General Meeting in September 2016.  We welcome new members and thank those retired, some after very long service.

Hugh Ritchie and Scott Lawson retired at the 2016 meeting. Both have been actively involved since the beginning of LandWISE, chairing the Board and helping in many other ways. They remain keen to stay closely involved in advisory capacities.

We are similarly grateful to retiring Mike Flynn and Douglas Giles for their contributions. Mike has also been a solid supporter, long time Board member and with McCain Foods agriculture staff championed the strip-till and minimum tillage work that occupied the first years of LandWISE. Douglas is well known in the Manawatu for his innovative approaches to cropping region.

2016-2017 Board members

  • Mark Burgess, The University of Auckland, Auckland
  • Andrew Dawson, Callaghan Innovation, Wellington
  • Stuart Dykes, Haden & Custance, Hastings
  • John Evans, Tregynon Farm, Canterbury
  • Paul Munro, Peracto NZ, Auckland
  • Brendan Powell, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council
  • Mark Redshaw, Ballance AgriNutrients, Hawke’s Bay
  • Bruce Searle, Plant & Food Research, Hawke’s Bay
  • John van der Linden, Villa Maria Estates, Hawke’s Bay
  • Simon Wilcox, A. S. Wilcox, Pukekohe

New Board Members

John Evans is a long time LandWISE supporter and a cropping farmer from Rakaia near Ashburton. He grows process vegetables, cereals and specialist seed crops and has some grazing. He has a strong technical and computing bent and wide experience with precision agriculture technologies.

Stuart Dykes is GM of Hayden and Custance, a local robotics company. Stuart has wide experience in mechanical engineering and food science including the viticulture sector. He chaired the VOLBI group that put forward the Hawke’s Bay AgTech Regional Research Institute proposal and says the role LandWISE can play connecting research, technology and farmers /growers is enormously valuable.

John van der Linden is Vineyards Systems Manager at Villa Maria Estate with an overview of viticultural practice and special projects. He was one of the active supporters of the regional research institute proposal and believes LandWISE has a key role supporting new technologies and systems in viticulture and other horticultural activities.

Andrew Dawson is GM of Research at Callaghan Innovation. A strong LandWISE supporter over recent years, he has a very strong knowledge of sensing technologies and commercialisation of technology. He sees LandWISE as a key link between practising farmers and the technology community

Mark Burgess is Director, Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology at the University of Auckland. He was previously with Auckland UniServices linking research and industry and has identified LandWISE as a unique organisation in the agri-tech space.

The Future

This year the Board began reviewing our direction, a process to be completed and presented at the May 2017 AGM. Any thoughts? What is important to you?

Talk to a Board Member or Dan – help shape our future