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Wanaka Show Auction 2021
23 March 2021

PGG Wrightson charity auction raises record breaking funds

The Neonatal Trust can expand its Otago-Southland operation after receiving $58,522 from the PGG Wrightson (“PGW”) charity auction held at the Wanaka show.

One of the features of the show is the annual PGW charity auction, where PGW, suppliers and clients generously donate items which are auctioned, with the proceeds presented to a local charity. This year’s chosen charity was The Neonatal Trust, Otago-Southland, which provides support to the families of premature babies.

Rachel Friend, Executive Director of The Neonatal Trust, was absolutely blown away by the amount raised. “Like all not-for-profits we are heavily reliant on the goodwill of volunteers and community support and we are feeling very privileged to be chosen by PGW as the charity auction recipients this year.”

“Until a year ago we did not have a physical presence in Otago-Southland. One of the many projects we will undertake, thanks to the funding, will be the upgrade of the family whānau room and the purchase of equipment to make the room more welcoming,” said Rachel.

PGW appreciates the importance of making a positive and meaningful contribution to the communities in which we operate. A locally based PGW employee recommended the Otago-Southland Neonatal Trust as the recipient charity having had a personal connection with the Trust.

John O’Neill, PGW Regional Manager - Lower South Island was delighted with the outcome. “The feature Lot was a package kindly donated by local customers, Minaret Station. This year’s crowd was entertained with some spirited bidding resulting in an unprecedented total of $58,522 being raised.”

“The Neonatal Trust Otago-Southland are very worthy recipients of the raised funds. Having a premature baby puts life into perspective and the Trust provides a lifeline to families by supporting them through their journey,” said John.

Pictured from left: John Duffy (auctioneer), John O'Neill, Allan Brown, Neil Bulling. 



For media enquiries please contact:

Amanda Dick
Group Investment & Media Relations Analyst
PGG Wrightson Limited
Mobile: +64 27 247 5972

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Livestock Market Update: Staff Profile - Emma Pollitt

03 March 2021

Turning a love of animals into a career

When Emma Pollitt was a schoolgirl in Gisborne she loved anything with four legs, particularly horses and dogs. Agriculture, and the opportunity to work with animals, was a logical step so when she finished school she took an 18 month course at Taratahi, the Wairarapa agricultural college.

“During my time there I discovered there was so much more to the agricultural industry than I initially realised”, she says.

Working with horses and dogs, she started out as a shepherd, first in Kingston, South Otago, and then Gisborne. After that she became a large animal vet technician in Wairoa, which included the likes of assisting at difficult calvings.

“It was all livestock based: a well-rounded practical background,” says Emma.

In May 2016 she joined PGG Wrightson, initially as a technical field representative in retail, moving to her present role, as livestock genetics representative for Gisborne, Wairoa and Eastern Bay of Plenty two years later.

Last year presented her biggest challenge to date.

“When we went into lockdown, just as we were starting to prepare for the bull sale season, it made planning challenging for us and our clients. We are a small team and we had to work through it together, discovering and discussing options with each new government announcement. Fortunately we were classed as an essential service, though there was concern around conducting sales.

“Initially it was stressful. We were lucky to have bidr as an alternative to get clients’ bulls sold, offering them online and selling them in the paddock. We weren’t able to go around the country to see bulls to the lengths we normally would, so had to rely on each other much more, talking, sharing heaps of videos and working closely with clients through every step of the process.

“Through good leadership, making sure we had plenty of Plan Bs and Plan Cs ready to go, and moving into Level Two just before we hit our straps with the sales, we ended up having a really successful bull season,” says Emma.

Her greatest satisfaction in the role is from the ram and bull seasons, when it all comes together.

“You see a bull, you recognise he may suit one of your clients, you take the client out, and they like him and buy him. It is very rewarding in that respect: developing partnerships between breeders, teaming them up together. At the start, they all want to be secret squirrel, so when it comes off, and you know you have helped them to develop that trust between them, it is really neat,” she says. Helping clients work out how many bulls or rams to put up for sale can be a big quandary. “Most ask: ‘How many should I put in?’

Conversion of sheep and beef farms to forestry is a significant change on the East Coast at the moment, plus trends towards self-shedding sheep, though whatever the issues, working out just what the market wants so you don’t put in too many or too few is always tough. No-one really knows what to expect, which is where preparation, teamwork, canvassing the market and understanding our clients’ objectives comes in,” she says.

Outside work, Emma’s interests don’t differ too much from what she does for a living. After starting out helping others to show cattle a few years ago, she has followed that path and is now the Chair of Angus Youth NZ

“It’s more cow stuff.

“It meant I had a good relationship with many breeders before I joined the PGG Wrightson Livestock Genetics team. The East Coast is a strong stud stock area, so being involved helped with networking. I’ve also been involved in the World Angus Forum Youth Competitions, which has meant overseas travel to their events, which will hopefully return at some stage in the future,” she says.  

Having followed her instincts about what she wanted to do, Emma’s enthusiasm for working with animals has only grown.

“It’s a very rewarding job, and I know how lucky I am to do it. That luck extends to being part of a great team that works for really passionate clients,” she says.

Emma Pollitt, PGG Wrightson East Coast Livestock Genetics Representative

Pouarua Field Day - Ahuwhenua Trophy

01 April 2021

Good crowd at first Ahuwhenua Trophy field day

More than 150 people attended the field day of Pouarua Farms, one of the finalists in this year’s prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Māori Dairy farm.

Pouarua Farms are a large Māori owned dairy operation located near the township of Ngatea on the Hauraki Plains, close to Thames. The 2,200ha platform comprises 10 farms – nine dairy units and one drystock unit and is the largest single dairy platform in the Hauraki region. A total of 4,600 cows are milked across 1,775ha and produce approximately 1.65M kgMS.

People came from many parts of the central North Island including the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions. They included representatives from central and local government, rural professionals, sponsors, and a wide cross section of leaders from te ao Māori and the agibusiness sector. Also present were representatives of the other two finalists, Tataiwhetu Trust located in the Rūātoki Valley south of Whakatane and Tunapahore B2A Incorporation at Hawai on State Highway 35 on the East Coast of the North Island.

The visitors were welcomed onto the farm by the kaumātua of Pouarua Farms Walter Ngamane and other local dignitaries. After the formalities, those attending the day watched a series of presentations by directors and staff from the farm setting out its history, vision, current operations, and their plans for the future. Later they had the opportunity to tour the property where further details about the farm were presented.

The Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee, Kingi Smiler, praised the organisers for a well-run field day. He says the overall organisation was excellent, as was the presentation of the material about the farm.

Kingi says entering the competition in such challenging and uncertain times takes a lot of courage and determination, and Pouarua Farms, like the other two finalists have shown just that. He says in these difficult times highlighting the positive aspect of Māori agribusiness is more important than ever because it helps ignite a sense of pride among Māori people and the wider community.

“Field days such as this one at Pouarua Farms are an outstanding example of the achievements of Māori and highlights the growing contribution of Māori to the wider Aotearoa economy. We need to do more showcasing of our achievements as many people still do not understand the value of the Māori economy,” he says.

Field days for the other two farms will be held Thursday 1st April at Tataiwhetu Trust and Thursday 8th April at Tunapahore B2A Incorporation. The winner of the competition will be announced at the Ahuwhenua Trophy Awards Dinner being held in New Plymouth on Friday 14th May.

See more about PGG Wrightsons' relationship with the Ahuwhenua Trophy here

Pouarua Farms Profile

Ngā Puke ki Hauraki ka tarehu

E mihi ana ki te whenua

E tangi ana ki te tangata

Ko Te Aroha kei roto

Ko Moehau kei waho

Ko Tīkapa te moana

Ko Hauraki te whenua

Pouarua Farms are located on the Hauraki Plains, 35km south east of the Bombay Hills. The 2,200ha platform comprises ten farms: nine dairy units and one drystock unit. This is the largest single dairy platform in the Hauraki region. 4,600 cows are milked across 1,775ha and produce approximately 1.65M kgMS. Pouarua Farms are jointly owned by Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Paoa, Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Tara Tokanui and Te Patukirikiri.

The farms lie within the Māori land blocks known as Ngarua, Waitakaruru and Puhangateuru.The Waitangi Tribunal confirmed that the iwi of Hauraki suffered raupatu by the Crown and were marginalised in their own rohe being among the most landless of iwi in the nation Pouarua Farms were returned to the five iwi in 2013 in the largest on-account Treaty settlement ever made by the Crown. The farms were initially in a 50/50 sharemilking agreement with Landcorp from 2013 – 2019. Pouarua Farms are now fully operated by the iwi owners under a limited partnership arrangement.

The board is independently chaired by the Honourable John Luxton along with iwi representative directors Paul Majurey, John McEnteer, and Rick Braddock, who have all served from the outset of the return of Pouarua Farms to the iwi.

Since taking on full operational care in May 2019, significant productive and financial gains have been achieved by careful execution of management led by Chief Executive Jenna Smith. The dairy farms are run as system 2 and as all the farms sit on quite raw peat of varying maturity, production and input are therefore equally as variable. Farm A was established in 2017 after a reconfiguration of four of the farms with the intention to increase on-farm efficiencies. Milking 600 cows on 217 effective hectares through a well-equipped modern 54 bail rotary shed, the farm is the vision of its owners, with practical technologies and careful consideration for the environment.

Farm A recorded an 18% increase in per cow milk production to 390 kgMS in the 19/20 season and a 20% increase in per hectare production to 1,034 kgMS despite a significant drought. This was achieved with careful utilisation of on-farm grown feeds and adjusting the stocking rate down, as well as utilising 3-in-2 milking to conserve energy during the hotter months. Nitrogen use is capped to 150 units/ha across all farms and Farm Environment Plans were adopted as soon as full operational care as Undertaken. A forever planting plan sees approximately 7,500 plants (Harakeke and other native species) planted annually across the entire platform. With riparian planting of the drains the main priority. Specific species are planted in cultural gardens to utilise in weaving, medicines, food (honey), bird habitat, water quality, soil conservation and landscape improvement. Staff are supported with multiple on and off farm training opportunities, and the community is engaged through the local schools as well as a spend local policy which brings prosperity to the communities our people live in.

Contact: Jenna Smith, 027 599 0802 /

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