Primary Industries Good Employer Awards 2018

Recognising and celebrating our exceptional primary industries employers.

2021 entries open now

Entries for the 2021 awards opened on 11 January and close on 5 February 2021.

Find out more and how to enter

Awards announced

The inaugural Primary Industries Good Employer Awards were announced on 27 November 2018 at a dinner in the Grand Hall at Parliament.

The awards – held by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the Agricultural and Marketing Research Development Trust (AGMARDT) – recognise good employment conditions in the primary sector. 

Innovative Employment Practices Award

This award recognises employers who:

  • are committed to providing good employment conditions in their business or organisation
  • have put in place new or innovative programmes, processes, or practices to provide a great work place.

Winner: Ben and Nicky Allomes, Hopelands Dairies Ltd

Highly commended: Jenny Buckley and Dave van den Beuken, Jaydee Partnership

Employee Development Award

This award recognises employers who:

  • are committed to providing good employment conditions in their business or organisation
  • have put in place an effective employee development programme.

Winner: Kevin and Kylie Ihaka, Forest Protection Services

Highly Commended: Patrick Malley, Onyx Capital Limited

Safe and Healthy Work Environment Award

The Safe and Healthy Work Environment Award is intended to recognise employers that are committed to providing good employment conditions in their business or organisation; and have an exemplary standard in relation to employee health, safety and well-being.

Winner: Michelle Cherrington, Moana

Highly Commended: Kevin Ihaka, Forestry Protection Services

Maori Agribusiness Award

The Māori Agribusiness Award recognises Māori Agribusiness employers that are committed to providing good employment conditions in their business or organisation, and have put in place an effective programme in one or more of the following aspects of good employment:

  • innovation
  • employee development
  • safe and healthy work environment.

Winner: Richard Wyeth, Miraka

Highly Commended: Zac Te Ahuru, Ruapehu Agricultural Developments Ltd

Minister's Award

This award recognises employers who:

  • are committed to providing good employment conditions in their business or organisation
  • have put in place an effective programme in one or more of the following aspects of good employment:
    • innovation
    • employee development
    • safe and healthy work environment
  • have shared their ideas and resources among other employers to improve employment conditions in their region.

Winner: Ben and Nicky Allomes, Hopelands Dairies Ltd

Highly Commended: Bruce Beaton, Kristen Nash and Maurice Windle, T&G Global, Pipfruit

Find out more about the awardees

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Innovative Practices Award

Winners: Ben and Nicky Allomes, Hopelands Dairies Ltd

Tony Egan, Chair of AGMARDT, with Nicky and Ben Allomes, and Nick Bailey of Hopelands Dairies Ltd.

Ben and Nicky show their commitment to their employees’ well-being by investing in good employment practices and trying new and innovative approaches. They aim to increase flexibility and provide opportunities for their employees to grow.

They completed a time and motion study that identified the hours required to run the farm and developed an innovative rostering system. The rostering system offers employees standardised shifts and provides employees with flexibility to select shifts based on their skills and availability. They saw increased employee engagement and retention, and in November 2017, were able to introduce day shifts that are no more than 9 hours per person.

Highly commended: Jenny Buckley and Dave van den Beuken, Jaydee Partnership

Jenny and Dave are examples of employers who are committed to investing in upskilling staff, trying new rosters to better suit staff, and meeting their needs in a culturally sensitive manner. They have made sure to consider the values and culture of their Filipino staff members and adapted their employment practices to suit employees.

Employee Development Award

Winners: Kevin and Kylie Ihaka, Forest Protection Services

Ray Smith, Director-General of MPI, with Kevin and Kylie Ihaka, Forest Protection Services.

Forest Protection Services is a great example of going beyond minimum standards and bringing a holistic approach to employee development.

Forestry Protection Services has partnered with NorthTec and Te Matarau Education Trust to deliver its programme – called Tupu Ake. This offers rangatahi the opportunity to build qualifications and life skills while also providing full time paid work. The programme offers continuous employment during the year, while also offering a range of unique learning and development opportunities. These include the opportunity to attend training related to activities outside of the core duties of Forest Protection Services.

Highly commended: Patrick Malley, Onyx Capital Limited

Onyx Capital is a great example of an employer considering the wider needs of employees when developing an employee development programme. The Onwards and Upwards program was launched in September 2017.

The programme provides support for workers in their life outside of work by helping employees obtain identification cards (18+) and birth certificates, open their own bank accounts, and use email. Some employees who were initially reluctant to attend the programme, ended up wanting to spend more time training. Onyx Capital also provides additional leadership training for its managers.

Safe and Healthy Work Environment Award

Winner: Michelle Cherrington, Moana

Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash with Michelle Cherrington and Katrina Affleck, Moana.

Moana’s Hikoi ki te Ora programme goes above and beyond an employer’s statutory requirements for health, safety and wellbeing. The programme brings a wrap-around approach to health and wellness for its people, from advice and opportunities for exercise, nutrition and mental wellness, to budgeting.

Moana has held roadshows from the Far North to the Chatham Islands in order to make sure its people have effective tools to handle stress, depression and mental illness. The sessions were for its own employees, their whanau and the wider community.

Moana have also used innovative approaches to support employees to keep track of their health and wellbeing by providing an online dashboard with health check results and using this information to inform the Hikoi ki te Ora programme.

Highly commended: Kevin Ihaka, Forest Protection Services

Forest Protection Services is a great example of going beyond minimum standards and bringing a holistic approach to employee development.

Forestry Protection Services has partnered with NorthTec and Te Matarau Education Trust to deliver its programme – called Tupu Ake. This offers rangatahi the opportunity to build qualifications and life skills while also providing full time paid work. The programme offers continuous employment during the year, while also offering a range of unique learning and development opportunities. These include the opportunity to attend training related to activities outside of the core duties of Forest Protection Services.

Māori Agribusiness Award

Winner: Richard Wyeth, Miraka

Forestry Minister Shane Jones with Richard Wyeth and the Miraka team.

 Miraka integrates traditional customs and protocols across all aspects of the business including:

  • an annual pōwhiri to welcome new staff, whanau, suppliers and contractors
  • the creation of a Miraka haka and patere
  • support for staff to improve their Te Reo Māori.

Miraka also provide training and activities to support good health and safety outcomes, including the use of interactive quizzes, programmes to encourage safe outcomes driving practice and a health challenge hosted by Sport Waikato. Miraka recognises and rewards success in its Annual Whanau Awards and supports employees to move up within the organisation.

Highly commended: Zac Te Ahuru, Ruapehu Agricultural Developments Ltd

Ruapehu Agricultural Development Services Limited shows a commitment to providing good employment conditions with a focus on the safety and development of its staff. Their programmes include:

  • a comprehensive health and safety programme
  • skills training offered through Competenz
  • an innovative remuneration structure which ensures employees benefit when the company benefits.
Minister's Award

Winners: Ben and Nicky Allomes, Hopelands Dairies Ltd

Alt text from CMS.
Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor with Nicky and Ben Allomes, Hopelands Dairies.

Ben and Nicky are examples of farmers that promote good practices beyond the farm gate.

Ben is a director of DairyNZ and completed his Nuffield Scholarship in 2016 on the topic “How can self-awareness and self-reflection ignite a farmer’s motivation to engage in leadership?”

He has shared his knowledge and expertise with DairyNZ scholarship students, South American farmers on behalf of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Australian farmers.

Nicky is a facilitator of the GoodYarn farmer wellness workshops, has served on the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards executive committee, and is regional manager for Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa Dairy Industry Awards.

The Allomes have invested in research to develop an innovative rostering system. They have shared this with other farmers over phone, in person and through articles in the NZ Dairy Exporter and Inside Dairy.

Highly commended: Bruce Beaton, Kristen Nash and Maurice Windle, T&G Global, Pipfruit

T&G Global, Pipfruit have demonstrated a commitment to ensuring New Zealanders are able to overcome barriers to productive work. Their ‘no holes’ approach covers a wide range of practices to ensure that workers who might otherwise struggle in the workforce are able to be productive members of the team. They have engaged with other employers in their region to encourage the adoption of a holistic approach to maximising the local workforce.

Good Employer Awards 2018 finalists

Innovative Employment Practices Award

  • Jenny Buckley and Dave van den Beuken, Jaydee Partnership
  • Stewart Weatherstone, Rotopai Farms Ltd
  • Ritchie Legge, Ravensdown Ltd
  • Hew Dalrymple, Waitatapia
  • Bert Hughes, Forest Enterprises Ltd
  • Ben and Nicky Allomes, Hopelands Dairies Ltd
  • Edith Sykes, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd

Employee Development Award

  • Heather Remnant, At the Vets
  • Ben and Belinda Price, Price Trusts Partnership
  • Kevin and Kylie Ihaka, Forest Protection Services
  • Patrick Malley, Onyx Capital Limited
  • Justine Kidd, Theland Farm Group
  • Julie Bassett, Constellation Brands New Zealand

Safe and Healthy Work Environments Award

  • Duncan and Anne-Marie Wells, Huntly Road Dairies
  • Kevin Ihaka, Forest Protection Services
  • Michelle Cherrington, Moana
  • Craig Durbin, NZSF Waikato Farms Ltd
  • James Trevelyan, Trevelyan's

Māori Agribusiness Award

  • Miraka
  • Zac Te Ahuru, Ruapehu Agricultural Developments Ltd
  • Aaron Kurei, Te Kaha Gold Spraying Limited

Minister’s Award

  • Michael and Susie Woodward, Woodward Farms
  • Stephen Hopkinson, Taranaki Veterinary Centre
  • Bruce Beaton, Kristen Nash and Maurice Windle, T&G Global, Pipfruit
  • Ben and Nicky Allomes, Hopelands Dairies Ltd
  • James Trevelyan, Trevelyan's

Find out more

Who to contact

If you have questions, email goodemployerawards@mpi.govt.nz

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