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Beef and Lamb vote is on again

Farmers in Beef and Lamb New Zealand’s Eastern North Island electorate – which includes Wairarapa – will now be able to vote in new elections for their farmer director representative.

Voting was postponed in February because of the significant disruption caused by Cyclone Gabrielle, and the decision was made to restart the election process completely, to ensure equity.

Recently elected chair Kate Acland said it is important that eastern North Island farmers who took part in Beef and Lamb’s annual meeting voting process understand that this will be a new election.

“That means if they voted for their preferred eastern North Island director when they voted on the annual meeting resolutions and remits, they need to re-cast their vote.

“Starting the director elections afresh means that all candidates can undertake comprehensive campaigning, and voters will have an equal chance to participate and make an informed choice.

“Many parts of the ENI region are still dealing with the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle but, with the move from response to recovery, I encourage farmers to put their minds to whom they want to represent their region going forwards,” Acland said.

All four candidates – Jenny Boyne, Patrick Crawshaw, Paul Crick, and Sandra Matthews – have reconfirmed they will be standing for election.

Voting packs are being sent out today [April 12] and should arrive in mailboxes by about April 21.

Voting can be completed by post or online, using the PIN and password on voting papers.

Current Eastern North Island director George Tatham, who planned to stand down after nine years, has continued in the role due to the election postponement, with his term coming to an end when the results are announced.

The Wairarapa-based candidates are Jenny Boyne and Paul Crick.

In her candidate profile, Boyne said she was putting her name forward to represent an endangered species: the East Coast Hill Country Sheep and Beef farmer.

“I want to ensure that farmers are acknowledged as making a valuable contribution to New Zealand.

“I have, with my husband, Alistair [known to some of you as Gerry or Tora], grown four fantastic kids [twins Ben and Sophie, Sam and Nicholas] on our 471ha beef and sheep farm at Tora Station, South Wairarapa.”

She said the farming operation included a fish quota and an agri-tourism business.

“In addition to farm skills, my sound business acumen comes from a Post Graduate Diploma in Horticultural Science, banking, and winemaking.”

Boyne said she had held community service governance positions as Rural Women New Zealand Wairarapa Provincial Executive chair, and as a member of the Greater Wellington Hill Country Advisory Committee.

“[The roles] have taught me the value of connection and being grounded while speaking up for people.

“My extensive networks have been fostered through strong family farming associations, community service and sporting activities.”

Boyne said she would reach, understand, and connect with Beef and Lamb levy payers with a wider audience to support farmers and acknowledge them as the most efficient producers to feed the world.

“Your vote ensures that your farmer perspective is heard. I will represent you regardless of whether your ancestors arrived on a waka, sailing ship, or jumbo jet.”

Crick said he has been involved with developing the next generation of farmers in his previous executive role as director of farms for the former Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre.

“I am currently farming an 850ha sheep, beef and deer farm in Wairarapa, with my partner Dayanne.

“We have a vested interest in sustainable farm production and profitability including the necessity to provide training and career opportunities.”

Crick said the agricultural sector was facing significant stress and uncertainty.

He said if elected, he would strive to represent the region in an industry he has been proud to be part of.

Voting closes at 2pm on Friday, May 5.

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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