Farm Environment Trust Head Steps Down After Ten Years
New Zealand Farm Environment Trust general manager David Natzke is stepping down after a decade at the helm of the
organisation that administers the highly successful Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
New Zealand Farm Environment (NZFE) Trust chairman Simon Saunders said Mr Natzke has made a huge contribution to the
Trust since his appointment in March 2006.
“Under David’s management the Trust has developed into a highly professional organisation that has grown the Ballance
Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) into one of our primary sector’s premier events.”
Mr Natzke worked with trustees to manage the Awards programme and expand the list of Trust activities.
Mr Saunders said Mr Natzke’s leadership has lifted the profile of the Awards programme over the last decade, with three
new regions joining up and a significant number of farmers enjoying the benefits offered by the BFEA.
His strong people and business management skills have helped the Trust build robust relationships with a wide range of
sponsors, government organisations and industry partners, he said.
“David’s an excellent communicator and his ability to relate to many different people, especially Trust staff, BFEA
volunteers and award entrants, has been a real asset for the Trust.”
The success of the National Winner programme and National Sustainability Showcase are other highlights of Mr Natzke’s
Mr Natzke paid tribute to the trustees, NZFE Trust staff, and the many volunteers around the country who have helped
make the Awards programme the success it is.
“It’s been great to be part of that and I’m very proud of how this organisation has grown. But it’s been a real team
effort and I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by good people who want to make things happen.”
He says NZFE Trust’s success is also due to the support provided by partners and sponsors who share the Trust’s desire
to help farmers and orchardists improve the sustainability of their operations.
“The Ballance Farm Environment Awards are a good news story. Our agricultural sector cops a huge amount of negative
press, but the Awards are all about good people doing good things and that’s the real driver behind everything the Trust
Mr Natzke has had a lengthy involvement in the agribusiness industry. He was chief executive of Waikato Federated
Farmers from 1989 to 1998 and Federated Farmers of New Zealand’s general manager Corporate Services until December 2005.
He steps down from NZFE Trust in October but will continue to take an interest in the Trust’s activities and the primary
sector in general.
“Agriculture has been a huge part of my life. I’ve really enjoyed my involvement with the Trust over the last 10 years
and I’ve always said the Awards are a lot like Hotel California (the Eagles hit): You can check-out any time you like,
but you can never leave.”