16 September 2019
New Zealand has a new story to tell, one that highlights the nation’s ingenuity, development of cutting-edge technology,
and care for its people and place.
The New Zealand Agritech Story provides a compelling way of promoting New Zealand’s agricultural technology
internationally, to build awareness and preference for New Zealand solutions and ultimately help more New Zealand
agritech businesses succeed on the world stage.
The NZ Agritech Story, launched today, includes a comprehensive suite of free promotional materials that highlight New
Zealand’s leading edge in the sector.
Peter Wren-Hilton, the executive director of Agritech New Zealand, said the story would make a key difference for export
“The sector is highly competitive, with companies from around the world all promoting their products. The New Zealand
Agritech Story will provide us with a distinctive voice, a way to engage with customers and communities and explain to
them why Kiwi companies are different, both in the way we have developed our innovative solutions and the way we operate
“Agritech has a significant value for New Zealand’s export economy - it currently contributes about $1.5 billion to our
export receipts – and campaigns like this will support its growth.
“We’re excited to share the Story for the first time internationally this week as part of New Zealand’s presence at
Ireland’s National Ploughing Championship, where we’ll also be showcasing some cutting edge Storytelling with the
Agritech Mixed Reality experience.”
The development of the agritech story fits within the framework of the New Zealand Story and was informed by the
gathering of comprehensive market insights, to better understand current perceptions of New Zealand agritech – areas of
strength, weakness or possible misconceptions. The Story is designed to help respond to these issues.
Central to the New Zealand Story is the Māori concept of Kaitiakitanga (guardianship, for people, place and planet) and
how this sense of responsibility has inspired many of our world-class agritech innovations.
Aotearoa New Zealand has had a long history with agritech innovation from its first settlers. The early Māori pioneered
agritech when they came to NZ and worked out ways to elongate the growing day using stones and rocks to soak up the warm
of the sun and radiate it back into the soil.
David Downs, the head of the all-of-government agritech taskforce which commissioned the Agritech Story, said the
international research was the first step.
“It became clear that one of our greatest competitive strengths is our connection to the land, and the way this has
influenced our approach to developing agritech.
“New Zealanders are driven by our sense of responsibility as guardians - or kaitiaki – where we have always worked in
partnership with nature. From this connection, we have drawn the inspiration, ingenuity and skills to create world-class
“In essence, we are, Powered by Place, which is the central theme of this story (and the name of the website).
“Being able to tell a compelling and consistent story about New Zealand agritech will build our reputation in this area
and help more of our agritech businesses to succeed on the world stage.’’
The Story includes four key messages: Powering Great Farmers, A World of Expertise in One Country, Natural Innovators,
Each of these messages responds to themes uncovered in the market insights research and showcases a range of New Zealand
companies and supporting proof points. They highlight the diverse solutions that have been developed by New Zealand
companies, from the invention of electrified fencing to robots that pick apples.
A range of materials is now available to assist companies and New Zealand organisations tell the Agritech Story,
including a market insights report, emotive Story video, showcase booklet, more than 100 professionally shot photos, a
comprehensive user guide and more, all designed to promote New Zealand as a source of world-class agri-innovation.
All materials have been developed by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) in partnership with Agritech New Zealand,
Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand Story, MBIE and MPI, and are available for free download from Agritech New Zealand’s
website (link here).
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said the agritech story underlined the commitment of the Government to developing a
sustainable primary sector.
“New Zealand’s primary sector is going from strength to strength. While the economic forecast is good in the short and
medium-term, we need to be looking further into the future to ensure that our primary industries are sustainable in the
long-term. We have to move past volume to value. Innovation and technology will be key to our achieving this. We have to
be at the forefront of new technology and value chain development.
“I strongly believe that value-growth and sustainability are not a trade-off. In fact, increased sustainability is the
only pathway to future prosperity. If we are responsive to international consumer preferences, if we collectively
leverage our premium brand, and if we continue to farm smarter, we will make both profitable and environmental gains”.
The New Zealand Agritech Story can be found here.