Several other people important to the New Zealand horticulture industry - in addition to Mike Chapman who was awarded the Bledisloe Cup for horticulture
- received awards at the Horticulture Conference gala dinner on 5 August at Mystery Creek.Environmental Award
Emma and Jay Clarke of Woodhaven Gardens in the Horowhenua won the Environmental Award.
Woodhaven Gardens are leaders in sustainable growing, investing significantly in reducing environmental impact, adopting
a science-led approach that balances conservation with commercial success.
The Clarkes are leaders in research for the vegetable industry - contributing time, money and land in order to measure
and provide evidence. Their large-scale fresh vegetable growing operation is driving change in environmental
sustainability, shifting growing areas to reduce nitrogen loss and minimise the impact on freshwater quality.President’s Trophy
Kylie Faulkner, who was elected as the first woman president of the Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association in 2019, won
the President’s Trophy. This award recognises passion for working on behalf of New Zealand’s horticulture industry, as
well as commitment to developing as a business leader and successful grower.
Kylie says she was were born to vegetable growing, ‘being put in an onion bin as a young child when my parents did not
want me to get run over in the packhouse’.
Twelve years ago, Kylie returned to the family business and says that ‘to be successful, growers always need to be
smarter about the way they grow’.
As president of the Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association, Kylie has strenuously advocated for growers in the areas of
land use, the environment and labour. During Auckland’s lockdowns, Kylie helped ensure that Pukekohe growers could
continue to pick, pack and transport their produce, to New Zealanders around the country.Industry Service Awards
Industry Service Awards are for people who have provided long-standing and significant service to the New Zealand
Horticulture Industry. There were three winners this year.
Tim Jones has just stepped down as Chair of Summerfruit New Zealand, a position he held for five years. He has been
Chief Executive of 45 South Management for more than 20 years as is passionate about summerfruit, willingly sharing his
knowledge and expertise, and advocating for the industry. Covid has seen Tim focusing on labour and ensuring summerfruit
can get to export markets, despite ongoing freight issues.
Brent Mathieson is described as a ‘totally committed and loyal servant to the New Zealand horticulture industry’. Brent
started his horticulture career in 1979. He has focused on seed, in particular, sweetcorn and dwarf bean varieties for
processing but as Brent has neared retirement, he’s looked at outdoor crops such as cauliflower, onions, broccoli,
lettuce and carrots.
David Watts left the commercial world more than 30 years ago to take up kiwifruit and avocado orcharding in Katikati.
David has filled many grower representation roles, at New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated and the Katikati Fruit
Growers’ Association, as chairman and as an executive member. David has never stopped giving time and energy to the
horticulture industry. He has contributed to more than 40 government submissions and has only just stepped down as Fruit
News editor and advertising manager.
Life membership award
Life Membership of Horticulture New Zealand is awarded to people who have provided distinguished and honourable services
to Horticulture New Zealand and the industry for at least 10 years. Two industry stalwarts have been bestowed life
membership this year.
Leon Stallard has made an enormous contribution to the apple and pear industry for more than 20 years. Leon became
President of the Hawkes Bay Fruit Growers Association in 2005 and in this role, established the Young Grower of The Year
Competition as a national event.
Leon was elected to the HortNZ Board in 2014 and served until 2020. During this time, Leon played a key role in ensuring
the horticulture industry was better understood by government, so they took the industry’s unique characteristics into
account in their decisions.
Lex Dillion retired last year after 38 years of working in the horticulture industry. He was involved in the
introduction of plastic crate pooling and returnable packing in New Zealand.
Lex has held several governance roles in the tomato and covered crop industries since 2019. Most recently, Lex was on
the advisory board that set up the ‘A Lighter Touch’ agroecology project, which is to ‘shift the focus of crop
protection, and integrate biological and ecological processes into food production’.