AGM Registration and Location Details
Vote for YOUR Council!
Saturday 28 July 2018
9:30 registration and morning tea
10 am – 12:30pm AGM
Ferndale House, 830 New North Road, Mt Albert, Auckland
All members and supporters warmly welcome.
Please register by 16 July 2018. Send your name, address, phone number, email address and number of people attending to
Vote for YOUR National Council
The National Council consists of seven elected members who are voted in for two-year terms.
Marion Thomson, Mike Ryan and Moko Morris have been elected for the 2017–2019 term.
Gaz Ingram's term is up for renewal at the 2018 AGM.
Graham Clarke and Chris May are stepping down from the National Council at the AGM. Mark Houghton-Brown resigned from the National Council in June.
The following six people have been nominated for election to the four positions available.
Please feel free to email your voting paper to
• Attendees and apologies
• Minutes of 2017 AGM
• Chair report
• Financial report
• Appointment of auditor
• Appointment of returning officer and scrutineers
• Nominees address members
• Questions for Nominees from the floor
• Election of National Councillors
• Voting on remits
• Branch reports
• BioGro Constitution
• General business (from the floor)
• Election Results
• Close meeting
Nominator: Marion Thomson
Seconder: Chris Morrison
Marion Wood is executive director of Commonsense Organics. She is chair of the Organic Retailers of New Zealand, a former deputy chair of the Sustainable Business Network and on the Board of Fair Trade Wellington. She is also a director of Common Property Ltd, an organic market garden in Te Horo, an hour’s drive north of Wellington.
Her focus is on making organic food more accessible to people in Aotearoa New Zealand, and developing a successful ethical business paradigm based on organics, environmental sustainability and fair trade, as well as financial sustainability.
Marion has a long involvement in the not-for-profit sector. She is a former national director of the YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand, and worked as a founding consultant for the Waitangi Consultancy Group on Treaty of Waitangi issues. She was involved in:
• starting the first Trade Aid shop in Wellington;
• initiating and chairing the Council for International Development, the umbrella group for development agencies in Aotearoa New Zealand;
• a successful campaign to make Wellington the first fair trade capital in the southern hemisphere.
Nominator: Marion Thomson
Seconder: Moko Morris
Firstly, I am a dad and husband with a young family. I have 10 years’ experience at the grassroots of the organics movement in Christchurch, an honours graduate from Lincoln University (Environmental Management), community gardener, local food entrepreneur, and recently co-founded Cultivate Christchurch (see article in Organic NZ May/June 2018).
Since 2012, I’ve been involved with Soil & Health Canterbury, held the role of chair and attended national events and AGMs during the 2015–16 period of merging with BioGro. It has become clear there are significant governance challenges as a result of the merger and I am responding to recent calls for younger people to join the National Council (NC).
Elected to NC or not, I intend to use my ongoing leadership role within Cultivate to leverage support to grow the organics movement in NZ in the following ways:
• Develop regenerative and community-supported urban agriculture projects;
• Support small organic growers nationwide through the changes ahead from new MPI regulations for organics;
• Grow grassroots initiatives and networks that have significant nationwide potential;
• Engage with central and local government to build support for community-based education and training for young people in organics, as well as improving policy in support of food sovereignty initiatives.
Nominator: Graham Clarke
Seconder: Kim Strang
I am married to Sonia and we have two young adult children, Grace and James. We are organic sheep and beef farmers and also sell sheep genetics near Heriot in West Otago. We have been organic for 21 years and currently run 12,000 stock units on 1300 ha.
I have been involved in YFC (Young Farmers) to a national level, was a Nuffield Scholar in 1999, and have been active in farming politics. We embrace the organic way of life and the many benefits that this involves.
It is vital that there is a strong voice for the organic family both big and small, and that we work together to achieve this.
Nominator: Mark Houghton-Brown
Seconder: Craig Dowling
Gaz has been involved in the New Zealand organic scene for over 20 years, firstly as an organic pipfruit grower in Hawkes Bay and now as organic and biological manager for Farmlands Co-operative Society Ltd.
Gaz is also currently a director for BioGro NZ Ltd, New Zealand’s leading organic certification company and was chair of the NZ Biological Producers and Consumers Society Incorporated. He is a long-term resident of Hawkes Bay, originally growing up on a sheep and beef farm and now lives in Hastings, Hawkes Bay, with wife Sarah and daughter Madison.
Gaz is a strong supporter of not only the organic industry in New Zealand but also those who are actively trying to reduce their agrichemical and fertiliser usage by adopting newer forms of inputs and practices and developing a better understanding of the chemistry options they choose to use in their operations.
Nominator: Marion Wood
Seconder: Chris Morrison
Penelope is passionate about increasing consumer access to safe and healthy organic food. She has been involved in the organic sector since 2012 and is the store manager for Commonsense Mt Eden.
Her relationships with customers, suppliers, growers, and other retailers gives her a unique understanding of the needs of those engaging with organics from all angles. This has equipped her with the knowledge of how the organic community can best serve our customers and ensure the growth of our sector.
At 26 years old, Penelope is the youngest candidate standing for election as she believes that there is a need for the organic movement to actively connect with those who are just starting their journey towards a more ethical way of living.
Nominator: Matt Morris
Seconder: Alison White
Kia ora tatou. I am a life member and previous National Councillor and Association spokesperson, 2003–2011, a period that had a steady growth in membership and strong positive media exposure, particularly on food safety, pesticides and genetic engineering, and the positive advantage of organic production and food. I maintained significant work on those issues as a member of parliament, 2011–2017, and remain committed to this work.
My experience as a BioGro certified grower of 17 years and then board member (2004–2012), including roles on the standards and certification committees, is critical on National Council now that Soil & Health owns BioGro NZ. I understand the importance of supporting a unified organic sector and the regulation of a national organic standard with integrity, ensuring the interests of BioGro and OrganicFarmNZ licensees and organic home growers are met, with a robust organic consumer guarantee.
I have been a town centre organic retailer and was a founding member of the Marlborough Farmers Market, while also New Zealand’s then largest certified organic hothouse vegetable producer, selling throughout Aotearoa.
The Soil & Health Association has a long history, and once was a major New Zealand organisation with many branches and a membership rivalling other major NGOs. Membership has fluctuated in recent years and now needs a major lift.
The alarming doubling of the membership fee is unfortunately just one measure of a National Council that has become dysfunctional. This needs a reconnecting with and build of membership, trust and integrity, while ensuring a professionally run organisation.
A strong refresh of the National Council is needed with a mix such as the long experience of Marion Wood and myself with the generational vision of Bailey Peryman and Penelope Bundy.