Information about all the National Council candidates is available below.

The National Council consists of seven elected members who are voted in for two-year terms.

The following nominations for National Council for the 2020-22 term have been received:

  • Marion Wood
  • Bernie Mabbs
  • Ella Lawton
  • Hollie Guyton
  • Barbara Collis

Jenny Lux, Jodie Bruning and Peter Wells are all sitting councillors, having been elected for the 2019–2021 term.

Marion Wood

Marion Wood is current chair of Soil & Health and is keen to stay on in that role. Marion is also the executive director of Commonsense Organics. She is chair of the Organic Traders Association 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.  

Nominated by Chris Morrison 

Seconded by Jodie Bruning 

Bernie Mabbs.

Bernie Mabbs

Bernie lives on a lifestyle block in Wellsford, Auckland with her young family. With connections in the local rural community and as an aspiring market gardener, Bernie is a strong advocate for restoring harmony with the natural world through regenerative and organic food practices – eliminating toxicity and supporting healthier soils, waters and lifestyles. 

With foundations in human geography and politics, Bernie’s passions lie in the relationships between people, place and space – their communities, culture, economy, politics and the environment. Bernie’s current interests include technological and industrial disruptions, digital economies and new economic futures – including food, environment, trade, livelihoods, mobility and resilience. 

Bernie is a curious, determined and pragmatic leader of diverse teams in dynamic and complex systems. She has built a career in economic development, community planning, tourism and retail and has extensive experience in strategic planning, governance, policy analysis, business improvement, customer service and programme management. 

Bernie has recently embarked on a new venture, Fresh as Local, born out of the recent national #hackthecrisisNZ 48-hour innovation challenge. The challenge brought together more than 966 Kiwis to design, test and bring to life innovative for ideas for about life in New Zealand beyond Covid-19. As a first step towards bringing the Fresh as Local vision to life – a ‘hyper-local’ world where farmers, communities and nature are connected, thriving and resilient – the team is collaborating with the Open Food Network New Zealand to help connect and build the capacity and capability of food growers and lovers across the country. 

Nominated by Jenny Lux 

Seconded by Debbie Thomsen 

Ella Lawton.

Ella Lawton

A society working in harmony with nature through the love of food is my core purpose. My professional and personal journey is to find the best ways for my passion, skills and knowledge to fulfil this purpose and help to create this future. I enjoy positions and projects where I am able to support the empowerment of individuals, groups and small business to make well-informed decisions that help to achieve a sustainable future. 

Professionally I’ve worn a variety of hats across a number of sectors from research, government, education and grass roots community. My strengths lie in strategic planning and decision-making, an experienced governor with an understanding of local government and experience in scientific research, application and communication. Two years ago I had the opportunity to purchase land in South Invercargill where my partner and I are breathing life back into a small block of land. We are currently building a home and looking to create a business which will contribute to the local food economy. We are on a learning journey.  

I am interested in a position on the Soil & Heath National Council because I see the considerable value of the Council's work, in particular its support of research into organics, providing information to stakeholders and influencing government policy-making. Through my varied background and professional experience I believe I can bring a complimentary set of skills and experience, as well as strong governance experience. I would be more than happy to discuss my nomination; please call me on 021 735 981. 

Nominated by Peter Wells 

Seconded by Philippa Jamieson 

Hollie Guyton.

Hollie Guyton

We need young people: on our land, in our cities, townships and in rural areas, growing organically, growing for their communities, and being part of connected and collaborative communities. We need to create the social, political, and legal landscape for the best kind of farming to occur on our lands, and we need to create systems to support access to organic food for everyone in our communities. 

I have been fortunate to have worked with organic food and been immersed in the organic community for most of my life. I have been a volunteer at the Riverton Organic Food Co-op for many years, have worked at Taste Nature Organic Store in Dunedin, trained as an apprentice at Our Table Cooperative, a diversified organic farm in Oregon, USA, and I now work in Riverton with my partner Rebecca on our small market garden enterprise, Woodsorrel Farm, where we grow vegetables, flowers and herbs for our small CSA and our local organic co-op.  

My passion is for community organising and nurturing community through the growing and sharing of organically grown food. I have been the organiser of the annual Riverton Heritage Harvest Festival since 2017, I am currently the chair of the South Coast Environment Society, and the librarian at Aparima College in Riverton/Aparima. I am excited to now be combining my passions in an organisation called Village Agrarians, focussed on building resources and community for new organic growers and farmers. 

Soil & Health has been very influential in guiding the views of New Zealanders around organic food and its production for a long time now, and I would be thrilled to be more closely involved with the organisation

Nominated by Philippa Jamieson 

Seconded by Steffan Browning 

Barbara Collis

Barbara has been co-opted onto National Council to help with governance and legal matters; she is now seeking election at AGM.

Barbara was raised within the farming community and later practised law as a general practitioner in conveyancing, estate work, civil, criminal and family law before specialising in 1986 in criminal and family law. 

Barbara lived at Kutarere on a farm doing planting and stream protection from 1982, growing truffles, certified organic avocados, dry stock cattle, diverse forestry plantings. 

Barbara retired from law 2017 and is keen to use her experience and legal expertise on National Council to support the growth and development of Soil & Health.

Nominated by Marion Wood 

Seconded by Jodie Bruning