Te Hono Bootcamp

PHOTO: AGMARDT’s GM, Lee-Ann Marsh and Trustee, Ben Tosswill.

AGMARDT is a proud sponsor of the recently held 2022 Te Hono Bootcamp. Below are a few reflections from AGMARDT trustee Ben Tosswill who attended with our GM, Lee-Ann Marsh.

“What an amazing few days! It was a privilege to be part of Te Hono and meet so many incredible people in our sector. I went from one great conversation to the next with some of my thoughts and ideas validated, while also seeing new possibilities and hope for the future.   I was impressed with the vast array of organisations represented and the diversity of the attendees.

The venue was outstanding – being amongst the mountains at Aoraki/Mt Cook brought a sense of humility. Seeing evidence of climate change first hand was sobering. We learned how quickly the Tasman Glacier is retreating and the predator impact on kea numbers in the area.

I observed how biodiversity, climate change and the environment are at the forefront of many decision makers minds. This paradigm shift has come quickly and is influencing decisions today. Climate change is a human problem, not a planet problem and solutions are within our reach.

Te Ao Māori woven throughout Bootcamp was uplifting. From waiata (song) to acknowledge and thank speakers, to Tina Porou’s talk which challenged and inspired through to the spiritual elements and connectedness with the land and sea. Mātauranga Māori is key to helping us plan for the future.

The importance of storytelling and understanding how we can shift people’s mindsets was also powerful. What are the barriers to change and how can they be influenced? How do people think and what inspires change? From a farmer’s perspective, we need to own the narrative and become better at telling our story, not just for others but also to each other. Help people feel successful and create a path for them to embrace a new identity.

Balancing this will be the need for listening, especially when there are two conflicting points of view. Why do they have that view? Is there a third way of resolving the problem? Conscious listening will result in understanding.

There was this and so much more, but I’ll leave it here. I look forward to seeing how the seeds planted at this year’s Bootcamp grow. Out of challenge comes opportunity.”