MPI On Farm Support Team Update

06 October 2022

MPI is continuing to build the On Farm Support service, focused on helping farmers and growers to adapt to regulatory change and provide connections to resources, expertise and opportunities. The service will complement existing services offered by the primary advisory sector and regional councils.

MPI have announced the appointment of Regional Managers for On Farm Support and are pleased to be bringing onboard a wide range of experience in very high calibre candidates. The new Regional Managers will be in place late October / November and MPI will be completing further recruitment for the remaining regions throughout October and November. Read their bios below.

  • Jon Carswell, Northland
  • Sharon Morrell, Bay of Plenty
  • Toni Goodlass, Hawke’s Bay and Tairawhiti
  • Liam O’Sullivan, Taranaki
  • Blair Shaw, Top of the South and West Coast
  • Caroline Amyes, Canterbury
  • Kim O’Reilly, Otago

Along with building their teams in their regions, a key focus for the Regional Managers over the coming months will be to connect with industry organisations and regional councils. They will take a region-by-region approach to identify priorities, gaps and opportunities for working together.

Jon Carswell, Northland
Jon has been On Farm Support’s Establishment Regional Manager for Northland. Prior to this Jon was a Regional Recovery Adviser and team manager in the M.bovis programme. He brings extensive experience in team leadership and relationship management. Before joining MPI, Jon has been in farming for 25 years, working in dairy, beef and cropping. For 17 years Jon was involved with Dairy Holdings Ltd where he successfully converted 3 farms in Southland from sheep and beef to dairy farms. Along with family being extremely important to Jon (especially his 3 grandchildren) he enjoys fishing, scuba diving, hunting, walking the hills and being in the great outdoors.

Sharon Morrell, Bay of Plenty
Sharon comes from a career in the dairy industry. Most recently she was General Manager, Farm Performance for DairyNZ. In this role she led capacity building programmes for farmers across New Zealand. Sharon is motivated to empower farmers and growers to orient towards more sustainable practices in the face of complexity and change. Her 2015 Nuffield scholarship focused on this challenge. Sharon will be based in Rotorua. Sharon has extensive experience in strategic and team leadership and has also been a sharemilker. Sharon is active in the rowing community and is currently Bay of Plenty Rowing Association President.

Toni Goodlass, Hawke’s Bay and Tairawhiti
Toni joins MPI from the five Hawke’s Bay Councils where she was Regional Programme Director. This wide-ranging role included leading the case for the Hawke’s Bay Three Waters model. Prior to this Toni was Chief Executive of a privately owned dairy farming business in Central Hawke’s that farmed 9,500 dairy cows across 9 dairy farms. Her earlier career spanned different leadership roles across the telecommunications & IT industry. Originally hailing from Central Hawke’s Bay where her family were hill country sheep & beef farmers, Toni is passionate about supporting farmers and growers with real world practical solutions to enable the sector to adapt to the performance, environmental and market changes.

Liam O’Sullivan, Taranaki

Liam comes to MPI with a wide range of experience in the primary sector including as owner/operator of a 400 cow dairy farm, senior and regional roles in rural banking and active involvement with catchment groups and other environmental work in the dairy sector. Liam has experience across the sheep and beef, horticulture and dairy sectors. He is an experienced leader and developer of teams and is known for having strong trust-based relationships across the primary sector. Liam and his wife lead a busy life with three sports mad kids. They’re both involved in coaching and committees with rugby, netball, basketball, squash, cross country running, swimming, surf club and touch rugby. The family also do a fair bit of tramping, slowly making their way through the great walks.

Blair Shaw, Top of the South and West Coast
Blair has been On Farm Support’s Establishment Regional Manager for Top of the South. Prior to this Blair was a Regional Recovery Adviser and team manager in the M.bovis programme. Blair’s earlier career included 25 years managing dry stock and dairy farms. He brings extensive service delivery and relationship management skills to the role. Outside of work, Blair enjoys time with family and friends. He is a keen hunter, fisher and rugby fan. He also finds time to be involved in Civil Defence.

Caroline Amyes, Canterbury
Caroline comes to MPI with a varied background in education and agriculture. Most recently she has worked for Craigmore Farming as an Agri Relationships partner. This role was all about supporting the farming business to innovate and improve performance and culture. Prior to that Caroline held positions with Synlait Farms, including herd management and process improvement and training. Caroline has also been active at the local and national level of Federated Farmers and the New Zealand Dairy industry awards in the Canterbury/North Otago region. Outside of work Caroline enjoys managing a small farm holding, and spending time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Kim O’Reilly, Otago
Kim comes to MPI from the role of National Farm Environmental Manager for Landpro, an environmental consultancy specialising in primary sector clients and work. Prior to this Kim worked in Policy roles for Federated Farmers. Her earlier career was with ACC at both a regional and national office level. Kim is passionate and experienced in, on the ground implementation of change, with farmers and the wider community. Outside of work Kim enjoys spending time with family and friends, enjoying the outdoors, and travelling.