OPINION: A mate of this old mutt's almost choked on his dog tucker when he came across the musings of former NZ First MP and newly elected Otago Feds chair Mark Patterson.
Federated Farmers National Sharemilkers Section chairman, Richard McIntyre says the honour is well deserved.
“Tony is an absolute gentleman who has represented the sharemilker farm owners well, for the betterment of the sharemilking industry,” he told Rural News online.
“His wealth of experience in governance and in resolving sharemilking disputes has been of great benefit.
“He understands the issues sharemilking faces from both points of view and then communicates this in a way to ensure a full discussion is had and a fair outcome is reached.”
Wilding chairs Federated Farmers sharemilker farm owners group. The award recognises his services to the dairy industry and the community.
“Mr Tony Wilding is an experienced director who has had a wide range of leadership roles in the New Zealand dairy industry, and has made significant contributions to conservation and local community organisations” the citation reads.
A dairy farmer in Okoroire, Wilding was a director of New Zealand Dairy Group for 14 years and of the New Zealand Dairy Board for six years. He played a key role in the establishment of Fonterra, and was a director of the Dairy Research Institute.
He was the first community/landowner co-chair of the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust at the time when the Trust's governance model changed to a co-governance structure with mana whenua, and he has built strong relationships between landowners and mana whenua.
Wilding is currently a trustee and was chair of Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand until August 2019, and has also been actively involved with the Pohlen Community Trust Hospital, the Okoroire School, and the Tirau Golf Club..
McIntyre says at Federated Farmers Wilding has worked tirelessly on the revisions of the various sharemilking agreements and has “a near encyclopaedic knowledge”.
“On a personal note, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside Tony for the last five years.
“During this time Tony has taught me a great deal about governance, chairmanship, finding consensus and working together to achieve a ‘fair’ outcome for all involved. Sharemilking is and will be in a far better place due to Tony’s involvement.”