Thursday, 19 September 2019 11:33

Conference sets industry tone

Written by  Mark Daniel
Moana Fisheries HR manager Katrina Thompson was a keynote speaker. Moana Fisheries HR manager Katrina Thompson was a keynote speaker.

Tractor and machinery importers, manufacturers and dealers gathered recently in Wellington for the inaugural conference of the New Zealand Tractor and Machinery Association (TAMA).

Their industry was calculated recently as being worth about $1.3 billion annually and providing 2500 jobs. 

Supplying key industry data to its 38 members, TAMA also acts to understand and disseminate current and proposed legislation affecting the industry.

TAMA plans to expand its membership to the wider industry and to serve parts and service staff in the various companies. Its plans include more training, particularly in health and safety, a scholarship scheme for youngsters and an idea for a North Island working field day.

The 80-strong conference audience heard from a broad range of speakers: economist Cameron Bagrie looked at challenges to the rural sector; Alan Kirsten, of Agriview, spoke about industry statistics; and Ian Yule, of Plant Tech, spoke about the change of new technologies and their likely effects.

Katrina Thomson, group human resources manager, Moana Fisheries, addressed the challenge of how to attract and retain millennials to the industry -- while recognising that not all younger people aspire to own a house or drive a flash car. Group discussion covered the skills required in employees -- now and moving into the future.

During the conference dinner, guest speaker Patrick (Paddy) Gower, a former political journalist, had the audience laughing loudly at his stories about reporting on ego driven politicians -- many far out of their depth.

The evening concluded with the President’s Awards for Enduring Service and Emerging Talent in the Agricultural Machinery Industry. These were awarded to Graeme Tulloch, of Tulloch Farm Machines, and Kieran Steffert, of Origin Ag, respectively.

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