Clean water researcher Marnie Prickett, Forest and Bird’s Annabeth Cohen and earth systems scientist and mātauranga Māori specialist Dr Daniel Hikuroa have joined the ERG, replacing Dave Maslan and Angus Robson, who are retiring from the group.
Pāmu also announced that Marnie Prickett will take on the role of Chair of the ERG, replacing Guy Salmon who remains an ERG member, along with Dr Mike Joy and Dr Tanira Kingi.
Rob Ford, General Manager of Technology, Innovation and Environment, welcomed the new members, and also welcomed Marnie Prickett as Chair.
“All three new members bring huge strengths in terms of their own specific disciplines, as well as independence of thinking, and a passionate commitment to ensuring Pāmu is a leader in recognising and mitigating the environmental impacts of agriculture.
“I want to thank Dave and Angus, who were inaugural members of the ERG, and were both driving forces behind the establishment of the group, and its continued success as an advisor and influencer on Pāmu and our environmental policies and practices.
“I also want to thank inaugural chair Guy Salmon who has guided the ERG through some often highly complex and thorny issues, and has been instrumental in ensuring the ERG has made its voice heard at Pāmu in a meaningful way.
“Under the first three years of the ERG and with their guidance, we have worked to de-intensify our dairy farms, put an end to PKE on all our farms, completed annual environmental impact assessments on all our farms, and kept an ongoing focus on issues such as water quality and animal welfare. All are critical to our future as a sustainable farming and food company.”
Mr Ford said the ERG also play a crucial role in informing the strategies and priorities of the Pāmu environment team, led by Head of Environment Dr Alison Dewes, and are critical business partners for the environment team.
“The ERG operates independently of Pāmu. We will sometimes agree to disagree, but we also recognise that to be successful and sustainable farmers, we need to be careful stewards of our land and our animals – and the ERG play a vital role in holding the company accountable for our words and actions. They are a critical and wise friend of Pāmu, rather than a rubber stamp,” Mr Ford said.
New Chair Marnie Prickett says the role of the ERG remains firmly focused on compelling Pāmu towards ecological and ethically driven 21st century land management and food company.
“Our role is to unlock thinking both inside and outside Pāmu, and to challenge, engage and at time hold to account stakeholders, both in Pāmu and externally. We do this through the development and monitoring of key performance indicators across areas of fresh water, biodiversity and climate resilience - all key challenges that Pāmu will need to overcome to be a resilient and responsible company in the long term,” Ms Prickett said.
Brief biographical notes on the new ERG members (more info available on request):
Marnie Prickett has a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University and a Bachelor of AgriScience from Massey University and is currently studying towards a Master of Science at Massey University. She has been leading water quality monitoring on Molesworth Station.
Dr Daniel Hikuroa has a PhD in Geology from the University of Auckland. He is currently a senior lecturer in Maori Studies at the University of Auckland, Co-Deputy Director Te Pūnaha Matatini and Principal Investigator at Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, both National Centres of Research Excellence.
Annabeth Cohen has a Bachelor of Science from Muskingum University, Ohio and a Master of Science in Hydro-informatics and Water Management from the EuroAquae consortium specialising in irrigation efficiency and groundwater modelling. She is the Freshwater Conservation Advocate at Forest & Bird.