A trip to Parihaka marae, the new Ravensdown complex and Tawhiti Museum were all on the list when 50 delegates from Federated Farmers visited Taranaki last month.

Chris Lewis, Federated farmers national dairy chair, says the organisation has a six-monthly catch up with dairy farmer elected leaders.

"As a rural New Zealand advocacy group with 24 branches around the country, we put in a huge effort to stay in touch with the regional and national issues.

"Taranaki has a long, proud tradition in Federated Farmers for having effective local leadership and a strong environmental focus, so we thought we would share the good oil on Taranaki with the rest of our elected leaders."


The highlight of the trip, Chris says, was visiting Parihaka Marae.

"The museum is a hidden gem and I will definitely be back with my family. There is so much history.

"We had a fantastic welcome onto the marae, we were told about the history of the area and what their focus is on for the future. It was the highlight of the field trip."

At the marae, Chris introduced himself and what Federated Farmers would be discussing during their trip.

"We come here to Taranaki to better understand the issues, learn, renew friendships and make new ones."

During their meeting, they discussed environment, biosecurity, employment practices on farm, the dairy industry recruiting act (DIRA) and immigration submissions, mental well being of farmers, M. bovis compensation and the coming biosecurity levy.

"MPI spoke to us about transport regulations for stock and last year's NZDIA share farmers of the year winners Daniel and Gina Duncan spoke about their successes and good farm employment practices.

"Mark Speight spoke about his Kellogg leadership report and mental wellness and financial literacy. We also had Labour MP Jo Luxton speak to us on behalf of Minister Damien O'Connor about the Government programme this year and what they are doing for farmers."