New Zealanders scooped the pool in the annual transtasman Rabobank Leadership Awards last night.

Sanford chief executive Volker Kuntzsch won the Rabobank Leadership Award and
director of Grassmere Dairy Mat Hocken took out the Rabobank Emerging Leader Award.

"It was a good day for New Zealand" Hocken told The Country's Jamie Mackay.

READ MORE
Sanford CEO Volker Kuntzsch wins Rabobank leadership award

Advertisement

Hocken runs a 1000-cow Manawatu dairy farm that has been in his family since the 1890s.

Although he describes his operation as "farming firstly", Hocken is also involved in some "really great innovations" through the Rural Innovation Lab.

"[It] brings farmers and growers, technologists, research and companies and start-ups together to look at solving the problems of food and agriculture" explained Hocken.

Rabobank Australia and New Zealand managing director Peter Knoblanche (lef), Sanford CEO Volker Kuntzsch, Grassmere Dairy director Mat Hocking and Rabobank NZ CEO Todd Charteris. Photo / Supplied
Rabobank Australia and New Zealand managing director Peter Knoblanche (lef), Sanford CEO Volker Kuntzsch, Grassmere Dairy director Mat Hocking and Rabobank NZ CEO Todd Charteris. Photo / Supplied

As well as this, he kept himself busy working with MyFarm, looking after syndicated investments in kiwifruit and apples and was "on a couple of other boards as well".

Hocken completed an MA in Political Science and Government at Cambridge University and then spent time working in government and industry consultancy roles in Australia and Belgium.

Although he could have easily spent a life in the corporate world, Hocken returned to the family farm for the "challenge of it".

"Obviously it's in the blood".

Also in today's interview: Hocken looked forward to "plenty of exciting and inspiring things to get into" on-farm and with the Rural Innovation Lab.

Advertisement

Listen below: