2017 Keynote Speakers

Master of Ceremonies: Craig Wiggins

Craig began his career as a trade-qualified diesel mechanic, then moved onto the family sheep and beef farm, which is on 750 acres in Raetihi on the Parapara Highway.

He now owns a dairy grazing block in Mid Canterbury and is happily married with two daughters.

With over 25 years’ experience specialising as a rural sports and events commentator, Craig has covered rodeo, equine events, A&P shows, field days, fencing competitions and the Young Farmer of the year competition. Craig is also the Hilux Rural Games commentator and hosts many conferences and awards evenings, auctions and fundraising events.

His varied portfolio centres on his passion, which is positive commentating on good people. Other roles include:

  • Host/roving mic at the 2017 South Island field days
  • NZ Fencing Competitions announcer at national and rural field days
  • Writer for the NZ Farmers Weekly and host of the rural video series, The Farmers Voice
  • Rural spokesperson on The Country Radio show
  • Horse trainer and clerk of the course at three race tracks in Mid Canterbury
  • Six years as compere for the Young Farmer of the Year competition, 42 regional finals, and six grand finals.

Keynote Speaker: John Luxton

The Honourable John Luxton stepped down as DairyNZ Chairman in 2015, having held the position since 2008.

Mr Luxton oversaw the development of DairyNZ, the first dairy industry body of its kind and an “industry good organisation”, which was created with the merger of Dexcel and Dairy Insight. He has played a key role in a number of significant policy and legislative changes in New Zealand, including the foundation policy work that led to the formation of Fonterra and the deregulation of producer boards.

He led the dairy industry through a significant growth phase, with jobs in the industry peaking at 42,240 employees, while contributing $13.2 billion to export revenue for 2014/2015.

He has represented the industry as part of the Trade Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, helped launch a new strategy for sustainable dairy farming and a new water accord in 2013, championed research, development and education within the industry, established the Waikato Dairy Leaders Group and chaired the Industry Leaders Forum.

He is a former Chair of the Tatua Co-op and a founder of Open Country Dairies and Kaimai Cheese companies.

Mr Luxton is co-Chair of the Waikato River Authority and Chair of the Asia New Zealand Foundation and Hauraki iwi-owned Pouarua Farm Partnership.

He is a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for Public Services, Queen’s Birthday 2003, and was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2017 New Year’s Honours.

Keynote Speaker: Jake Millar

Co-founder and Publisher

He’s been jumping out of planes and bungy jumping since he was in nappies (literally). Put simply, 20-year-old Jake Millar is a born adventurer determined to build world-changing companies.

Jake is from Auckland and the Co-Founder and Publisher of Unfiltered, his second start-up in two years.

He believes there are only two things you need to become a master of your field: “extreme skill” and “strong networks”. He says Unfiltered will provide both of these qualities to aspiring entrepreneurs, investors and executives.

At the end of 2013, after becoming inspired by Sir Richard Branson, Jake turned down a $40,000 Law scholarship offered by the Dean of Law at the University of Otago, sold his car, and founded OOMPHER (his first start-up).

OOMPHER is a media company aiming to ensure that “less people die wondering what they could have achieved”. Jake noticed that thousands of young people all over the country were going to university, simply because it “seemed like the right move.” OOMPHER set out to use video interviews to “inspire people to achieve extraordinary things through wise words from leaders in their fields”.

OOMPHER launched on Monday, 14 July 2014 with an impressive array of commercial partners including BNZ, Canon, Deloitte and Toyota, and quickly grabbed headlines in the New Zealand media. The company raised over $300,000 in revenue in the year immediately following launch, attracting 70,000 views in the first year. That’s 10% of the total market.

Within two months of launching, Jake was already negotiating the sale of OOMPHER to the New Zealand Government, and signed on the dotted line in May 2015, with Crown Entity Careers NZ acquiring the company.

Determined to get out there and give it another go, Jake negotiated himself a three-month handover period, which ended in September 2015, and co-founded Unfiltered.

He reached his dream only 18 months after leaving school, receiving an email from his hero, Sir Richard Branson himself, who agreed to do an interview with him.

When Jake’s not working, you’ll find him eating, reading, thinking, travelling, playing golf and working, because as he says, he’s always “on”. This is something he says he admires the most about the greatest entrepreneurs he’s interviewed.

Keynote Speaker: Ian Proudfoot – Lead Partner, KPMG

Ian joined KPMG London in 1992, having obtained a BSc in Industrial Economics from the University of Warwick.  He joined KPMG Auckland in 1996 on an initial 18-month secondment. Ian was appointed a Senior Manager in 2000 and admitted to partnership in 2004, after completing a year-long secondment to the Fonterra Co-operative Group as Group Reporting Manager. He was appointed as Global Head of Agribusiness for KPMG in 2013.

A Chartered Accountant and Registered Auditor, Ian is the author of the KPMG Agribusiness Agenda, a series of thought leadership reports which have been produced annually since 2010.  He is responsible for the development of KPMG New Zealand’s agribusiness sector focus group.

Ian has presented extensively to audiences in New Zealand, as well as internationally, on the strategic opportunities and challenges facing agribusiness. His particular focus is on exploring how food will be produced, processed, distributed and consumed in the future. He has been described as one of New Zealand’s leading food futurists and was rated as a leader of the pack in the country’s primary sector in 2014 by Rural News, who noted “it is encouraging for the wider agribusiness sector that someone is thinking long term and floating new ideas and concepts”.

Ian attended the NZ Primary Industry Bootcamp at Stanford University in California in August 2014.

He is also currently leading a project, along with a major New Zealand bank and industry partners, to develop an urban agricultural experience centre and show farm in Auckland. The  goal is to inform 25,000 urban kids a year about the contribution of the primary sector to New Zealand and the career opportunities it presents.

Keynote Speaker: Richard Loe

Richard Wyllie Loe was a renowned All Black forward prop who plied his trade for the New Zealand national team between 1987 and 1995. Loe was well known by fans and teammates alike as an ‘enforcer’ on the pitch, a player who balanced his abilities with the ball with a tough-tackling prowess and a penchant for physicality. During an outstanding career, Richard Loe represented his country of birth in no less than three World Cups, assisting the All Blacks to a famous victory in 1987. Along with fellow teammate and captain Sean Fitzpatrick, Loe formed one of the most formidable forward lines ever to lead the All Blacks. Despite his sometimes overly physical dominance on the pitch, Loe is regarded by former teammates as an exceptional character and professional.

Following retirement from rugby, Loe became a sport columnist for the New Zealand Herald, a position he still holds today.

Keynote Speaker: Greg Murphy

Greg Murphy is one of the greats of motor racing.

“Murph”, as he is known to his many fans, is New Zealand’s highest profile V8 Supercar driver. With memorable victories in the coveted Australian Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 events in 1996, he established himself as a world-class talent.

Murph has left his mark on the sport of V8 Supercars, having clocked up over 400 V8 Supercar race starts, multiple Bathurst 1000 wins and appointments with some of the highest-profile race teams in Australasia. He is rightfully considered one of the greats by fellow competitors and fans alike.

His flagrant disregard for detractors and adversity has resulted in some of his most memorable performances, despite the odds, which is an attitude he applies to both his life and business decisions.

Murph is no stranger to reaching 300km/h on the track, but the Kiwi V8 Supercar legend preaches safe speeds and smart decisions when it comes to driving on the road. He is the face of the Motor Trade Association’s in-school road safety programme, ‘Murph in Schools’, which has been running for eight years. He has also tirelessly advocated for widespread safety improvements in driver training, vehicles and road systems.

Off the track, Murph is a dad to three young children, has his helicopter pilot’s licence and he cycles in his spare time to keep fit.

He is now a commentator during the races and also works as a motorsport TV presenter. In 2014, he teamed up with Steven McIvor

In October 2015, he took a look back at his career with the book, Murph – The Illustrated History.

Murph is passionate about leadership, high performance, staying motivated under pressure and understanding the true meaning of teamwork.