Future Whenua 2021 – Post Event Update

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2021 summit in Southland. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Its hard to believe its been a month since we all gathered on the banks of the Mataura river to talk about the future of the rural sector but before any more time passes we wanted to reach out and continue the conversation!

If you attended the event or have been in communication during the lead up you’ll know what we’re all about.


Our first summit was a huge success (if we do say so ourselves!)

We were stoked with the audience, the calibre of discussion and to top it off the weather gods weren’t unkind. The event was opened with a whaikōrero from The Brothers Green then into a kōrero from the Honourable Damien O’Connor. Next came the farm tour which was a highlight for many, showcasing the property’s rich history, current systems and future prospects. Matu from the Hokonui Runanga blessed the subsequent discussion where we set the scene for the weekend before enjoying some libations and a kiwi BBQ – Cheers Alliance!

After some threats of rain on Saturday morning we made the decision to move to the woolshed and enjoyed a full day of insightful talks then it cleared up beautifully for a long table meal and bonfire by the river on Saturday night. A solid final day down there on Sunday including a planting session where we got about 200 native trees in the ground riverside. There was some great information coming from the speakers all weekend but perhaps it was the down time between scheduled events that was the most valuable for the attendees, with rich conversations had and connections made.

We want to extend a massive thank you to all the speakers, workshop hosts and other contributors. Future Whenua Summit 2021 was an ambitious project and we’re very happy with how it went. We owe that in thanks to you!


Some excerpts of feedback provided by local farmer and businessman Dylan Ditchfield:

“Really loved the setting in the back paddock beside the Mataura river giving it a relaxed low-key feel but certainly did not take away the engagement of the participants with the speakers or each other. Not getting all dressed up for a conference for once was actually a highlight for me.

“I was very impressed with the calibre and variety of the speakers. I think there were different styles of presenting also, some engaging the crowd more and some more of a presentation”

“The young talent that drove the event are absolutely committed to making a difference in the form of collaboration. I have never witnessed before the “all in” approach and the trust and respect that you all have for each other, giving the event strong integrity. This in itself gives me hope in the leadership of our communities and industry and is certainly inspiring.”

“The workshops were fantastic. I enjoyed the farm tour, the workshop and the polyculture paddock session very much. Also the planting session was I think a great way for the participant to contribute. I think if you could replicate this next time it would be awesome”


Thanks also to the awesome team at Snapt Videography, the talks this year were recorded and we will release them on the Future Whenua Youtube channel throughout the year. So keep an eye on our website and we will update you in subsequent newsletters.

Andrew Morrison’s brilliant address left us with too many questions to let him leave the stage and the resultant schedule adjustment led to the idea to record Dylan Ditchfield’s talk instead, which we are very pleased to release here as the first talk on our Youtube channel

Give it a watch and don’t forget to like and subscribe to stay tuned!

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