Grower with a passion for the future

Gisborne man the winner of the President's Trophy at horticulture awards.

Gisborne man the winner of the President's Trophy at horticulture awards.

INDUSTRY LEADER: Tim Egan, pictured here at work, won the President’s Trophy at the New Zealand Horticulture Conference this week. Pictures supplied
Tim Egan with partner Natalya Sandbrook and the Presidential cup.

Gisborne grower Tim Egan this week received the President’s Trophy at the New Zealand horticulture awards for service to the industry. He speaks to reporter Murray Robertson about what winning the award means.

Gisborne grower Tim Egan this week received the President’s Trophy at the New Zealand horticulture awards for his passion and service to the industry.

The trophy is awarded to people showing promise in business and horticulture industry leadership.

It recognises a passion for working on behalf of the horticulture industry in New Zealand, as well as a commitment to developing themselves as a business leader and successful grower.

The citation Tim received on Tuesday night in Christchurch reads: “The winner is a person who has a huge passion for anything to do with growing, which spans not only his work in the orchards but also work with the people who make up the horticulture industry.”

So what drives Tim Egan, and what lights his fire?
“I have always enjoyed growing fruit. Every season is different and every year brings new challenges,” Tim says.

“It is so satisfying harvesting a crop of fruit and knowing that it’s a healthy delicious product that’s going to be enjoyed all over the world.

“The industry has changed massively over the last 30 years. Integrated fruit production in pipfruit, kiwifruit and grapes means we’re using biological controls, pest monitoring and only spraying with chemicals when absolutely necessary.

“Orchards and vineyards are teeming with life, and seeing how nature solves problems is absolutely fascinating.”

Tim says one of the many things he loves about the horticulture industry is growers’ willingness to help and support each other, and collaborate to ensure that great initiatives are supported and implemented.

“One of these initiatives is the collaboration between the Ministry of Social Development and local growers to start addressing some of the issues surrounding the industry’s growth and our reasonably high unemployment rate.”

After advertising for a co-ordinator, engaging Rawinia Parata to that role and a number of collaborative meetings later, that project was given the name Tipu.

Tim chairs both the Gisborne Labour Governance Group and the Tipu Advisory Group, which is a subset of the Gisborne Labour Governance Group.

“We have been really lucky to have Rawinia in a paid role to create the identity and drive the project forward. It is always hard when you are a group of passionate volunteers with great ideas but limited available time.

“She has done a great job creating a website tool, with funding secured from the Eastland Community Trust, and we’ll hopefully have it up and running in the next month.

“It will give us the ability to connect local employers with local job seekers, while underpinning that connection with excellent pastoral care and engagement with social services where required,” Tim says.

“Steve Phelps is also on board, and over the next while he will be going out and directly engaging with industry and the workforce.”

Tim says while the project has limited funding at this stage, once they got “a few runs on the board” he is confident that

Tipu will become a business-as-usual part of the local industry.

He credits the success of this project to the passion of many.

The advisory group has been made up of Tim, Wayne Hall, Tania Kearns, Karen Bartlett, Gordon McPhail and Natalya Sandbrook.

“Without the hard work and dedication of those people we would not be where we are today.”

Tim gives great credit to the part his partner Natalya Sandbrook has played in
his work.

“Being able to be a part of so many good initiatives in the industry is really only made possible by my wonderful Natalya.

“We are a great team and are both passionate about the sustainability of our industry and our region.”

Tim is director of Illawarra Limited, a 40- hectare enterprise encompassing apples, kiwifruit and vineyards on Awapuni Road.

“We have a great team here at Illawarra, with a permanent staff of seven.

“Both Natalya and I are really proud of the one-team culture that everyone contributes to.

“It is fantastic to be able to grow products that people want to buy, for companies that can market them well. T&G and Zespri are doing a really good job for growers and we are on the right track in terms of growing the right varieties for our region.”

The best place to conclude this story would be read again from the citation Tim Egan received this week:

“Those in the industry have said of Tim that they have never doubted his passion for the industry, nor his trust and integrity.

“With a vision for a prosperous Tairawhiti and sustainability through economic growth, he was one of the key influencers who lobbied the previous government to fund a horticulture co-ordinator in Gisborne.

“A researcher who worked closely with our President’s Trophy winner spoke of his sincere approach to reducing labour issues and growing the talent that is at hand.

“Tim has been involved in the horticulture industry for many years and he will doubtless continue to be involved, and that is in keeping with the spirit of the President’s Trophy.

“We look for people with a passion for working on behalf of the industry in New Zealand, and for someone who has a commitment to developing as a business leader and successful grower.

“Tim Egan is that person and the winner of the President’s Trophy for 2018.”

Gisborne grower Tim Egan this week received the President’s Trophy at the New Zealand horticulture awards for service to the industry. He speaks to reporter Murray Robertson about what winning the award means.

Gisborne grower Tim Egan this week received the President’s Trophy at the New Zealand horticulture awards for his passion and service to the industry.

The trophy is awarded to people showing promise in business and horticulture industry leadership.

It recognises a passion for working on behalf of the horticulture industry in New Zealand, as well as a commitment to developing themselves as a business leader and successful grower.

The citation Tim received on Tuesday night in Christchurch reads: “The winner is a person who has a huge passion for anything to do with growing, which spans not only his work in the orchards but also work with the people who make up the horticulture industry.”

So what drives Tim Egan, and what lights his fire?
“I have always enjoyed growing fruit. Every season is different and every year brings new challenges,” Tim says.

“It is so satisfying harvesting a crop of fruit and knowing that it’s a healthy delicious product that’s going to be enjoyed all over the world.

“The industry has changed massively over the last 30 years. Integrated fruit production in pipfruit, kiwifruit and grapes means we’re using biological controls, pest monitoring and only spraying with chemicals when absolutely necessary.

“Orchards and vineyards are teeming with life, and seeing how nature solves problems is absolutely fascinating.”

Tim says one of the many things he loves about the horticulture industry is growers’ willingness to help and support each other, and collaborate to ensure that great initiatives are supported and implemented.

“One of these initiatives is the collaboration between the Ministry of Social Development and local growers to start addressing some of the issues surrounding the industry’s growth and our reasonably high unemployment rate.”

After advertising for a co-ordinator, engaging Rawinia Parata to that role and a number of collaborative meetings later, that project was given the name Tipu.

Tim chairs both the Gisborne Labour Governance Group and the Tipu Advisory Group, which is a subset of the Gisborne Labour Governance Group.

“We have been really lucky to have Rawinia in a paid role to create the identity and drive the project forward. It is always hard when you are a group of passionate volunteers with great ideas but limited available time.

“She has done a great job creating a website tool, with funding secured from the Eastland Community Trust, and we’ll hopefully have it up and running in the next month.

“It will give us the ability to connect local employers with local job seekers, while underpinning that connection with excellent pastoral care and engagement with social services where required,” Tim says.

“Steve Phelps is also on board, and over the next while he will be going out and directly engaging with industry and the workforce.”

Tim says while the project has limited funding at this stage, once they got “a few runs on the board” he is confident that

Tipu will become a business-as-usual part of the local industry.

He credits the success of this project to the passion of many.

The advisory group has been made up of Tim, Wayne Hall, Tania Kearns, Karen Bartlett, Gordon McPhail and Natalya Sandbrook.

“Without the hard work and dedication of those people we would not be where we are today.”

Tim gives great credit to the part his partner Natalya Sandbrook has played in
his work.

“Being able to be a part of so many good initiatives in the industry is really only made possible by my wonderful Natalya.

“We are a great team and are both passionate about the sustainability of our industry and our region.”

Tim is director of Illawarra Limited, a 40- hectare enterprise encompassing apples, kiwifruit and vineyards on Awapuni Road.

“We have a great team here at Illawarra, with a permanent staff of seven.

“Both Natalya and I are really proud of the one-team culture that everyone contributes to.

“It is fantastic to be able to grow products that people want to buy, for companies that can market them well. T&G and Zespri are doing a really good job for growers and we are on the right track in terms of growing the right varieties for our region.”

The best place to conclude this story would be read again from the citation Tim Egan received this week:

“Those in the industry have said of Tim that they have never doubted his passion for the industry, nor his trust and integrity.

“With a vision for a prosperous Tairawhiti and sustainability through economic growth, he was one of the key influencers who lobbied the previous government to fund a horticulture co-ordinator in Gisborne.

“A researcher who worked closely with our President’s Trophy winner spoke of his sincere approach to reducing labour issues and growing the talent that is at hand.

“Tim has been involved in the horticulture industry for many years and he will doubtless continue to be involved, and that is in keeping with the spirit of the President’s Trophy.

“We look for people with a passion for working on behalf of the industry in New Zealand, and for someone who has a commitment to developing as a business leader and successful grower.

“Tim Egan is that person and the winner of the President’s Trophy for 2018.”

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