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He Waka Eke Noa – Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership will support farmers and growers to protect, restore and sustain our environment and to enhance our well-being and that of future generations.

We are working together to implement a framework by 2025 to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and build the agriculture sector’s resilience to climate change.

Through this framework farmers and growers will be empowered to measure, manage and reduce on-farm emissions; recognise, maintain or increase integrated sequestration on farms; and adapt to a changing climate.

The framework will include incentivising farmers and growers to take action through an appropriate pricing mechanism by 2025, in line with legislation.

Climate Change Framework and Legislation >

We are doing this work to enable sustainable food and fibre production for future generations and competitiveness in international markets.

“By working with the government, we now have the best opportunity to develop a framework that is practical and simple for farmers, rewards positive change and supports the sector to reduce emissions and maintain or increase sequestration.”

Andrew Morrison, Chairman B+LNZ

The Partnership is providing farmers and growers with a toolkit over the next four years, including:


  • Guidance on how to measure, manage and reduce emissions
  • Farm plans that show the steps being taken to manage emissions
  • A system for measuring and reporting on emissions
  • A mechanism for pricing emissions as an incentive to take action
  • Guidance on maintaining or increasing sequestration, that is, long-term carbon storage (for example in trees or soil)
  • Guidance on adapting to a changing climate.


This toolkit will line up as far as possible with other on-farm environmental actions, such as protecting and restoring freshwater and biodiversity.

He Waka Eke Noa – Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership grew out of discussions about how to achieve the best outcomes for the country and the food and fibre sector while playing our part in global efforts to tackle climate change.

A group of Aotearoa New Zealand food and fibre sector leaders, the Food and Fibre Leaders Forum, put forward a pathway to reducing emissions in He Waka Eke Noa – the Primary Sector Climate Change Commitment document.

“He Waka Eke Noa is a credible five-year work plan, developed in partnership with other sector groups, that includes clear and measurable actions, outcomes and timeframes that will facilitate and support action across a number of environmental improvements such as climate change, water quality and biodiversity.”

Tim Mackle, Chief Executive DairyNZ

In October 2019, government agreed to a proposal from the primary sector to work together and with iwi/Māori to develop a system for measuring, managing and reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, rather than simply putting farm products in the ETS.

He Waka Eke Noa has been formed to equip farmers and growers with the knowledge and tools they need to reduce emissions, while continuing to sustainably produce quality food and fibre products for domestic and international markets.

This work involves designing a practical and cost-effective system for reducing emissions at the farm level by 2025. It also includes designing an appropriate farm-level pricing system building on the principles set out in He Waka Eke Noa.

The Partnership Terms of Reference were agreed in April 2020.

Together we have developed a programme of work.

Partnership Terms of Reference>

Primary Sector Commitment 2019>

He Waka Eke Noa is made up of 13 partners, led by a steering group and supported by a small programme office.

Steering group

He Waka Eke Noa partners have appointed a steering group to provide oversight and ensure delivery of the milestones and objectives of the work programme.

The Work Programme >

Terms of Reference >

The members are:

  • Michael Ahie - Independent Chair
    Michael Ahie is Chancellor of Massey University, and Chair or a Director of several primary sector groups including Spring Sheep Milk Co, FMG and the New Zealand Plant Market Access Council. He draws on his experience growing up in a farming community in coastal South Taranaki and his previous executive roles with Toyota New Zealand Ltd, the New Zealand Dairy Board and Wrightson Ltd. Of Taranaki, Ngāruahine Rangi and Ngāti Ruanui descent, Michael lives in Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Martin Workman – Ministry for the Environment | Manatū Mō Te Taiao Acting Deputy Secretary for Sustainable Land Use Delivery
    Martin is responsible for leading the new Sustainable Land Use Delivery function. This will ensure delivery of policies such as the NPS Freshwater, He Waka Eke Noa and budget funding for freshwater restoration. Martin has over 20 years experience in environmental policy and delivery including time with Federated Farmers, Tasman District Council, Nelson City Council, and Ministry for Primary Industries. He had his first spell with MfE in 1997-99, and has been back with the Ministry since 2017. He led the freshwater policy reforms.
  • Julie Collins - Deputy Director-General Policy and Trade at the Ministry for Primary Industries
    Julie has a Bachelor of Forestry Science and more than 30 years’ experience in forestry and land use policy. Most recently she has worked on climate change, biosecurity, animal welfare and food safety policy and most recently established Te Uru Rakau/Forestry New Zealand, the new branded business unit within MPI.
  • Vaughan Payne - Iwi Māori
    Vaughan hails from the eastern Bay of Plenty tribes of Whakatohea (Mataatua) and Ngai Tai (Tainui), and has worked for and with tangata whenua across the motu throughout his career. Vaughan is Chief Executive Officer at Waikato Regional Council who have reduced their carbon emissions by 30% since 2017, have led the development of the Waikato Climate Action Plan, and co-manage the Waikato and Waipa rivers with Waikato River Iwi. He has helped lead the regional sector’s involvement in the government’s freshwater reforms and use of farm plans.
  • Hilton Collier - Federation of Māori Authorities, Te Aukaha
    Hilton Collier (Ngāti Porou) grew up on his ancestral lands near Ruatoria. Here was taught about Māori values and beliefs. This along with an Agricultural Science degree from Lincoln has equipped him for a Career predominantly in the Māori Agribusiness sector. He leads his Iwi Farming business, Pakihiroa Farms Limited, and is a member of the Federation of Māori Authorities, Te Aukaha.
  • Bruce Thorrold – DairyNZ
    Bruce has been a strategy and investment leader for DairyNZ since March 2001. The strategy and investment team is responsible for investing the farmer levy. Before joining Dexcel (now DairyNZ), Bruce spent 15 years with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and AgResearch, where he worked in soil science and catchment management, including hill country and lowland studies.
  • Cam Henderson - Federated Farmers of New Zealand
    Cameron Henderson is a dairy farmer milking 750 cows near Oxford, North Canterbury. He bought and converted the farm in 2011 and has since expanded the operation to include a 200 ha leased support farm. Cameron has degrees in mechanical engineering and finance and has spent time working for Fonterra and DairyNZ. He is the current Provincial President of North Canterbury Federated Farmers and a 2019 Nuffield Scholar.
  • Andrew Kempson - Agrifood Processor
    Andrew is the GM of Global Climate Policy at Fonterra, and has been with the co-operative since 2010 in a variety of roles which have been predominantly with a sustainability focus. Over this time, Andrew has been heavily involved in the management and development of on-farm behaviour change programmes working to improve effluent, nutrient and land management; farm systems; animal welfare; capital and financial asset management and succession planning. As Fonterra’s Sustainable Dairying Change Manager, Andrew led the implementation of the Farm Environmental Planning service and farm specific greenhouse gas reporting that Fonterra provides to its suppliers as a service. Andrew has also contributed to the Biological Emissions Reference Group and was a member of the Agricultural reference groups established by the Interim Climate Change Committee and the Climate Change Commission.
  • Dave Harrison - Beef + Lamb New Zealand
    Dave joined Beef + Lamb New Zealand in 2007 and is currently the General Manager, Policy & Advocacy, in the B+LNZ Wellington office. Dave oversees B+LNZ’s national and regional policy work including key areas such as the environment, biosecurity, animal welfare, market access, and trade negotiations. Dave returned from Brussels in 2016 after being B+LNZ’s Regional Manager Europe from 2010. As part of B+LNZ’s Market Access (now called Policy & Advocacy) team, he worked on a range of environmental, technical and trade policy issues affecting access for New Zealand sheepmeat and beef into Europe. Dave was also responsible for managing relationships with farmer and industry groups within Europe. \Before joining B+LNZ, Dave worked as Office Solicitor/Policy Advisor at the Meat Industry Association; a Biosecurity Policy Advisor and then a Solicitor at what is now MPI; and as Private Secretary to Hon Jim Sutton for his Forestry and Biosecurity portfolios.
  • Michelle Sands - Horticulture New Zealand
    Michelle leads the Natural Resources and Environment team at Horticulture New Zealand. Her focus is to draw on my technical experience to provide policy advice that is informed by science. Michelle’s background is in hydrology and water quality.
About Toolkit Story Partners Steering Members