Three members of Pāmu’s Environment Reference Group (ERG) are stepping down and four new members are joining the group.

Guy Salmon, Dr Mike Joy and Dr Dan Hikuroa are all leaving the ERG.

Chief executive Steve Carden thanked the members saying they each brought passion for the environment and a desire to find solutions to environmental issues Pāmu is facing across its farms.

“Guy was the ERG’s first chairman when the group was formed in 2016, and along with Mike Joy, helped form and guide the critical role the ERG plays in the life of Pāmu. They have challenged us to think more critically about our farming systems and how we can alter them to lower our farm’s environmental impact while improving their productivity.”

Carden welcomed four new members to the ERG, who will join current members Marnie Prickett and Dr Tanira Kingi.

“I warmly welcome our new ERG members who bring a wide range of relevant experience, along with a commitment to good environmental practice and a focus on science as an enabler of good farming. They will help the ERG to continue the great work it is doing to ensure New Zealand’s largest farmer is operating in a way that is sustainable for the environment and Pāmu,” Carden says.

The four new ERG members are:

Naomi Aporo – Kaihāpai Māori/Senior Leader, Our Land and Water National Science Challenge and NEXT Foundation fresh water fellow (Nelson)

Dr Bruce Campbell – former COO, Plant & Food, Horticulture NZ director, and food business consultant (Northland)

Sally Lee – Agricultural systems specialist and farmer (Waikato)

Helen Marr – Senior Planner at Perception Planning (Wairarapa)

Tom Kay, Forest & Bird’s freshwater advocate will also join the ERG. Forest & Bird share a memorandum of understanding with Pāmu and Tom replaces Annabeth Cohen, the previous Forest & Bird representative, who is on maternity leave.

ERG chair Marnie Prickett also welcomed the new members, and thanked those leaving the group.

“I’m grateful to Guy and Mike for their foresight on climate, biodiversity and water issues over decades, and for the dedication of Dan, Mike and Guy not only to improving Pāmu’s environmental performance but pushing our country to respond meaningfully to the serious challenges we all face. The ERG will continue to build on their work.

“Our primary sector is now in a phase where restoration of our landscapes, our rivers and indigenous biodiversity is recognised as an essential part of its contribution to our communities and the country’s health,” Prickett says.