Everyone a winner in dairy sector and Parliament sports match
Dairy farmers and sector leaders tested their mettle against MPs and parliamentary staff in a light-hearted yet highly competitive rugby and netball match on Saturday.
The John Luxton Memorial Match at Campbell Park in Morrinsville was hosted by DairyNZ in honour of the industry good organisation’s inaugural chair and former Agriculture Minister, John Luxton.
DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle said the match was a great way to honour John’s tremendous contribution to the sector and New Zealand.
“The day was a fantastic celebration of dairy farming and our rural communities and helped foster strong relationships between the dairy sector and parliamentary teams.”
The hard-fought rugby game was a draw at full time and the netball was a battle till the end with a 27 to 24 win for the parliamentary team. But everyone was a winner on the day in camaraderie and positivity.
John’s son Richard said his father would have loved the day. Richard played rugby, alongside John’s grandsons Kian and Jack. John’s granddaughter Ariana Mellor played in the dairy netball team.
Richard said it was humbling to see so many people coming together to honour his father. The day also raised money for the John Luxton Trust – designed to support young Māori from the local area into agricultural careers.
Richard said his father was committed to helping young Māori progress in dairying.
Ministers and MPs displaying their sporting prowess in rugby were Defence Minister Peeni Henare, Michael Woodhouse, Greg O’Connor and Mark Mitchell. Ministers and MPs on the netball court were Associate Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri, Barbara Kuriger, Louise Upston and Nicole McKee.
Farmers representing the sector included leading young Māori farmers Quinn Morgan, Tangaroa Walker and Ben Purua. Dairy Environment Leaders chair Melissa Slattery, Climate Change Ambassadors chair Fraser McGougan and radio personality Rowena Duncum from The Country stepped up for the sector. Federated Farmers president Andrew Hoggard and DairyNZ CEO Tim also joined sector leaders and farmers in the rugby for a great day.