Across the farming, fishing and growing spectrum, there are similar challenges and facing them together makes good sense. Sustainability, climate change, primary sector employment, and trust and reputation are just some issues that we have in common

Last week, nine young people from across the primary sector came together at Mataatua Marae in Whakatane at the official launch of He Tatai Rangahua – the Food and Fibre Youth Network.

These nine young people were selected from 61 applications across the country and the quality of those applicants was reflected by the steering committee, run by the Ministry for Primary Industries, choosing two more than the seven they originally wanted.

Representing the seafood sector is Amy Moore, whose family own North Beach Fishing in Greymouth.

Amy is a remarkable young woman who has already been instrumental in beginning a seafood academy with all high schools on the South Island’s West Coast and working with the Federation of Commercial Fishermen to make a series of mini documentaries to entice more young people into the industry.

The nine youth councillors aim to raise primary industry issues and provide input into issues that affect the sectors.

Amy is excited about the opportunities to collaborate on a unified approach to the challenges across all the Food and Fibre sectors and says the synergy that the nine councillors had as a group in such a short time was very positive. She says all of the young people from across a range of sectors were all very passionate about creating lasting change now and into the future.

She sees this as an opportunity to share a lot more about the positive side of the seafood sector.

Seafood New Zealand Chief Executive, Jeremy Helson travelled to Whakatane with Amy to attend the launch of the Network and the manaakitanga at Mataatua Marae. He met several of the councillors and was impressed by their enthusiasm and optimism for our primary sectors. Dr Helson said the enthusiasm was born out of a genuine connection to the land and sea, and accompanied by no small helping of intellect, passion and eloquence.