Mathew Pooley

2018 Finalists

Mathew Pooley

Ngāi Tahu, Koukourārata

Mathew Pooley went straight into the dairy industry as soon as he left school at the age of fifteen. A decade on at the age of 25 he now manages one of Ngāi Tahu's dairy farms, Maungatere, near Oxford which was a finalist in the 2016 Ahuwhenua Trophy competition.

His rise to the role of Farm Manager saw him work for two years on the Kerr Brothers farm near Lincoln before he decided to head overseas where he spent a further two years working on a long line fishing boat based out of the Cook Islands. It was during this time he realised his real passion lay with the dairy industry, so he came back to New Zealand. He spent another two years working for the Kerr's and then decided he was ready for another challenge, moving to a dairy farm in Burnham before taking up a position with Ngāi Tahu Farms.

Mathew says he has a real passion for the land and caring for animals which he developed growing up on sheep and beef farms. The outdoor life appeals to Mathew with the love of hunting and fishing. He is the captain of a local rugby team and is a passionate Crusaders supporter. Another hobby is adventure motorbike riding and he has travelled to many parts of the world including Australia and Vietnam to pursue his interest in this sport.

One of his big projects outside of work is setting up a young farmers group called Te Whenua Hou which is designed to get young Māori farmers in the Eyrewell district together for a range of activities and to share ideas and knowledge. Mathew has always been involved in a number of Ngāi Tahu committees and Te Whenua Hou has the support of his iwi.

As part of his career development Mathew has completed a number of Primary ITO courses, namely level 2, 3 and 4 and also Milk Quality 1 and 2 and is in the process of completing level 5 Production Management. In his role of manager of Maungatere, Mathew is mentoring one of his staff to help this individual to achieve his goals and develop a career path in the dairy industry. Mathew manages three staff plus two extra during calving to help him with 900 cows on the property. He says he feels ready to put himself forward and be part of the Ahuwhenua experience. In terms of his future, Mathew says he is striving to better himself and is always looking for new challenges. S