Two new positions were established mid last year – Environmental Policy Managers in the North and South Islands. Julia Beijeman started in the Christchurch office in June 2016, while Corina Jordon settled into the Feilding office two months later.
Amping up capacity in this area was in direct response to farmer feedback. Levy payers saw a gap in terms of B+LNZ proactively representing farmers at a policy level.
After completing a Bachelor of Forestry Science, Julia worked in biosecurity with the Canterbury Regional Council. She was then a policy analyst with the Ministry for Primary Industries. Julia moved to Ho Chi Minh City, where she trained and worked as an English teacher, before going on to Western Australia, where she was Environment Policy Manager for advocacy body, the Western Australian Local Government Association.
“In all cases, it was about building relationships, communicating clearly, and delivering on what you said you would do.”
Julia describes her B+LNZ role as being “the translator and tour guide for farmers”.
“I translate policy language into plain English, so farmers do not have to read through thousands of pages. Then they can respond back to council in an informed way.”
And tour guide? Julia takes farmers on the submission process journey and helps them form their ideas.
“If I do my job properly, I’ll hopefully do myself out of employment. Farmers will be doing it themselves.”
Corina came to B+LNZ after nine years with Fish and Game, where she provided planning and freshwater ecology expertise; she later became the organisation’s National Environmental Manager. Corina has extensive experience working across government organisations and was heavily involved in the Land Water Forum.
Over the years, Corina had worked alongside B+LNZ senior management and directors and liked their values and approaches to environmental policy. She has a Bachelor of Science, Honours in natural resource management and a Masters in environmental management. Corina is enjoying engaging with farmers.
“I see real strength in building farmer capacity and capability around the sustainable management of land and water resources to enable them to advocate on behalf of themselves and the sector.”
She believes that solutions lie with communities, and will be dependent on strong leadership from individuals, including farmers.
“The biggest challenge of the job is ensuring success. Farmers have a voice and they are using it, but ultimately we need to see farmers’ values reflected back in the policy.”