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Land Technical Advisory Group

The Land Technical Advisory Group (Land TAG) was formed in October 2014 to provide independent advice on land-based nutrient management solutions for water quality. The Land TAG’s first priority is the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes and then it will expand its focus to wider land management issues across the region.

Land TAG is tasked to provide independent technical science and economics advice on existing and new catchment land uses, their effects on water quality and how to mitigate them.

What Land TAG will focus on

The Land TAG will meet quarterly and will initially focus on:

  • How different land uses and land management practices impact nutrient loss
  • The costs of adopting new practices and land uses
  • The economic, social and cultural impacts of new land uses, including how to improve uptake and overcome the barriers to adoption
  • Identification of information gaps and advice on prioritising investment in land-based science, economic analysis and engagement with rural landowners

Term of Reference for Land TAG


Meeting minutes, agendas and reports

Minutes, agendas and reports for the Land TAG meetings can be viewed here.


Land TAG members

Mr David Clark has over 40 years of service to agricultural science in New Zealand. He was Principal Scientist at Dairy NZ, where he worked for 19 years. Knowledge generated by Mr Clark’s research supports farmer choices and has been central in the development of agricultural management tools created to help farmers examine ways to optimise production and minimise environmental impacts. He has constantly investigated innovative ways to allow farmers flexibility in their management styles; developing farm systems to fit different attitudes within the industry through recognising that one size does not fit all. In 2012 David was awarded the Lincoln University Medal for his contributions to the dairy industry.

Dr Greg Lambert is a grazing systems scientist and previously worked at AgResearch before becoming an independent consultant. Dr Lambert has a long history of investigating a wide range of factors that influence on-farm performance, including the impacts of phosphate and nitrogen fertilisers. For outstanding achievements and leadership in hill country pasture research, development of effective sheep and beef forage grazing systems and better educational methods of conveying knowledge and technical information to farmers and industry users he was awarded the NZ Grassland Association’s Ray Brougham Trophy in 2011.

Dr David Houlbrooke has been working for AgResearch as a soil scientist in the Land and Environment Group since 2004. His research focuses on farm dairy effluent management, soil water management, soil and forage response to land use intensification, and nutrient efficient practices under intensive dairy farming. Dave has worked closely with the New Zealand dairy industry and regulatory authorities to develop improved policy and management guidelines regarding the land treatment of farm dairy effluents.

Mr Phil Journeaux has worked in agriculture all his working life, covering a wide range of issues. In 2012 he joined the Waikato office of AgFirst, after 35 years with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Phil has experience in economic analysis, farm management, policy development and water quality issues.

Dr Neels Botha works at AgResearch in their Land and Environment Group. His areas of specialisation include agricultural extension, understanding human behaviour change and the adoption of innovations.

Neels' current research is focusing on understanding the non-adoption of environmental technologies, evaluating the impact of DairyPush on participating farmers, understanding and enhancing the use of social networks to enhance adoption and understanding the non-compliance of dairy farmers regarding effluent management.

Dr Tim Payn comes from a background in soil science and has specialised interest in forest nutrition management. He works at SCION as a Principal Scientist – Sustainable Forest Management; and Research Leader – Economics, Ecosystems and Climate. Tim is heavily involved in global efforts to support sustainable forest management. Tim currently chairs the 12 Country Montreal Process Technical Advisory Committee which steers policy aimed at defining and measuring sustainable practice.

Dr Suzie Greenhalgh works at Landcare Research as a senior economist. Her role assesses the economic and environmental impacts of various policy options for environmental mitigation actions in agriculture.

Before joining Landcare Research, Suzie worked at the World Resources Institute, an environmental policy think-tank in Washington. There she worked on a variety of issues including performance mechanisms such as nutrient trading and reverse auctions for improving water quality.

Gina Mohi is an Independent Hearings Commissioner at Pouwhenua Consultants and the Environmental Unit Manager at Rangiwewehi Charitable Trust. She has a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science in Resources & Environmental Planning.