A New Chapter: Welcoming Our First CEO to Mangaroa Farms

A New Chapter: Welcoming Our First CEO to Mangaroa Farms

Excited to share that Mangaroa Farms has hired its first Chief Executive: Chris Upton. When we were brainstorming our “dream team,” Chris was at the top of our list. We’re thrilled to welcome him to Mangaroa.

Chris comes to us from Beca, NZ’s top engineering firm. Prior to that he served as CEO of Upper Hutt City Council, leading the revitalisation Upper Hutt has enjoyed in recent years.

Here’s some of what Chris will be working on:

  • Growing our education & hospitality operations, welcoming more people onto the farm for joy, learning, and wellbeing.
  • Developing our renewable energy systems.
  • Overseeing the harvest of ~500 acres of pine tree plantation and its replacement with a permanent, mostly native, forest.
  • Expanding on-farm housing capacity, especially rental opportunities, for staff and strategic partners.
  • Lending a hand with lettuce harvesting, dish washing, and firewood chopping.

The decision to hire a CEO completes Mangaroa Farms’ year-long transition from a family-owned business to a unique kind of enterprise:

  1. Ownership of 100% of equity in Mangaroa Farms, LTD has been gifted to Biome Trust Aotearoa, a newly formed charitable trust focused on ecological regeneration.

  2. Mangaroa Farms has converted to a not-for-profit company. It’s governed by a board of directors, which includes Chris, as well as Jan, Jules, Catlin, Matthew, and me (Brian). Each board member brings their valuable perspective and skills to help capture the opportunity that lies ahead of us.

The new Mangaroa Farms has a fantastic opportunity to serve in an ecological renaissance, at a local, national, and even (just a bit) at a global level, for a few reasons:

  1. A unique combination of scale (800 hectares / 2,000 acres) and urban proximity (just 30 km / 19 miles to the Parliament Building).

  2. The farm is well funded and has multiple viable cash-flow opportunities.

  3. Te tangata, te tangata, te tangata…. A growing number of amazing people are attracted to the project.

Welcome Chris.

Mauri ora.

PS - We are now recruiting for a hands-on forestry/regeneration leader and leadership in our market garden. If you know someone, pass it along! 

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