Wadey hon­oured with life mem­ber­ship

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - REXINE HAWES

A long-stand­ing Mata­mata Fed­er­ated Farm­ers mem­ber and former pres­i­dent of the or­gan­i­sa­tions Waikato Provin­cial group has been hon­oured for his work.

Stew Wadey has been awarded a life­time mem­ber­ship of Waikato Provin­cial Fed­er­ated Farm­ers.

Life­time mem­ber­ship awards were not given out of­ten.

And for Wadey, it’s recog­ni­tion of his ded­i­ca­tion to the or­gan­i­sa­tion for over 40 years.

‘‘It says what the other mem­bers con­sider of the ser­vice I have given on be­half of Fed­er­ated Farm­ers,’’ he said.

‘‘To be put for­ward by fel­low peers who be­lieve I am wor­thy of such recog­ni­tion is very hum­bling.

‘‘It was just me do­ing what I love, not for a re­ward.

‘‘I am wrapped to be given that hon­our.’’

Wadey’s long-stand­ing jour­ney with Fed­er­ated Farm­ers started with the Mata­mata or­gan­i­sa­tion in 1979.

He and his wife Mar­garet had just started share milk­ing in Waotu - South Waikato.

‘‘I knew I had to join some sort of union that would look after the nuts and bolts of do­ing busi­ness on the land.

‘‘Unions sup­ported my fa­ther who worked in a fac­tory in Bri­tain.’’

Mata­mata Fed­er­ated Farm­ers falls un­der the Waikato Prov­ince.

Waikato is the largest of 24 prov­inces in New Zealand Fed­er­ated Farm­ers.

Each prov­ince has one vote at Na­tional Coun­cil Fed­er­ated Farm­ers, Waikato has two votes due to its size.

In 2002, Wadey sold his farm and moved with his wife and sons to their new farm on Buckland Rd, Mata­mata.

Two years later he be­came chair of Mata­mata District Fed­er­ated Farm­ers.

‘‘I was en­thu­si­as­tic for the en­deav­ours of what Fed­er­ated Farm­ers had done and could con­tinue to do. I had a good rap­port with the farm­ers.

‘‘I con­tin­ued to sup­port farm­ing fam­i­lies work­ing the land and do­ing their bit for the good of New Zealand.’’

In 2005 Wadey was elected in as se­nior vice pres­i­dent on Waikato Provin­cial, with Peter Buck­ley as vice pres­i­dent, as John Fisher as pres­i­dent.

He moved up to vice pres­i­dent when Buck­ley be­came pres­i­dent.

His term as vice pres­i­dent was cut short after Buck­ley de­cided to put his hat in the ring for Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil, six months be­fore his full term had been com­pleted.

‘‘He just flew in and had to re­tire,’’ said Wadey.

As a re­sult Wadey be­came pres­i­dent of Waikato Provin­cial in 2007.

‘‘As pres­i­dent, I be­come a na­tional coun­cil­lor of New Zealand Fed­er­ated Farm­ers and part of de­ci­sion mak­ing. I got ex­posed to the pol­i­tics of the coun­try and got be­hind the scenes of what makes gov­ern­ment tick.

‘‘I was in Welling­ton three days a month and was ob­served as fair in all my deal­ings with of­fi­cials. I had a good rap­port with Jim Anderton, the agri­cul­tural min­is­ter (deputy Prime Min­is­ter at the time) and David Carter, also a Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture.

‘‘They were on the front benches of Gov­ern­ment which por­trayed the sig­nif­i­cant im­por­tance of agri­cul­ture to the New Zealand econ­omy.’’

In the last year he has been men­tor­ing Mata­mata’s cur­rent chair­man Ben Moore, whom Wadey has no doubt will move up in Waikato Provin­cial.

GER­ALD PIDDOCK

Former Fed­er­ated Farm­ers Waikato pres­i­dent Chris Lewis (left), with Stew Wadey, upon re­ciev­ing the Life­time mem­ber­ship to Waikato Fed­er­ated Farm­ers.

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