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