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Meet the Team at Taratahi

By UCOL on Friday, 21 August 2020

Team at Taratahi

A multi-talented and industry experienced team have assembled at Taratahi to offer their experience and knowledge to participants in our free, three-week Food and Fibre Taster Camps and our six-week Agricultural Contracting course. These are being run by UCOL Wairarapa and EIT in conjunction with the Ministry for Primary Industries. 

UCOL Food & Fibre team

Simon, John and Alex form the UCOL Food & Fibre team, and between them have a wealth of experience, career advice and guidance to coach participants through the many career options available.

Simon Bailey the Team Leader, grew up on a dairy farm in Pahiatua, studied at Massey University and then settled in the Wairarapa.  Dairy farming and Ag Contracting experience led Simon to Taratahi, where he joined as Herd Manager in 2005. He moved on to tutor and then was appointed as Regional Manager.  More recently he worked with  Primary ITO as an educational designer reviewing qualifications and unit standards. Simon is now back in the fold leading the UCOL Food & Fibre team. 

“Taratahi is a wonderful resource.  The Taratahi Taster Camps are a great opportunity for people to give it a go.  You can ask any questions of the team, and between us we will share our thoughts and knowledge with you.”

Alex Bustos-Moscoso is originally from Chile, and has always had a passion for the land.  Since arriving in NZ he has worked on dairy farms in Waikato, Taranaki and the South Island, and studied Agriculture and Commerce at Lincoln University.  Alex’s roles with other training providers involved tutoring, management, and utilising his Spanish and English skills. 

John Murphy, a Massey University Alumni, started in the automotive industry, had his own agricultural machinery business, worked for Fonterra and has been farming. He also owned a tourism business for 15 years and worked internationally in Ag Contracting.  John has travelled extensively observing and working in many different agricultural disciplines. COVID-19 put a stop to this, and he is keen to give back to the sector.  When the agricultural contracting course was offered and a team was being recruited, it seemed a perfect fit. Throughout his career John, like Simon and Alex, has gained a lot of insight in the Food & Fibre sector and learnt a lot about training people. 

Simon, John and Alex are at home in the outdoors and committed to the success of the Taratahi Food and Fibre Taster Camps and Ag Contracting course.  They will be joined by a number of local industry members offering their experience to work as part-time tutors in support of this exciting initiative. Their collective advice for participants is to make the best of their time at Taratahi and what can follow.  With years of experience poured into these short courses and the passing on of their knowledge, the participants will be in good hands. 

“The opportunities are there and this could be the gateway to a new life” said Simon.  “The work is satisfying, there are many different directions you can go in and find your niche.”

Campus Management

Participants will be warmly welcomed by Campus Manager, Allison Hislop.  Allison has a long career in the higher education industry, both in New Zealand and more recently at Melbourne Polytechnic.  Allison’s academic and educational background make her the perfect ‘go to’ person on campus for any queries about study options or suggestions to make the experience the best it can be.  Allison is excited to see the campus come to life and has all operational aspects of the campus under her watch.  After 5pm, Chrissie Hey takes on the nightshift, staying on campus as Residential Supervisor to assist where needed.  Chrissie worked at Taratahi previously and knows the campus well.

The entire team believe the Wairarapa experience has the potential to change lives, open doors to a new career and a multitude of options when it comes to employment, personal wellbeing and growth.  Combined with the thousands of Taratahi alumni who are everywhere in the Food & Fibre sector, there is plenty of scope to contribute to New Zealand’s biggest export earning sector and the local economy.  The sector is huge and it needs people to meet world demand.

Join the Taratahi experience today.


Photo: Left to Right: Simon, John, Alex

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