NZHIA Executive Team

The day-to-day administration and control of the NZHIA (in between Annual General Meetings) is handled by the Executive Committee, who are elected during the Annual General Meeting of the Association.

For contacting anyone on the executive board, please email us directly at: or fill out the contact form here: Contact NZHIA. (We unfortunately, have had to remove the executive direct email contact details due to spam issues.)

Executive Officers:

Chairperson/Treasurer: Richard Barge

Mobile: +64 (0)21 706 690

Richard started in the industry in 1994, and has been the Treasurer of the NZHIA since 1998, then the Deputy Chair and became the Chair in 2020.

His background is in business finance and administration, and is a trained accountant and have a bookkeeping business based in Paeroa & Auckland.

Secretary: Temporarily Vacant

Vice-Chair: Temporarily Vacant

Executive Members:

Blair Drysdale: Executive
Hopefield Hemp

Blair Drysdale farms a 320ha predominantly arable operation with his wife Jody and their 3 children in Balfour, Southland.

Part of the farming operation includes growing Hemp and adding through a fully integrated system direct to the consumer under the Hopefield Hemp brand.

Courtney Nimmo: Executive
Ballance Agri-Nutrients

Courtney Nimmo farms Sheep, Beef, Grain and Hemp with her partner Sam on their property in
South Otago, 10 minutes south of Clinton. She also works for Ballance Agri-Nutrients as the South Island corporate accounts manager and has worked with soil and nutrients for over 10 years.

Evan Dubisky: Executive
Hemp Hub
Mobile: +64 (0)27 578 7183

Evan joined the NZHIA in 2021 to get a first-hand look at the exciting opportunities that the hemp industry offers Aotearoa New Zealand.

Based in the Wellington region, Evan wants to see the hemp industry becoming a thriving part of the future New Zealand story – from nutrition to housing to new applications in the forefront of green technology.

Kirsty Harkness: Executive
Vin Hemp | Mount Base Vineyards |
Hark & Zander

Starting her career as a registered nurse, Kirsty has always cared about health and well-being.

She started Hark & Zander and with the help of blending specialists, she created the oil you now know and love as HempTonic Face Oil. From here their range has grown including international awards, and her whole team are excited to see where the future takes this NZ Made premium skincare brand.

John Smith
Dip Urban Valuation, Licensed Real Estate Agent
Mobile: +64 (0)27 279 06 48

John R. Smith has been involved with the hemp industry for the last ten years.

Firstly working alongside Hemp Technologies in Taranaki NZ. Building houses from hempcrete. A total of four houses have been built to date in New Plymouth. Presently Licenced to Sell Real Estate & Licenced to grow Industrial Hemp in South Taranaki. Working alongside established Farmers and like-minded people who share the same vision for a Hemp Industry in New Zealand.

Other NZHIA Committees & Teams

Each committee has a strategic plan identifying milestones and goals to help focus their efforts in supporting the NZHIA Executive to achieve the overall objectives of the association. Please contact us if you want any more information on the committees within the NZHIA or want to find out how you can help.

Members/Admin Committee: Looking after the members experience and taking care of the administration for the association.

Media Committee: Raising awareness and funds for the association, and producing newsletters and information for both the media and the industrial hemp community.

Government Committee: Working with the government to ensure the regulations are workable and they are aware of what the industry needs to develop successfully.

Research & Development Committee: Looking at “Food, Fibre and Health” areas, identifying gaps in the road map to achieving a fully integrated and sustainable industry within New Zealand. Click here for more info about the NZHIA R&D Committee.

More Info About…

Hey wait a second!Do you love hemp as much as we do?

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The Hemp Nog shown here is one recipe of many that you'll find in our 2021 Hemp Food Recipe Book.