Our Patrons

Many thanks to our patrons for lending their support to the Games and helping preserve the future of rural New Zealand. In alphabetical order:

Tony & Amanda Chapman
tony & amandaTony and Amanda live in Mosgiel after farming up in Kurow, North Otago. This is the first move for Tony after he and Amanda took over the Chapman family sheep and beef farm, the fourth generation to do so. In 2008 they converted to dairy and ran 1,000 cows. The Chapmans have three children Jessie, Alec and Hugh and are delighted to be a part of the inaugural Hilux New Zealand Rural Games.




Sir Eion Edgar
EionEdgarSir Eion has a long and distinguished career. Having worked for nationwide investment firm, Forsyth Barr for more than 42 years in a variety of roles, he has assisted many rural clients with their off-farm investment needs. He remains Chairman in addition to his many and varied governance roles that have included Chancellor of the University of Otago, President of the NZ Olympic Committee, Director of The Reserve Bank, Chairman of New Zealand Stock Exchange and Chairman of Central Lakes Trust. Committed to the community, he also actively supports initiatives around diabetes research, the Halberg Disability Sports Foundation, Queenstown Trails Trust and Winter Games NZ.




Larry & Jane Ellison
Larry & Jane Ellison

Foxton Beach couple, Larry and Jane Ellison have had a long association with the agriculture sector. They founded and grew the award winning agri-service company Rural Fuel. Since selling Rural Fuel, they’ve continued to develop products and services for the agriculture sector with current businesses, Ensol and Levno.  The Ellisons are also involved in two dairy farms in the Manawatu and Horowhenua areas. Larry and Jane share a passion for developing world class agri-technology in New Zealand. Larry is also a director of agri-companies Biolumic and Calf Smart. Larry is involved in a number of philanthropic activities in Horowhenua including the Te Hinaki Trust, providing computers for schools. Larry has also acted as a mentor for the Sprout agri-tech accelerator programme and has judged the Manawatu Innovate awards in recent years.


Neil Graham – in memoriam
Neil GrahamCantabrian Neil worked in transport all his life, starting as a boy on a furniture truck helping the driver and going on to become joint managing director of Mainfreight Transport with Bruce Plested. Since 1978, the company has enjoyed spectacular growth worldwide. Neil had a passion for helping kids succeed in life. He was involved in several initiatives including Books in Homes, Life Education Trust, Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand, Blue Light Canterbury, Clown Doctors, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, St John and World Vision. Neil passed away in September 2015 after a long illness and will be sorely missed.





David Hosking
David HoskingDavid attended St Kents College and went on to graduate from Lincoln College. After this he took a six-month month shearing contact to raise enough money to travel overseas. David lived in Europe from 1976, starting work for Contiki and eventually becoming Group MD. He moved on as director of The Travel Corporation where he remains today. In 2013 he moved to Sydney after 18 years living in Geneva.






Ian & Sue McKelvie
Ian & Sue McKelvieThe McKelvie family have lived and breathed agriculture for generations, working the land they call home since 1870. Ian and wife Sue have dedicated their lives to running the family farm and in more recent years, to serving the people of the Manawatu region. After being the longest serving Mayor of the Manawatu district, Ian was elected as the Member of Parliament for the Rangitikei electorate. He has brought a strong voice for provincial New Zealand to the halls of Parliament, especially in his capacity as Chairperson of the Primary Production Select Committee. On top of this, Ian is currently chairperson of the Special Olympics New Zealand board. Ian and Sue are thrilled to be patrons of the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games and look forward to welcoming the Games to their new home in the Manawatu.



Kelvin Neville
Kelvin NevilleKelvin Neville has been owner-operator of Neville Bros Trucking for 50 years. Based in Dairy Flat, Neville Bros has a proud record of servicing the rural community in the northern region with stock and metal cartage. Many sporting and rural organisations have benefited from Kelvin’s generosity. Kelvin is a keen sports fan and he and his wife Cherry are neighbours of Games founders Steve and Karen Hollander.






Sir Ralph Norris
Sir RalphSir Ralph retired as Managing Director and CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in November 2011. His 40-year career in the Australasian banking sector included roles as CEO of ASB Bank and Air New Zealand. Sir Ralph is a director of Fonterra Co-operative Group, Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund, Origin Energy, New Zealand Treasury and Fletcher Building Industries. He is a member of the NZ Olympic Advisory Committee and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Advisory Board and trustee of Business Mentors New Zealand. He also served as an independent non-executive director of Fletcher Building from 2001 to 2005. Sir Ralph was appointed to Fletcher Building’s board in April 2014 and became Chairman the following October.