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Blair Hopkins

Gone fishing. But everything’s in very safe hands

Recently retired ADAMA NZ Business Manager, Blair Hopkins is leaving feeling very confident that the business and clients are in excellent hands.
Blair Hopkins

Blair says he’s been excited seeing the new talent coming through at ADAMA. “There are some really great people, ADAMA’s in a very good position.”

He says the time was right for him to hand over to Phillip Dasler – someone he knows well as he has been dealing professionally with him for the past 13 years. 

Blair’s own rich and varied career began in the timber industry on the West Coast of the South Island, before moving to Dalgety’s and then Wrightson in 1988 as a merchandising manager. He shifted to Canterbury in the mid 90’s, progressed through a variety of roles before being appointed as District Manager, Wairarapa, in 2001.

Blair says in 2004 he left Wrightson and moved to Auckland to try his hand at non-agriculture related companies, but his heart was always back in agriculture. That, he says, gave him an opportunity to get a broader perspective, and look at things differently, while still being focussed on delivering great customer service. “It provided an added an extra depth of experience, that was worthwhile.”

The lure of returning to agriculture, ultimately, drew him back to Canterbury and in 2010 he moved back to Christchurch and started with ADAMA. And he says he’s thoroughly enjoyed the last 13 years at ADAMA, particularly the people he’s worked with. “That’s what it’s all about.”

In every sector he’s worked in, Blair says people were the most important thing but, he says, that’s doubly true for agriculture. “Everyone knows everyone else. It’s all about relationships. And, I’d have to say, in this business, there’re really good people. Many customers have become very good friends!”

During his time in the agricultural industry, Blair says he’s seen some big changes, but the trick is to “not over complicate things and if it’s good for your customer, then it will ultimately be good for you.”  While at ADAMA, the company experienced a period of exponential growth. “It was great to be part of it, and the biggest thing I will miss is the interaction with the team and customers.”

“There is a considerable number of people in the industry my age that will be exiting the industry in the next couple years. I just hope that the next group taking the industry forward have as much fun as we have!” 

As Blair looks forward to retiring, he will be spending more time fishing/diving and tramping from his home base of Motunau, and between that, his grandchildren, his daughter and son-in laws’ vineyard and apple orchard and community work, he doesn’t imagine he’ll have a great deal of spare time. “There’s always something to do.”

ADAMA wish him all the best in retirement and thank him for all his knowledge and support. His quick wit and stories will be missed.