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Chris Hindhaugh, 1982 Nuffield Scholar, Application Reflections

Nuffield Alumni Stories

Chris Hindhaugh, 1982 Nuffield scholar, shares his unique experiences and insights from his 1982 Nuffield Scholarship.

Chris reflects on the application process in 1982, his motivations for joining, and the impact the scholarship has had on his professional and personal development.

While on his scholarship tour, Chris had the opportunity to meet the Duke of Gloucester, Patron of Nuffield, who visited the Nuffield stand at the 1982 Royal Show. Chris was accompanied by a diverse group of international Nuffield scholars, including New Zealand, Zimbabwe and the inaugural French scholar.​

This has been kindly documented by Trudy Murphy, spouse of 2012 Nuffield scholar Damian Murphy.

*Interveiw compiled and supplied by Trudy Murphy, with historic footage from BBC

Alan Pye, 1982 New Zealand Nuffield Scholar

Alan was renowned as one of New Zealand’s most entrepreneurial agriculturists, having left school at 14 and went on to found a farming business worth more than NZ$1 billion.

It all started with having a job picking potatoes whilst at school.  Instead of wages, Alan was paid in seed potatoes and having leased some land from his father, he left school and started a lifelong passion for growing potatoes.  He became known as the ‘Spud King’ in New Zealand.


A small landholding soon grew into one of the largest farming businesses in New Zealand and included the establishment of what became known as the McCain factory.  This, in turn, lead to Alan buying land in South Australia in 1990.  Along with his son, Mark, they soon became one of Australia’s biggest potato, carrot, and onion growers.


As well as growing potatoes, Alan soon started hay baling, contracting and a transport business.  After a visit to the USA, he came home and put in the first centre-pivot in the country.  Ever the businessman, during his Nuffield visit to the UK and Europe in 1982, Alan purchased his first dairy farm in 1982.





















The photoabove was taken during the 1982 Nuffield tour to the UK and features (L to R) Alan Pye, Peter Jackson (1982 NZ Scholar), Chris Hindhaugh (1982 Scholar) and Bill Poynton (1982 Scholar).

In 1996, Alan headed up a consortium which purchased Tasmania’s largest farm, Rushy Lagoon, for A$8 million.


During the 1990s when a lot of traditional South Island farms in NZ were being converted into dairy farms, Alan turned his attention to the sector.  It wasn’t long before he became one of the largest shareholders in Dairy Holdings which owned more than 70 farms and was the biggest supplier of milk to Fonterra.  He later sold his share in Dairy Holdings for what is believed to be about $100 million.


Other investments included hotels, transport companies and a substantial share of irrigation and water companies.  By 2016, the NBR estimate of his wealth had grown to $350 million and today, the total family wealth is estimated to be in the region of $1 billion.


His family have put out a statement that said, “Allan was often the visionary who surrounded himself with others that could help make those visions a reality.”  Throughout his life, Alan would frequently say that he got his greatest joy from day-to-day farming.

He died in Christchurch in May 2024, aged 83. His wife, Diana, pre-deceased Alan but he is survived by his five children, fifteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren to whom Nuffield Australia send condolences.

*with acknowledgements to the Timaru Herald



Alan Pye 1982 NZ.jpg
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