There are few corners of the New Zealand wool industry that Mavis Mullins has not invested into in the last 30 years. Mavis lists her connections with ease: a born and bred sheep and beef, now dairy farmer, fourth generation shearing contractor, wool classer, director of a wool training organisation and a 20-year involvement in governance roles on large Maori sheep and beef incorporations. It is safe to say that Mavis and her husband, Koro are passionate about the industry and the fibre itself.
It is easy to hear the pride in Mavis’ voice as she speaks of their role as directors of Paewai Mullins Shearing Ltd. “We find that it is not just training for skills but investing in the development of the whole person,” she says.
Mavis is a shareholder and past chairperson for Aohanga Incorporation based in the northern Wairarapa. The station occupies more than 7,000 hectares and 14 kilometres of coastline. They run over 18,000 stock units, 70% of which are sheep.
Primary Wool Co-operative
“Living in Dannevirke, we have always been aware of the entity and the part it played in the wool industry,” says Mavis of Primary Wool Co-operative. “We are proud that such an important part of the industry has its roots in a little place like Dannevirke.”
She says Aohanga Incorporation values the Primary Wool Co-operative philosophy around innovation and their real commitment to the fibre, the woolgrower and the industry.
“There is a lot of commitment from the leadership and that culture of dedication at the top filters down to the members.”
Like many farmers, Mavis believes wool is an under appreciated fibre. She also believes farmers need to be rewarded for their premier product. However, the industry needs to take some responsibility, by supporting their product and for the sector to formulate and tell our wool story with passion and pride.
“We don’t have a lot of time to get our story right and out there, due to the competition we face from synthetics,” she says. “The crossbred wool story is real and relevant and the Just Shorn campaign is a nod in the right direction. As an industry we have a lot of distance to recover but the Primary Wool Co-operative are heading in the right direction.”