Mike and his wife Sharon Barton developed the Taupō Beef brand. Taupō Beef is verifiably produced in a way that preserves the water quality of Lake Taupo. Taupō Beef won the Restorative Impact Award and the NZI Greatest Contribution to a Sustainable New Zealand (Supreme Award) at the 2015 Sustainable Business Network Awards.


Mike and Sharon Barton own a 142ha beef finishing property on the western side of Lake Taupō. Mike’s qualifications include a Masters of Business Administration with a research project on “The Implications of a Nitrogen Cap on Farm Businesses in the Taupō Catchment”. In 2014 Mike and Sharon were the Supreme Winners of the Waikato Ballance Farm Awards. 


Mike was Chairman of Taupo Lake Care from 2006 – 2009 which was responsible for representing farmers in developing legislation around Lake Taupo’s water quality.  He was also a Trustee of the Lake Taupō Protection Trust from 2009 to 2015, charged with removing 20% of the leached nitrogen from the Taupo Catchment by 2018. Mike has been awarded a Queen Service Medal for services to farming and the environment.

Mike Barton

Rhys is a Director and owner of Ahika Consulting, a small and dynamic consultancy based in Dunedin that has a unique combination of skills in environmental planning, energy conservation and management, sustainability advice to businesses, resource management and community development. 


Rhys has led the delivery of a number of contracts which have assessed the feasibility of adding value to the natural resources sectors, including regional bioenergy industry assessments, opportunities for conservation NGOs to leverage off biodiversity offsets, and understanding market demand for locally produced red meat. Rhys has significant experience in developing management plans, and in the development of third party certification schemes for the forestry industry. He is currently a member of the 12-person New Zealand Standards Development Group for FSC certification.


Rhys was formerly the Environmental Manager at PGG Wrightson, and has worked for an international conservation NGO.

Rhys Millar
Natasha Garvan

Natasha is a Senior Associate at Bell Gully. She provides resource management and policy advice to a number of infrastructure providers, property developers, and community interest groups. The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017 identifies Natasha as a next generation lawyer for projects and resource management.


Natasha has in-depth knowledge of freshwater management and related reforms including collaborative processes through her involvement as a member of the Governance and Limits Working Group for the second report of the Land and Water Forum. Natasha is the co-author of the NZ Landcare Trust publication “Community-owned Rural Catchment Management: A guide for partners” and “Managing Freshwater: An EDS Guide”. 

Natasha has a background in policy analysis. She wrote her dissertation on “The Environment of Market Based Policy: A critical evaluation of market based policy within the context of the New Zealand dairy market” which considered the role of ethical consumerism and corporate social responsibility in achieving environmental outcomes.

Chris Arbuckle

Chris is the owner of Aspiring Environmental a consultancy which strives to help people make the growing number of hard decisions about how they use water and land. Chris seeks to provide this help to water and land managers by fostering a collaborative approach towards the goal of sustainable land and freshwater management, with the use of smart information and evidenced science, delivered in simple language.

For almost three decades Chris been working on “water” issues through fresh water research, land and water resource management, and environmental policy in NZ.  This has involved work in the rural sector, academia, and government.


Chris was a Senior Policy Analyst at Ministry for Primary Industries from 2008 to 2013 which involved advising on freshwater reform and strategy. Prior to this Chris was the Divisional Manager of Environmental Information at Environment Southland, and the Divisional Manager of Resource Science at Otago Regional Council. Chris has a science background with a Masters of Science from the University of Otago.

The purpose of 3F is to integrate people, places, practices, knowledge and systems to provide the pathway to solving one of New Zealand’s most difficult environmental challenges. 3F was selected for The Launchpad, a social enterprise accelerator program run by the Akina Foundation. Through this process it worked on developing a plan of the best next steps to achieve its vision. Read the media about 3F here.

3F is strengthened by the diversity of the member backgrounds, and collective experience and expertise in the environmental and agricultural sectors.  Collectively the 3F team have strong networks throughout New Zealand’s agricultural, science and conservation sectors, as well as local and central governments.  These networks provide 3F with the capability to harness in-depth knowledge from a range of people throughout New Zealand, ensuring robust and credible outcomes.