The People

Joyce Brown - Project Leader

Joyce is a dairy farmer alongside her husband Warwick, who has been dairy farming for 35 years. Being a marriage partner, a hands-on business partner and being actively involved in the community she has seen firsthand what many people in the rural community experience because of the consistently high physical and mental demands required of the job, how that can affect farmer health and wellbeing, including those around them.

Joyce started Staywell to help farmers to be aware when they are struggling, and to provide the link to support for those that are not sure where to find it.

As a registered nurse Joyce came to the farming world with objectivity which allowed her to see opportunities for more positive outcomes if farmers looked after themselves better.

Joyce’s role in Stay Well is to connect farmers to a mobile health and wellness service who provide a fundamental health check in a concise manner, at a convenient location in conjunction with an event, where further health information and guidance can be given if required.

Meredith MacKenzie - Treasurer / Secretary

Meredith has been connected with the rural sector for many years as vet, rural banker, and now HR consultant with No8HR.  She interacts with farmers daily, and understands the ups and downs of farming and the particular challenge of trying to get off farm for health check-ups when the list of other chores just never ends.

Meredith enjoys using skills she has gained through professional and volunteer experience to assist Joyce and the StaywellNZ team.  Taking on the admin and financial tasks leaves Joyce a little more time for contact farmers, organisers of events, and the many fabulous volunteer checkers.

Jim Henderson - Trustee

Jim Henderson was born in 1951 in New Plymouth. He grew up on a mixed farm and was educated to high school level at Okato. Jim married Cheryl, a nurse, in 1972 and by ’79 they had 3 wonderful and able children. He was always going to become a farmer and dairy made the most sense to him [although he did a 3 year stint in NP power station construction]. 

In the course of his journey to farm ownership [via sharemilking] in Kaponga, Taranaki, he was involved in all of the community and school roles that are usual for parents and was also involved in several sports clubs [rugby, athletics, swimming, tennis and soccer]. The sport however, that was to endure throughout was motorcycle trials which have seen Jim take on National roles. 

Jim and Cheryl moved off the Kaponga farm in 2007 to move to Te Awamutu where Jim has secured a teaching role with Dairy Training Ltd and Cheryl nursed until 2017 in the Cardiac care unit, Waikato.

Both now enjoy the freedom to visit children and grandchildren in Auckland, Napier and Stratford.

Henry Koning - Trustee

I'm Henry Koning, married with 3 grown up children. I've been in the Dairy Farming industry for 29 years in various communities. I have many outside interests including watersports, cycling and travelling. 

I became involved in Staywell as I have an interest in being able to help spread the word in the community about the importance of communication, health checks and physical wellbeing. 

Kind regards,


Noldy Rust - Trustee

Hi I’m Noldy and I’m pleased to be a trustee on the Staywell Trust. My wife Bev and I have been dairy farming on our farm in Te Pahu for the past 20 years. Farming is in our blood and has been a
great environment in which to bring up our family. Our 3 daughters grew up on our farm and have all left home now, but new still have our foster son Hayze (14) with us. We currently employ a
contract milker to run the farm as I am currently involved in rural real estate for Ray White, based in Te Awamutu.

I am passionate about farming and in touch with all the opportunities and challenges it brings. Farmer wellbeing and health is an area that is often overlooked. Long hours are worked, often in
quite trying circumstance and the first thing that can be overlooked is how the farmer is actually coping, physically, mentally and emotionally. ‘Staywell’ is one way that helps to identify and connect
with farmers that may be struggling in any area of wellbeing. It is a great initiative that is supported by many volunteers. I believe that the more open we are and the more opportunities there are to
talk about health issues, the better the whole farming community will be.