The New Zealand kiwifruit industry has announced four candidates to take part in the Industry Governance Development Programme (IGDP), part-funded by Zespri.
Māori Kiwifruit Growers Forum executive and founding governor of the Te Kaha Landowners Group, Kiritapu Allan, will join Seeka vice-chairperson Debbie Oakley, chartered accountant and CEO of Te Arawa Group Colleen Neville and CFO of Trinity Lands Ngaire Scott on the programme to develop skills in governance, strategy and risk.
The four candidates will be parted with Zespri Board members and take part in four Institute of Directors courses, as well as undertake media training and opportunities to travel to key Zespri markets and growing regions.
John Cook, chairman of IGDP, said all four candidates were outstanding, and added that it wouldn’t just be the kiwifruit marketer Zespri that would benefit from the programme.
“This isn’t a programme designed to specifically bring forward Zespri directors – it’s an industry-wide programme,” Cook said. “Our industry has many layers of governance required so this is an investment by Zespri on behalf of the whole industry.”
The four candidates bring diverse experience to the programme, with backgrounds in commercial law, retail, rural banking and kiwifruit production.
“Zespri’s a really important company for Brand New Zealand and the work it’s doing to promote us in the global sphere is quite significant,” Allan said. “I’m looking forward to learning from the Zespri directors to see how they’ve created the brand and get a greater appreciation for how decisions are made throughout the industry to increase productivity.”
Scott, who runs her own consultancy in Tauranga on top of her work with Trinity Lands, one of Zespri’s largest suppliers, said she wanted to gain an insight into the vision and strategic direction of Zespri.
“The company is smart and innovative and it’s done really well in terms of leadership, through a really difficult patch,” Scott said. “I’ve got huge respect for the leadership and governance of Zespri and I’d like to learn more of that.”
IGDP is now in its second year, with the programme aiming to identify and engage potential future leaders within New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry.