Regulatory body Kiwifruit New Zealand (KNZ) will appoint two independent directors to its board under amendments to the Kiwifruit Export Regulations Act 1999.
The New Zealand government signed off on the amendments today (11 July), with the changes to take effect on 1 August.
Along with appointing two new directors, KNZ’s reporting requirements have also been tightened, and will now include the introduction of a statement of intent.
The amendments are the result of a review of the previous regulations undertaken by New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industry (MPI) following the Kiwifruit Industry Strategic Plan (KISP) process and report.
KNZ, MPI, Zespri, and New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers (NZKGI) have worked closely to ensure the amendments provide a balance between generating industry growth and regulatory protections.
“New Zealand believes that these changes will ensure that the independence of KNZ is maintained, but also build on the work KNZ has been doing to better align its skills and expertise, while also providing greater transparency around our strategic intentions, performance, and funding,” Kiwifruit New Zealand chair Kristy McDonald said.
“We believe we now have the people, policies and procedures in place to provide the independent professional oversight expected of us by the industry and the government.”
Another key area that will impact on the work of KNZ is the definition of a core business for Zespri, which has been expanded to include marketing, market development, and research & development of kiwifruit.
Zespri chairman Peter McBride said the updated regulations will enable Zespri to recommend changes to its constitution to align shareholding of the company more closely with production.
“Our industry asked the government to update the regulations to allow us to develop a sustainable and long-term plan to maximise the wealth of New Zealand kiwifruit growers. That means taking action to develop the broadest-possible alignment between total production and shareholding, to strengthen grower ownership of the industry,” McBride explained.
NZKGI chief executive Nikki Johnson said the regulations would enable greater alignment between growers and shareholders.
"The expansion of the definition of core business will provide stability to Zespri as the industry grows, maximizing the wealth of New Zealand kiwifruit growers," Johnson said.