Peter Ombler has been bestowed one of New Zealand horticulture’s highest honours in being named the Bledisloe Cup recipient for 2017.
Ombler was recognised for his 36-year involvement in the kiwifruit sector, over which time has taken a lead role on a number of critical issues, including the response to the crippling Psa vine-killing disease.
“After Psa was discovered in Te Puke in November 2010, Peter applied his orchard knowledge to the search for solutions,” Horticulture New Zealand president Julian Raine said.
“He was a foundation member of Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH), the organisation set up to address the Psa outbreak and was its second chairman. Peter subsequently moved KVH from a Psa focus to acting for the kiwifruit industry on all biosecurity risks.”
As president of New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers (NZKGI), Ombler was also instrumental in retaining the kiwifruit industry’s single desk status.
“Peter has shown effective leadership for growers and has steered the industry through two critical crises that could have destroyed the kiwifruit industry as it is today,” Raine added. “He is well respected with growers, industry leaders, and the government.”
Ombler was presented with the award at New Zealand’s Horticulture Conference 2017 in Tauranga earlier this month.
Like its famous rugby namesake, horticulture’s version of the Bledisloe Cup was one of several trophies former governor-general of New Zealand Lord Bledisloe presented to the country in 1931.