Kate Hellstrom

Chairman of Summerfruit New Zealand, Tim Jones, has announced the appointment of Kate Hellstrom as the industry body’s new chief executive.

Hellstrom was appointed after a ‘rigorous selection process’ from 52 applications received.

Jones said Hellstorm “is an outstanding candidate and brings the energy and enthusiasm to the role that the recruitment panel was seeking.”

He also thanked outgoing chief executive, Richard Palmer, for his leadership of the industry over the past 15 months

“Richard’s work with the Industry Review, logistics and especially with issues around RSE and seasonal labour have been hugely appreciated by the Board and all our growers,” said Jones.

Hellstrom is currently the acting chief governance officer at New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and brings a background in the primary sector from her roles at the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

Those roles include extensive senior experience in biosecurity, resource policy and adverse events.

“Kate’s experience in working in partnership with multiple stakeholders gives her an ideal grounding to further the outcomes from our industry review, as well as deal with the ongoing industry support matters in a collaborative manner,” added Jones.

Hellstrom will commence in the role on 12 April.