Tunley leaves after three years at the head of the peak industry body for New Zealand horticulture

Horticulture New Zealand (HortNZ) has announced the resignation of chief executive Nadine Tunley effective 30 August, which coincides with the peak industry body’s annual conference in Tauranga.

Nadine Tunley

Nadine Tunley

The organisation’s board said it was disappointed to lose Tunley but she leaves HortNZ with a strong team, strong structure and strong direction set out in the strategy and the Aotearoa Horticulture Action Plan.

“While the timing of a valued chief executive’s departure is never ideal, the board and Nadine feel it is important that with a new commodity levy proposal about to be voted on, HortNZ is able to recruit a replacement chief executive that can lead the organisation and deliver the strategic outcomes for the next six years, with the full energy required,” said the board in a statement.

 “You can be assured that the board and HortNZ team will continue to take the organisation forward in line with the strategy and plan, as we discussed in recent consultation meetings.” 

The board recognised the significant contribution Tunley made during her tenure, commending her steadfast leadership during challenging times including the Covid lockdowns and Cyclone Gabrielle’s devastation.

“Whilst dealing with these extreme events, she continued to drive the internal organisation through the transformation necessary for it to succeed as well as to open the door for further alignment within the horticultural industry’s levy organisation landscape,” said the board.

“The quiet relentlessness of this role, acting as a key interface between government and growers, has required 150 per cent of her and the board accepts Nadine’s decision that it is time for her to seek a better work-life balance.”

Tunley said leaving HortNZ was not an easy decision to make, because she loves working with dedicated and passionate growers.

“You have continued to inspire me with your commitment and determination, even when the chips are down, and it has been a pleasure and a privilege to support you. I look forward to continuing to connect with as many of you as possible before I leave,” she said.