Nikki Johnson

Nikki Johnson

Nikki Johnson has resigned as chief executive of New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers (NZKGI).

Johnson will leave the organisation in April to take up the role of strategic projects manager with Zespri Global Supply, based in Bologna, Italy.

Since joining NZKGI in April 2016, Johnson has built up the organisation's output in its advocacy for New Zealand kiwifruit growers. She implemented and rolled out a new strategic plan for the organisation, dividing its work into six portfolios. Johnson also gained grower support to renew the industry’s levy funding.

NZKGI chairman Mark Maystonsaid Johnson provided strategic leadership on a plethora of issues, including Zespri performance reporting, labour access, compliance and regulatory change.

“Nikki has also vastly improved NZKGI’s relationship at the local and national government level and received funding for two positions to coordinate the Labour & Education portfolio, negotiated increases in the RSE cap as well as successfully negotiated through the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown and its aftermath. This has all been done with only an 18 per cent increase in levy income (2016 – 2019),” Mayston explained.

“Nikki’s job has certainly not been plain sailing. Growers require NZKGI to be nimble and responsive to mitigate risk and deliver success for growers throughout the industry’s steep growth trajectory.”

NZKGI said it would begin its search for a new chief executive shortly.