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Thursday 30 June 2022

HortNZ appoints Nadine Tunley CEO

5th May 2021 By Staff Reporter | | @foodtickernz

Horticulture New Zealand has appointed Nadine Tunley to be its new chief executive.

The former New Zealand Apples & Pears chair will take over from Mike Chapman on 14 June. Chapman will leave HortNZ on 25 June.

“We are very pleased to have been able to appoint a candidate of Nadine’s calibre, with her level of horticulture and wider food and fibre sector experience,” said HortNZ president Barry O’Neil in a statement. 

“Nadine will lead HortNZ into new territory, as horticulture adapts to Covid and the operation of industry changes.  

Nadine Tunley

“Over the next decade, climate adaption, freshwater quality improvements, and increased use of technology and automation will result in significant change to the way fruit and vegetables are grown in New Zealand.”

Tunley is chief executive of Ngāi Tahu’s Oha Honey, which says it is the largest 100% Māori owned Mānuka honey company in New Zealand. She was Apples & Pears chair from August 2012 until April 2018

Tunley began her career in horticulture with Heartland Group before co-founding Energie Produce, which exported to 34 countries and was sold to Freshmax New Zealand in 2013.

“I have always had a very strong connection with the food and fibre sector, having grown up in rural New Zealand,” Tunley said. 

“Our primary industries are in yet another period of change and challenge, be it Covid, climate, labour, environmental, or logistics-related. All of these factors are having a significant impact on the way we grow and farm, and our social license to operate.

“My role will be to facilitate and advocate on growers’ behalf for policies and regulatory frameworks that will not only enable better outcomes but in doing so, keep all the horticulture industry at the forefront of continued success.”

Tunley is also a director of Scales Corporation, Plant & Food Research, Strong Wool Action Group, Te Pitau Ltd, two Mānuka honey entities, and was a member of the Primary Sector Council. 

In 2013, she was an inaugural manawa nui, or associate governor, for Ngāi Tahu, having a year on Ngāi Tahu Holdings’ board followed by a year with Ngāi Tahu Seafood. She has also been a director for QualityNZ, B.linc Innovation and the New Zealand Food Basket. 

O’Neil said Chapman, who announced his resignation in November, had led HortNZ and the horticulture industry through “some very challenging times”.

“Mike’s leadership of the horticulture industry through Covid was outstanding.” O’Neil said.

“He brought the industry and government together to immediately find practical solutions to the challenges that Covid posed.  

“This ensured that growers, packhouses and the rest of the industry could continue to operate and get food on New Zealanders’ tables, as well as to export.” 

Chapman started as chief executive for HortNZ in January 2016.



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