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Nadine Tunley, Chief Executive of Horticulture New Zealand, resigns

Nadine Tunley, Chief Executive of Horticulture New Zealand (HortNZ) has resigned with her last day at HortNZ being Friday, 30 August.

Nadine Tunley says this was not an easy decision to make. "I love the job and the team and working with dedicated and passionate growers. But the role is bigger than the time I can commit to it, moving forward. I want to restore my work-life balance and explore new opportunities."

"I have worked closely with the Board over the past three years to ensure HortNZ has a strong team, strong structure and strong direction, set out in the strategy and the Aotearoa Horticulture Action Plan. With the commodity levy referendum in May/June, it is now time to hand over to someone with fresh energy to take HortNZ forward."

HortNZ Board chair Barry O'Neil says the Board is disappointed to see Nadine go. "While the timing of a valued CEO'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 CEO that can lead the organization and deliver the strategic outcomes for the next six years, with the full energy required."

"I have assured growers that the Board and HortNZ team will continue to take the organization forward in line with the strategy and plan. This will include an ongoing focus on the priority areas of water allocation and storage, climate change and adaptation, and food security and supply. We'll continue to lead and support important projects such as A Lighter Touch and Growing Change."

"The Board recognizes the huge contribution Nadine has made during her tenure in the role, notably her steadfast leadership during very challenging times for many of our growers, including the Covid lockdowns and Cyclone Gabrielle's devastation. Whilst dealing with these extreme events, she continued to drive the internal organization through the transformation necessary for it to succeed, as well as to open the door for further alignment within the horticultural industry's levy organization landscape. The quiet relentlessness of this role, acting as a key interface between Government and growers, has required 150% of her, and the Board accepts Nadine's decision that it is time for her to seek a better work-life balance."

The Board has begun the recruitment process for a new Chief Executive. "We look forward to introducing the new Chief Executive to growers and other key stakeholders at the New Zealand Horticulture and RSE Conferences in Tauranga at the end of August," says Barry.


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