Four candidates will vie for two positions on the Horticulture New Zealand Board as elections open today, with voting closing on 28 May 2018.
“We haven’t had such a strong contest for some time and the calibre of candidates is an indication of how well horticulture is doing and the high profile the industry is enjoying on the back of that success,” Horticulture New Zealand President Julian Raine says.
John Cook is standing down from the nine-member Board and not offering himself for re-election.
Mike Smith is offering himself for re-election, while new candidates for the vacant roles are Kathryn de Bruin, Bernadine Guilleux, and Lesley Wilson.
Mike Smith has been involved in the kiwifruit industry for 20 years and currently grows kiwifruit in Welcome Bay, near Tauranga. He has been a Horticulture New Zealand director since 2015.
Kathryn de Bruin is a grower, employer, chartered accountant, and experienced board member from Dargaville where, together with her husband, she grows kumara and runs cattle and store lambs.
Bernadine Guilleux has been immersed in horticulture since childhood, as her father and his brothers established their Balle Bros operation in Pukekohe, where she is currently the group’s marketing manager.
Lesley Wilson is a fruit grower and current President of the Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers’ Association. As a grower she has been involved in areas surrounding the health, well-being, and future prosperity of horticulture.
Horticulture New Zealand represents over 5,000 commercial fruit and vegetable growers who employ about 60,000 people, making a significant contribution to New Zealand’s economy.
“We want the best people for the two available positions; people who have something to contribute to the governance function of the Board and to the wider horticulture industry,” Raine says.
Directors are elected for a three year term and any active grower member of Horticulture New Zealand can vote. The election results will be announced on 1 June 2018.
Full biographies of the four candidates are available here.