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HEA Board Members

Wade Armstrong – Chairman – Government appointee (from August 2013)

Wade was for several years the Principal Trade and Economic Advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) until his retirement in 2011. Since 2011 Mr Armstrong has led negotiations with Indonesia for the ASEAN-CER Free Trade Agreement, and has chaired the World Wine Trade Group of major non-EU producers. In 2012 he was appointed to a three-year term as a Government Director of the NZ Meat Board. Prior to 2007 he had a number of off-shore postings to key markets spanning his 40-year career with MFAT—most recently as New Zealand's Ambassador in Brussels. Replaced Brian Lynch as Chair of HEA.

Peter Luxton – Government appointee

Peter is an experienced international marketer, negotiator, value chain architect and strategist. Mr Luxton began his career working for the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), where he held the positions of Senior Private Secretary in the Office of Minister of Regional Development; NZ Trade Commissioner based in Vienna and The Hague; and NZ’s Chargé d’Affaires in The Hague. In 1986 he was recruited by the NZ Kiwifruit Authority to establish the kiwifruit industry’s direct representation in Europe. Returning to NZ in 2001 he held two General Manager positions at Zespri International. He now operates his own consultancy business. The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) Honey Association has recently appointed him as independent Commissioner. HEA Board member since August 2013replaced Sandra Martin.

Mick Ahern – Exporter representative

Until the mid 1980s Mick was involved in the pioneering of kiwifruit marketing. In the 1990s he assisted the growth of the buttercup squash trade to Japan and the expansion of the onion export trade globally. In 1999 he formed onion exporter Greenz Growlink Ltd within the Freshmax Group, and then became General Manager of Freshmax Exports Ltd. In 2009 he established his own management contracting and advisory company, Primary Services Ltd, providing export business development services. Mick has been the Independent Chairman of Onions NZ for the past five years and the Executive Manager of Strawberry Growers NZ Inc. since mid 2013. He is a former Deputy Chairman of the Horticulture Exporters Council. HEC-appointed HEA board member since April 2015—replaced Ingrid Hofma.

Andrew Fenton – Horticulture NZ nominee

Andrew has experience in many governance roles within the kiwifruit sector and in the wider horticulture industry across New Zealand. He has been a kiwifruit grower in Te Puke for over 30 years and was instrumental in setting up the New Zealand Kiwifruit Marketing Board and then Zespri. Since 2014 he has been a grower director on the board of Kiwifruit New Zealand. He has served as Chairman of the NZ Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust since 2003, and is President of the NZ Fruitgrowers Federation. Andrew Fenton was President of Horticulture New Zealand from 2005 until 2013, then a Director from 2013 until 2015. He is currently a Director of Market Gardeners Limited, a Christchurch based co-operative, La Manna Group Pty Australia, and other companies. HEA board member since December 2015—replaced Hugh Moore.

Lesley Wilson – Horticulture NZ nominee

Lesley has been a Hawke’s Bay pipfruit grower since 1987 and is a shareholder in an export Packhouse. She was also a grower of summerfruit for some 10 years until 1997. Lesley holds a Bachelor of Science (in Zoology) as well as post graduate papers in Integrated Fruit Production and Business Communications. She has been a member of the Institute of Directors since 2015. She is a former President of the Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers’ Association and a past Chair of the Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers’ Charitable Trust and Vice Chair of the Hawke’s Bay Labour Governance Group. She has served on a range of advisory committees, including the Prevar Advisory Group, T.A.N.K. (a Hawkes Bay Regional Council water catchment stakeholder advisory group), the National Horticultural Field Day group and the Australian Apple Access Group. She takes a leadership role in the issues affecting horticulture and enjoys working with people for the betterment of the industry. HEA board member since November 2018—replaced Lindsay Wells.