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HEA Board Members

Peter Luxton – Chairman

Peter is an experienced international marketer, negotiator, value chain architect and strategist. He began his career working with the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), where he undertook different roles as Senior Private Secretary in the Office of Minister of Regional Development; and NZ Trade Commissioner based in Vienna and later in The Hague. Recruited by the NZ Kiwifruit Authority in 1986 to establish the kiwifruit industry’s first direct representation in Europe, he subsequently worked in Europe with Zespri for 15 years, based in the Netherlands, France and Belgium. Returning to NZ in 2001 he held two General Manager positions at Zespri International, as GM Global Marketing and later as GM Strategy and Business Development until 2008. Amongst other primary sector-based governance roles Peter has been Independent Chair of The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) Honey Association (2014-2020), Chair of the Manuka Honey Appellation Society (2016-2020) and since 2016 an elected board member of Apiculture NZ. Peter was first appointed HEA Board member in August 2013, replacing Sandra Martin, and was appointed Chair in March 2020.

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 was the Independent Chairman of Onions NZ from 2010 to 2014 and Chief Executive from 2015 to 2018. He has been Executive Manager of Strawberry Growers NZ Inc. since 2014. Mick has been Management Contractor to Bostock NZ Ltd since 2009. 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 New Zealand 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 New Zealand 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.

Stephanie Honey – Government appointee

Stephanie Honey is a trade policy consultant.  She serves as Associate Director of the New Zealand International Business Forum and as a policy advisor to the New Zealand members of the APEC Business Advisory Council, and is the co-founder of a business offering executive education in trade policy as well as running an independent trade policy consultancy.  Stephanie’s areas of expertise include agriculture and food trade, regional economic integration especially in the Asia-Pacific, the WTO and free trade agreements, and digital trade.  Stephanie was formerly a trade negotiator at the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including serving as the chief New Zealand Agriculture Negotiator in the WTO Doha Round, a posting at the New Zealand Mission to the EU in Brussels, and in a variety of other roles. HEA board member since March 2020—replaced Peter Luxton.