Last night Sir Brian Elwood was awarded the 2015 Fresh Carriers Hayward Medal in recognition of the leadership he has displayed as chairman of industry regulator Kiwifruit New Zealand (KNZ) over the past 10 years. The award was presented at an industry dinner in Mount Maunganui which followed Zespri’s inaugural Kiwifruit Innovation Symposium.
Paul Jones is chairman of the Kiwifruit Industry Advisory Committee, Zespri director and chairman of the Hayward Medal judging panel, and he explains that Sir Brian’s legacy is the way in which the Kiwifruit Regulations have been administered to the overall benefit of NZ growers and suppliers.
“Sir Brian has a very fine legal mind. The Kiwifruit Regulations call on KNZ to exercise extensive judgement and discretion in their administration and Sir Brian’s thorough, meticulous analysis and vast experience has served the industry well,” says Mr Jones.
Under Sir Brian’s leadership, significant changes were made within KNZ to strengthen the decision-making process and make the regulator more accountable and transparent to growers and industry.
“Sir Brian is a man of integrity and able to win the trust of those he deals with across the industry with his gracious manner, combining commercial and legal expertise with the ethos of public service.
“Sir Brian has been a key leader and influencer in the kiwifruit industry, which has doubled in value over the decade of his industry involvement. His skills have contributed directly to increasing the wealth of our industry,” says Mr Jones.
In his acceptance speech, Sir Brian said the evidence showed the kiwifruit industry had succeeded in achieving a world-leading position in kiwifruit production and marketing, and “survived good times and not-so good times, been innovative and generally financially successful for participants and the New Zealand economy. An absolutely enviable achievement.”
Sir Brian also noted the competitive nature of the industry with multiple independent growers, competition between vibrant, competing supply entities, and the ability to authorise exporters other than Zespri.
During Sir Brian’s tenure, KNZ has considered over 300 collaborative marketing applications. The success rate of collaborative marketing has increased, with 93 percent of applications approved over the past five years, up from 87 percent for the previous five-year period (2005–2010).
Sir Brian has enjoyed an extensive commercial and public service career, including eight years as Chief Ombudsman and 14 years as Mayor of Palmerston North, and was awarded his knighthood in 1990 and a CBE in 1985.