Leaving the green pastures
After years of farming New Zealand’s green pastures Trinity Lands managing director Ian Elliott has passed the baton and is heading to prison for his new role.
Elliott  has run the company’s Lichfield Lands charitable trust for 34 years. It is one of the three farming trusts the company owns [dairy, forestry and kiwifruit]. Profits from the trusts go towards charitable causes.
He will now focus more on his role with Prison Fellowship International - a Christian charity that he chairs.
‘‘I decided that when I got to 70 I had had a great run and it was time to step back from it for the next generation,’’ he said.
‘‘I am very pleased with how I am leaving things, the trust is in great shape and we have a wonderful team of sharemilkers, executives, and team of people running the kiwifruit orchards.’’
‘‘There may be a few bumps along the way but I am optimistic about the trust’s future,’’ he said.
Zespri chairman Peter Mcbride has been appointed to Elliott’s former position.
He said his retirement coincides with the release of a book about the company which donates profits from its trusts to community groups and projects such as the recent purchase of a new ambulance for St John Tokoroa.
In Trust: A New Zealand Story has has been written by business historian Ian Hunter.
Elliott’s role with Prison Fellowship means it’s going to be no quiet retirement. The faith-based organisation works in 125 countries, assisting prisoners, exprisoners, victims and the advancement of restorative justice.
‘‘It involves half a dozen trips overseas every year for strategic planning. I’ve just been to Washington and I’m going to Chile next month,’’ he said.
‘‘We want to go to places in the world where things are happening where we can help.’’
A big focus of the organisation is helping the children of prisoners.
‘‘They are the ones that slip through the cracks so we get people in the first world to put money together to support them in education, health and wellbeing, and spiritual resilience where they are taught values.
‘‘It’s fascinating work and is making a significant difference,’’ he said.
Outgoing Trinity Lands managing director Ian Elliott who will now focus more on international prison work