Un­der the Mikero­scope

Your story goes na­tional

The Orchardist - - Contents - Mike Chap­man is chief ex­ec­u­tive of Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand

Jan­uary 2018 will be my two year an­niver­sary as chief ex­ec­u­tive for Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand. Dur­ing those two years, the way Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand works for grow­ers has changed, build­ing on our past suc­cesses, at the same time as de­vel­op­ing new lev­els of sup­port and ser­vice.

The di­rec­tion was set by the board, with an up­dated strate­gic plan at the start of my em­ploy­ment. The mis­sion in that plan was di­rected at Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand staff by re­quir­ing us to: cre­ate an en­dur­ing en­vi­ron­ment where grow­ers pros­per.

A key el­e­ment in the re­freshed strate­gic plan is telling the hor­ti­cul­ture story, not only to politi­cians and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, but also to the pub­lic at large who eat the food you grow. It has taken all of the two years for our sto­ries to break through onto na­tional TV and into na­tional ra­dio and print me­dia. In ad­di­tion, we have run a strong so­cial me­dia pro­gramme pro­duc­ing blogs and talk­ing about our fresh pro­duce on a reg­u­lar ba­sis to reach those age groups that do not use tra­di­tional me­dia. Telling the story has been as­sisted by the two cam­paigns we ran this year: first, for manda­tory coun­try of ori­gin la­belling (CoOL) and sec­ond, for the cre­ation of a na­tional food se­cu­rity pol­icy to en­sure that New Zealand can feed it­self by pro­tect­ing our class 1, 2 and 3 soils and hav­ing ac­cess to wa­ter and labour.

In the lead up to the gen­eral elec­tion, we pro­duced an elec­tion man­i­festo and we took an ac­tive role in pub­licly point­ing out the un­in­tended con­se­quences of Labour’s pro­posed wa­ter tax, as we did not be­lieve it would achieve their de­sired out­come of “clean­ing up waterways”. We are fully com­mit­ted to en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity and con­tinue sup­port­ing pro­grammes to achieve that. We are work­ing in Can­ter­bury with En­vi­ron­ment Can­ter­bury (ECan) so that grow­ers can meet ECan’s en­vi­ron­men­tal re­quire­ments. Linked to our height­ened me­dia pro­file has been in­creas­ing our con­tact with politi­cians and the gov­ern­ment de­part­ments. This is so that we can be ahead of pol­icy de­vel­op­ment, and work to lessen the im­pact of gov­ern­ment de­ci­sions on pol­icy, law and reg­u­la­tion on your busi­nesses. For ex­am­ple, in con­junc­tion with Work­safe, we pro­duced a guide book­let and on-line tool to en­able you to meet new health and safety re­quire­ments.

We heard and acted on your re­quests to in­crease our ex­per­tise with biose­cu­rity and the Re­source Man­age­ment Act. In each of these ar­eas we have re­cruited two new staff mem­bers who be­tween them have sig­nif­i­cant ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­per­tise. Our fo­cus has been not to re­cruit man­agers, but to re­cruit ex­perts who have the abil­ity to cre­ate the en­dur­ing en­vi­ron­ment where you can pros­per. We have also worked to in­te­grate Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand’s teams so that staff mem­bers with the skills un­der­take what they are best at, re­gard­less of what team they work in.

In our other ar­eas of work we are pri­ori­tis­ing and work­ing out the best way to de­liver what you need. This means we have not au­to­mat­i­cally re­placed staff when they have left, but rather we have as­sessed how we can de­liver the re­quired ser­vice bet­ter. In­te­gral to this is work­ing with all our stake­hold­ers, par­tic­u­larly the dis­trict as­so­ci­a­tions and prod­uct groups, so that we can com­ple­ment each other’s ac­tiv­i­ties and work to­gether.

In 2018 we will con­tinue to give you the ser­vices you need to pros­per. We will be ask­ing for your sup­port in our sixyearly levy vote, but our main fo­cus is on giv­ing full ef­fect to our strate­gic plan by con­tin­u­ing to tell the great hor­ti­cul­ture story and pro­duce re­sults in the ar­eas that mat­ter the most to you.

"I would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to wish every­one a Merry Christ­mas and all the best for the New Year."

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.