Resignation of Nadine Tunley, Chief Executive of Horticulture New Zealand

2 May 2024

We want to let you know that Nadine Tunley, Chief Executive of HortNZ, has resigned.

Her last day at HortNZ will be Friday, 30 August, which coincides with our annual conference in Tauranga.

The Board is disappointed to see Nadine go, but she leaves HortNZ with a strong team, strong structure and strong direction set out in the strategy and the Aotearoa Horticulture Action Plan.

While the timing of a valued CEO’s departure is never ideal, the Board and Nadine feel it is important that with a new commodity levy proposal about to be voted on, HortNZ is able to recruit a replacement CEO that can lead the organisation and deliver the strategic outcomes for the next six years, with the full energy required.

You can be assured that the Board and HortNZ team will continue to take the organisation forward in line with the strategy and plan, as we discussed in recent consultation meetings.   

You’ll see us continue to focus on the priority areas of water allocation and storage, climate change and adaptation, and food security and supply. We’ll lead and support important projects such as A Lighter Touch and Growing Change.

The Board recognises the huge contribution Nadine has made during her tenure in the role, notably her steadfast leadership during very challenging times for many of our growers, the Covid lockdowns and Cyclone Gabrielle’s devastation.

Whilst dealing with these extreme events, she continued to drive the internal organisation through the transformation necessary for it to succeed as well as to open the door for further alignment within the horticultural industry’s levy organisation landscape.

The quiet relentlessness of this role, acting as a key interface between Government and growers, has required 150% of her and the Board accepts Nadine’s decision that it is time for her to seek a better work-life balance.

Nadine Tunley says leaving HortNZ was not an easy decision to make, because she loves working with dedicated and passionate growers.

“You have continued to inspire me with your commitment and determination, even when the chips are down, and it has been a pleasure and a privilege to support you. I look forward to continuing to connect with as many of you as possible before I leave.”