NZKGI was formed following the downturn in the kiwifruit industry in 1993 to give growers their own organisation to develop a secure and stable kiwifruit industry. NZKGI represents kiwifruit growers and gives growers their own voice in industry and government decision making.


The NZ Kiwifruit Growers Forum consists of 17 Regional representatives, 1 Maori Forum Representative and 9 Supply Entity Representatives. Forum members are elected every three years by all kiwifruit growers via a postal ballot. The Forum members in turn elect a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Executive Committee.

Name Location Email Portfolio
Karen Pickford Northland

Email Karen



View Karen’s profile

Monty Spencer Auckland

Email Monty

External Relations


View Monty’s profile

Mark Gardiner Waikato

Email Mark


Peter Blair Waihi/Coromandel

Email Peter

Andrew Dawson Katikati

Email Andrew

Labour & Education

Sean Carnachan Katikati

Email Sean

Labour & Education

Mike Smith Tauranga

Email Mike


Whetu Rolleston Tauranga

Email Whetu

Communications, External Relations


View Whetu’s profile

Helen Allan Te Puke

Email Helen

Industry Stability, Labour & Education


View Helen’s profile

Simon Cook Te Puke

Email Simon

External Relations

Tammy Hill Te Puke

Email Tammy

Labour & Education


View Tammy’s profile

Ross Bawden Te Puke

Email Ross

External Relations

Nick Woolsey Whakatane

Email Nick

Chris Anstis Opotiki

Email Chris


Doug Brown Poverty Bay

Email Doug

CommunicationsIndustry Stability

Richard Pentreath Hawkes Bay/Lower North Island

Email Richard


Paul Thomas South Island

Email Paul

Labour & Education

Mark Mayston Grower Entity - Apata

Email Mark

External RelationsIndustry StabilityLabour & Education

Tony Leicester Grower Entity - DMS

Email Tony

Labour & EducationOrganisational Management

Robert Humphries Grower Entity - Eastpack

Email Robert


Rob Craig Grower Entity - G6

Email Rob


Jessica Smith Grower Entity - Iwi

Email Jessica

Industry Stability

Phil Jones Grower Entity - Less than 4%

Email Phil


Sally Gardiner Grower Entity - MPAC

Email Sally

External Relations, Performance

Mike Butcher Grower Entity - OPAC

Email Mike

Labour & Education

Louise Peters Grower Entity - Seeka

Email Louise

Debbie Robinson Grower Entity - Trevelyan's

Email Debbie

Industry Stability, Performance


The Executive Committee supports the staff to carry out the day-to-day affairs of NZKGI in accordance with its aims and objectives and to ensure the delivery of transparent, robust, useful and timely reporting to growers.


NZKGI staff manage the day-to-day activity to support growers across the following six key portfolios: Labour and Education, Performance, Industry Stability, Communications, Organisational Management and External Relations.

NIKKI JOHNSON  | Chief Executive

Nikki leads the team at NZKGI to achieve its mission. She has a technical background with plant science training underpinning over 20 years’ experience in the horticultural and arable industries. Nikki’s specialised skills include strategic industry management, risk assessment and agrichemical registration policy. In addition to Nikki’s role as CEO, she also manages NZKGI’s Labour, Performance, Industry Stability and Organisational Management portfolios.

MIKE MURPHY  | Communications Manager

Mike’s central role in this newly created position is to implement his strategy to communicate for and to New Zealand’s kiwifruit growers. His responsibilities include the Communications portfolio.

RENEE FRITCHLEY | Project Coordinator

Renee is responsible for key projects within the education portfolio including  Career Expos,  the Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower Competition and Cultivate Your Career. Renee provides additional support services across all other portfolios.

MARGOT COTTER | Performance & Supply Manager

Margot is responsible for developing and implementing independent monitoring activities and analysis to assist growers in having access to consistent, accurate and easy to understand data on industry performance including Zespri. Margot’s responsibilities include the management of the Performance portfolio.

SARAH CAMERON | Senior Policy Analyst

As NZKGI’s senior policy analyst, Sarah Cameron is responsible for consulting with stakeholders and other agencies as well as providing analysis, research and advice on policy changes. Sarah’s responsibilities involve the management of the External Relations portfolio which includes health and safety.

GAVIN STAGG | Labour Coordinator

Gavin’s appointment is a key part of the NZKGI’s Labour recruitment strategy. He is excited by the initiatives already underway and the opportunities to build a collaborative response to the labour demands. Gavin is responsible for managing seasonal recruitment initiatives in conjunction with growers, contractors and packhouses to ensure as much as possible is done to meet the sector’s worker requirements.

DI HOLLOWAY | Education Coordinator

Education is critical for addressing the forecast shortage in skilled people needed as our industry grows. As the NZKGI Education Coordinator, Di is working with schools, training providers, and industry organisations to highlight the many and varied pathways available for students to enter the industry and build exciting careers in Horticulture.

TANYA VICKERS | Executive Assistant