Advocacy at the highest level
by Andy Bryenton
Dargaville-based chartered accountant and experienced kumara farmer Kathryn de Bruin has been elected to the governing board of Horticulture New Zealand, the body, which oversees and advocates for the horticultural sector within agriculture.
The board, which ranks alongside such industry heavyweights as Beef + Lamb and Dairy NZ in terms of representing Kiwi farmers, is made up of elected members serving a three-year term. With solid support from many of the subsidiary growers associations, which vote for the over-arching Horticulture NZ board, Kathryn was successful this year, becoming only the third woman in history to hold such a position.
Horticulture NZ operates on a level of forward planning, liaising with local and central government to ensure the productivity and prosperity of fruit, vegetable and crop farming vital to the economy. With previous board-level experience in other fields, and with husband Andre currently acting as chairperson for Vegetables NZ, a more specialised industry group, Kathryn attended an Agri-women’s Development Trust ‘escalator’ seminar in 2017, which she says gave her the contacts and confidence to rise to this new challenge. She says she is looking forward to making a positive difference and representing Northland when the new year begins for HNZ in August.