The KNZ Board

The KNZ Board is made up of six members.

Three of the Directors are grower elected, and the other three, including the Chair, are appointed by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

They all serve a three year term, with a maximum of three terms a Director can serve.

Kristy McDonald ONZM KC

KNZ Chair

Kristy McDonald ONZM KC is an experienced Barrister and King's Counsel in Wellington with a wealth of legal, governance and regulatory experience and a strong interest in primary industries.

Having represented both private clients and the Crown for over 40 years, she has extensive experience ranging across many areas of legal practice but has a particular focus on administrative and public law.

Kristy has as sound understanding of the workings of Government and of regulatory and judicial processes.

Kristy has undertaken a range of organisational and government inquiries and Reviews and has taken a lead role in a number of public inquiries including the Pike River Inquiry, the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct and the Government Inquiry into the NZ Defence Force operation in Afghanistan.

Kristy is a former Director of the Accident Compensation Corporation, Director of the Racing Industry Transition Agency, and subsequently the TAB.  She is the Chair of the Wairarapa Building Society and until recently was Chair of the Ministry of Social Development Audit and Risk Committee.  Kristy has recently been appointed by the Government to the newly established Racing Integrity Board.

Kristy has previously held governance positions for a number of regulatory bodies including Chair of the Real Estate Agents Authority and the Judicial Control Authority for Racing.

Kristy was awarded the ONZM in 2019 for services to law and governance.

Colin Olesen

Grower Elected Director

Colin Olesen has been involved in the kiwifruit industry for 21 years as a grower and has represented Trevelyan Growers Ltd as a Director for 12 years and Chairperson for the last 9 years.  In October 2018 he became a Director of Kiwifruit New Zealand and in 2019 was appointed to chair the Audit and Assurance sub-committee.

Colin is a Chartered Accountant and is actively involved in his local community particularly through his Church and Rotary, where he has previously been District Governor.

He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1985 and has been awarded a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow for community service.  In 2020 Colin was awarded Fellowship of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand for his contribution to the Accounting profession and his community.

Colin enjoys his armchair rugby referee's role, along with his grand parenting duties where his love of song comes in handy.

Sarah Paterson

Government Appointed Director

Sarah Paterson is a consultant based in Wellington, focusing on trade and primary sector policy, strategy and collaboration.

She has worked on trade and primary sector issues for almost 20 years, initially with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  Since then, Sarah has been the Trade Policy Manager for Meat & Wool New Zealand and headed up Fonterra's global Trade and Policy teams.

Sarah is currently a Director of the New Zealand Meat Board, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Inter-weave Limited, a member of the New Zealand Army Leadership Board and a Trustee of the Who Did You Help Today charitable trust.  Sarah is also the Chair of the He Waka Eke Noa Steering Group.

Sarah has an LLB/BA (Hons) from the University of Otago.

Peter Ombler

Grower Elected Director

Peter joined the kiwifruit industry at the age of 21 when he purchased bare land in 1987 and developed his own orchard at what was a very uncertain time in the kiwifruit industry.

Since then, he has been involved in a wide variety of industry roles on many committees including President of NZKGI and Chairman of KVH.  During his tenure the industry faced testing times with challenges to the SPE and the outbreak of Psa.

Peter was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in 2012 for his leadership during the Psa outbreak, and in 2017 received horticulture's premier award, The Bledisloe Cup, for leadership and services to the industry during those critical times.

Peter is still active in the industry with governance and consultancy roles around New Zealand, whilst still working on his orchard on a daily basis.

Peter enjoys the outdoors, walking in particular - sometimes carrying a fly rod.  Cricket has also been a lifelong passion, but these days as a spectator only.

Jacqui Caine

Government Appointed Director

Jacqui Caine (Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha) is the Group Head Strategy & Environment at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.  The role is charged with protecting and advancing the Ngāi Tahu settlements, engaging with the Crown across a range of kaupapa and protecting te taiao. Jacqui leads Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu stakeholder engagement, strategic relationship development and the alignment of strategic workstreams, and manages the Te Whakaariki/Strategy & Influence and Te Ao Tūroa teams.

Jacqui has 25 years of experience at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was New Zealand’s Ambassador to Chile, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia, from 2015 to 2018. Her roles in the Ministry including in trade negotiations, as Deputy Director of the Legal Division and Lead Adviser in the Americas Division. She served as the Deputy Ambassador in both Singapore and Mexico and as Deputy High Commissioner in Vanuatu. 

In 2019 Jacqui was appointed as one of the two Commissioners to lead the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch Mosque Attacks on 15 March 2019. She served alongside Supreme Court Justice Sir William Young until the conclusion of the Royal Commission in November 2020.  Jacqui is also a Trustee of Te Rūnaka o Awarua.

Neil Trebilco

Grower Elected Director

Neil comes from a science background having graduated with an MSc in chemistry and for the following 20+ years, he worked in a variety of technical roles in the rubber and plastics industry.

Neil moved to the Bay of Plenty becoming a full-time kiwifruit grower in 1998, having bought into his first orchard a couple of years previously.  Growing kiwifruit (both organic and conventional, Hayward and G3) is his main source of income.

From 2003 to 2015, Neil served on NZKGI and a number of industry bodies and grower entities.  He was Vice President, and then President, of NZKGI during that time.

Neil joined the KNZ Board as a grower elected member, in December 2023.