20 Aug 2014

Kiwifruit boss sees no need for overhaul

9:14 am on 20 August 2014

A long-serving kiwifruit industry executive sees no need to overhaul the industry structure as it recovers from the Psa vine disease crisis.

Eastpack chief executive Tony Hawken is stepping down at the end of this year after more than 30 years heading New Zealand's largest kiwifruit packing and coolstore provider.

Mr Hawken sees the sector consolidating over the next few years before starting to grow again, with the new G3, or Sun Gold, kiwifruit variety leading the recovery.

However, he's not expecting any big structural changes.

"The structure of the industry, I think, it's evolving - like all organisations, they evolve and adapt to change - but the essential structure I don't think will change.

"You've got an industry that's very united around its current single point of entry structure and I just cannot see any movement away from that.

"Obviously there are a few detractors, but that's good for the debate and keeps everybody honest. But it just makes sound economic sense the structure that we've got and it's delivering some good results back to New Zealand Inc."

Mr Hawken will stay in a part-time role with Eastpack after stepping down as chief executive.