(4 December 2015)
Te Ohu Kaimoana (Māori Fisheries Trust) has appointed experienced seafood industry businesspeople Mr Craig Ellison and Ms Rachel Taulelei to the board of Aotearoa Fisheries Limited.
In making the announcement, the Chief Executive of Te Ohu Kaimoana, Mr Peter Douglas, and the Chairman of AFL, Mr Whaimutu Dewes, said that Mr Ellison and Ms Taulelei will add strong governance and entrepreneurial experience to the board of AFL.
“Craig and Rachel have come through a contestable process that had a number of applicants of high calibre. We are pleased to be able to make the appointments of two of them who are both well-known in the New Zealand fishing industry and have proven experience in a variety of seafood and primary industry businesses. Rachel founded her own successful seafood business and has a huge passion for sustainable fishing. Craig has worked in many areas of our industry. We believe they will make a significant contribution to the work of the current board,” they said.
Mr Ellison started his career with Otakou Fisheries in Dunedin in the early 1980s. He is currently the Executive Chairman of Ngai Tahu Seafood Limited and the Chairman of the New Zealand Seafood Standards Council. Mr Ellison was a board member of the former Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission and helped establish AFL through the Māori Fisheries Settlement allocation process. He was Chairman of Moana Pacific Fisheries Limited, the forerunner to AFL. Mr Ellison was a member of the Iwi Working Group established by Te Ohu Kaimoana to set the direction of the Māori Fisheries Settlement entities as a result of a statutory review and is also a trustee on Poutama Trust.
Ms Taulelei was recently appointed the Chief Executive of Kono NZ LP, a premium food and beverage company based in Nelson and employing 300 staff. Kono operates across the seafood, beverages, horticultural and manufacturing sectors. She is the founder of Yellow Brick Road Limited, a Wellington company that specialises in supplying quality seafood direct into restaurants throughout New Zealand. YBR was recently purchased by Kono. Ms Taulelei is a Board Trustee on the Sir Peter Blake Trust and the Wellington Regional Stadium Trust, and is an independent director on Central Otago lamb supply company, Headwaters NZ. She is also the Chair of the Wellington Culinary Events Trust which governs the popular Wellington On A Plate annual festival and sits on Westpac’s External Sustainable Business Panel.
Mr Dewes added that he is looking forward to Craig and Rachel joining the team of directors, management, all the staff and the shareholders of the company. He also wishes to publicly thank retiring board members Mr Fred Cookson and Mr Wayne Peters for their contribution to AFL.
Aotearoa Fisheries Limited is the largest Maori-owned fisheries company in Aotearoa / New Zealand comprising a 50 percent stake in New Zealand’s largest seafood company, Sealord Group Limited, and owns Moana Pacific Fisheries, OPC Fish and Lobster, Prepared Foods Limited, Pacific Marine Farms and Kia Ora Seafoods.