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Business Leader To Head Massey-HB Venture

Media Release
19 February 2013

Business Leader To Head Massey-HB Venture

A Haumoana orchardist with an academic background in accounting, economics and marketing will be the first Hawke's Bay business development manager, a new role jointly created by Massey University and the Hawke's Bay Regional Council.

John Bell spent 26 years teaching business skills, including marketing, branding and entrepreneurship, at the University of Otago. He also applied those skills, working as a business consultant from 1985-2010 and owning and managing his own business in Dunedin from 1993-2004. John is a highly experience business management specialist with a strong university connections. For the past five years he and wife Diana have been developing a pipfruit orchard into a niche producer of heritage apples.

The jointly funded role is focused on promoting and developing opportunities for business and research in Hawke’s Bay by harnessing the expertise of Massey and its staff and students to promote sustainable economic growth in the region.

Mr Bell, will be based in the council's offices in Napier but will report to Massey's Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Operations) and University Registrar, Stuart Morriss. He will work closely with Business Hawke’s Bay, local councils and the wider business community.

He says he is looking forward to what will be an exciting challenge. "It's marrying up my two main professional interests – regional economic development and helping business entrepreneurs."

Council General Manager Operations Liz Lambert says the new position builds on the strong Massey/HBRC relationship and aligns many of the needs of the two organisations that last year signed a memorandum of understanding formalising a growing relationship.

Massey Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says the relationship between Hawke's Bay and Massey is a long-standing and logical partnership. "Hawke’s Bay is vital to New Zealand’s economy as an export region for quality food products. It is also home to many of our students, a thriving alumni community and some of our staff. Massey University is at the leading edge of research and teaching in agriculture, food technology, product design and business innovation."

Massey has also just appointed a Taranaki business development manager, Eve Kawana-Brown, based in New Plymouth, after last year signing a similar agreement with Venture Taranaki.


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