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Co-operative Business celebrates co-ops’ achievements

20 August 2014

Co-operative Business celebrates co-ops’ achievements

At its AGM held in Auckland last Thursday (August 14), Cooperative Business New Zealand appointed its new board of directors: Jonathan Lee [Chair], David Shaw, Kim DeGarnham, Blue Read, Christine Burr and Russell Green.

Cooperative Business represents the interests of New Zealand’s co-operatives, or ‘co-ops’ and mutual organisations as they are sometimes known. Together, these member-owned organisations account for more than three percent of New Zealand’s GDP, employ 43,000 people and turn over $41 billion a year.

In addition to the formalities of its AGM, Cooperative Business also held a discussion forum and inaugural awards dinner at which longstanding member co-ops were recognised.

The highlights of the daylong events included:

•Appointment of its 2014-15 board of directors, chaired by Jonathan Lee (COO of the NZ Association of Credit Unions) and introducing new director Kim DeGarnham (Company Secretary and GM – Administration and Member Services, Foodstuffs South Island);

•Presentation to retiring director Tony Reilly (Director, Ravensdown Fertiliser Co-op) in recognition of his eight years’ service to the Cooperative Business council and board;

•Announcement of a new strategic partnership with the Institute of Directors, to jointly develop a professional development programme tailor-made to meet the governance requirements of Kiwi co-ops (editors: refer to earlier joint media statement);

•Welcome to new members: Mitre 10 and Share NZ; and

•A discussion forum on co-operative governance and executive leadership.

Before presenting the awards, Mr Lee spoke of the sustainability of the co-operative business model.

“We’re formally recognising a collective 1,600 years in business for 31 organisations,” he said. “This is an absolutely remarkable feat of longevity for these successful businesses in today’s dynamic and changing marketplace.”

New Zealand’s oldest co-op FMG Insurance, established in 1905, sponsored the awards. Rabobank NZ, which began as a rural credit co-operative in the Netherlands in 1898, provided the ceremony’s guest speaker – CEO Ben Russell.

CooperativeEstablished [years]
100 years +FMG
Tatua Co-op Dairy
1905 [109]
1914 [100]
75-99 yearsMarket Gardeners
The Co-operative Bank
Rodney Co-op Lime
Rabobank NZ
Westland Dairy Co-op
1923 [91]
1928 [86]
1930 [84]
1935 [79]
1937 [77]
50-74 yearsAlliance Group
Silver Fern Farms
Interflora Pacific
Ballance Agri-Nutrients
Farmlands Co-op Society
Ashburton Trading Company
1948 [66]
1948 [66]
1952 [62]
1955 [59]
1961 [53]
1962 [52]
1963 [51]
25-49 yearsComposite Retail Society
Fruitpackers HB
NZCU Baywide
Primary Wood Co-op
Pharmacy Wholesalers (Central)
Pharmacy Wholesalers (BOP)
Ravensdown Fertiliser
NZ Honey Producers
Rural Couriers Society
Birchwood Packhouse
Foodstuffs South Island
NZ Hops
Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation
Berryfruit Export
Dairy Goat Co-op
1968 [46]
1970 [44]
1971 [43]
1974 [40]
1978 [36]
1978 [36]
1978 [36]
1980 [34]
1981 [33]
1981 [33]
1987 [27]
1988 [26]
1988 [26]
1988 [26]
1989 [25]
1989 [25]
1989 [25]


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