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Tom Thomson elected as NZMEA President

Tom Thomson elected as NZMEA President - 17 September

Tom Thomson, Managing Director of EPL (Elastomer Products Ltd), has been elected President of the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA) at the Association’s 135th AGM. Tom takes over from Brian Willoughby who completes his two year term as President.

John Walley announced that after 15 years of service, he will be stepping down as CEO in March 2015.

The office holders of the NZMEA are now:
President: Tom Thomson, Managing Director, EPL (Elastomer Products Ltd).
Senior Vice President: Richard Smith, Operations Manager, Patience & Nicholson.
Junior Vice President: Trevor Edwards, Managing Director, Superheat Ltd.
Immediate Past President: Brian Willoughby, Chief Executive, Contex Engineers.

A full list of the Members of the NZMEA Council and Board is available here.

“The last few years have seen manufacturing struggle to find its way in an increasingly competitive world, this is as true for New Zealand as it is for most of the developed world,” said Tom Thomson.

“The NZMEA, as the voice of manufacturing and exporting in New Zealand, is well aware of these stresses and is keen to help our members and the wider economy succeed and prosper in these difficult times. I intend to build on the legacies of the past and work with our Board and Council to develop enabling strategies that benefit our members and stakeholders.”

“I want to thank Brian Willoughby for his tremendous efforts over the last few years and hope that I can build on his work in a positive way going forward. I also want to acknowledge the passing of an era and thank John Walley as he steps down as our CEO after a decade and a half of intense involvement in all things manufacturing.”

“It is unusual for a CEO to have lasted this long in such a key position and this is testimony to his passion and commitment to manufacturing and exporting in New Zealand. I know John will continue to support the Association and manufacturers in any way he can in the time ahead and I wish him well.”

Past President Brian Willoughby stated, “During my time as President I have been fortunate to have strong support from John Walley, our Board and Council. This broad support has allowed the NZMEA to provide input and comment on many things that on their own are small and seem insignificant, but cumulatively have wide impact on the things that really matter to manufacturing and our economy.”

“As I pass over to Tom, I think the most important problem we face is that even with a developing consensus that things need to change to provide the best overall living standards for all our citizens, there are narrowly focused groups, with a vested interest in the status quo, that resist the economic policy changes that could deliver those outcomes. A nation of just over four million people should be able to fix this in a few short years, but sadly we don’t seem able to get it done.”

“The NZMEA is a well resourced organisation that will keep promoting policies that are good for manufacturing and exporting because that is ultimately good for everyone in the country. I wish Tom Thomson our incoming President good luck and offer my support during his term.”

John Walley said “It has been a privilege to be part of this Association, there is never a good time to leave, particularly when there is much that remains to be done, but time moves on and other matters do require attention.”


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