The Pure Advantage secretariat is managed by Rob Morrison (Chairman), Duncan Stewart (Chief Executive) and Hannah Wills (Project Manager).
“I joined Pure Advantage because as head of a family business I believe it is essential to invest for the future. New Zealanders must take decisive action. There is the obvious imperative of combating climate change. We must also sustain our export businesses and if New Zealand is seen to be less than a leader in environmental responsibility, international customers for our premium products, expecting us to live up to our clean green image, will shop elsewhere. Now is the time to take the opportunity for the sake of the next generations.”
Sir George Fistonich founded Villa Maria Estate in Auckland in 1961. With vision and determination he has steered the company to a position where it has become New Zealand’s leading winner of award wines, both locally and overseas. In 2004, Sir George Fistonich was short listed as one of the 50 most prominent figures in the wine industry by UK Wine International magazine and in 2005 he was named NZ’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. It was in 2009 that Sir George received his greatest honour to date – a knighthood for his services to the NZ wine industry.
“I had a typical Kiwi childhood for my generation; summers at the beach or swimming in the braided rivers of the Canterbury plains …. lilos, tractor inner tubes, bacon and egg pie and jungle juice were all that was required for a great summer’s outing. During winter we swapped our lilos and inner tubes for plastic sheets and home-made toboggans (couldn’t afford to ski!). I cherish that period in my life, and as I moved on and pursued my career, firstly in New Zealand, and then off-shore with National Australia Bank and the ITV Group, I often reflected on those days, the simple pleasures and how they defined me as a person. In my current role as CEO of Air New Zealand and Chairman of Star Alliance, I travel to all corners of the Earth and I have increasingly understood not only what makes New Zealand special to us Kiwis, but what makes New Zealand and New Zealanders – our identity, our brand and our country, special to so many people around the world. It is a powerful, under-exploited asset which we too often take for granted – an asset that has enormous potential value if we can protect it, invest in it and develop products and services which harness the natural beauty, simplicity, creativity and industrious qualities of New Zealand and New Zealanders. I hope that through Pure Advantage we can help people to understand and embrace this opportunity.”
Rob Fyfe is currently the CEO of Air New Zealand, Chairman of Star Alliance, a board member on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Board of Governors and a Director of Ecoya. He has had a diverse career spanning the Military, Banking, Telecommunications and Television before returning to New Zealand to join Air New Zealand in 2003 – becoming CEO in 2005.
“We tend to overestimate the short term impact of trends and underestimate the long term impact. In the long term it is clear that environmental issues will be a significant threat to both global growth and human wellbeing. They will also however be an opportunity for some countries to take, and benefit from, a leadership position. New Zealand could be, and should be, one of those countries.”
Chris was recently Vice Chairman and CFO of General Motors. Previously he was CFO of Microsoft, CFO of International Paper and CEO of Carter Holt Harvey. He was also the former Chairman of Project Crimson, a Director of the New Zealand Rugby Union and a trustee of the New Zealand Sports Foundation. He is currently involved in a number of philanthropic projects in New Zealand, is a Trustee of the New Zealand Institute, a Patron of the University of Auckland fundraising campaign and a Director of IMG, the leading sports management company in the world.
“The aims of Pure Advantage are to capitalise, based on our national strengths, on the biggest economic opportunity since the Industrial Revolution. The opportunity stems from exponentially growing demand for renewable, low carbon technologies and resources, which is being driven by exploding population and affluence. To protect our clean, green Brand NZ that is highly valued by overseas customers and a key part of our national cultural values. Do we want to be known as a small, polluted country or a 100% pure paradise? The choice is ours.To save money at both a national and individual business level. As costs of resources like energy and water escalate, businesses that reduce their footprint are making significant savings. At a national level, things like replacing old electricity transmission lines have a huge ROI. To mitigate risks: of growing resource prices (what happens to small, imported resource-dependent economies in the future if e.g. oil hits $200, $300 or $500 a barrel?); of international regulatory or market tariffs against “free-riding” countries and companies; and of ecological damage ranging from health-damaging pollution to global and local effects of climate instability.”
Phillip Mills is one of the pioneers of the international fitness industry and a driving force behind the popularisation of the modern group fitness experience. In 1980 Phillip developed the unique Les Mills brand of exercise-to-music systems that today are offered in more than 13,000 fitness clubs in 75 countries through the Les Mills International brand. Phillip also developed a group fitness management system for maximising the commercial benefits of the Les Mills programs. In 2004 Phillip was named New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year by international services firm Ernst & Young.
Phillip has also excelled in the field of athletics, competing at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in the 110m hurdles, and four years later in both 110m and 400m hurdles.
“Pure Advantage to me is common sense. So much of our identity as New Zealanders, who we are, is about where we come from. As New Zealanders the environment is a core part of our psyche and is reflected in everything we do; our housing, our sprit, even how we holiday and then this is expressed through the businesses we create and the products and services which are unique internationally. People want what we have. However our environment is taken for granted, pollution is increasing and our reliance on petroleum is increasing. These are different times than the times of our parents. There are other options. Pure Advantage is a think tank of committed people, who are facilitating a plan for New Zealanders to engage around tidying up our environment, making New Zealand as pure as it can be and then ensuring we get commercial advantage from that. Stronger businesses mean more jobs that pay more and that’s what we need to keep our kids here in the future and to bring the standard of living up in New Zealand so we have not just a beautiful country but a fantastic lifestyle.”
Jeremy Moon is the Managing Director of Icebreaker, New Zealand’s largest adventure-wear exporter of 100% New Zealand merino wool. Jeremy established the brand in 1995, and with guidance from a strong Board of Directors, Icebreaker is now number five on the 2010 Deloittes Fast 50. It is the fastest growing mature business, on the register of the 50 fastest growing companies in New Zealand.
Icebreaker’s key philosophies are basic and pure – “It’s about our relationship to nature – and to each other.”
Jeremy is the Chair of Better by Design; a non-profit group assisting other New Zealand businesses to increase export earnings through integrating design more successfully into their business, strategy, and products. Jeremy was appointed Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business, 2008.
“You can’t distribute wealth without generating it first. New Zealand needs to generate wealth as a country in order to make the investment required to arrest New Zealand’s long term decline relative to other OECD countries. I believe Pure Advantage and the people involved can make a difference by getting this country focused on the opportunities available from the global shift to Green Growth.
There is no country that depends on clean and green for its global image as much as New Zealand does but we are not leading the charge on green growth, in fact we are nowhere close and we need to be.
I am only too happy to be involved in order to help resolve that situation, to the benefit of all New Zealanders.”
Rob Morrison has recently been appointed Chairman of Kiwibank, following his retirement as Chairman and CEO of Hong Kong based CLSA Asia Pacific Markets, an award-winning brokerage, investment banking and private equity group. Prior to joining CLSA, Mr Morrison was an Executive Vice President and Head of Equities at Bankers Trust Australia and Chief Executive Officer of Bankers Trust New Zealand. He is currently a council member of the Asian Corporate Governance Association, a director on the Asian advisory board of The Nature Conservancy – a private organisation working to protect ecologically important lands and water – and an advisory professor at Nankai University in Tianjin, China. He was also a member of the Copenhagen Climate Council, a global collaboration between business leaders, scientists and policy makers to work together for a successful new UN protocol to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
“I am involved in Pure Advantage, because I believe it is what will give this country a competitive advantage. As the world looks for greener – food, beverage, tourism, energy, technology, fashion, etc, business opportunities will emerge. With a Pure Advantage and some haste, we can grab these opportunities. Creating wealth for all New Zealanders.”
Geoff was the founder and CEO of 42 Below Limited which was a listed company for three years prior to its sale to Bacardi in late 2006. Prior to 42 Below, he was a Managing Partner and Board Member of DDB Advertising for two years and was a Client Service Director and Management Team Member for Saatchi & Saatchi in Wellington for eight years. Geoff is also a board member of the Melanoma Foundation and Advisor to Air New Zealand’s ‘Grab a Seat’ initiative. Geoff is currently the Chairman of Ecoya, a luxury scented candle and skincare company.
“I believe growing the economic wealth of New Zealand is imperative for the success of all New Zealanders. Clean, green, 100% Pure are concepts at the core of New Zealand’s global competitive positioning and therefore ongoing economic success. But we have to walk the talk and with our unique economy we must find new ways to create value consistent with these concepts. I am delighted to be a Trustee of Pure Advantage whose goal is to help lead New Zealand’s success along this path.”
Justine Smyth has wide ranging career experience in corporate, advisory and governance roles – firstly as a Partner at Deloitte, then a senior role in a multinational beverages company and currently as Deputy Chair – NZ Post Ltd, Chair – The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and Board Member – Financial Markets Authority. Justine also has experience as an owner and managing director of small/medium sized businesses.
“Ngāi Tahu has a whakatauki (proverb) that says ‘Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei’ – which means ‘For us, and our children after us’. These resonate with the principles of Pure Advantage – creating a better future for those generations yet to come,”
Mark Solomon is of Ngai Tahu and Ngāti Kuri descent, and is from Kaikoura on the east coast of Te Waipounamu. He is the elected Kaiwhakahaere (chair) of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, a position he has held since 1998. Mark has represented his Kaikoura Runanga since 1988 and has contributed to his community in many capacities, ranging from roles as a trustee of Takahanga Marae, the local school board and on the board of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, a position he held from 2001-07. Mark currently holds directorships with Te Hapai Mauri Ltd, Te Pataka o Tangaroa and Te Pataka o Rauru. He is also a Summit Member of the Hillary Institute and a member of Te Kawai Taumata. Mark believes a true rangatira is a servant of the people and reflects this in his role in helping establish the Iwi Chairs Forum and his ambition of kotahitanga for Māori.
“I am an investor in green growth companies in NZ such as Lanzatech, 3R, Wellington Drive, Solar City and believe these types of companies hold the key to New Zealand’s future. Green growth now is a sector globally which is not only proving a good financial return but provides solutions to mitigate climate change. It’s my ambition that we can encourage thousands of New Zealanders to understand the benefits of green growth companies and invest in them to make NZ more economically viable and a leader in environmental sustainability.”
In 1982 Stephen founded The Warehouse, a private company until late 1994 when it floated on the New Zealand Stock Exchange. Stephen held the position of Managing Director until January 2001, then appointed a CEO and assumed position of Founder. He returned as Group CEO from May 2003 until October 2004. The Warehouse Group now has 85 retail and 43 Warehouse Stationery stores in New Zealand. His current positions include; Founder and Director-The Warehouse Group Ltd, Chair-Job Summit Working Group, Patron-Mistletoe Bay Trust, Chair-Climate Change Forum and Broadband Investment Forum, Chair-Growth & Innovation Advisory Board, Council Member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (Co-founder and Chair of NZBCSD, 2000-2004), Founding Member of the New Zealand Institute, Co Founder and Director of KEA (Kiwi Expat Association), Founder and Trustee-The Tindall Foundation, Founder and Trustee-Alay Buhay Educational Foundation, and Investor in New Zealand Enterprises.
“I believe that having a sustainable approach to environmental issues and achieving economic growth in NZ are not mutually exclusive objectives. We need to be smart and innovative in order to increase jobs and incomes for New Zealanders, and to capitalise on our resources and the skills we have already developed and those we need to hone.Tourism is a key contributor to New Zealand’s GDP and is an important precursor of trade links. We are now becoming adept at targeting growth markets but we need to ensure our NZ brand does not suffer reputational damage as we compete with other international destinations for visitor growth.We have also shown that NZ can lead the way in renewable energy and the expertise that has been created in geothermal development here in NZ that is now being exploited offshore. Pure Advantage is focused on conducting robust analysis so that as a nation we can have fact based discussions on those issues that are critical for our economy today and into the future.”
Joan Withers is a professional company director with an extensive background in media. She is currently Chair of Mighty River Power and Auckland International Airport and is Deputy Chair of TVNZ. She is on the Advisory Board of The Treasury and is a Trustee of Sweet Louise, the Tindall Foundation and Grow Our Own Workforce, a project charged with increasing the representation of Maori and Pacific within the Counties Manukau District Health Board workforce. She has formerly held CEO positions at Fairfax Media and The Radio Network.
“New Zealand is very well placed to see the increasing impact of climate change as an opportunity, not a threat. As politicians, regulators, trade officials and consumers internationally focus on increased environmental standards as a pre-requisite for market support New Zealand will have to present itself consistently as meeting or beating world expectations of us. As a New Zealander I can see the benefits both for our own living standards and for the appeal of our exports. It’s time to start walking the talk.”
The late Lloyd Morrison was the founder and Executive Chairman of H.R.L Morrison & Co, a specialist infrastructure business. Lloyd was a Director of Infratil, Auckland International Airport, and Fisher Funds and Chairman of Snapper. As a long term supporter of the arts and music in particular, he established the HRL Morrison Music Trust in 1995 to support New Zealand musicians and composers, with a special emphasis on the production and marketing of recordings on the Trust Records label. Lloyd was also a Partner in New Zealand music publisher Promethean Editions.
The late Sir Paul Callaghan was a world leading scientist in the fields of nanotechnology and magnetic resonance, and held the position of Alan MacDiarmid Professor of Physical Sciences, School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington. Sir Paul was past president of both the Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and the International Society of Magnetic Resonance.
His work put Sir Paul and New Zealand on the international stage and his mantelpiece featured an array of honours for his endeavours. He was awarded the Rutherford Medal, NZ’s highest scientific honour, in 2005. He was appointed a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2006. In 2007 Sir Paul was recognised with a KEA World Class New Zealand Award and the Sir Peter Blake Medal. He was knighted in 2009, and in 2011 was named Kiwibank “New Zealander of the Year”.
Rob Morrison has recently been appointed Chairman of Kiwibank, following his retirement as Chairman and CEO of Hong Kong based CLSA Asia Pacific Markets, an award-winning brokerage, investment banking and private equity group.See his Trustee profile for more.
Duncan is an environmental specialist and entrepreneur with a passion for green business. He is Director of The Greenhouse, a company dedicated to growing clean technology through investment, advisory & export. He is a co-founder and Executive Director of CS-VUE, an award-winning online environmental compliance software product, which was recently named as one of the Deloitte Asia/Pacific Fast 500 technology companies. Since 2002, Duncan has also founded, grown and sold several green companies, including an award winning environmental consultancy which assisted the delivery of more than NZ$1 billion of public and private infrastructure, and a business specialising in emissions management and clean investment. In 2010 Duncan was invited to manage the Pure Advantage campaign, and has since worked closely with the trustees to develop and execute strategy.
“Pure Advantage is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, New Zealand has become economically complacent because commodity booms in an overpopulated world happen more by good luck than good management – so we need to increase the depth and breadth of our export offers to make sure we are buffered from unforeseen events. Secondly, a key data point in our economic malaise is a steady downward trend of productivity and wealth – so we need a growth agenda geared for the 21st century global economy, rather than rolling our old thinking in glitter and pretending it’s new. Finally, parts of NZ are still preoccupied with a parochial debate about climate change and the cost of greening business – meanwhile the rest of the world surges past us both in terms of environmental performance and green policy. Pure Advantage articulates a very tangible opportunity for New Zealand to exercise its pure competitive advantage to create wealth and meet our obligation to the environment. Let’s get on with it!”
Hannah is a corporate project manager who recently was the Relationship Manager for Kea, New Zealand’s Global Talent Network, before joining Pure Advantage. She has also previously worked in the UK investment sector, including the Association of British Insurers. Since returning to New Zealand she has worked with The Warehouse as a marketing executive, and been responsible for delivering business programmes and events such as the World Class New Zealand Awards.
“When I was in the UK I realised that New Zealand had something special. I joined Pure Advantage because I believe this country can actually have it all – a fantastic environment, and a thriving economy. We can make NZ a brand and a destination of choice.”