Alan Pollard, the long-serving chief executive officer of NZ Apples & Pears, will be taking over as new CEO of CCNZ from Peter Silcock in the New Year.
CCNZ president Tony Pike says; “I am pleased to advise that the CE Recruitment Committee (Bailey Gair, Tim Ford, Mark Evans and myself) have completed the recruitment process and that we have appointed Alan to the role who has been CE of Apples and Pears New Zealand, an industry group representing apple and pear growers and exporters for the past 10 years.
“While Alan has no previous experience in the construction industry he is an experienced leader, lobbyist and industry advocate and he has significant knowledge and experience in some of CCNZ’s critical areas of interest such as immigration, education and training, sustainability and health and safety.
“Like the Civil Construction industry the Apple and Pear industry has a wide range of members from small family businesses to large multinational companies.”
Tony notes that while Alan will continue to reside in Hawkes Bay, he will be spending a significant amount of time in Wellington.
Contractor magazine asked Alan the same questions we asked Peter Silcock when he picked up the role back in 2015.
You have worked for the apple and pear industry for the past 10 years. Why did you decide that it was time to make a change in industries?
Nine and a half years is a long time to be an industry association CEO. The apple industry is now settling into a post-Covid new normal, so now is a good time to hand over the reins. The opportunity with Civil Contractors New Zealand arose while I was in the process of preparing to hand over to my successor. I enjoy advocacy and representation/engagement, and the civil construction sector has such an important role to play in New Zealand’s post-Covid recovery; it is exciting to be able to be a part of that journey.
What skill have you learnt in your past career that you think will be an asset representing Civil Contractors NZ?
I have extensive advocacy experience, working with government ministers and officials; I understand the privileged position that membership organisations hold and the importance of demonstrating value to members and delivering on their expectations; I am experienced in dealing with the media and offer a confident voice for the sector; I bring experience in overseeing industry training and education as well as dealing with labour issues.
The apple and pear industry and civil construction have both faced significant shortages of skills and people. Can some of the solutions and strategies developed for the horticulture industry be translated to civil construction? and how would you approach that?
The apple and pear industry, along with the rest of horticulture, has been fortunate to be able to access the Pacific Island Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme. While that scheme is not available outside horticulture, the very good relationships that I have developed with the Minister of Immigration and his officials will be of value as will my exposure to programmes to attract New Zealanders into work and retain and develop them in the industry.
Other than the fact the horticultural and civil contracting industries are both soil-based, have they anything else in common?
Both are critical to New Zealand’s future post-Covid; both have some of the same challenges including access to a reliable labour force, cost escalation, sustainability, and government inconsistency/intransigence; both have a widely varied membership from small to very large organisations
When do you start your new role?
I start on 10 January 2022.