Green growth initiative announced

  • Bill English
  • Gerry Brownlee
  • Nick Smith
Economic Development Environment Finance

Finance Minister Bill English, Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee and Environment Minister Nick Smith today announced the establishment of an Advisory Group on Green Growth in enabling New Zealand to grow the economy while enhancing our clean, green brand.

“This new initiative is another part of the Government's plan to build a faster growing economy," Mr English said, announcing the advisory group at the National Party’s Bluegreens forum in Akaroa. 

"We are keen to help businesses – particularly our export industries - leverage New Zealand's clean, green brand, explore and develop new clean technology and move towards a lower carbon-economy.” 

Mr Brownlee and Dr Smith said it was important the Government received the best advice on green growth initiatives and that is why an advisory group had been established.

“This group will look at how we add value to our export industry, ensure smarter uses of technology and innovation – including cleantech – and assist small and medium-sized businesses to become more energy efficient,” Mr Brownlee said.

Dr Smith said: “The concepts of green growth, green jobs and cleantech are attracting international attention with the work of the OECD and the United Nations. This is about New Zealand applying some of our best private sector minds to how we ensure we take up these green growth opportunities to support the Government’s broader economic growth strategy.”

The eight-strong Advisory Group will be chaired by Business New Zealand Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly and includes entrepreneur Melissa Clark-Reynolds, professional director and conservationist Whaimutu Dewes, ZESPRI Chief Executive Lain Jager, businessman Neville Jordan, former Landcare Research Chief Executive Dr Andrew Pearce, Ecologic Foundation Executive Director Guy Salmon, and winemaker and businessman Peter Yealands.

The terms of reference focuses on how Government agencies can help exporters leverage greater value from New Zealand’s clean, green brand, how we can assist the growth of clean technologies, and how we can assist small and medium-size businesses move to a low-carbon economy.

“We have a wide Government programme of initiatives underway on home insulation, pricing carbon emissions, supporting waste reduction and recycling, improving water management and facilitating more renewable energy,” Dr Smith said. “This new advisory group is complementary to this programme in looking specifically at how we leverage stronger and new businesses from the environmental challenges facing New Zealand and the world.”


The advisory group will meet regularly this year reporting to the Ministers of Economic Development and the Environment with a final report expected by the end of the year. 

Biographies of Advisory Group members

Phil O’Reilly (Chair)

Phil O’Reilly is the Chief Executive of Business NZ. He chairs the Government's Capitalising on Research & Development Action Group, the Redundancy and Employment Transition Advisory Group; is Joint Chair of the NZ Workplace Health & Safety Council; and is a board member of the Foundation for Research, Science & Technology and the Royal Society of NZ. Mr O’Reilly also serves on a number of other Ministerial and advisory groups.

Melissa Clark-Reynolds

Melissa Clark-Reynolds is an international professional speaker on business, entrepreneurship and technology. Since 2004, Ms Clark-Reynolds has taught courses for technology companies, specialising in scaling and growth issues. She also has a string of entrepreneurial successes, including the establishment and eventual sale of Fusion to Southern Cross Healthcare.

Whaimutu Dewes

Whaimutu Dewes is an independent director on the Contact Energy Board (since February 2010). He has held numerous directorships in organisations including Television New Zealand and the AMP New Zealand Advisory Board. He was Deputy Chair of Sealord Group (1992 to 2008) and has held senior management roles at Fletcher Challenge. Mr Dewes served 10 years on the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission. Mr Dewes is of Ngati Porou and Ngati Rangitihi descent.

Neville Jordan

Neville Jordan was formerly the Chair of the CRI taskforce. Mr Jordan served six years on the board of AgResearch, and three years each on the boards of the Foundation of Research Science & Technology as well as the Prime Minister’s Growth and Innovation Advisory Board.

In 1997 he received the Governor General's Supreme award for Exporting and was invested in 1999 as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Mr Jordan was inducted into the NZ Hi Tech Hall of Fame in 2004 and recently into the NZ Business Hall of Fame. In early 2006, he was appointed President of the Royal Society of New Zealand.


Andrew Pearce is Chair of the Regional Committee to give effect to the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. 

During his career, he has been involved with a diverse range of public and private-sector organisations and brings broad governance and management experience. His experience has included roles in the infrastructure sector, banking, publicly-listed companies, research and development organisations, as well as the not-for-profit sector. 

Dr Pearce was founding Chief Executive Officer of Landcare Research in 1992 and sits on a number of boards including the Bank of New Zealand, Christchurch City Holdings, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, and Terranova Charitable Trust.

Lain Jager

Lain Jager has been the Chief Executive of ZESPRI since December 2008. Previous roles with the company included Human Resources, Grower Relations, Innovation and Corporate Strategy.

Prior to joining ZESPRI, Lain worked for Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Fletcher Challenge in a variety of Human Resources and Operations Management roles. Lain has a Masters degree in Psychology, Philosophy and English from the University of Waikato.

Guy Salmon

Guy Salmon is Executive Director of the Ecologic Foundation, an environmental consultancy. As a member of policy task forces for successive governments, he contributed to the reform of the government’s environmental administration system, the development of the Resource Management Act, and the development of policies on forestry, climate change, electricity markets, land transport and overseas aid.

He has worked closely with business on environmental projects especially in the fishing, agri-food and waste management industries. He has also served on the boards of Landcare Research and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, and is a Trustee of the Cawthron Institute. 

Peter Yealands

Peter Yealands is the founder of Yealands Estate which has achieved rapid growth in the international market, exporting to over 20 countries in less than two year. He is described as a hard-working, entrepreneurial risk taker. After success in the building and aquaculture industries, followed by deer farming, Mr Yealands then got involved in the wine industry and runs Yealands Estate with a strong sustainability ethos.