Leaders from New Zealand’s co-operative sector met in Christchurch in August for the annual general meeting of Cooperative Business New Zealand. The event was an opportunity to celebrate the success of some of the nation’s oldest co-operatives.
Three co-ops were recognised for their success and longevity. A chain of home improvement stores established in 1974, Mitre 10 has become the country’s largest home improvement and garden retailer. It employs 3,000 worker owners. Another co-op that received the accolade, Accuro Insurance has been providing health insurance cover and personal cover for its members for over 40 years. The third award went to Kerikeri Irrigation, an irrigation scheme built by the Ministry of Works in 1982. The scheme purchased the land under the reservoirs at a later date. It now has how over 360 members and 1,400 water connections.
Speaking at the AGM, Cooperative Business NZ chief executive, Ian Macintosh, highlighted the achievements of the nation’s co-operative movement. Last year the United Nations named New Zealand as the world’s most co-operative economy in a survey covering 145 countries.
“Cooperative Business speaks for the many co-ops, large and small, which contribute so much to this nation’s economy and attract international respect. Co-ops continue to prove they are modern businesses, efficient and competitive in a fast-paced market across many sectors,” Mr Macintosh said.
“Just as Mitre 10 is a symbol of our DIY culture, co-operatives are at the heart of our nation’s DNA. We are better together, active in our local communities and driving our national economy.”
Two new members were also elected on the board: Karen Kenny from Rabobank, Wellington and Murray Jagger from Livestock Improvement Corporation in Hamilton. The board, which is chaired by Jonathan Lee from Co-op Money NZ in Aukland, also includes the re-elected Christine Burr from Fonterra in Auckland; David Shaw of Silver Fern Farms’ representative in Balclutha; Kim DeGarnham from Foodstuffs South Island, Christchurch and Blue Read, an independent director from Hurunui.
Mr Lee said that many of the country’s largest commercial organisations were co-operatives, including Foodstuffs and Fonterra, both 100% Kiwi-owned and operating under co-operative structures. This is a testament to the co-operative business model, he said.
In this article
- Christine Burr
- co-operative business model
- Cooperative Business New Zealand
- Cooperative Business NZ
- David Shaw
- Ian Macintosh
- Jonathan Lee
- Karen Kenny
- Kim DeGarnham
- Murray Jagger
- New Zealand
- South Island
- Wellington Jagger
- New Zealand
- North America
- Top Stories