Stephen Lee is our Chief Executive Officer. Stephen is a graduate from Canterbury University (B. Comm) and the University of Queensland. He has extensive multi-disciplined business experiences in accounting, marketing, international trade (with NZTE), and management consultancy – both in New Zealand and overseas (Canada, UK, India, Fiji, Thailand, and Australia). Stephen has served in New Zealand Trade Commissioner roles in Thailand, Malaysia, and Fiji. Prior to joining Mānuka Farming NZ Ltd., Stephen was with the Bank of New Zealand where he served in a consultancy for the development of the Bank towards being a ‘world class’ company. Stephen is also a Director of Whanganui & Partners, the economic development agency for the Whanganui region; and was formerly chairman of the Shepherd’s Arms Foundation – a charitable trust operating children’s homes in the Philippines.
Stephen is married with three tamariki (and proud dad of a NZ powerlifting champion) and lives in Whanganui in an extended family set-up. Stephen has a passion about developing his tropical garden and in Mānuka Farming NZ Ltd being a company that operates at world class best practice levels.
Rob Tiopira is our National Plantation Establishment Manager. Rob brings extensive relevant experience to Mānuka Farming NZ Ltd., having most recently held the position of Chief Executive Officer with Te Manawa o Tuhoe, prior to that Chair and Director of the Tuhoe Fisheries Asset Holding Company, and holds a directorship position with Miro Limited NZ’s largest collective of Maori entities, also a founder of the new Geothermal Dairy Factory currently under construction in Kawerau this is a second large collective of Maori. Rob has a vast background and experience in all aspects of Forestry and Management. Rob has and is well known for his passion for assisting Maori business growth, mentoring others where possible, working with tangata whenua for the betterment of nga mokopuna, nga tamariki katoa.
Rob is married with two tamariki and three mokopuna. Rob enjoys watching sport from the side-line (all sport but mainly his mokos!). He is also a keen horseman and hunter enjoying the bounties of the whenua whenever the opportunity arrives. Rob resides in the Bay of Plenty (Owhakatoro), and alternates between Rotorua and Ruatoki).
Bronwyn Douglas is our Client Relationship Manager, and also the Programme Manager for the High Performance Manuka Primary Growth Partnership (until Sept 30, 2018 when the Programme officially closes).
Bronwyn has a Diploma in Business Management from Perth Technical College, is a qualified Prince 2 Practitioner and has over 8 years of project management experience with research projects within the forestry industry. Bronwyn’s previously held several roles at Scion, New Zealand Forest Research Institute where her interest in trees was born.Bronwyn lives with her husband in Rotorua, and is a keen angler with a key interest in walking our beaches and forests. She has a passion to be a part of the solutions to better environmental practices for land and water in this country.
Maggie Olsen is our Plantation & Apiary Performance Manager, and has since August 2016, been the chief mānuka research technician with Massey University for the High Performance Manuka Primary Growth Partnership. Maggie would conducts all the desk top assessments, works with Rob in conducting site assessments, develops the plantation plans (which includes the recommendations on which cultivars to grow where, the placement of proposed apiary sites), monitors the plantation after its establishment, and provides the technical advice on honey commercialisation options.
Maggie has a Master of Science in Ecology from the University of Canterbury, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).
Maggie moved to New Zealand in 2013, initially to Christchurch and now resides in Palmerston North. Maggie has an interest in the outdoors and has dreamed in her university days about being involved in a new agriculture industry. Plantation Mānuka provides Maggie with the opportunity to realise this dream!