Monday, February 26, 2024

Kingi Smiler steps down as Miraka chair

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His dozen years in the role is maximum term allowed.
Kingi Smiler has retired from the Miraka board as founding chair after he served the maximum term under the company’s constitution. CONDITIONS of USE: FREE for editorial use in direct relation the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition. ie. not to be used for general stories about the finalist or farming. NO archiving of images. NO commercial use. Please contact if you have any questions
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Kingi Smiler has stepped down as Miraka chairman after 12 years in the role.

The founding chair of the dairy company based just north of Taupō retired from the role along with fellow founding directors Maxwell Parkin and Mai Kieu Lien at its recent annual meeting.

The three directors had served the maximum term under the company’s constitution.

Smiler was the driving force behind the establishment of Miraka as the chair of Wairarapa Moana, who are cornerstone shareholders in the business.

Under his leadership and with the support of the board, Miraka was established in 2010, and has grown to become a global player exporting products to more than 25 countries.

Miraka chief executive Karl Gradon said: “We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Kingi Smiler, Maxwell Parkin and Mai Kieu Lien and wish them continued success for their future endeavours. 

“Looking ahead to the future, we’re also delighted to welcome our new leaders to the board. They are Te Horipo Karaitiana and Truc Le Quang Thanh, who are the appointees of Wairarapa Moana and Vinamilk of Vietnam respectively. Nigel Atherfold was also appointed an independent director. 

“To have such a wealth of experience in agri-business joining the board is a great asset for the Miraka whānau.”

The new directors join Bruce Scott and Debbie Birch, who remain on the board following their appointments in December 2022 and March 2023 respectively.

Scott was elected chair at the new board’s first meeting, which followed the AGM.

Miraka is the first dairy processor in the world to be powered by renewable geothermal energy, making it a low-carbon leader globally.

Gradon said this commitment to environmental responsibility aligns with Te Ao Māori value of kaitiakitanga to not only produce high-quality products, but to do so in an environmentally responsible manner.

“Miraka is proud to be one of New Zealand’s largest Māori export businesses, with exports of $300 million. The founding directors will be remembered as instrumental in the success and growth of the company,” Gradon said.

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