Tim Mackle is stepping down as DairyNZ chief executive in June after 15 years in the role.
Mackle said he felt extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to lead and help develop DairyNZ from the levy body’s formation in 2007-2008 to today.
“After a lot of thought and discussion with family, I have decided to step down at the end of June, which will allow the board time to have a smooth transition and to recruit my successor,” he said.
“I am proud to have had the opportunity to lead DairyNZ over this period. The dynamism and constant challenge and change in our sector has made it an exciting and purposeful role.”
Mackle said he is also hugely proud of the role that New Zealand dairy has played as a food as well as supporting NZ through tough times, with dairy exports proving vital through the 2008/09 global recession and recently through the challenge of covid-19.
“Another highlight for me would be the tremendous progress that farmers have made around sustainability practices, particularly over the last 10-15 years,” he said.
“There’s always going to be a need to keep doing better on farms, but it’s important we do acknowledge the progress made by our farmers and sector as a whole.”
DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel said Mackle has always been hugely passionate about helping dairy farmers navigate challenges they have faced and continue to face.
“We’re fortunate to have had Tim at DairyNZ through many challenging periods. Tim has played a key role in developing the R&D programme and the development of our science-based policy and advocacy function. He has been a strong leader and advocate for dairy,” Van der Poel said.
“Tim is a values-driven leader and has built strong relationships with all those he has engaged with.
“I also wish to acknowledge Tim’s leadership and contribution to the wider dairy and primary sectors, through his influence on various boards, steering groups, and committees.”
Van der Poel said Mackle has been a strong, passionate chief executive who built a strong people culture at DairyNZ, with a highly engaged, capable and purpose-driven team.
“That puts us at DairyNZ in a great position to continue to deliver more for farmers and New Zealand.”
Federated Farmers president Andrew Hoggard said Mackle led DairyNZ through a period of immense industry growth during which the sector became NZ’s biggest export earner and a vital industry.
“DairyNZ, under Tim’s leadership, has supported farmers to improve environmental performance and adjust to increasing regulatory compliance,” Hoggard said.
“Tim has always been a pleasure to work with, he is well liked and well respected for his collaborative and positive approach to work.”
Mackle thanked DairyNZ’s staff, its supportive and committed board partners and farmers.
“I am deeply passionate about farming, it’s in my blood, it always will be. I am lucky to have been able to work for farmers. Last but not least, my family deserve a special mention, and I owe a great deal to them in supporting me.”
The DairyNZ board will begin the recruitment process shortly for a new chief executive.