KVH Team

Leanne Stewart
Chief Executive

Leanne joined the KVH team in May 2021, relocating to Tauranga from Wellington.

Prior to taking up the KVH role, Leanne was Deputy Chief Executive at Horticulture NZ and General Manager Process Vegetables New Zealand. Leanne has had previous roles in the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) working in the import regulatory space and the Internatonal Plan Protection Convention in Rome.

Leanne is experienced in management of biosecurity risks, having worked in plant health government, international, and industry organisations. She has held responsibility for biosecurity, food safety, and regulatory portfolios, and has very strong relationships with MPI and other industry groups.

Matt Dyck
Biosecurity Manager

Matt’s focus since joining KVH in 2013, has been reducing the likelihood and impact of another biosecurity incursion to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, initially as our Biosecurity Analyst and more recently as Biosecurity Manager. In this role Matt has developed technical knowledge and international networks to ensure that we are aware of emerging threats to our industry. Readiness and response activities are done in partnership with MPI, and where knowledge gaps exist Matt works closely with the Zespri Innovation team to drive research through their biosecurity portfolio.

Matt has also had strong technical involvement in national projects for both fruit fly and the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). In this role, Matt was part of the New Zealand contingent that travelled to Santiago to help the Chilean Government with their response efforts against BMSB, enhancing international relationships but also testing our own response plan should we also be faced with an incursion of this high-risk pest.

Before working for the kiwifruit industry Matt studied as a marine scientist working as an Environmental Manager for a large finfish aquaculture project in Malaysia, and Project Manager for a selective breeding project in Singapore.

Erin Lane
Biosecurity Advisor

Erin joined KVH in February 2019, joining the team from MPI where she spent time as a Quarantine Officer in Auckland before moving to Wellington and working in head office on regulation and developing response and readiness plans.

Erin’s primary role at KVH is working with both growers and the wider kiwifruit industry to bring awareness to biosecurity threats and support the industry to manage any biosecurity risks, should they arise. Threats like one of the biggest to kiwifruit, BMSB, which Erin has been working on with the Japanese vehicle and machinery industry – mostly on their vehicle supply chains, to ensure they are biosecurity robust and that vehicles and machines arriving in New Zealand are BMSB free. This involved spending six weeks working out of the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo, travelling all over Japan to meet with new vehicle and machinery manufacturers, inspecting factories, storage facilities and ports to assess the risk and offer ways in which they can manage it.

She also reviews the most unwanted threat list for the kiwifruit industry where she draws on her knowledge and experience of import pathways and treatments

Yanika Reiter
Biosecurity Advisor

Yanika joined KVH in September 2021 as maternity leave cover for Erin Lane, and her role is primarily focused on scanning offshore for new and emerging risks and identifying actions to be undertaken in partnership with other stakeholders so that we are prepared should these threats arrive on our shores.

Yanika comes to KVH from the University of Waikato where she held the role of Biosecurity Technical Officer. She has a passion for native species and the preservation of our unique biodiversity. Yanika is a qualified Marine Ecologist and was a finalist for the Emerging Leader Award at the New Zealand Biosecurity Awards 2020. She was nominated by The University of Waikato and the Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital (TMBC) programme, of which KVH is a key member.

John Mather
Operations & Compliance Officer

John joined the KVH team in May 2013 as National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) Analyst and Compliance Officer. He plays a key role in implementing the plan, including all aspects of compliance.

He is an Authorised Person under the Biosecurity Act and issues permissions for requested movements of risk items including kiwifruit plant material used for (non-Psa) research, and machinery movements where KVH authorisation is required.

John also has an overall management role, working with Regional Councils and landowners, to ensure that wild kiwifruit infestations are detected and destroyed.

Linda Peacock
Industry Liaison & Technical Specialist

Linda has been with KVH since 2011 and has worked with growers and technical teams from all growing regions, helping build knowledge around best practice management of Psa.

She is a member of the Psa steering group and also the Zespri crop protection steering group, with input into research projects and facilitation and implementation of results.

More recently, her role has had increased focus on biosecurity and now includes co-ordination of KiwiNet representatives from across the post-harvest sector. Meeting and sharing knowledge with a wide range of great people across the industry remains the best part of her job.

Linda has been involved in the kiwifruit industry for 30 years, in both growing and post-harvest roles, and prior to joining KVH was technical manager at Direct Management Services (DMS).

Karyn Lowry
Monitoring & Investigation Advisor

Karyn Lowry joined the KVH team in January 2011 to assist with supervising sampling and monitoring teams in Te Puke during the initial Psa response.

Karyn is now the longest serving member of the team, working in the areas of surveillance and compliance. Her role has included organising various monitoring programmes associated with Psa, developing and maintaining KVH protocols and ensuring post-harvest compliance standards are met. This includes an audit function across pack-houses, kiwifruit processors, budwood suppliers and pollen mills.

Since the inception of the Kiwifruit Plant Certification Scheme (KPCS) in 2014 she has been involved in assisting nurseries wanting to join the scheme in producing their manuals, and organising associated sampling, testing and external auditing.

Jacqui Craig
Industry Relationships, Office Manager & Company Secretary

Jacqui is the Office and Human Resources Manager at KVH. She provides support to the Chief Executive, manages daily staff and operational requirements, and the maintenance of all administration functions.

Jacqui also provides office management and accounts support for NZKGI.

Lisa Gibbison
Communications Advisor

Lisa joined KVH in March 2017 as Communications Advisor and manages the ways the organisation engages with growers, post-harvest facilities, the public, and key partners within the industry.

Lisa has a strong communications background within government and the public sector in Wellington, including being part of the MPI biosecurity communications team when the Psa outbreak first occurred.

Monique Finlay
Systems Coordinator

Monique joined KVH in June 2018 as Administrative Coordinator and has since moved into the role of Systems Coordinator where she provides data and mapping support to the team. She is also responsible for creating new tools and systems for KVH that are practical and efficient, and can be used to provide online services to growers.

Before joining KVH, Monique provided support to the Market Supply team at Zespri. She has also spent time working in the health sector, most recently managing systems, admin and accounting activities within a private medical practice.

Georgia Monks
Administrative Coordinator

Georgia joined KVH in May 2021 and provides administrative support to the Chief Executive and team. She is the first point of contact for all enquiries and also provides administration support for NZKGI.

Before joining KVH, Georgia was studying at the University of Auckland, where she completed her Bachelor of Science, majoring in Chemistry. She also has an extensive background in the hospitality industry, where she has been responsible for organising all aspects of functions for large groups - skills she looks forward to using in her new role supporting and hosting grower industry events.