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 International Plant 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

Andrew McConnell
National Operations & Compliance Officer

Andrew joined KVH in March 2022 as National Operations & Compliance Officer, and brings with him a wealth of experience in biosecurity, pest management, and risk management.

He has worked in roles across the private sector, central, and local government, most recently as Senior Biosecurity Officer at Waikato Regional Council, where he ran large pest animal control and eradication projects.

Prior to that, while at the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Andrew was a Quarantine Officer in Auckland. He worked across the cargo, airfreight, mail, and passenger pathways inspecting goods entering New Zealand for biosecurity risk. He also held the role of Movement Control Manager for Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) incursions, managing the movement of risk goods into and out of Controlled Areas.

Andrew is no stranger to the kiwifruit industry – he once worked at Aongatete Coolstores in production and technical roles, specifically running their KiwiGreen and Psa programmes.

Having recently returned home to Mount Maunganui, Andrew's new role at KVH primarily focuses on collaborating with regional councils and landowners on the national wild kiwifruit control programme, managing the movement of risk material throughout the country, and managing compliance in relation to the National Pest Management Plan and new Pathway Management Plan.

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).

Kerry O'Neil
Monitoring & Compliance Advisor

Kerry O’Neil joined the KVH team in December 2021, working in the areas of surveillance and compliance. Her role focuses on working with stakeholders to improve biosecurity practices, including organising various monitoring programmes, developing and maintaining KVH protocols, and ensuring compliance standards are met to reduce biosecurity risk. This includes an audit function across pack-houses, kiwifruit processors, budwood suppliers and pollen mills.

Kerry also assists nurseries wanting to join the Kiwifruit Plant Certification Scheme (KPCS) in producing their manuals, and organising associated sampling, testing and external auditing.

Joining KVH from the Tauranga City Council, Kerry has a wealth of experience within regulation and compliance, specifically with food and health registrations and alcohol licensing. She has had a particular focus on working closely with business owners and stakeholders to understand, monitor and reach compliance under relevant legislation.

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
Principal Advisor, Communications

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

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.

Nicole Brown
Administrative Coordinator

Nicole joined KVH in February 2022 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, Nicole worked in the grocery industry, most recently as an Assistant Manager. She is particularly interested in further developing her leadership skills through her work at KVH championing biosecurity within both the kiwifruit industry and wider primary-producing sector.