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New leader for wine industry

Last updated 16:40 29/10/2012

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Steve Green, the proprietor of Central Otago winery Carrick, has been named as the new chair of New Zealand Winegrowers.

He succeeds Stuart Smith, of Fairhall Downs Estate, in Marlborough, who stepped down after six years in the role.

Gisborne grapegrower John Clarke is the new deputy chairman. 

New Zealand Winegrowers is the national organisation for the country's 1500 grape growers and winemakers. 

Mr Green has been involved in the Central Otago grape and wine industry since 1994. He has previously served as chairman of Central Otago Winegrowers and has been on the New Zealand Winegrowers board since 2005, serving for the past three years as deputy chair. 

Mr Clarke has more than 30 years' experience in the grape and wine industry. A former Gisborne mayor, he has previously served for 10 years as the chairman of Gisborne Winegrowers and joined the New Zealand Winegrowers board in 2006. 

Mr Green said his appointment was an honour. He was succeeding ''a tireless advocate for the industry'' who was held in wide respect by all stakeholders. 

''Stuart has left the Board and New Zealand Winegrowers in a very strong position," he said. 

He was looking forward to working with Mr Clarke and other leaders to further the interests of the industry. 

''The 2011 strategic review of the sector has provided a sound base from which to work and our focus is on delivering the outcomes agreed in response to the review," he said. 

Mr Green said he was optimistic about the future for New Zealand wine. 

"The sector has been through tough times in the last few years, but we are definitely seeing signs of improvement,'' he said. 

A key factor was for parts of the industry, growers, regions and wineries to continue to work together through New Zealand Winegrowers in the interests of the New Zealand wine category and the sector as a whole, he said. 

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- The Marlborough Express

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