About Natural Health Products NZ

Mission Statement

The collective voice of the natural health products industry of New Zealand

Vision Statement

Natural Health Products New Zealand represents an innovative and collaborative industry that is trusted worldwide as a leading provider of natural health products.

The Voice of New Zealand Industry

Natural Health Products NZ (formerly Natural Products NZ) is a national industry organisation representing the natural products, functional foods, complementary medicines, cosmeceuticals, and nutraceuticals industries.

We were established in 2002 by industry and with support of the New Zealand Government’s business and export development agency, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise.  Our mandate is as follows:

  • Maximise the industry’s competitive advantage by building upon its significant and growing contribution to New Zealand’s economy
  • Increase New Zealand’s international profile, enhance its reputation as a source of high quality natural products and represent the industry at international trade fairs and conferences
  • Facilitate the growth and development of a vibrant, collaborative and innovative industry
  • Provide a cohesive and consistent national voice for the New Zealand industry, representing members at all levels including communications with government, media, industry commentators and related professional bodies
  • Advocate for workable regulation
  • Promote natural health products’ recognised complementary role in health management and support
  • Ensure the industry maintains high product quality, safety and efficacy standards

The New Zealand Natural Products Industry

New Zealand’s historical focus on agriculture and food production, its natural environment, and wealth of unique resources have combined to create a lucrative and growing natural health and nutraceuticals sector.

From harnessing the antibacterial properties of manuka honey, to research and development that has identified a non-calorific natural sweetener, the country has a long track record of identifying and utilising the medicinal and nutritional uses of natural products.

Exports include mussel extract powder, plant and marine oils, kiwifruit-based specialised ingredients, berry fruit powders and concentrates, natural honey products, deer velvet, skincare, botanical and dairy products.

New Zealand’s natural products industry is worth NZ$1.4 billion annually and growing, with major markets already established in Asia and North America, and a developing presence in Europe. Stringent processing and food export regulations, and a commitment to maintaining New Zealand’s world leading animal health status, underpin the expanding sector.

Natural Health Products NZ People

Alison QuesnelALISON QUESNEL
CORPORATE AFFAIRS DIRECTOR

Natural Health Products NZ

Alison has been involved with Natural Health Products NZ since 2009, as a Board member, Executive Director and, since early 2017, as Corporate Affairs Director.

Before joining Natural Health Products NZ she held various roles during a 12-year tenure with natural healthcare company, Blackmores.  She has also worked in the health supplements, food manufacturing and business service industries.

As Natural Health Products NZ’s Executive Director, Alison was responsible for supporting the sector to further grow its contribution to New Zealand’s economy. The organisation’s membership and reach increased significantly under her direction.

Alison has held several government advisory roles, including the Ministry of Health’s Interim Technical Expert Advisory Committee for the Natural Health Products Bill, being a Crown appointee on the Small Business Advisory Group operated by Ministry of Economic Development and a Crown appointee to the Food & Beverage Taskforce.

In 2017 Alison took on her current role within Natural Health Products NZ in order to focus more fully on assisting the natural health products sector to achieve important regulatory and public affairs goals, particularly in relation to the Natural Health Products Bill.

KERRY WARN
GENERAL MANGER

Natural Health Products NZ

Kerry is responsible for managing the organisation’s day-to-day operations and member support activities including the annual Summit, annual industry Awards, Natural Health Products NZ Suppliers Days and member communications. She was promoted to the General Manager role in early 2017 after having been the organisation’s Business Manager.

Before joining Natural Health Products NZ in 2013, Kerry previously enjoyed a 15-year career in the advertising industry, working in large multinational agencies in Auckland and London.

RON GEIGER
Natural Health Products NZ CHAIR
DIRECTOR ALARON PRODUCTS LTD

Ron has been Natural Health Products NZ’s Chair since the organisation’s inception and continues to participate on a number of governmental consultative committees in Australia and New Zealand.

After immigrating to New Zealand and settling in Nelson in 1995, Ron became Business Development Manager for Tasman Milk Products Ltd. The role included business development for Tasman Extracts and Silberhorn International, subsidiaries that focussed on developing complementary medicines and functional food ingredients.

Since 1998, Ron has been Managing Director of Alaron Products. Under his leadership Alaron has become New Zealand’s leading independent GMP certified, NZMPI and NZACVM licensed, Organic and ISO certified contract manufacturer of natural health, functional food and personal care products. Alaron is also a member of the CTFA.

His services to the sector were acknowledged with an “Outstanding Contribution to the New Zealand Natural Products Industry” award in 2009.

ROSS KEELEY
DIRECTOR
MERINOVA LTD

Ross is a director of Merinova, which focuses on the natural products sector and trades in dairy products and ingredients for the dietary supplements and cosmetic sectors.

Ross is also a director of a listed company that is active in the food and natural products sector, as well as providing consultancy services in the discipline of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

Previously a director and CEO of SeaDragon, Ross had extensive primary sector experience including senior roles at Tegel Foods, Ngai Tahu Fisheries and high-value deer products exporter BioProducts.

In addition having been a Natural Health Products NZ Board member since 2004, Ross was also an inaugural steering committee member of the Canterbury Nelson Nutraceutical Cluster in 2002. His contribution to the sector was recognised with an “Outstanding Contribution to the New Zealand Natural Products Industry” award in 2011.

LEIGH KITE
GENERAL MANAGER
ARTEMIS

Leigh is a highly experienced senior manager and marketing professional who has been a passionate contributor to the natural products industry since 2001.

Her career began in the Japanese and New Zealand cosmetics industries before moving to Healtheries in 2000 and then to API as Business Manager, Consumer Division (including Blackmores).

After joining Comvita in 2005 Leigh combined her natural and beauty products expertise to launch a natural skincare range. Until 2014 she held the position of General Manager Personal Care at Comvita. In January 2015 she took on the role of General Manager for Artemis.

Leigh is a strong natural products advocate on the international stage and has spoken at several major conferences in Asia. She is a past President of the CTFA, serving two terms and has been a member of the Natural Health Products NZ Board since 2012.

PETER LEHRKE
DIRECTOR
PHARMACEUTICAL TECHNOLOGIES

As a biochemist and nutritionist Peter has extensive technical, R&D and general management experience in the foods, pharmaceuticals, supplements and cosmetics industries, bringing more than 30 years of industry experience to the Board.

His career began at Glaxo Pharmaceuticals where he developed generic medicines and then managed the tablet manufacturing department. From there Peter moved to animal health formulation development for Nufarm (now Agenta), and then to Douglas Pharmaceuticals. It was here that Peter led the design and project team for a $9 million pharmaceutical facility in Fiji, which he commissioned, obtained GMP certification and established the operations for.

After returning to New Zealand Peter set up technical consulting company Pharmatech. Clients range from large exporters, to smaller companies in the natural health and cosmetic industry that need technical advice.

Peter has been on the Natural Health Products NZ Board since 2003.

LORRAINE MOSER
STRATEGIC INNOVATION MANAGER
VITACO HEALTH LTD

Nearly two decades in the natural health industry has given Lorraine a wealth of knowledge, experience and contacts in the New Zealand, Australian and export markets.

Lorraine originally began her natural products career with Nutra-Life Health as Marketing and Sales Manager. During this time she played an active role in Australia and New Zealand’s natural health industry and retail trade including being a member of the Complimentary Healthcare Council (CHC) of Australia and the Self Medication Industry Association. In more recent years she been Vitaco’s Innovation Manager for supplements, sports and food.

Lorraine is passionate about the natural health industry and uses her Natural Health Products NZ Board role to work with others in a capacity that will make a difference and ultimately help tackle the challenges and opportunities that face the industry.

FIONA MURRAY
CUSTOMER MANAGER
NEW ZEALAND TRADE AND ENTERPRISE

Fiona has served on the Natural Health Products NZ Board since its inception in 2002 and was instrumental in forming this organisation.

She has worked at New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) for many years and since 2001 has been the natural products industry’s main point of contact at NZTE, helping a number of local companies to grow their international networks and markets.

NZTE is New Zealand’s international business development agency. Its role is to make a difference for New Zealand by helping businesses grow bigger, better, faster in international markets. Its strategy supports the Government’s Business Growth Agenda, which creates conditions that encourage successful businesses to grow globally.

Fiona works closely with Alison Quesnel to ensure the industry is across all NZTE marketing activities and programmes that are relevant to the sector and its participants.

MINESH PATEL
MANAGING DIRECTOR
NEW ZEALAND HEALTH MANUFACTURING LTD

Minesh had 15 years’ experience in large pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies before immigrating to New Zealand. He joined GMP Pharmaceuticals in January 2004 when GMP Pharmaceuticals was just starting up and, under his leadership, GMP Pharmaceuticals became the largest contract manufacturer in New Zealand and won many prestigious awards.

In 2014, Minesh co-founded New Zealand Health Manufacturing Ltd, a GMP certified manufacturer of natural health products.

Minesh has helped many New Zealand and overseas customers to succeed in their natural product business and has focused on assisting others in the growth of the New Zealand natural products industry.

PHIL RASMUSSEN
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
PHYTOMED MEDICINAL HERBS LTD

Phil founded Phytomed Medicinal Herbs, which manufactures practitioner-only herbal products as well as the Kiwiherb® range of OTC herbal products. He is also an experienced phytotherapist and has practiced at a clinic in Auckland for 22 years.

Before pursuing herbal medicine he worked for more than 10 years as a pharmacist.

Over the years, Phil has lectured at natural medicine colleges and universities, written extensively on herbal subjects for practitioner and consumer publications, and presented at conferences in New Zealand, Australia and the UK. He is the former Deputy Chair of the Interim Expert Advisory Committee on Complementary & Alternative Medicines (IEACCAM), established by the New Zealand and Australian governments, and in 2016 was appointed Chair of the Interim Technical Expert Advisory Committee on Natural Health Products – Permitted Substances List (PSL) Subcommittee, established by the NZ Ministry of Health.

As the founder of a relatively small but fast growing GMP certified company, Phil feels strongly about the need to represent the interests of small to medium sized businesses, on the Natural Health Products NZ board.

DR AMANDA WIGGINS
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
FOREST HERBS RESEARCH LTD

Before becoming involved in the natural products sector in 2014, Amanda held a number of research, commercialisation, innovation policy and regulatory affairs roles including Science Commercialisation Manager at Wellington’s Business Incubator, Creative HQ. There she was responsible for commercialising research from research organisations in the Wellington region.

Amanda has also held a number of senior advisory roles in Government and was instrumental in shaping legislation and regulations that are key to the bioscience sector. This included being an advising the Health Select Committee during its inquiry into New Zealand’s clinical trials industry. She holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne, and spent four years conducting neuroscience research in San Francisco.

 

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