Orchard Managers

Regional Manager | Te Matau-a-Māui

Richard is responsible for managing the orchard investments in the Hawkes Bay, with a focus on kiwifruit production and new apple developments. He has extensive experience in the horticulture sector including orchard management, delivery of consultancy services, and the development of industry extension programmes. 

His key responsibilities include leadership and management of staff, management of operating budgets, development of operating systems, improving productivity, and measuring performance. Richard has strong communication skills, a can-do approach to problem-solving, and a genuine passion for continuous improvement. 

Richard believes New Zealand’s horticulture sector has the potential to lead the world in adopting more sustainable production techniques and is excited by the opportunity to increase value delivered at a social, environmental and commercial level. Richard is striving to achieve sustainable, on-going improvement in orchard productivity and fruit quality that delivers industry-leading orchard-gate returns. 

He believes that every employee should have the opportunity to further develop themselves and enjoys coming to work each day.

Apple Manager | Te Matau-a-Māui

Liam is our apple connoisseur and has been with Ngāi Tukairangi since April 2022. As the apple manager, Liam oversees fifty-four hectares across three separate orchards and has undertaken the Trust’s largest new development to date to create our Tukituki Orchard.

As someone only in their late 20s with 13 years of orchard experience under their belt, Liam is the embodiment of a fourth-generation grower. His family has a history of growing apples in Pākōwhai that dates back to 1927, which shines through in both Liam’s approach, expertise, and passion in the apple space.

He takes pride in his communication skills to ensure all who stride onto the orchards become part of a well-supported team and is motivated by creating better and brighter opportunities for new and growing staff. Liam ensures his staff take just as much pride in their work as he does and takes the Ngāi Tukairangi Trust values very seriously.

In particular, whanaungatanga is incredibly important to him, ensuring that all cultures and backgrounds are celebrated on and off the orchard. Liam’s work brings innovation to our orchards. Since his onboarding, he has led the way in introducing more eco-friendly technologies, structures, and practices to the workplace. This includes how kaitiakitanga applies to the freshwater ways and kaitiaki species living on the orchard whenua.

Regional Manager | Te Moana-a-Toi

Brandon became the Regional Manager for our Bay of Plenty orchards in October 2023.
Though born and raised in Gisborne, Brandon moved to Te Puke at 18 years of age to join the orchard cadetship programme with Seeka Ltd. This experience propelled Brandon into his orchard manager career, whereby his portfolio specialised in managing Māori-owned orchards, thus enhancing his experience across Māori trusts and growers.

Brandon has overseen the development of new orchards, producing orchards, harvest operations, and successive cadets that came through the same programme he started in. Brandon’s commitment to improve both people and production make up his style of management, and his eagerness to learn and experiment, alongside his whakapapa, is what drives his aspirations to do great things for our Ngāi Tukairangi orchards,

Bruce Van Dorp
Orchard Manager| Tūranganui-a-Kiwa

Bruce came on board following the purchase of the Tūranga orchards which were purchased in 2022. However, he has been a long-standing manager of the orchards for over 30 years. Bruce was introduced to the industry at the young age of 12 under the guidance of Bill Thorpe, which later progressed into horticultural apprenticeships in the spaces of kiwifruit, citrus and grapes from the age of 16 years onwards. Later on, Bruce spent 3 years in Waipukurau as foreman at Ascot Orchard growing nectarines, peaches and apples during the mid-1980s. This is where he was also introduced to contract work and the establishment of hundreds of acres of new apple blocks for corporates. Upon returning to Gisborne, Bruce wound up managing a 20ha kiwifruit block in Patutahi before moving to Harper Vineyards in Makauri where he remains today.

Bruce acknowledges that horticulture is evolving all the time, and believes there is a constant need to grow with it, particularly with regard to sustainability and soil health. Bruce sees his role now as helping to upskill the younger generation to get them ready for leadership roles. He is amazed by the horticulture sector and sees the industry as an amazing place to be involved in.

John MacPherson
Orchard Manager | Tūranganui-a-Kiwa

John has been with Ngāi Tukairangi since the acquisition of the Tūranga orchards in 2022, though he has been a manager at the College Road Orchard for decades. John was born into a farming background but also pursued accountancy upon leaving school.

In 1984, he commenced employment with Thorpe Horticulture Ltd, which at the time, was heavily involved in maintaining new orchard developments and all the workings that come with them. In 1987, John started entering into leadership roles in the Gisborne Orchards, which over time, included introducing and maintaining different varieties from kiwifruit, nashi, persimmons, and mandarins.

This later included other citrus fruit such as lemon and oranges too. It is incredibly difficult to summarize 40 years of John’s horticultural experience, though we are very fortunate to have a man with his wealth of knowledge and insights as part of the Ngāi Tukairangi Orchard division.