After deciding the time is right for a new set of challenges, O’Connor will move on from DINZ shortly after the Deer Industry Conference which takes place in late May in Wellington.
“Mark has given the board very early notice of his intention to leave DINZ to provide plenty of time to recruit a new chief executive and to ensure a smooth transition. The Board has appointed a recruitment agency and the process is now underway,” says DINZ chairman Andy Macfarlane.
“I’m departing because I have an opportunity to play a more active role in the management and development of a family business, given the impending retirement of an incumbent,” explains O’Connor. “However, I remain passionate about the deer industry – its people, products and unique culture. I have absolute confidence in the deer industry’s future. Its products are niche, high-value and it’s one of the few industries in New Zealand which has a true competitive advantage. I will miss not having a role in the industry’s development.”
Macfarlane noted the board’s appreciation of the professional manner in which O’Connor has lead the industry out of a cyclical downturn to the current position where stable pricing and a positive industry outlook is underpinned by a strong industry-good organisation working with its industry stakeholders in a collaborative manner.
Mark O’Connor began working with the Game Industry Board, DINZ’s predecessor, in the velvet portfolio in 2000 and became chief executive in early 2005.
The New Zealand deer industry is the largest farmed deer industry in the world with approximately 3,000 producers farming one million deer and producing $260 million in export revenue for New Zealand.