10 December 2014
Hawke’s Bay farmer and former Federated Farmer’s President Bruce Wills has been appointed to the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust’s Board of Directors.
His appointment was made by the Minister of Conservation for a 3-year term starting on 21 November 2014.
Mr Wills has recently stepped down from 6 years on the Board of Federated Farmers NZ, the last 3 years of which he served as its National President.
For the past 10 years he has been farming with his family on their 1134ha property north of Napier. Prior to that he spent 20 years in banking and investment.
Mr Wills says he is thrilled to be appointed to the National Trust Board.
“I am looking forward to getting involved in the Trust’s governance, as well as promoting its work with landowners and the wider agricultural sector,” he says.
He says his family has always had a very strong focus on the environment with a particular passion for trees. Alongside the farm they established and run Trelinnoe Park, a woodland collection of trees, shrubs, perennials, and natives that is open to the public. They have also planted thousands of trees across their farm and have protected 160ha of native bush with National Trust covenants.
National Trust chair James Guild says Mr Wills is eminently qualified for the position. He comes to the National Trust as it evolves to play a bigger role in private land protection, he says.
“Bruce is well connected and has an in-depth understanding of the primary sector, governance and financial planning.
“These skills will naturally benefit the National Trust and help promote its standing as a robust, expert, efficient covenanting agency and perpetual trustee of a constantly growing network of covenants,” he says.
Mr Wills is also Chairman of the NZ Poplar & Willow Research Trust and Chair the East Coast region Ballance Farm Environmental Awards, which encourage sustainable farming practices, and he sits on Board of Motu Research. He is a Trustee of the Todd Foundation.
Mr Wills replaces Bernard Card, who retired from the Board after 8 years of dedicated service. The Minister of Conservation also appointed the Board’s incumbent chairperson James Guild for a further 3-year term.
Anne McLean, Senior Communications Advisor, QEII National Trust 04 472 6626