Cooperative Business New Zealand is the peak industry body bringing together the country’s co-operative and mutual businesses to champion this highly successful business model.
For almost 40 years, Cooperative Business NZ has been the voice of NZ’s co-operatives and mutuals as well as the recognised authority on co-operative business locally.
SBS Bank, formed in 1869, was the first registered co-op in NZ while five of our current Members are over 100 years old and over 70% of our Members are now over 25 years old.
Co-operatives and mutuals in NZ currently generate almost 20% of the country’s GDP, employ over 50,000 New Zealanders, and serve almost one-in-three Kiwis as Members. In 2014, the United Nations named New Zealand as the world’s most co-operative economy following a global survey of 145 countries.
Based in Newmarket, Auckland, Cooperative Business NZ currently represents more than 60 Full Members along with over 40 Provisional, Individual Associate, Corporate Associate and Honorary Members. Together, they represent a wide spectrum of industries including agriculture, manufacturing, insurance, banking and other financial services, utilities, education, health, wholesale and retail.
Advocacy on behalf of our Members is one of our most important activities and we maintain a close watch on issues under consideration by NZ’s government which could affect the operation of our Members. Over the years we have engaged with a wide range of decision-makers on a host of issues.
Cooperative Business NZ fosters and promotes collaboration amongst its Full Members in the form of information sharing, reciprocal supply agreements and leverage on combined purchasing volumes so that operating and capital costs are lowered. In addition, we now have a range of non-cooperative Members, known as Corporate Associate Members, e.g. Deloitte, Buddle Findlay and Westlake Governance, which provide their services to our Full Members.
We offer co-operative-focused governance training programmes targeted at the board chairs, directors and senior managers of our co-op Members. In addition, we facilitate and co-ordinate services, expertise and research in support of the co-operative and mutual business model, and encourage New Zealand’s tertiary institutions to include co-operative teaching in their curricula.
Finally, we hold a range of networking events for our Members each year including our Co-op Business Leaders’ Forum in Feb / March and AGM / Annual Awards Dinner in August.
As a member of the International Co-operative Alliance, we have access to a large pool of co-operative practitioners, specialists and researchers from the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.
First registered in March 1984 as the New Zealand Agricultural Cooperatives Association, our name was changed to the New Zealand Cooperatives Association in May 1997, and then to Cooperative Business New Zealand in November 2012. A brief summary of our history, along with our key founders and leaders, can be found here
MEET THE TEAM
Craig Presland is the Chief Executive Officer of Cooperative Business New Zealand.
A commerce graduate from the University of Auckland, Craig has led a diverse range of NZ-based organisations and joined CBNZ in April 2016. He brings valuable experience to the role including 12 years within the NZ co-operative sector and another 3 years leading a prominent shared services organization within the NZ public health sector. Read more about Craig.
A former first-class cricket and rugby representative, Craig is married with three children and lives in Auckland.
DDI: 09 539 5482
M: 021 800 387
Our Board of Directors
| Jonathan Lee (Chair)
Chief Executive Officer of Co-op Money NZ, Jonathan Lee was elected to the Board of Cooperative Business New Zealand in November 2012 and became Chair in September 2013.
Prior to joining Co-op Money NZ, Jonathan held senior roles across a range of industries in New Zealand and overseas. He has a Bachelor of Business Studies from Massey University, an MBA from Henley Business School and is a member of the Institute of Directors.
Jonathan lives in Auckland and his interests include tennis, golf and spending time with his young family.
Commercial Manager Milk Supply at Fonterra Co-operative Group, Christine Burr was elected to the Board of Cooperative Business New Zealand in 2012.
Before she joined Fonterra in 2002, she worked in the fashion and tourism sectors. She has a commerce degree from Canterbury University and a proud family history involving co-operatives.
Christine lives in Auckland where her interests include boating and fashion.
Former Chief Executive of Mitre 10, Neil Cowie was elected to the board of Cooperative Business NZ in 2018.
Based in Auckland, Neil holds tertiary qualifications from institutions in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
In 2017, Neil won the Co-operative Leader of the Year award in recognition of his significant co-operative leadership within his own organisation and across the co-op sector.
Director at Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation Ltd (ALIL), Andy Grant was elected to the board of Cooperative Business NZ in 2018.
He is an Applied Science and Business graduate of Massey University.
Andy lives in NZ’s co-operative capital, Ashburton, and is General Manager of the family-own farming business, Craigellachie Dairy Farms.
Beef and sheep farmer, volunteer ambulance officer and current director at Silver Fern Farms, Fiona Hancox joined the Board of Cooperative Business New Zealand in August 2016.
She has served as an observing director of Cooperative Business NZ and is currently on the 2016 Fonterra Governance Development Programme.
A former South Island Farmer of the Year, she is a director of three farming companies and also holds a National Diploma in Ambulance Practice. Read about Fiona in the Otago Daily Times.
Fiona operates a 27,000 stock unit sheep and beef finishing operation in Tapanui, West Otago.
General Counsel at Farmers Mutual Group (FMG) since 2006, Lisa Murray joined the Board of Cooperative Business New Zealand in August 2016.
As part of FMG’s Senior Leadership Team, she works across the business on both strategic and operational levels, including matters related to the legislative, constitutional, governance and ownership aspects of the mutual.
She has an LLB degree from the University of Alberta in her native Canada.
Lisa lives in Wellington.