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New Trees for Survival National Manager, Roger Milne, started in early November and he’s been rapidly getting up to speed; the office is now operational. While Roger looks forward to meeting as many people as possible quickly, in the meantime a general outline of his background:
Roger was born in South Taranaki, in 1952 and went to school in Kakaramea, Patea and Wanganui. His mother was a very keen and successful gardener, and Roger’s lifelong interest in plants originated from his parents.
After three years at Victoria University in Wellington, Roger travelled widely and then made a career in commercial horticulture in the garden centre industry in Auckland. Eventually in the late 1980’s, he recognised a market sector that was not being serviced adequately, and founded New Zealand’s largest and most successful plant supply company, Milne’s Plant Link ltd. The buy line of “the complete plant supply service”, adequately describes what this company did. When Milne’s Plant Link was sold in 2006, he was on the governance boards of both the NZ Nursery and Garden Industry Association, and the Landscape Industry Association (LIANZ)
Roger brings to Trees for Survival a wealth of experience in the development of business relationships, and of the wants and needs of the customer.
He is married to Lesley, and together they have a passionate interest in rowing, New Zealand’s most successful Olympic sport. Lesley is a past President of Rowing NZ, and they are both New Zealand Rowing race officials while Roger also holds an international rowing official’s licence, which occasionally takes them to overseas regattas.
Together they have tramped extensively in New Zealand. Roger has also visited New Zealand’s Sub Antarctic Islands, and has a clear understanding of the importance of our place in the natural world.
Roger says, “I was introduced to Trees for Survival as a member of the Rotary Club of Pakuranga, and have done several days of planting with local schools.
“While I recognise that Trees for Survival is a very successful and fully-operational programme, I also realise that I bring to the organisation a focus that is commercial, and customer-oriented. I am a strong believer that our clients and suppliers are of equal value to us, and we must treat each accordingly.
“So, while many things will remain the same, there will be changes where we can deliver a better result for the Trust. Collectively we work to operate a programme that is of immense benefit to all concerned, and if we can work together to improve the delivery then it is to be commended.
“Trees for Survival has great potential for us as employees, contractors and administrators, as well as for the children it teaches, the sponsors and those that support it. The programme has already made a huge difference to large areas of the land where planting has taken place, and New Zealand is a better place for it. One million trees planted was a milestone, but it was simply the 1st of many milestones!”
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