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Who We Are

Pure Advantage is a registered charity led by business leaders and supported by a collective of researchers and writers who investigate and promote opportunities for New Zealand to fulfil its massive potential for green growth.

Pure Advantage was founded in 2011 by Phillip Mills, a pioneer of the international fitness industry, and is overseen by a Board of Trustees comprising business and community leaders from across New Zealand. Current Board membership is: Sir Stephen Tindall, Phillip Mills, Dame Anne Salmond, Rob Morrison (Chair), Geoff Ross, Katherine Corich and Andrew Grant. The day-to-day running of Pure Advantage is overseen by an experienced Management team.

Pure Advantage’s research has not been driven by environmental idealism or fear of climate change. Rather, our reports are an accumulation of impartial economic data. They demonstrate that not only can New Zealand rescue itself from environmental decline but that there is a significant economic benefit in doing so.

We would also like to point out that our campaign has been charitably funded by our trustees alone – there are no corporate mandates or Government directives, just successful Kiwis interested in seeing a lot more successful Kiwis.

Trustees

Sir Stephen Tindall

“I am an investor in green growth companies in NZ such as Lanzatech, 3R, Wellington Drive, Solar City and believe these types of companies hold the key to New Zealand’s future. Green growth now is a sector globally which is not only proving a good financial return but provides solutions to mitigate climate change. It’s my ambition that we can encourage thousands of New Zealanders to understand the benefits of green growth companies and invest in them to make NZ more economically viable and a leader in environmental sustainability.”

In 1982 Stephen founded The Warehouse, a private company until late 1994 when it floated on the New Zealand Stock Exchange. Stephen held the position of Managing Director until January 2001, then appointed a CEO and assumed position of Founder. He returned as Group CEO from May 2003 until October 2004. The Warehouse Group now has 85 retail and 43 Warehouse Stationery stores in New Zealand. His current positions include; Founder and Director-The Warehouse Group Ltd, Chair-Job Summit Working Group, Patron-Mistletoe Bay Trust, Chair-Climate Change Forum and Broadband Investment Forum, Chair-Growth & Innovation Advisory Board, Council Member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (Co-founder and Chair of NZBCSD, 2000-2004), Founding Member of the New Zealand Institute, Co Founder and Director of KEA (Kiwi Expat Association), Founder and Trustee-The Tindall Foundation, Founder and Trustee-Alay Buhay Educational Foundation, and Investor in New Zealand Enterprises.

Phillip Mills (Founder)

Pure Advantage was founded in 2011 by Phillip Mills, a pioneer of the international fitness industry, and is overseen by a Board of Trustees comprising business and community leaders from across New Zealand. Current Board membership is: Phillip Mills, Katherine Corich, Rob Morrison (Chair), Geoff Ross, Sir Mark Solomon and Sir Stephen Tindall. The day-to-day running of Pure Advantage is overseen by a Secretariat comprising an Executive Director, Simon Millar. Pure Advantage’s research is not been driven by environmental idealism or fear of climate change. Rather, our reports are an accumulation of impartial economic data. They demonstrate that not only can New Zealand rescue itself from environmental decline but that there is a significant economic benefit in doing so. We would also like to point out that our campaign has been charitably funded by our trustees alone – there are no corporate mandates or shadowy Government funding, just successful Kiwis interested in seeing a lot more successful Kiwis.

Dame Anne Salmond

Dame Anne is a distinguished Professor of Māori Studies and Anthropology at the University of Auckland. A former Vice-President (Social Sciences and Humanities) of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the first social scientist to be awarded the Rutherford Medal, New Zealand’s top scientific prize, in 2013 she was chosen as the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. In 2020 she was awarded the Blake Medal, and in 2021 the Order of New Zealand.

She has a lifelong engagement with te ao Māori, working alongside kuia and kaumātua and presenting evidence in the Muriwhenua Land and Fisheries Treaty claims, the Ngāpuhi claim for Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the first test case of the Treaty clause of the Resource Management Act. Dame Anne also has a long-standing practical interest in environmental issues. In 1990 she became the Deputy Chair of the Parks and Wilderness Trust, and in 1999 she and her husband Jeremy established the Waikereru Ecosanctuary in Gisborne, a major ecological restoration project.

Since 2014 she has been a member of the Air New Zealand Sustainability Panel, and leads the Te Awaroa: Voice of the River project to restore rivers across New Zealand. She is the patron of many environmental and community organizations, and was a member of the Te Ao Māori reference group for the reform of the Resource Management Act. Anne Salmond writes about climate change, the restoration of rivers, forests and the ocean. In 2018 she was awarded a Carl von Siemens Research Prize by the Humboldt Foundation for lifetime scientific achievement, and in November 2019 she delivered a prestigious Kosmos lecture in Berlin on global environmental challenges.

Rob Morrison (Chair)

“You can’t distribute wealth without generating it first. New Zealand needs to generate wealth as a country in order to make the investment required to arrest New Zealand’s long term decline relative to other OECD countries. I believe Pure Advantage and the people involved can make a difference by getting this country focused on the opportunities available from the global shift to Green Growth.

There is no country that depends on clean and green for its global image as much as New Zealand does but we are not leading the charge on green growth, in fact we are nowhere close and we need to be. I am only too happy to be involved in order to help resolve that situation, to the benefit of all New Zealanders.”

Rob became Chairman of H.R.L. Morrison & Co in 2012. He was appointed as an independent director of Kiwibank in 2009 and was Chairman until 2017. He retired as Chairman of Hong Kong based CLSA Asia Pacific Markets in 2009, having held the dual role of CEO and Chair from 2002-2008. Prior to joining CLSA, Rob was an Executive Vice President and Head of Equities at Bankers Trust Australia and Chief Executive Officer of Bankers Trust New Zealand. Rob is a council member of the Asian Corporate Governance Association, a director on the Asian advisory board of The Nature Conservancy – a private organisation working to protect ecologically important lands and water – and an advisory professor at Nankai University in Tianjin, China. He was also a member of the Copenhagen Climate Council, a global collaboration between business leaders, scientists and policy makers to work together for a successful new UN protocol to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Rob also chairs Pure Advantage, a group committed to helping New Zealand capitalise on the opportunities available from a global shift to 'green growth'.

Geoff Ross

Geoff and his family own Lake Hawea Station, Australasias first certified climate positive farm.

Geoff is a founding Trustee of Pure Advantage and has been a trustee of The Melanoma Foundation and The Endangered Species Foundation. Geoff was the founder and CEO of listed Vodka company - 42 Below. He has been the Chairmen of Trilogy skincare, Ecoya Fragrance and Savor Hospitality. He spent 12 years in the Advertising industry holding management and board roles at Saatchi & Saatchi and DDB. Geoff has a B.Com and an honorary Doctorate of Commerce from Lincoln University.

Katherine Corich

“I’m delighted to be a trustee of Pure Advantage,” she says. “Our beautiful country has so many natural advantages and it’s vital that we protect, enhance and use them sustainably for the greater good. Pure Advantage strives to deliver economic strength for New Zealand in everything from AgriTech, to biodiversity and renewable energy. It’s our chance to get New Zealand on the world stage as a leader in sustainability.”

Katherine Corich qualified as a commercial pilot before turning her considerable energy and intellect to becoming an expert in business transformation. Sysdoc Group, the New Zealand-based international business consultancy she founded 30 years ago, now has offices in four countries and a client list that includes the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, National Australia Bank and the Vodafone Group. An Associate Fellow of the University of Oxford – Saïd Business School, with an MA in Linguistics, she has recently been inducted into the NZ Hi-Tech Hall of Fame, was 2015 UK New Zealander of the Year, and has twice won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, among other accolades, while Sysdoc has been recognised for both its carbon reduction efforts and family-friendly workplace policies.

Andrew Grant

Andrew is a Senior Partner with McKinsey Consulting group and leads their Public Sector Practice globally and also helps lead the Sustainability, Social Sector, and Consumer Packaged Goods Practices in Asia.

Since joining McKinsey in 1992, Andrew has served many leading corporations in a broad range of industries. His current focus is on helping public-sector clients solve their most pressing strategic challenges, especially those related to economic development, health care, and infrastructure. In one recent project, Andrew helped establish a public-private partnership that stimulated a country’s economic development; as part of this effort, he worked with the client to initiate a series of pilots and to design approaches for launching and monitoring activities. Similarly, Andrew supported a Southeast Asian country in the creation of a new economic model—identifying priority growth sectors, developing initiatives to drive economic reform, and crafting an implementation approach.

Andrew won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he received a first class honors master’s degree in politics, philosophy, and economics. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Auckland University in New Zealand. He is a board member of the New Zealand Institute, the Springboard Trust, and Onehunga Business High School.

Legacy Trustees

1947-2012

Sir Paul Callaghan

The late Sir Paul Callaghan was a world leading scientist in the fields of nanotechnology and magnetic resonance, and held the position of Alan MacDiarmid Professor of Physical Sciences, School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington. Sir Paul was past president of both the Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and the International Society of Magnetic Resonance.

His work put Sir Paul and New Zealand on the international stage and his mantelpiece featured an array of honours for his endeavours. He was awarded the Rutherford Medal, NZ’s highest scientific honour, in 2005. He was appointed a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2006. In 2007 Sir Paul was recognised with a KEA World Class New Zealand Award and the Sir Peter Blake Medal. He was knighted in 2009, and in 2011 was named Kiwibank “New Zealander of the Year”.

1957-2012

Lloyd Morrison

“New Zealand is very well placed to see the increasing impact of climate change as an opportunity, not a threat. As politicians, regulators, trade officials and consumers internationally focus on increased environmental standards as a pre-requisite for market support New Zealand will have to present itself consistently as meeting or beating world expectations of us. As a New Zealander I can see the benefits both for our own living standards and for the appeal of our exports. It’s time to start walking the talk.”

The late Lloyd Morrison was the founder and Executive Chairman of H.R.L Morrison & Co, a specialist infrastructure business. Lloyd was a Director of Infratil, Auckland International Airport, and Fisher Funds and Chairman of Snapper. As a long term supporter of the arts and music in particular, he established the HRL Morrison Music Trust in 1995 to support New Zealand musicians and composers, with a special emphasis on the production and marketing of recordings on the Trust Records label. Lloyd was also a Partner in New Zealand music publisher Promethean Editions.

Management

Simon Millar

Simon is the Executive Director at Pure Advantage. He has achieved success in Management, Business Development and Sustainable Strategy from working in corporate America and New Zealand. Simon’s specialty knowledge in sustainable business growth has been underpinned by postgraduate study at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), where he gained a wide-ranging understanding of environmental science, technology, whole-systems design and accreditation in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED GA).

Simon is also an accomplished creative sector innovator with an award winning background in the entertainment business in Los Angeles earning credits as Manager, Producer and Executive Producer on over 35 Feature Film and TV projects. A turning point came in 2006 when he was developing a TV series based on Elizabeth Kolbert’s “Field Notes from a Catastrophe” when Inconvenient Truth came out. This turned the wheels for personal action so he sold his GMC Yukon 4×4 urban assault vehicle and bought a Prius and focused on doing future business with a greater purpose. He returned to New Zealand in 2014 to lead change and drive Pure Advantage forward by developing the multi-sector media platform that it is today – investigating, promoting and communicating green growth opportunities that align to New Zealand’s natural advantages.

Prof. David Norton

Emeritus Professor David Norton retired from the University of Canterbury at the start of 2022 and has over 40 years’ experience in New Zealand ecology and conservation across public and private land.

Over his career, his research and consultancy work has spanned several fields of ecology and conservation biology including the ecology of New Zealand’s native forests, conservation and management of threatened plants, mistletoe biology, ecology of remnant habitats, restoration ecology, threat classification and significance assessment. Most recently he has researched the distribution and management of native biodiversity within primary production systems, especially sheep and beef farms, working closely with farmers, the farming community and sector groups to promote biodiversity conservation and find ways to build this into farm management. David has also worked on several resource management projects including wind farms, mines, landfills and agricultural developments, and has considerable expertise in significance assessment, biodiversity offsetting and ecological restoration in this context.

Together with postgraduate students and colleagues, he has authored over 150 scientific publications, including co-authoring a book on biodiversity conservation in farming landscapes with an Australian colleague, as well as producing numerous reports for different clients. Since retiring from the University of Canterbury and moving to Lake Hāwea, David has continued to work actively with the farming sector through his own business Biodiversity Solutions Ltd. to help farmers incorporate native biodiversity into farm management in a way that results in win-win outcomes for farming and native biodiversity.

David is currently a Strategic Science Advisor to Pure Advantage.

Olivia Grainger

Olivia is Pure Advantage’s Policy and Strategy Manager. She is responsible for our advocacy on environmental law, policy and regulatory settings and strategic advice across Pure Advantage’s programme initiatives.

Olivia is a New Zealand qualified lawyer with an LLM (Hons) in International Environmental Law. She has worked as a Supreme Court judge’s clerk, in top tier law firms as a commercial and industry regulation lawyer, as an environmental and humanitarian policy officer at the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations and World Trade Organisation in Geneva, and most recently as a law and policy advisor for the Environmental Defence Society.

Olivia is passionate about restoring the ecological integrity and resilience of the natural world, and awakening people’s awareness of and respect for nature and its community of life, of which we are part, wholly reliant on, and uniquely responsible for.

“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

“We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” ― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There.

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