National Research and Development Manager

 Position Description

National Research and Development Manager


Reports to:                      Chief Executive, Forest Owners Association (FOA)

Direct Reports:             Rotorua Office Manager, Programme Managers

Location:                         Rotorua


Purpose of the Role

The role of the National Research and Development Manager is to provide trans-sector leadership on all aspects of forest growing research. The position is responsible for managing and administering collaborative research programmes and for maintaining key relationships across the New Zealand research sector.  Such programmes will involve pan-industry funding and will frequently also involve multiple other funding bodies and be multi-year.  Reporting to the funding bodies and forest growers generally on the performance and outcomes of the programmes is an integral element of the job. From time to time the role may also involve private consortium funding management but this will be on a case by case basis. Management of the industry owned company, Forest Growers Research Ltd (FGR), is also a responsibility of the position.

In addition to the core research responsibilities the role also includes management of the FOA Rotorua Office and can entail strategic and political input beyond the research portfolio.


The primary tasks are to:

  • Lead and co-ordinate forest growing research activities across the value chain
  • Build value creating relationships with research providers and government funding agencies
  • Provide a forestry perspective and input to national research programmes and policy initiatives
  • Participate in delivering recommendations to the Forest Growing Levy body
  • Manage all research programme contracts to ensure research provider obligations and milestones are met and that there is an auditable and transparent payment system based on programme progress is in place
  • Manage and support the Forest Research Committee (FRC) and FGR Board with timely preparation and delivery of meeting agendas, papers and recommendations.
  • In collaboration with the FRC Chair ensure appropriate representation and input from across the forest growing (small growers through to corporates)
  • Manage the Programme Governance Groups for MBIE and MPI partnership programmes and Technical Steering Groups (who provide technical input and industry/research engagement for each research programme) with timely preparation and delivery of meeting agendas, research reports and recommendations
  • Liaise with the FOA Biosecurity Manager to finalise research proposals relevant to forest health and biosecurity
  • Liaise with other portfolio committees on research programme proposals and communication of research outcomes
  • Provide R&D-related advice and assistance to the FOA Chief Executive, FRC Chair and respective boards
  • Manage research communication through appropriate channels that will include field days, social media, technical notes, presentations at conferences and forums and media and support the FOA Communications Manager
  • Build relationships and influence government investment into Forestry R&D
  • Advocate for investment into forest research to enhance sector sustainability and profitability

Primary Accountabilities

  • Programme and financial performance monitoring and reporting to the FGLT, FRC, FGR board and external government funding agencies – MBIE, MPI and others
  • A current and relevant Forest Growing Science and Innovation Strategy
  • A current and relevant annual research programme
  • Adequate funding for research including leading and providing input into external funding applications
  • An effective industry research support network
  • Regular communication of research objectives and achievements to forest growers, the wider industry and government stakeholders
  • Functioning tech transfer channels
  • Research alignment with STIMBR research activities (Stakeholders in Methyl Bromide Reduction)
  • Commercial and legal compliance responsibilities of the Forest Growers Research Ltd entity

Key Relationships

  • FRC Chair and FRC Committee Members
  • Forest Owners and Farm Forestry Associations
  • Forest Biosecurity Committee Chair and Forest Biosecurity Manager
  • Radiata Pine Breeding Company
  • Research providers at Scion, Lincoln University and University of Canterbury and other organisations particularly Heads of Department and CEO’s.
  • Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
  • Ministry for Primary Industries and Te Uru Rakau
  • STIMBR Chair and Research Director
  • TST leaders and research governance entities

Preferred Competencies and skills

  • A relevant tertiary qualification or equivalent
  • Technical and forest operations expertise and experience
  • Commercial governance experience with financial, legal and contract management experience
  • Able to define objectives clearly, plan activities and projects well in advance and manages time effectively to achieve objectives within agreed timeframes and specifications
  • Strong oral and written communication ability
  • High level of interpersonal and influencing skills
  • Well-developed analytical and strategic planning competencies
  • Ability to manage information in a systematic manner
  • Experience in a leadership and decision-making role
  • Ability to operate calmly under pressure and time flexibility to manage programme reporting and travel demands

As this role will transition with the incumbent R&D Manager there is a degree of flexibility in the range of skills and competencies that can be considered for the role.

Key Reporting Staff/Contractors

  • Rotorua Office Manager
  • FGR Theme Leaders (contract) – Tissue Culture, Specialty Wood Products, Automation & Robotics
  • FGR Accountant (Nairn Fisher)


Expressions of interest are welcome and should be sent to:

Rosemary McFadyen


Postal:  PO Box 10986, Wellington 6143

Closing date:  Friday, 13 March 2020




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