Olives New Zealand

Olives New Zealand Executive Committee 2020

Craig Leaf-Wright – President

Leafyridge Olives, situated near Masterton in the beautiful Wairarapa region of New Zealand, is owned and managed by the Leaf-Wright family.

Its location, at the southern tip of the North Island of New Zealand, has an ideal climate for producing some of the finest Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the world. The trees grow in the stony, free draining soils so typical of the Wairarapa, alongside the Ruamahanga river. The cold, wet winters followed by long, hot and dry summer days are perfect conditions for the olives, resulting in oils with uniquely fresh flavours to gratify even the most discerning palate.

The grove was established in July 1999 with the 31 acres being progressively planted over the following 3 years. The olive grove has 3650 trees comprising varieties from Italy (Frantoio, Leccino, Pendolino), France (Picholene) and Spain (Manzanillo, Picual). The olive oils produced by Leafyridge have been consistent medal winners in the NZ Olive Oil Awards. Check out www.leafyridge.co.nz for more information.


Tricia Noble-Beasley – Vice President


I have been involved in the Olive Industry since 2000 when my husband Rob and I purchased a ten acre block at Waikanae on the Kapiti Coast. It had been well planted with trees in 1996 and 1997 and amongst these were 400 olive trees consisting of mainly Mission – a Californian cultivar, but with some Manzanillo and Frantoio.


Charles Chinnaiyah – Treasurer


Charles and his wife Kay have a medium sized grove of more than 2,000 in the Wairarapa. A relaxing Sunday drive through the Wairarapa in 1999 was where the inspiration and dream behind Olea Estate began. Since that day, a passion for producing olives of consistent quality and distinction is what Olea is all about. In addition to growing award winning olive oil, Charles and Kay also operate The Olive Mill and consistently produce award winning oils for their customers.

Regional Chairs

Ray Gregory – Nelson


Ray and Brenda Gregory own Kakariki Olives, a 3,000 tree grove, on Redwood Valley Road in Nelson. The grove consisted of mainly Tuscan varieties, with a few Kalamata, Picual and Picholine trees. 

Kakariki is a real family business, while Ray deals with the majority of the work in the grove Brenda deals with all the paperwork and daughter Georgia is the social media guru. She does all of this while completing her nursing degree. 

Kakariki was one of the original Olives NZ Focus Groves and Ray and Brenda have continued that involvement with the new project curretly underway.


Geoff Crawford – Hawke’s Bay


Geoff Crawford is the Owner / Managing Director of Telegraph Hill.  Born with a love for olives, it’s natural that Geoff ended up growing and producing New Zealand olives.

In 2001, Telegraph Hill was the first artisan producer of commercial table olives in New Zealand. It is now the largest producer of New Zealand-grown table olives. From humble beginnings in a shed on the grove, Telegraph Hill now produce 25 tonnes of table olives and extra virgin olive oil annually at their purpose built Olivery in Hastings, Hawkes Bay

 Niall Holland – Canterbury


Niall Holland and his wife Jan purchased the Banks Peninsular olive grove “La Casa Toscana” in 2011 as a retirement project.  Renamed “Old French Road” in 2013, it has an excellent track record of producing award winning oil and customer-pleasing table olives.  We currently cultivate just over a 1000 trees and know well the challenges facing the smaller producer and those farming complex, sloping grounds.  Current  varieties for harvest are Frantoia, Kalamata and Manzanilla with a smattering of Nocellara, Picholine, Picual, Sevillano and UDP.  The last two are principally used for table olives.

Both Niall and Jan still work in general practice and related activities on a part-time basis.  Niall has trained with the Institute of Directors New Zealand and, over the years, has held board positions in various not-for-profit organisations.

We have been members at local branch level for many years and I am passionate about the wonderful New Zealand Olive Oil produced here.

I am delighted to be part of the Executive and committed to working for Olives New Zealand in their drive to promote opportunities and benefits to the industry.

Andrew Taylor – Past President


I have grown horticultural crops such as avocados, kiwifruit, pipfruit and summerfruit for nearly 30 years. In the last 10 years I have provided horticultural advice, harvesting and pruning contract services to the olive industry and now work full time with olives in much of the North Island. I live on a 53 ha property just outside Napier with my wife and two children where we grow olives, apples and graze stock.

I believe a strong Olives New Zealand organisation can provide a platform to enable technical transfer, benchmarking of performance and cohesion on all matters to do with the production of olive products in New Zealand. An additional parameter that I believe is necessary is that Olives New zealand should drive the quality and the virtues of our products.

Olives New Zealand Executive Officer

Gayle Sheridan

Gayle Sheridan


I have been involved in the New Zealand Olive industry since 2000 when my husband Lionel and I established our first olive grove at Pauatahanui, just north of Wellington. This was followed by the purchase of our second grove at Barrys Bay, Banks Peninsula in 2005 and then our third (!) at Akaroa in 2007. This last property was developed as a commercial olive grove under the brand name of La Casa Toscana, producing both extra virgin olive oil and table olives. All of the olive oils entered by La Casa Toscana in the NZ Olive Oil Awards were at least Silver medal winners, with the Manzanillo being awarded Gold, Best in Class and Best in Show in 2009.

I have substantial experience working at a senior management level including Chief Executive with the Aviation, Tourism and Travel Training Organisation, IT Manager at Work and Income New Zealand, Client Support Centre Manager at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Head of Business Faculty with Manawatu Polytechnic.  I have a variety of tertiary qualifications in business and education, including an MBA from Henley Management College, UK.

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