Head of Operations

07 / 06 / 2024

  • Auckland
  • Permanent / Full Time
  • Manufacturing / Plant Management


The Company
The NZ Sugar Company stands tall amongst New Zealand’s top 100 companies and holds a significant spot within the global agri-business giant, Wilmar International.
Established in 1884, this is an iconic Kiwi business and home to Chelsea, one of New Zealand’s most loved brands. They have a true expertise and passion for their products, producing the best sugars that are kiwi-made.
At the heart of their business are its people. They are proud of their culture, fostering an environment where their people can thrive and make a meaningful impact every single day. 

The Opportunity
As the Head of Operations and a key member of the Chelsea Leadership Team (CLT), your primary purpose will be to provide strategic thought leadership to the Operations function.
Reporting to the GM you will lead the strategic direction and operational effectiveness of the Operations function. You will lead a team of senior leaders across Refinery Production, Packing Production, Engineering, EHS, Quality and NPD.  
This role is critical in ensuring excellence in the fundamental areas of consistently producing high-quality products, safety, environment, and food safety whilst looking for continued cost-base improvement.
As well as leading BAU site operations you will bring impressive thought leadership in building for the future. This includes shaping Operations to meet current and future needs, creating and driving a mindset of Continuous Improvement and the continued evolution and delivery of the Sustainability Strategy.
This role requires an inclusive leader, who can continue to create a high-performance and growth-focused team across both Operations and the wider NZ Sugar business, engaging and motivating people to deliver on key strategic priorities and the company’s growth agenda.
Key deliverables:

  • Lead and grow a high-performance culture, fostering an engaged and connected environment enabling people to be the best version of themselves.
  • Develop and execute the short-, medium- and long-term Strategic Plan to enable improved operational efficiencies and performance at optimal cost to the business.
  • Understand the end-to-end cost drives across the business to ensure efficiencies and return on investments are maximised.
  • Lead the evolution of NZ Sugar’s Sustainability vision, and aggressively drive towards 2030 targets.
  • Demonstrate exemplary leadership within the CLT, functionally, and across the business to continue to drive performance of the overall business.
  • Successfully manage the operational leadership of a team of 143 across 24/5 shifts whilst driving a high-performance culture Continuous Improvement across people, production, process, systems, and CAPEX.
  • Lead the development and oversee the implementation of the EHS plan for the business.
  • Drive a sense of accountability for safety, quality and the environment across all team members within Operations.

What’s in it for you…
This is a unique opportunity to join an iconic NZ brand in a senior leadership role that will allow you to truly impact the performance and success of the business. This role is a great opportunity to work for an iconic NZ business in a genuine leadership role where you will be able (and expected) to make an impact on the performance and ongoing success of the business.
Your considerable and impressive operational/manufacturing and people leadership experience (ideally with experience in the Food sector) and demonstrable experience in delivering achievements and improvements will ensure your success in leading a significant site and ensure that the business is fit for the future through the delivery of a thriving, productive and sustainable Operations function
As well as a competitive remuneration package, NZ Sugar is proud to offer a number of fantastic benefits, including the following:

  • Company Superannuation
  • Annual discretionary bonus
  • Medical Insurance
  • Employee Health & Wellbeing Program
  • Free parking
  • Free fully equipped gym & access to a personal trainer 

If you have the skills and attributes we are looking for and want to grow and develop your career in a key role as part of the company behind one of New Zealand’s favourite brands, we would love to hear from you.
If this opportunity is of interest, please submit your CV by following the link below. If you’d like to find out more and for a confidential discussion please call Wayne Fry on 021 656 502 or email waynef@huntercampbell.co.nz


  • Genuine leadership role for a heritage NZ business.
  • Lead and drive a high-performance culture.
  • Attractive package including - annual bonus+medical insurance+onsite gym+parking

Apply now

Wayne Fry
Manager, Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement

Quite simply I connect talented supply chain candidates with exceptional supply chain opportunities. My extensive networks and experience in the sector make me a specialist Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement recruiter. I’m passionate about achieving the best possible results for my clients and candidates. I do this through offering a bespoke solution to clients, by…

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