FIAT was established with joint efforts of several people working together to pool their vision, ideas and efforts in one direction of providing quality and practical training in the field of horticultural production. The main people behind this institution’s establishment and management are:
DR. RAJ SAINI (Director & CEO) M.Sc. (Botany), Ph.D. (Crop Sciences) has more than 45 years’ experience in agricultural research & development; evaluating, standardization and generation of location specific technology; commercial crop production, Agri-based exports, staff training and technology transfer (India, Nigeria and New Zealand). Raj has more than 45 publications in national and international periodicals. He has strong ties with the horticultural industry and operates as part of this sector. He has a strong passion for mentoring young people to build their careers and organizing their lives. (Raj Saini CV)
RATTAN SAINI (Director and Advisory Committee) has a degree in medicine (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) from The University of Auckland and is working as a General Practitioner (Medical Doctor) in Franklin District. With more than 10 years of engaging with the local people, she is well conversant with the issues and potential of the local communities.
RAVI SAINI (Director & Business Manager) holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from The University of Auckland and a Diploma in Horticulture from Manukau Institute of Technology, Auckland. He has been involved in the management of Rupex group for more than ten years.
GILES BROOKER (Independent Director) is a leading international education capability development consultant and advisor. He is also a Fellow of Governance New Zealand.
DR. RAJ SAINI (Director & CEO):
DR. GAGAN JAIN (Programme Coordinator): Masters in Botany and PhD in Plant Sciences (Victoria Uni, New Zealand), has both theoretical knowledge and practical skills in growing crops under greenhouse and outdoor conditions.
JACKIE CLARKE (Admin Manager), has long term experience working with academic institutes, liaising with NZQA and students of different cultural backgrounds.
Elly Forsyth (Admin), has over 30 years’ experience of working in education Administration (Secondary and Tertiary)
MARK BALL (Advisory Committee) plays an active role in business and community development, especially of rural Auckland. Mark is a recipient of The Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) and a Justice of Peace (JP) and Ex-Mayor of Franklin District Council. He also lends significant leadership in providing us with overall direction and integration of our programmes with the national framework.
KIRAN HARI (Advisory Committee) is a leading grower/manager and is a representative of the Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association (PVGA), a pioneer association in Franklin region. Kiran also organizes the local ‘Young Growers’ competition and is well versed with the industry’s changing needs on one hand and ambitions of upcoming youth on the other hand.
GRAHAM WINDROSS (Advisory Committee) is director and owner of Zealandia Horticulture which is New Zealand’s largest company supplying a range of high-quality seedlings to garden centers and commercial growers.
GRAHAM WALKER (Advisory Committee) is a Senior Scientist from Plant and Food Research and has countrywide (and international) expertise in disease pest management.
BRONWEN ROWES (Advisory Committee) is a Member IPPS and Secretary Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture
DR. RATTAN SAINI (Director and Advisory Committee)
GILES BROOKER (Independent Director and Advisory Committee) is a leading international education capability development consultant and advisor. He is also a Fellow of Governance New Zealand.
MICHAEL HILL (Advisory Committee) Supplier and Export compliance Manager, Have long experience of supply chain in horticulture, represent J & P Turners’.
DR. SUSAN SHAW An experienced Health Sector academic and manager. Currently Associate Dean at the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology
DR. CLIVE CORNFORD An experienced academic and education sector manager with broad cross-discipline knowledge and experience (Primary Industries, Science, Health, Business and IT). His PhD is in Biological Sciences with a focus on horticulture.
Other members are Dr. Raj Saini (Director, FIAT), Dr Gagan Jain (Programme leader, FIAT), and Giles Brooker (Independent Director / Advisory Committee Chair)