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Articles from INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS (259 Articles), EDUCATION / TRAINING (185 Articles)

Selwyn Pearson, dumped as chairman of first industry forum
Selwyn Pearson, dumped as chairman of first industry forum

New furor in Kiwi jewellery industry

After Jeweller reported last week that the JMF was crying foul over the latest round of politics, there’s been more disagreement in New Zealand's jewellery industry. 
There has been another back down over the long running saga to unite the New Zealand jewellery trade under one peak industry body.

In a statement to its members two weeks ago, the Jewellery Manufacturers Federation (JMF) chairman Greg Jones cried foul about an agreement to maintain a single industry trade fair and publication during a private meeting between JWNZ president Steve Crout and JANZ Executive Director and New Zealand Retailers Association Northern Regional Manager Russell Sinclair.

Jones had been trying to establish why a second Jewellery Industry Forum had not been scheduled since the successful first Forum in February.

Since Jones’ statement, entitled, ‘Jewellery manufacturers cry foul’ was emailed to members, which called for the two larger organisations, JWNZ and JANZ, to consider JMF’s views rather than “rubber stamping decisions made behind closed doors”, a new Forum has now been announced, causing further disharmony.

Jones told Jeweller a second combined jewellery associations meeting, convened by the NZRA and Russell Sinclair has been scheduled for October 5, but he is miffed at the way the independent chairman has been selected.

Jones says that rather than continuing with Selwyn Pearson as the independent and honorary chairman it’s been proposed that Michael Prasad, Chairman of the Auckland branch of The NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants act as independent chairman for the second meeting.

“The JMF hopes that the decision to change the Chairman will be reconsidered,” Jones said. “Selwyn Pearson who chaired the first combined meeting has kept in touch with the issues through the year and I have full confidence in his ability.”

By all reports after the inaugural forum, Pearson’s job was well respected, however in May, three months after the first forum, Pearson was told in an email from Russell Sinclair that his services would not be required for a second meeting.

At the time Pearson told Jeweller he was “gobsmacked” after a phone call from Sinclair telling him he wouldn’t be required, and attributing JANZ’s disassociation from the move for a united council to JWNZ’s reluctance to co-operate.

Jones is still adamant that even though a second forum has now been scheduled, he will not accept or rubber stamp decisions not made in the industry’s best interest.

“I believe Selwyn Pearson (Chairman Auckland Rugby League) is the right man to referee on this occasion,” Jones said.

This latest disagreement comes after Jeweller reported last week that a JANZ announcement endorsing a trade magazine seemed at odds with a previously reported agreement between JANZ and JWNZ. A report published in the August issue of Jewellery Time by JWNZ president Steve Crout said he and Sinclair had agreed the industry should have a single trade fair and single trade magazine (Jewellery Time).

However, in an email dated 14 September to all JANZ members, trade executive Brenda Chalmers announced that JANZ had thrown its support behind Jewellers Trade magazine explaining that, “While you all receive a copy of the NZ Retail magazine we have never been able to offer access to a glossy monthly jewellery magazine.”

“Our quarterly newsletter, Jewellery Post, has its place and serves a different purpose than a magazine," Chalmers wrote.

Chalmers’ email went on to advise members, “On a recent visit to Sydney I met with the Editor of the Jewellers Trade magazine which is available as a free subscription in Australia and has no affiliations to any buying group, trade association or lobby group providing news without fear or favour.”

The email encouraged JANZ members to subscribe to the magazine saying, “JANZ will be submitting articles [to Jewellers Trade] on a regular basis.”

This came as a complete surprise to JANZ chairman, Mark Beckett. “Given that the matter was not discussed by the JANZ executive, I was unaware that there were moves afoot for JANZ to endorse and contribute to a competing magazine to Jewellery Time,” Beckett explained.

Not only was Beckett confused by the announcement, which seemed to contradict the previous agreement between Crout and Sinclair to maintain a single industry magazine, but Beckett said he was more confused by Chalmers’ email that said she visited Sydney and met the editor of Jewellers Trade.

Beckett told Jeweller that he believes Chalmers wasn't in Sydney and when contacted, Sinclair confirmed that Chalmers’ email was, indeed, incorrect and that she never visited Sydney to meet with the competing magazine.

More reading:
JANZ does back flip over peak NZ jewellery body
Jewellers revolt at industry agreement
Fall-out over united NZ jewellery forum causes furore
Kiwi forum hailed a success, but...

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