Alumni Profiles

Steve Saunders

Steve Saunders

Plus Group Horticulture

Managing Director

Steven Saunders (Ngai Te Ahi, Ngati Ranginui) has 28 years experience in the horticultural sector and is the founder, owner and Managing Director of the Plus Group of companies, specialising in horticulture management consultancy, global pollen production, robotics development, soil consultancy, international ventures, applied technology, research and development, innovation and science.

Steven is the co-founder of Newnham Park Horticulture Innovation Centre at Te Puna, which hosts eight local export award winning independent companies predominately in the food sector.

Steven is also a major stakeholder in the kiwifruit postharvest sector, an active angel investor (a number of the angel investments are food based), a Seed Co Investment Fund (SCIF) Director and investor representative, a Director of a number of privately owned companies, an elected member of the Executive Board for Priority One (driving economic growth in the Bay of Plenty), Board member of Enterprise Angels Tauranga and Crown appointed Director to Landcare Research.

Pollen Plus Ltd won the 2010 Bay of Plenty (BOP) Emerging Exporter of the Year award and Gro Plus won the 2007 Environment BOP Gallagher Innovation award and the 2007 Balance Nutrient Management award.

The Plus Group (beneficially owned by the Saunders Family Trust) has a strong history of supporting New Zealand based research and development activities. This support extends well beyond co-funding several government assisted projects directly into self-funding research in the
commercial environment.