Hospitality Business Magazine

Coca-Cola (NZ) Amatil appoints new Corporate Affairs Manager

rsz_neil_wakaCoca-Cola (NZ) Amatil (CCA) has appointed former television front man Neil Waka to lead its communications team, as Corporate Affairs Manager.

He will advise on media relations, strategic policies and initiatives, government and stakeholder relations and help drive positive engagement with CCA. He will also develop communications strategies to support CCA’s community partnerships including Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park and Pride Parade.

Waka will also be working closely with CCA’s Pacific Leadership Team, as well as key personnel from CCA Australia and the global arm of The Coca-Cola Company to ensure communications are integrated and effective across the Coke New Zealand business.

He comes to CCA with extensive experience in all forms of media having spent more than 25 years’ in high profile roles with various news outlets including TV3 (Mediaworks) and TVNZ’s One News. He also spent more than five years as Corporate Affairs Manager of auto giant, General Motors Holden.

General Manager of Strategy & Brand, Wendy Rayner, says she is thrilled to have someone of Neil’s calibre and experience joining her team. “Neil’s appointment as CCA Corporate Affairs Manager is an exciting one us, there would be few people that have his front line media experience along with his Corporate Affairs expertise and we are looking forward to sharing our stories with Kiwis everywhere,” said Ms Rayner.

“We are confident that Neil will continue to guide and grow Coca-Cola Amatil’s communications and help drive our market leadership position in the New Zealand beverage industry.”

Waka says he is looking forward to building on the success the company has already achieved and has been pleasantly surprised by the culture. “I have had several weeks in the business already and have seen that this is a Kiwi company who really do put their people first. I am overwhelmed by the level of positivity, dynamism and passion that exists here, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were few other New Zealand companies with this kind of culture,” said Waka.

“There are certainly some challenges ahead but I’m confident that we will all be able to face those head on in an open, transparent and honest way. I have always believed that for a company to be truly successful there needs to be honesty and integrity and most of all a company needs to treat its people with respect, this company does that in bucket loads.”

“I am very much looking forward to our future as an organisation, not only for our 1,000 or so Kiwi employees around the country but also for some exciting initiatives that we will be rolling out in the coming months.”

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) is a New Zealand company that employs more than 1,000 people and has four production facilities across Auckland, Putaruru and Christchurch, along with 13 bottling lines and three warehouses. A new juice plant will open near Auckland Airport later in the year to continue the business’ innovation in the premium juice category.