New head for farming innovator

Last updated 15:03 04/10/2012

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Waikato Innovation Park chief executive Derek Fairweather is leaving to head up Dairy SolutioNZ, formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of New Zealand's only agri-focused technology park.

He will be replaced in the interim by former Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) chief executive Stuart Gordon.

Fairweather has headed Waikato Innovation Park for nine years. Six-year-old Dairy SolutioNZ was his idea, and has been spun out as a stand-alone entity.

It aims to take the world's best farming technologies and practices, many from New Zealand, to global regions experiencing food crises.

The park retains 25 per cent of Dairy SolutioNZ, Fairweather has bought 25 per cent, and 50 per cent is being held in trust, awaiting a major investor which Fairweather is tasked with finding.

Gordon, a qualified accountant, has worked for four years for Dairy SolutioNZ, introducing large land owners and overseas governments to New Zealand's low cost dairy and beef farming solutions.

He headed the genetics cooperative LIC for eight years until 2006.

A former financial controller at Fonterra, he has a 430-cow dairy farm near Hamilton.

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