Competition heats up for Fonterra seats
A Waikato academic and an Otago dairy farmer have confirmed they are in the running for a seat at Fonterra's top table, while former shareholder-watchdog boss Blue Read remains coy about his intentions, and two likely contenders have ruled themselves out.
With the candidate assessment panel process at New Zealand's biggest company finished, Waikato University agribusiness professor Jacqueline Rowarth and Otago's Grant Cochrane say they will seek election.
Three farmer-director seats on the Fonterra board are up for election this year, with incumbent directors John Wilson, chairman-elect, and academic Nicola Shadbolt seeking re-election.
A third vacancy has been created by the sudden resignation of farmer-director and rich-lister Colin Armer, after Wilson was recently announced as the successor to outgoing chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden.
Former Fonterra Shareholder Council chairman Blue Read, of North Taranaki, said he was "still considering his position" after going through the assessment panel stage. He headed the council from 2007 to 2010, and was deputy chairman from 2003 to 2007.
The panel marks aspirants on their suitability for a director role after interviews. Candidates are not announced until after this process.
Otago farmer and businessman Maurice Hardie, who contested a board vacancy last year, said he would not make another attempt.
Former Federated Farmers dairy wing chairman Lachlan McKenzie said he had been asked by farmers to stand, but ruled out contesting a seat.
Cochrane unsuccessfully sought a director's seat last year. Northland farmer Ken Haines is also tipped to be a contender. He could not be contacted.
Fonterra's annual meeting is in December.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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