Waikato farmer wins seat on Fonterra board

19:49, Nov 25 2013
Michael Spaans
ON BOARD: New Fonterra director Michael Spaans has numerous farming-related roles.

Fonterra's newest director is Waikato dairy farmer and businessman Michael Spaans.

Spaans, who farms at Te Aroha and lives in Hamilton, won the farmer seat left vacant by the retirement this year of former chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden, against two rivals.

Incumbent directors Malcolm Bailey from the Manawatu and Waikato's Ian Farrelly were re-elected.

It was the second time Spaans, 50, had sought election to the board of New Zealand's biggest company and the world's leading dairy exporter.

He defeated farmers Donna Smit of Whakatane and Eric Ray of Morrinsville for the vacant seat.

Spaans also has a farming interest in Chile.

He is a director of industry organisation DairyNZ, chairman of the Waikato Innovation Park, chairman of Animal Breeding Services, an independent director of the Shoof company and a director of Ospri, formed from the merger of the Animal Health Board and Nait. He was a member of the Fonterra Shareholders Council for nearly eight years.

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