Board of Directors

Rob Hewett - Chairman

Rob HewettRob is a 7th generation farmer, who has farmed in the Clutha District since 2002, running a sheep and beef operation with large forestry interests. A graduate of Lincoln with a BComAg and an M.Com (Hons) in Marketing, Rob says he always wanted to be tied up with farming.

Rob has been Chairman of Silver Fern Farms since December 2013 and has been a member of their Board since 2008. Along with being Chair of the Clutha District Economic Development Agency, Rob remains Director of a number of other companies and is a former Board member of FarmIQ.

 

Gray Baldwin

Gray Baldwin and his wife Marilyn winter milk 850 cows, and conduct 100 percent autumn calving on their 713ha property near Lichfield in South Waikato. The property includes substantial areas of cropping (primarily maize) and forestry land.

Having started his career in rural banking and the fertiliser industry, Gray went on to work in a variety of senior management and executive roles for BNZ Agri, Carter Holt Harvey and Summit Quinphos, where he was Chief Executive Officer. He has been a director on the board of LIC since 2012 and after nine years of service, recently retired from the board of Ballance Agri-Nutrients. He is also a South Waikato District Councillor.

Gray has a Master in Agricultural Science (Honours) from Massey University and in 2015 attended the Summer Institute of Co-operative Leadership at the University of Missouri where they studied co-operatives from around the world. 

 

Nikki Davies-Colley

Nikki Davies-ColleyNikki and her husband Peter have been farming and involved in the forestry industry in Northland for more than 30 years. They have been Farmlands shareholders since 2004 when the co-operative moved into Northland. Nikki is well known in the Northland business and farming community.

She is Chairman of Northpower Ltd, a Kellogg Scholar and holds a Masters in Business Administration. Nikki is also a director of Landcorp Farming Limited and West Coast Energy Pty. Limited. She is a past director of Northpower Fibre Ltd, The Tree People Ltd and MP Logging Ltd.

A Fellow of the NZ Institute of Directors, Nikki is experienced in strategic analysis, project management, motivation and ensuring that agreed strategies are carried through to implementation. 

 

Chris DennisonChris Dennison

Chris Dennison has extensive experience as a Director, including as former Deputy Chairman of Ravensdown Fertiliser and former Chairman of the Lower Waitaki Irrigation Company. He and his wife Kay run a 400 hectare arable farm, with an adjacent dairy farm milking 800 cows and producing 360,000kg of milksolids. Mr Dennison is a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) from Lincoln University and is a graduate of the Rabobank Executive Development Programme.
 
 

 
Warren Parker

Warren ParkerWarren has a 20 year career as a senior executive, including positions as Chief Executive Officer of Scion (the New Zealand Forest Research Institute), Chief Operating Officer of AgResearch and Chief Executive Officer of Landcare Research. Warren has a PhD in Animal Science and was previously a Professor of Agribusiness and Resource Management at Massey University, where he spent 18 years in various roles, including supervising the 9,000 stock unit Riverside Farm in the Wairarapa. Warren is also a Director of Quayside Holdings and Predator Free 2050.

Warren and his wife own lifestyle blocks on the outskirts of Hamilton and Rotorua.
 

Dawn Sangster

Central Otago-based Dawn Sangster is a Director and farmer of her family farming business Glenayr Ltd, a 2870ha enterprise which comprises three sheep and beef properties and one of the largest angora flocks in New Zealand.
Dawn has served on the board of meat company Alliance Group since 2012, and therefore brings considerable experience from the boardroom of a farmers’ co-operative. Over the course of her 30-year farming career, Dawn has been active in many governance roles including being a past trustee of the John McGlashan College Boards, and a past member of the Beef + Lamb NZ Farmer Council. She is an accredited school trustee and currently chairs the Community Trust of Maniototo.

A Lincoln University graduate, Dawn holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Commerce in Farm Management, won the 2012 Institute of Directors Otago-Southland Aspiring Director Award and is a Chartered Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

 

Independent Directors

 

Julie Bohnenn

Julie BohneenJulie joined the Farmlands Board in 2017. Since April 2002, Julie has been Managing Director of her own consultancy business and is also the current Chair of financial advisory and wealth management services group, Bradley Nuttall Limited.

As an executive, Julie’s experience includes more than 20 years with House of Travel – first as Business Partnership Director and more recently as Chief Financial Officer.

Julie is passionate about rural New Zealand, residing on a lifestyle block in rural North Canterbury. Her father was also a notable contributor to the Canterbury A&P Association for many years.

 

John Journee

John has had an extensive executive career, the majority of which has been in the retail industry. His experience includes senior executive roles across a variety of sectors; from fashion apparel to telecommunications, hospitality to FMCG. John is a past CEO of Noel Leeming Group and foodservice distributor Southern Hospitality, past Chairman of Powershop, Flux Federation and Max Fashions, and is a past Director of Ezibuy.

His 30-year career includes 15 years with The Warehouse Group, starting as a joint-venture partner in 1990 and progressing through senior roles in operations and governance to his current position as non-executive Director. He also holds a non-executive directorship with Colonial Motor Company. John is a Chartered Member of the NZ Institute of Directors and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

John and his wife own an 8ha vineyard in Marlborough, growing Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.