Board of Directors

Rob Hewett - Chairman

Rob HewettRob is a 6th generation farmer, who has farmed in the Clutha District since 2002, running a 960ha carbon neutral sheep and beef operation with large forestry interests. Rob has been a director of Farmlands since 2015 and Chairman since 2019.  He also Chairs Silver Fern Farms Ltd, Pioneer Energy and the Strong Wool Action Group.  He is a director of T&G Global, Silver Fern Farms Co-operative and Pulse Energy and is a Councillor of Lincoln University. Rob is also a member of the KPMG-led National Food Strategy think tank and is a member of the ministerial-appointed Te Taiao working group. Rob has a MCM (hons) and a B.com (Ag) from Lincoln University and is a Chartered Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

 

Gray Baldwin

Gray Baldwin and his wife Marilyn winter milk 850 cows, on an all autumn calving system, on their 713ha property near Lichfield in South Waikato. The property includes substantial areas of 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, retired from the board of Ballance Agri-Nutrients in 2018.
Gray has a M.Agr.Sc. and diplomas in Marketing and Theology. In 2015 he attended the Summer Institute of Co-operative Leadership at the University of Missouri. He also completed the Fonterra Governance Programme in 2010.

 

Chris DennisonChris Dennison

Chris Dennison has extensive experience as a Director, including Chair of Network Waitaki Ltd., and formerly as Deputy Chairman of Ravensdown Fertiliser, Chairman of the Lower Waitaki Irrigation Company and Chairman of Tracmap Ltd. 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 has a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) from Lincoln University and is a graduate of the Rabobank Executive Development Programme. He is a Charter Member of IOD.

 

Peter Ellis

An experienced executive and director, Peter Ellis was elected to the Farmlands Board in 2020. Over the past decade, Peter has been an Independent Director on a diverse range of company boards. These include The Co-operative Bank (Independent Director), Euro Corporation Holdings Ltd, (Independent Chairman), Freshmax Pty Ltd (Acting Chairman and CEO) and Veterinary Enterprises Group (Independent Director).
Peter is currently an Independent Chair of Boards of Companies involved in primary health care, honey, funds management and property asset compliance and management, all of which are New Zealand leaders in their respective sectors. He has been involved in the primary sector from an on-farm upbringing, at university and in his subsequent career. Peter also has a long-standing relationship with Farmlands, having previously been CEO of North Island-based Farmlands Trading Society Limited.

 
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. He joined the Farmlands Board in 2017. Warren is also Chair of Pāmu (Landcorp Farming Ltd.), a Director of Quayside Holdings and Predator Free 2050; and Chairs the Forestry Ministerial Advisory Group and Griffith Enterprise at Griffith University on the Gold Coast. He is a lifestyle block farmer.
 

Dawn Sangster

Central Otago-based Dawn Sangster is a Director and farmer of her family farming business Glenayr Ltd, a 2,870ha enterprise which comprises three sheep and beef properties.
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, Cambridge Partners, and is Chair of J. Ballantyne and Co Ltd.
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, and owns a 212ha farm on the West Coast.

 

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 Fellow 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.

 

Sjoerd Post

Sjoerd has over 30 years’ experience in commercial leadership positions around the world, including roles with Refining NZ, Shell and Europia. He is currently CEO of architecture and design practice, Jasmax.
His career in more than 60 countries means he brings a wealth of supply chain, strategic, commercial sales and trading experience to the Farmlands Board table.
Originally from The Netherlands, Sjoerd has a Master’s in Mathematics and started out in IT before moving into executive roles. He enjoys spending time with his family as well as music, the visual arts and sailing.