Our board members
Jane Taylor (Chair)
Jane Taylor is a professional director, with a strong background in both law and finance. She is currently chairman of New Zealand Post, deputy chair of Silver Fern Farms and Radio New Zealand, and a director of Kiwibank, Hirepool Group Limited, and OTPP New Zealand Forest Investments Limited. Jane is also chair of Predator Free 2050 Ltd, the company which is a key player in achieving New Zealand’s Predator Free 2050 ambition. She was awarded the Otago Daily Times Business Leader of the Year for 2016.
Former directorships include Forestry Corporation of New Zealand Limited, Heartland NZ Ltd, Scion, GNS Science and Research and Education Advanced Network Limited. Jane has served on the NZ Accounting Standards Board and is currently a member of the XRB governance board.
Jane holds an LLB(Hons) and LLM with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland, a postgraduate qualification in accountancy and finance from Victoria University of Wellington and a BForSc (Hons) from the University of Canterbury She is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand, and a member of the New Zealand Law Society and Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand. Jane is also qualified as an Independent Hearings Commissioner certified under the Resource Management Act 1991, and (until recently) chaired numerous publicly notified hearings in the Queenstown Lakes District.
Dr Paul Reynolds (Deputy Chair)
Paul Reynolds served as Chief Executive of the Ministry for the Environment from 2008 until 2015. Prior to that he worked at the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (1998-2002) as Chief Policy Adviser and then, from 2002-2008 was Deputy Director General (Policy) at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Prior to his career in the Wellington-based Public Service, Paul had a scientific research career, first at the University of Missouri, USA (1981-1984) then, following a year at Waikato University, with the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (1985-1992) and after that with the Crown Research Institute, HortResearch (1992-1998). He holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Otago.
In addition to his role as Deputy Chair of Landcare Research, Paul serves as a Director of AgResearch, as a Trustee of the Eastland Community Trust and as Interim Chair of the Land and Water Challenge.
Dr Chris Downs
Chris Downs is Research Director for CSIRO's Food, Nutrition and Bioproducts Flagship and is located in Brisbane, Australia. As a member of the executive team, Chris leads the science capability and the delivery of science impact in the areas of food, food ingredient and beverage innovation. Chris has previously held executive positions in Food Science Australia, CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences and in the New Zealand Institute for Crop & Food Research, where he has had responsibilities including; organisational strategy, government investment portfolio leadership, strategic alliance development, business development and commercialisation. He has previously held directorships in companies involved in research and commercialisation in the seafood and biomaterials sectors. Dr Downs is a member of the Australian Institute of company Directors.
Gavan Herlihy is a Wanaka-based farmer and currently Chair of two farming companies. Gavan has significant agribusiness and rural sector experience at governance level, including previous roles as a director on the New Zealand Meat Producers’ Board, Farmers Mutual Group Ltd and Central Electric Limited. From 1996 to 2002 Gavan was the Member of Parliament for Otago.
Prof. Emily Parker
Emily Parker is a Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Canterbury where she leads a research team that uses chemical and biochemical techniques to explore the evolution and molecular details of enzymic catalysis.
Emily completed her undergraduate training in chemistry at the University of Canterbury, and her PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK. She returned to New Zealand in 1998 to take up a lectureship at Massey University. In 2005 she was awarded the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry Easterfield medal. In 2006 Emily moved to the University of Canterbury to take up a position in the Chemistry Department. She was awarded the Applied Biosystems Award by the New Zealand Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2008, and in 2010 Emily received a National Teaching Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching. Emily is Director of the Biomolecular Interaction Centre.
Prof. Caroline Saunders
Caroline Saunders has 30 years research expertise in the UK and New Zealand. She has over 300 publications specialising on sustainable economic development. Her current research includes evaluating trade and the environment including assessment of international markets policies and their impact on development. This includes developing and using the Lincoln Trade and Environment Model to assess impacts on trade of various factors including changing policy, market trends, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and the development of new technologies. She has also undertaken research into such issues as food miles. She has undertaken research for a wider range of private and public bodies both in NZ and overseas. These include the EU commission, DEFRA, FAO, OECD, MAF, MFAT, Treasury, MFE, MED, NZTE, Fonterra, MOT, Meat Industry and various other sector groups.
She was awarded economist of the year in 2007 and made an officer of the NZ order of merit in 2009.
Steven Saunders has 28 years’ experience in the Horticultural sector and is the founder and owner of the Plus Group of companies, specialising in horticulture management consultancy, global pollen production, robotics development, soil consultancy, international joint ventures, applied technology, research and development / innovation and science. Steven is the co-founder of Newnham Park Horticulture Innovation Centre at Te Puna, which hosts six local export award winning independent companies predominately in the food sector. Steven is also a major stakeholder in the kiwifruit postharvest sector, an active Angel investor (a number of the Angel investments are food based), a Seed Co Investment Fund (SCIF) Director and investor representative, a Director of a number of privately owned companies, an elected member of the executive board for Priority One (driving economic growth in the Bay of plenty) and Board member of Enterprise Angels Tauranga.