Our board members
Peter Schuyt (Chair)
Peter Schuyt is a professional Director with a senior executive background in strategic and financial management. The organisations that Peter currently works with cover a broad range of sectors including agriculture (dairy, pipfruit and kiwifruit ) , research and the environment (Landcare Research and WWF ), education (tertiary and secondary ) and infrastructure (the port sector). Prior to his governance positions, Peter’s background was in leadership roles including Chief Financial Officer of the NZ Dairy Board and, more recently, the NZ Post Group of companies.
Tania Simpson (Deputy Chair)
Tania Simpson is the founding director of Kōwhai Consulting and is a trained negotiator and facilitator with over 20 years' experience in Māori development including business, education, land development, environment and Treaty issues. She is a director of Mighty River Power, Agresearch, and Landcare Research NZ, a Trustee of the Waikato Endowed Colleges Trust and Te Reo Irirangi o Maniapoto Trust, a member of the Waitangi Tribunal and an accredited member of the Institute of Directors.
Tania has an extensive background in public service having worked in senior levels at Housing New Zealand Corporation and Te Puni Kōkiri. Tania has previous experience as a senior member of the Office of Treaty Settlements and vast experience in delivering Treaty training, governance and negotiations training to a wide range of groups and organisations.
Chris Downs is Deputy Chief and Portfolio Director for CSIRO’s Division of Animal, Food and Health Sciences and is located in Brisbane, Australia. As a member of the executive team, Chris leads the delivery of science impact in the areas of animal, food and health sciences. 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, business development and commercialisation. He has previously held directorships in companies involved in research and commercialisation in the seafood and biomaterials sectors.
Hon. John Luxton
Dr Emily Parker
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 a principal investigator of the Biomolecular Interaction Centre.
Vicky Taylor is a General Manager for Smartfoods and has a strong background in organisational strategy and development; marketing and brand development; communications and corporate affairs. She has previously held executive positions with Coca-Cola Oceania, Griffin’s Foods Limited, Goodman Fielder Ltd and New Zealand Dairy Foods. Vicky is currently on the Vehicle Testing New Zealand Board.