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Our leadership team

Our board members

Jane Taylor is currently Chair of Orion New Zealand, Deputy Chair of the XRB and a director of Silver Fern Farms, Port Otago and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan New Zealand Forest Investments.

Jane is also Chair of Predator Free 2050 Limited, the company which is a key player in achieving New Zealand’s Predator Free 2050 ambition, and has recently been appointed as a Guardian of the Aotearoa Circle.

Paul Reynolds is the Deputy Chair of Manaaki Whenua and the Chair of AgResearch. He served as Chief Executive of the Ministry for the Environment from 2008 until 2015. From 2002-2008 was Deputy Director General (Policy) at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Ngarimu Blair is the Deputy Chair of the Ngati Whatua Orakei Trust Ltd. He’s a Director on Ngati Whatua Orakei Whai Rawa Ltd and a Trustee on the Sir Peter Blake Trust.

Justine is the chief executive of Venture Taranaki, and is on the boards of Economic Development New Zealand and AGMARDT (Agricultural Marketing, Research and Development Trust). Prior to joining Venture Taranaki, she was Deputy Director-General, Sector Partnerships and Programmes, at the Ministry for Primary Industries. She has held a number of other senior management roles across the public service in innovation, strategy, communications, policy and operations, including as Executive Director of the Royal commission of inquiry into the Canterbury earthquakes’ building failures. She resides in Taranaki with her young family.

Emily Parker is a Professor of Chemical Biology at Victoria University of Wellington – Te Herenga Waka, where she leads a research team that uses chemical and biochemical techniques to explore biosynthetic pathways towards complex natural products and the molecular details of enzymatic catalysis.

John Rodwell is an experienced director with a background in corporate finance, investment banking and investing in agri-businesses. He was chief executive (1995-1999) of GF Brierley, a Bangkok-based investment company focused on agri investment in the region. Through this role John forged deep ties in South East Asia.

Caroline Saunders is a Board member of Manaaki Whenua and the Director of the Agri-Business and Economics Research Unit at Lincoln University. She 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 market policies and their impact on development.

The Honourable Kate Wilkinson is a former Member of Parliament (Waimakariri) and Cabinet Minister. Before entering politics Kate worked for 25 years as a solicitor for a Christchurch-based law firm. She was a member of the House of Representatives of New Zealand for the National Party from 2005 until her retirement in 2014.