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.
Ngarimu Blair is an elected representative of the Ngati Whatua Orakei Trust Ltd, the elected body of the Ngati Whatua Orakei tribe of central Auckland. The Trust is responsible for managing the cultural, spiritual, social and commercial revitalisation of its tribal members. Since 2012 he has been the director of Ngati Whatua Orakei Whai Rawa Ltd, which is responsible for the protection and growth of the tribe's commercial assets. It controls a $1bn asset base that is primarily focused on land, commercial and residential property. Mr Blair served as a director (2010-2015) for the Auckland Waterfront Development Agency. He is a current director of the North Harbour Rugby Union and chairman of Te Kohanga Reo o Kakariki, a Whanau-led Early Childhood Education centre in West Auckland.
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.
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.
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. He was the founder and managing director of BGA Lao Plantation Forestry Ltd, which established a 50,000 ha plantation forestry business in Central Laos. His current business interests include the position of executive chairman and co-founder of the 490 ha Kintore Dairy Farm in Mid Canterbury, which milks 1540 cows. He is also a director and co-shareholder in a 760 ha fattening property in Tarras, Central Otago. John served as a member of the Lincoln Hub Establishment Board and is a Lincoln University alumnus and now lives in Wanaka.
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.
The Honourable Kate Wilkinson
The Honourable Kate Wilkinson is 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. In the 49th and 50th New Zealand Parliaments, Wilkinson served as Associate Minister of Conservation (2009–2010), Minister of Conservation (2010–2013), Minister for Food Safety (until 2013), Associate Minister of Immigration (until 2013), and Minister of Labour (2008–2012). Following her departure from politics, Wilkinson returned to Canterbury to look after her family farming interests. She was appointed Commissioner of the Environment Court in May 2015.