Board of Directors

Board of Directors

As a Mutual, FMG is governed by a Board of experienced and connected agricultural leaders.

Tony Cleland (Board Chair)

Tony Cleland (Board Chair)

Tony heads the Board as Chairman and has extensive experience in the rural sector. Tony is a dairy farming entrepreneur from Southland and a founder of FarmRight. Tony’s been a director on FMG’s board since 2007, and has also held a range of other governance roles, including Director of several large scale farming businesses and Chairman of Fieldpower Northland.

Marise James

Marise James

Marise is based in the Taranaki as a Chartered Accountant specialising in rural business and tax planning. She has a plenty of experience in the rural sector having previously served as a director for Landcorp Farming Ltd and Fonterra. Marise and her husband Bryn have also previously held the Sharemilker of the Year title and she’s a former Nuffield Scholar.

Danny Chan

Danny Chan

Born and bred in Wellington, Danny has held a number of significant international governance roles. From being on the Asia-Pacific Board of Fidelity Investments to his directorship roles at Everbright Pacific and AgResearch, Danny brings a wealth of financial, investment management and advisory experience to the Board. Danny currently holds several directorships, including at Abano Healthcare, Flowerzone International, Bio Pacific Management and ASPEQ.

Michael Ahie

Michael Ahie

Michael is the CEO and a founding partner of AltusQ NZ. He has broad international business and governance experience with multinational companies including Toyota New Zealand Ltd, the New Zealand Dairy Board and Wrightson Ltd. Currently, Michael also stands as the Chairman of Plant and Food Research, and a Director of the BIO Commerce Centre. He is also the ProChancellor at Massey University.

Cindy Mitchener

Cindy Mitchener

Cindy’s experience in communications and media brings an important perspective to the FMG Board. After previous senior roles at Radio NZ, Saatchis and TV3, Cindy now runs her own media consultancy and is a partner of marketing and recruitment company Marsden Inch. She’s heavily involved in equestrian, owning family business Tootill Equestrian and standing as an independent Director of Horse of the Year Hawke’s Bay.

Geoff Copstick

Geoff Copstick

Geoff was CFO of Gallagher Group in Hamilton for nine years. He is now on Gallagher’s board and Chair of their Audit and Risk Committee. Geoff also serves as an independent advisor to Northland Regional Council on finance, audit and economic development issues. Geoff is a previous Chair of ChildFund New Zealand and has 20 years of executive-level finance experience with New Zealand companies. He has specialised in corporate governance, risk management and corporate treasury operations. 

Steve Allen

Steve has enjoyed over twenty years as a Chairman, Director and Trustee of a number of Private Companies, Private Trusts and Charitable Trusts. Steve’s career has included time in the commercial sector with IBM NZ, and comprises extensive dairy industry experience with directorships on both the NZ Dairy Board and LIC. More recently, Steve has been a member of the Waikato Dairy Leaders Group and he is a trustee of the Waikato based David Johnstone Charitable Trust. Steve has been Chairman of the Tatua Board since 2003. 

Murray Taggart

Murray Taggart

Murray farms sheep, beef and arable crops under irrigation near Oxford in North Canterbury. Prior to going farming, he worked for seven years at ANZ Bank. Murray was a Nuffield scholar in 1996 and in 2006 won the Tasman region FMG Rural Excellence Award. He is a former National Meat and Fibre Chairman of Federated Farmers and was a director of CRT Society for 15 years. Murray is experienced in corporate governance and is currently Chairman of Alliance Group and a director of Ballance Agri-Nutrients.