Fraser McKenzie, Independent Chairman
McKenzie & Co Limited
Fraser’s passion is anything rural. Having graduated from Lincoln College with a Bachelor of Commerce and Agriculture majoring in Valuation and Farm Management, backed up with a Bachelor of Commerce from Canterbury, he has been working as a farm accountant since 1986. He is a director of McKenzie & Co. Ltd, Oamaru.
Richard Plunket, Director
Lower Waitaki Irrigation Company (LWIC)
Richard oversees and leads Banarach Farm in conjunction with his wife, Andrea, and father, Allan. Banarach Farm is a mixed operation of dairy, sheep and beef on 562 ha just north of Oamaru, with 307 ha of irrigation using various spray methods. In 2011, Richard was elected onto the board of the Lower Waitaki Irrigation Limited Company (LWIC) and has been board chair since 2015. He is an active member of the North Otago Land Search and Rescue, and enjoys the outdoors from mountains to lakes and the recreational opportunities they provide.
Geoff Keeling, Director
Kurow-Duntroon Irrigation Company (KDIC)
Geoff and his wife Jan, run a self-contained dairy operation at Duntroon. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture from Lincoln University. He has previous experience as a farm management consultant and development manager. Geoff is chairman of the Kurow-Duntroon Irrigation Company and a former director of the Maerewhenua District Water Resource Company. Their farming operation holds shares in both companies and also holds individual irrigation consents from the Waitaki River. He is a committee member of the Duntroon District Development Association. The Duntroon Wetlands is located on their property, which is a community led initiative to create a wetland and walkway system. The Takiroa Rock Art site is also located within the property and they have over 4 kms of the Alps to Ocean cycle trail going through the property as well.
Gert van’t Klooster, Director
Morven, Glenavy, Ikawai Irrigation Company (MGI)
Gert has been a director of the Morven, Glenavy, Ikawai Irrigation Company for nine years. He also has active governance roles in his local community of Glenavy, South Canterbury. Gert is married to Hermien and has four children. He emigrated from Holland to the Waikato in 1989. He then moved to Glenavy in 1994, converting a sheep and beef farm to an irrigated dairy operation. Over the years the farm’s herd size has increased and the family have almost completed the process of changing the farm from border-dyke to spray irrigation. His youngest son is in his seventh year share milking and started his own farm 3 years ago. Gert is a strong advocate for the role irrigation can play in supporting sustainable intensification – increasing or maintaining farm production, whilst improving its environmental footprint.
Andrew Hayes, Director
Waitaki Independent Irrigators Incorporated (WIII), Haka Valley Irrigation Limited (HVIL)
Andy has been a director on HVIL since the Company began in 2013 and has chaired it since 2015. He has also been on the WIII Committee since 2014 and is now chairing this Incorporation. He has also been a member of the Lower Waitaki South Coastal Zone Committee since 2015. Growing up in the Hakataramea Valley, Andy and his wife Elizabeth with their three children, were fifth generation sheep and beef farmers until they converted the family farm to dairy in 2013. With reliable Waitaki River water so close, they are now milking 1000 cows in a well known dry climate thanks to HVIL. Andy is managing the farm business and the couple are also diversifying into on-farm tourism. Andy has seen how difficult it can be during droughts in this region and strongly promotes efficient irrigation and also improving on-farm management practices to ensure our environment is sustained whilst retaining profitability on-farm.
Jock Webster, Independent Director
Jock was born and bred in North Otago, attending Waitaki Boys’ High School before gaining a Bachelor in Agricultural Science from Lincoln University. He spent just over a year as a scientist at Crop Research before becoming a farmer which he has continued with for the last 40 years. Jock now crops 1320 ha with his son and nephew. Jock is a managing director of Topflite, a company which wholesale supplies quality birdseed, small animal treats and a range of stock feed New Zealand-wide and to international markets. He was the founding Chairman of the North Otago Irrigation Company and is also a director of the North Otago Rugby Union. Jock enjoys sea fishing and boating and occasionally goes snow skiing. He is married to Helen with two sons and a daughter and has three grandchildren.
Robyn Wells, Acting Director of Strategy & Policy
Robyn was the Chief Executive of North Otago Irrigation Company (NOIC) from August 2010 to April 2019. She is a graduate of Massey University (BSc.) and she also holds MSc. (University of Queensland, Australia) and MBA (College of William and Mary, Virginia, USA). Since 2016 Robyn has been a board member of Irrigation New Zealand (INZ) and currently sits on the INZ audit and finance committee. Robyn was formerly the Independent Chair of a dairy farm conversion in the Waitaki Valley. Robyn’s career focus has been in rural-industry based investments, environmental management, project management and large-scale asset management in industries including biofuels, liquid fertiliser, animal feedstuffs, and engineering & plant construction. Most recently she guided NOIC through an 8,000-hectare expansion of their irrigation infrastructure. Robyn’s interests include mountain biking, hiking and generally being outdoors. She resides in Dunedin where her family live, and commutes to the Waitaki. Robyn is temporarily acting as the Director of Strategy and Policy in a part-time capacity until a replacement is found after the recent departure of Elizabeth Soal.