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 started with Touche Ross (now Deloitte), then became a partner in a mid-tier firm in Christchurch, before purchasing the business of Perkins Thomas in Oamaru in 2001.
He is a partner at McKenzie & C0 Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors. Fraser is also a Director of the North Otago Rugby Football Union.
Chris Dennison, Director
Lower Waitaki Irrigation Company
Chris is the chairman of the Lower Waitaki Irrigation Company. He is an arable farmer at Hildethorpe cropping 400 hectares of cereals, ryegrass and canola under spray irrigation. He also milks 800 cows on an adjacent property which is predominantly irrigated through border-dyke application.
In 2005, Chris set a Guinness world record for wheat production, and currently holds the world record for canola yield. He has a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture from Lincoln University and is also a director of Network Waitaki.
He is married to Kay and has two children. In his spare time Chris enjoys fishing.
Geoff Keeling, Director
Kurow-Duntroon Irrigation Company
Geoff Keeling is a dairy farmer from Duntroon. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture from Lincoln University. He previously worked as a farm management and development consultant and manager. He is the chairman of the Kurow-Duntroon Irrigation Company.
Geoff is also a director of the Maerewhenua District Water Resource Company. The Duntroon Springs is located on Geoff’s property, which is part of a community-led initiative to create a wetland and walkway system and the takiroa Maori rock art site is located within his property also.
Gert van’t Klooster, Director
Morven, Glenavy, Ikawai Irrigation Company
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 are now in the process of changing the farm from border-dyke to spray irrigation. His youngest son has just commenced his second season on the home farm as a contract milker; however Gert is still heavily involved in the farming operations.
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.
Reuben Allan, Director
Waitaki Independent Irrigators Incorporated
A dairy farmer on the north bank of the Waitaki, Reuben is the chair of the Waitaki Independent Irrigators Incorporated Society.
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. Jock 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.
Kelvin Weir, Director
Maerewhenua District Water Resource Company
Kelvin farms a 446 hectare dairy farm on the Waitaki plains near Duntroon, milking 800 cows. He is the Chairman of the Maerewhenua District Water Resource Company. His farm is a mixture of new laser-levelled border-dykes and spray irrigation systems.
Kelvin has lived close to the Waitaki River his whole life, and he has had extensive involvement with irrigation in the area over the years.
Kelvin is married to Debbie and has three daughters. In his spare time he enjoys motorbikes, jetboating, and mountain and road cycling.
Robyn Wells, Director
North Otago Irrigation Company
Robyn is originally from the North Island of New Zealand and joined the North Otago Irrigation Company in August 2010 as their Chief Executive Officer after 25 years spent working overseas in the USA and Australia. Robyn 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). 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.
Robyn is married to Bill and they have a son and daughter. As a family they are enjoying getting to know New Zealand and in particular the South Island since arriving in 2010.
Elizabeth’s role with WIC is to act as its face and voice in the community, and to work with stakeholders in order to assist the Collective achieve its goals and objectives.
Elizabeth holds a Master of Arts in Politics, an Honours Degree in Politics (First Class) and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Otago. Elizabeth has always had an interest in resource management issues and environmental politics, and is a board member of Irrigation New Zealand.
She has previously worked for the Ministry of Social Development as Policy Advisor for the lower South Island, the Ministry of Justice and at law firms in New Zealand and England.
She is married to Shane and has a young son. In her spare time, Elizabeth plays squash and touch, enjoys running, gardening, reading, and she is an avid fan of rugby.