DairyNZ’s Board of Directors welcomed a new dairy farmer member, Cameron Henderson, and saw current chair Jim van der Poel re-elected at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Te Awamutu.

Cameron and Jim are two of five farmer-elected directors along with three board-appointed directors on DairyNZ’s board. DairyNZ’s chair will be confirmed at the next board meeting.

Read our media release for a summary of DairyNZ’s Board of Directors election and AGM results.

AGM recording

Successful candidates

Cameron Henderson - Swannanoa

Positive, progressive and pragmatic. This is the approach I take on farm, in sector leadership, and what I will bring to DairyNZ.

Together with my wife Sarah, two young kids and our awesome farm team, we milk 750 cows on 240ha near Oxford, North Canterbury. We also lease a further 250 ha for dairy support and arable.

I have worked in various roles for many years to improve outcomes for farmers. Starting with my time at Fonterra in supply chain strategy, then later at DairyNZ as a farm systems developer. I have served as provincial president for Federated Farmers and advised on regional policy with Environment Canterbury.

Nationally, I was the only working farmer on the He Waka Eke Noa steering group and now sit on the board of Ballance Agri-nutrients.

I am excited about the future of dairy, but we must have practical and science lead solutions, on farm and in policy. DairyNZ has a lead role in delivering both, but needs to be better connected with it’s levy payers, listening not lecturing, and being more strategic about when to represent farmers and when to lead farmers. With Colin stepping down, it is vital an equally positive, progressive and pragmatic South Island voice remains at the DairyNZ board table.

Current roles

  • Director – Henderson Farms Trust
  • Director – Ballance Agri-Nutrients
  • Trustee – North Canterbury Farmers Charitable Trust
  • National advisory board – Dairy Environment Leaders
  • Co-Founder/Trustee – Waimakariri Landcare Trust

Past Roles

  • Associate Director – DairyNZ
  • National Steering Group – He Waka Eke Noa
  • President – North Canterbury Federated Farmers

Qualifications and Awards

  • Bachelor of Engineering, (Hons) – Auckland
  • Bachelor of Finance – Auckland
  • Advanced Sustainable Nutrient Management – Massey
  • Rural Governance, Strategy, Governance Essentials – Institute of Directors
  • 2019 – Nuffield Scholar
  • 2022 – Synlait Farming for a Healthier World Award
  • 2023 – NZ Dairy Industry Awards – Responsible Dairying Award

Directors’ Interest Statement

To the best of my knowledge and belief, I have no conflict of interest with DairyNZ at the date of my notice of consent to being nominated as a candidate for the Board of Directors other than that I am a trustee of Waimakariri Landcare Trust which has received funding from DairyNZ for the Next Generation Farming project I do not believe that any conflicts of interest are likely to arise other than the continuation of the above.

Jim van der Poel - Ōhaupō

As a director and chair of DairyNZ it is my commitment to ensure DairyNZ continues to deliver world-class science, research, extension and policy.

DairyNZ must continue to play a key role in supporting farmers through these tough times. We have been in tough times before and together we can get through this downturn.

DairyNZ must continue to be the organisation that plays an important role in helping all farmer groups and dairy organisations to work together. We are all part of the same rural communities and so must continue to find solutions to our challenges that work for the whole community.

DairyNZ plays an important role in helping farmers through todays and tomorrows challenges to make sure our farmers continue to be world leading in their production systems and animal welfare practices. Environmental stewardship is, and will continue to play, an important role for farmers. DairyNZ has a critical role in ensuring standards that are set deliver the outcomes required but are also practicable and workable.

My commitment is, to continue in my role in DairyNZ, to work in the best interests of farmers to help ensure regulations meet those objectives. To also ensure farmers are supported in incorporating those targets into their future farming systems, whilst maintaining the viability of their farming operations.

With New Zealand needing dairy and the contribution it makes to the economy more than ever, I believe it is our opportunity to show how much good work so many farmers are doing, will continue to do, and how proud they are of their farms, their families and their communities.

Directors' Interest Statement

To the best of my knowledge and belief I have no conflicts of interest with DairyNZ that would prevent me from standing for and being a director of DairyNZ and I do not believe that any conflicts are likely to arise in the future.

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