Food and Fibre Partnership Group (FFPG) Biographies

The group consists of chairs and chief executives from across the sector, Māori agribusiness leaders, and government agency chief executives

M Petersen

Mike Petersen, Farmer and Independent Director

Mike is an experienced New Zealand director with extensive governance experience in the agribusiness sector. Until recently, he was New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade Envoy for six years, where he advocated for New Zealand’s agriculture trade and market access interests and identified opportunities for New Zealand to commercialise its agricultural expertise offshore. 

These days, Mike is busy as Chairman of Nui Markets, an agri-food digital marketplace, independent chair of Pastoral Genomics, an independent director of ANZCO Foods and several privately owned companies. He was previously chair of Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

Ray Smith

Ray Smith, Director-General, Ministry for Primary Industries

Ray is Director-General of MPI, appointed to the role in November 2018.

Prior to MPI, Ray served as Chief Executive of the Department of Corrections from 2010 to 2018 and was the Deputy Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development's Child, Youth and Family, an agency superseded by Oranga Tamariki.

Carolyn Tremain

Carolyn Tremain, Chief Executive, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Carolyn joined MBIE from the NZ Customs Service, where she was the Chief Executive and Comptroller. She has over 20 years’ experience leading large, complex service delivery organisations, and substantial change management programmes.

V Robertson2

Vicky Robertson, Secretary for the Environment and Chief Executive, Ministry for the Environment

Vicky was appointed Secretary for the Environment in April 2015 and is an internationally experienced executive with a background in law and economics. Before her appointment, she was a member of the Treasury’s senior leadership team, where she held the roles of Deputy Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer and Acting Secretary and Chief Executive positions. 

Peter Chrisp

Peter Chrisp, Chief Executive, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

Peter is currently the Chief Executive of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, New Zealand’s international business development agency. Prior to this, Peter spent 20 years in the engineering, manufacturing, and pulp and paper industries.

Previous roles have included human resources, operations, logistics and supply chain, and General Manager of the Tasman paper mills in Kawerau. Peter has international experience as Senior Vice President Norske Skog Global, based in Norway.

Traci Houpapa

Traci Houpapa, MNZM JP, Chairman Tainui, Federation of Maori Authorities

Traci chairs the Federation of Maori Authorities. She is an award-winning company director and recognised business leader, and serves on several boards, including The Treasury, NZTE, Predator Free 2050, Primary ITO and the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women. She is the former Chair of Landcorp (trading as Pamu). Traci has an MBA from Massey University, is a Justice of the Peace, and a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

M Stephens2

Miriana Stephens, Wakatu Incorporation

Miriana is a director for Wakatū Incorporation and is the GM of AuOra which is the nutrition, health and wellness solutions business of Wakatū. She is also the Programme Director for the Te Tauihu (Top of the South) Intergenerational Regional Strategy.

Miriana is a trustee on AGMARDT, Te Āwhina Marae in Motueka and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rārua. She is a member of the Steering Group for Expo 2020, Nuku ki te Puku™, a national Māori Food and Beverage cluster and the Executive Committee for the NZ China Business Council.

David Rhodes

David Rhodes, Chief Executive, Forestry Owners Association

David is Chief Executive Officer for the Forest Owners Association (FOA) - the peak industry body representing the owners of New Zealand's commercial plantation forests for all aspects of planation forestry. He also CEO for the Forest Growers’ Levy Trust, a member of the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations, the Forest Stewardship Council and the steering group of the UN Food and Agriculture Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-based Industries.

A Morrison2

Andrew Morrison, Chairman and Farmer Director, Southern South Island, Beef+LambNZ

Beef+LambNZ chairman Andrew Morrison was elected onto the board in 2018.  Previously, Andrew spent four years on the board representing the Southern South Island region. Andrew and his wife Lisa farm a total of 1030 hectares of breeding and finishing units spread between Southland and Otago.

Andrew also sits on the boards of Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Ovis management Ltd, the New Zealand Meat Board, the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium and the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand.

B Oneil2

Barry O’Neil, Chairman, Horticulture New Zealand

Barry has been a grower since 1984, when he purchased a kiwifruit and avocado orchard in Tauranga. Since 2003, he has been growing kiwifruit near Katikati, also in the Bay of Plenty. Barry is a veterinarian by profession. He has had a long career involving biosecurity, including being New Zealand’s Chief Veterinary Officer from 1994 to 2009, President of the World Organisation for Animal Health from 2006 to 2009, leading the then Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s Biosecurity NZ for 10 years and, more recently, as Chief Executive of Kiwifruit Vine Health.

Barry is currently the Chair of Horticulture New Zealand, Chair of TomatoesNZ, director of SCION, and Chair of the Kauri Dieback review panel.


Jim van der Poel, Chairman DairyNZ

DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel was elected onto the Fonterra board in 2002 and stepped down in 2014. Jim also served on the board of New Zealand Co-operative Dairies Ltd.

In 2000, Jim was appointed to the foundation board of DairyNZ’s predecessor organisation, Dexcel, and was elected as Dexcel’s Chairman in 2003. Jim was a farmer-elected director on DairyNZ’s first board in 2007 and stepped down in 2009. He was re-elected to the DairyNZ board in 2013.

Previously, Jim was an inaugural director on the Fonterra Shareholders Fund and has won a number of industry awards including the AC Cameron Award, 2002 Nuffield Scholarship, Sharemilker of the Year and Dairy Exporter Primary Performer Award.

C Ellison

Craig Ellison, Chairman, Seafood New Zealand

Craig has a long history in the seafood industry. He was a director, financial and quota manager for his whānau fishing company Ōtākou Fisheries, and involved in the introduction of the Quota Management System. From 1992 – 2004 was a Te Ohu Kai Moana (Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission) Commissioner. Previous directorships include Aotearoa Fisheries, the Sealord Group, Airways, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, NIWA, and chairing the NZ Seafood Standards Council and Poutama Trust. Craig is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation.

P Gregan2

Philip Gregan, Chief Executive Officer, New Zealand Winegrowers

Philip is the Chief Executive Officer of New Zealand Winegrowers, the national industry organisation that represents, researches and promotes the interests of New Zealand grape growers and wine makers. Philip has been with New Zealand Winegrowers and its predecessor, the Wine Institute of New Zealand, since starting as a Research officer in 1983. He has held the role of Chief Executive Officer since 1990. Philip has a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts (Hons) majoring in Geography, from the University of Auckland.