Te Puna Whakaaronui members

Lain Jager

Lain Jager is best known for his time with the kiwifruit marketer Zespri where he was CEO from 2008 to 2017. Today, Lain is involved in a range of investment projects in Tourism and Agribusiness, serves as a Director on several Boards and acts as a strategic advisor to a small number of companies.


Neil Richardson

Neil Richardson has a diverse and successful track-record of over 40 years in business life, working across Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA. He is currently chairman of Marque Group and Smart Loyalty, with wider involvements as chair, director, advisor and investor within a range of start-ups and established companies alike. Neil is deputy chair of Momentum Foundation and a trustee of numerous other charities, a member of the NZTE Beachheads Board and a regular presenter on IOD programs.


Nick Hammond

Nick Hammond is co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer at Spring Sheep Milk Co. and works with a particular focus on innovation and growth. Nick is qualified in NZ as both a Chartered Accountant and Lawyer and has been recognised on the national stage for his innovation. He is also a Director on the Infant Nutrition Council for Australia and New Zealand, Vice Chair of Future Food Aotearoa and Chair of ADC, a microfinance charity that supports women in Myanmar.


Debbie Birch

Debbie Birch has over 30 years’ senior executive experience of financial markets including global investment portfolios in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Over the last 10 years she has been a  professional director and trustee and is a director of Tourism Holdings Ltd, Ngati Awa Group Holdings Ltd, Te Puia Tapapa Fund, and is Chair of IWIinvestor, and Raukawa ki te Tonga AHC Ltd. Her focus in recent years has been on Māori economic development particularly in the dairying, honey, kiwifruit, tourism, forestry, affordable housing and funds management sectors. For five years, from 2012 to 2016, she was General Manager, Investments at Te Tumu Paeroa leading the organisation's investment strategy to optimise Māori land and assets. She has led the investment in the purchase of NZ’s largest kiwifruit orchard, the investment in the SkyWaka Gondola and the establishment of Te Puia Tapapa, a co-investment fund on behalf of māori/iwi commercial entities.


Murray Sherwin

Murray Sherwin, CNZM is an economist with over 45 years experience in a wide range of public policy roles. Murray has held a number of senior roles with the Reserve Bank, culminating in 7 years as Deputy Governor. In 2001 he was appointed Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. In 2010 he was appointed the inaugural Chair of the NZ Productivity Commission. He led the establishment of the Commission and subsequently oversaw the conduct of 16 full enquiries and a substantial volume of productivity related research. Murray has recently retired from the Commission.

Murray has also had a number of other external appointments: economist with the OECD in Paris (1979); economist with the Prime Ministers Advisory Group (1982/83); Board member of the World Bank (1987 – 89), and has recently been appointed Independent Chair of the Plant Germplasm Import Council and serves on the Advisory Board for Iron Duke Partners.


Rob Hewitt

Rob Hewett is Co-Chair of Silver Fern Farms Limited and a Director on the Co-op Board. He is Chairman of Farmlands Co-Operative, Chair of Pioneer Energy and Chair of the Strong Wool Action Group and is also a director of NZX listed T&G Global and a member of the Lincoln University Council. Rob also sits on the Te Taiao and KPMG National Food Strategy steering groups.

Rob farms a carbon-neutral 960 ha sheep and beef breeding and finishing farm, with wind farm, commercial forestry and carbon sink enterprises in Manuka Gorge, South Otago.  Rob has a M.Com and B.Com (Ag) from Lincoln University and  He is a Chartered Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.


Dame Juliet Gerrard

Dame Juliet Gerrard has held the position of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor since July 2018. Juliet’s vision for the role centres around four qualities: rigour, inclusivity, transparency and accessibility.  She aims to create a trusted bridge between science, society and government.

Juliet is also a Professor at the University of Auckland. Her academic research is in protein biochemistry, investigating protein-protein interactions and applied research in the food industry.


Andrew Ferrier

Andrew runs a private investment company, Canz Capital Ltd, with investments currently in sustainable food and sustainable energy. Andrew is also currently Chairman of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and has been since 2012. In addition to this, he is a Director of George Weston Ltd in Toronto, Canada’s largest private sector employer.

He has held a variety of roles including: Director of Bunge Ltd in New York, one the largest Agri-businesses in the world; a Councillor of the University of Auckland and CEO of Fonterra, from 2003 to late 2011.