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About Te Puna Whakaaronui

Te Puna Whakaaronui is overseen by a Governance Group and a Thought Leaders Group.

Governance Group

The Governance Group provides leadership and strategic thinking to support New Zealand’s Food and Fibre Sector transformation. It is composed of sector leaders and senior government officials.

  • Chair: Sir Brian Roche KNZM
  • Lain Jager, Chair of Te Puna Whakaaronui Thought Leaders Group
  • Caralee McLiesh, Chief Executive and Secretary to the Treasury – New Zealand
  • Ray Smith, Director General Ministry for Primary Industries
  • Peter Chrisp, Chief Executive New Zealand Trade and Enterprise


Thought Leaders Group

The independently chaired Thought Leaders Group brings international, industry, and business expertise and insights to the Te Puna Whakaaronui Governance Group and work programme.

Lain Jager – Chair

Lain Jager is best known for work with the kiwifruit marketer, Zespri, where he was Chief Executive Officer 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 adviser to a small number of companies.

Dr Laura Domigan

Dr Laura Domigan is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland. Following under-graduate and doctoral study at the University of Canterbury she was a post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University (Massachusetts, USA). She is a member of the MBIE Science Board, a Principal Investigator in the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, and an Associate Investigator in the Riddet Institute.

Laura’s research is focused on sustainably sourced proteins, including formulating new protein biomaterials for surgical use, and cell-based meat production.

Rob Hewett

Rob Hewett is Co-Chair of Silver Fern Farms Limited and a Director of the Co-op Board. He is  Chair of: Farmlands Co-Operative, Pioneer Energy and the Strong Wool Action Group; a Director of T&G Global and member of the Lincoln University Council. He sits on the Te Taiao and KPMG National Food Strategy steering groups and is a Chartered Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

Rob farms a carbon-neutral 960 ha sheep and beef breeding and finishing farm in South Otago. 

Andrew Ferrier

Andrew Ferrier runs his own private investment business, Canz Capital Ltd.

Andrew was CEO of Fonterra, 2003-11; Director of global agri-business Bunge Ltd, 2012-20; a Director of Canada’s George Weston Limited from 2017-2022, and a University of Auckland Councillor, 2012-20. He was also Chair of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise from 2012-22.

Prior to moving to New Zealand from his native Canada in 2003, Andrew worked for sixteen years in the global sugar industry and also ran a durable consumer products company in Canada.

Neil Richardson

Neil Richardson CNZM, has a long track record of leadership in business and the primary sector around the world. His primary sector roles include Chairmanships of AgResearch, the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and the Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project (following PSA). He is a member of the Primary Sector Council and an investor in numerous agri-tech companies.

Currently, Neil has various roles in a range of New Zealand and international start-ups and established companies. He a Board member for a number of charities, is a member of the NZTE Beachheads Board and has been a regular presenter on Institute of Directors programmes.

Nick Hammond

Nick Hammond is co-founder and Chief Executive of Spring Sheep Milk Co. and works with a particular focus on innovation and growth. The company has been recognised on the national stage for its innovation. He is a Director of the Infant Nutrition Council for Australia and New Zealand, Vice Chair of Future Food Aotearoa and Chair of ADC, a microfinance charity supporting women in Myanmar.

Nick is an NZ qualified Chartered Accountant and Lawyer.

Murray Sherwin

Murray Sherwin CNZM is an economist of more than forty-five years’ experience in a wide range of public policy roles. Murray’s twenty-five year long career with the Reserve Bank, culminated with seven years as Deputy Governor. He has held roles with the OECD and the Prime Minister’s Advisory Group, is a former Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Board Member of the World Bank.

He was appointed as the inaugural Chair of the NZ Productivity Commission in 2010, a position from which he recently retired from. He serves on a number of boards.

Liz Te Amo

Liz Te Amo is the CEO of Miro, a Māori grower collective of iwi, hapu and whānau. Liz has had an eighteen year long career with government, at New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and ten years in the private sector. Liz’s career has been dedicated to growing New Zealand businesses internationally, Māori economic development and regional development. She has lived and worked in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the USA and Australia. Liz is of Tūhourangi, Ngāti Moko, Waitaha and Tapuika descent.

Nick Smith

Nick is a Research Officer in the Riddet Institute’s Sustainable Nutrition Initiative®. Nick has a background in mathematical modelling and human nutrition, and is responsible for several computational models for global and national food systems, as well as for sustainable diets. His focus is championing the human nutrition aspect of the sustainability of food.