Michael Spaans

Director Michael Spaans has just stepped down from the Fonterra Board due to ill health, but the company hinted that he might return should he be given a ‘clean bill of health’.

In announcing Spaans’ resignation, Fonterra chairman John Wilson thanked him for his tireless contribution to the NZ dairy industry.

“Michael, a dairy farmer, came up through the ranks, spending time on the New Zealand Dairy Group Shareholder Council and then the Fonterra Shareholders’ Council before building his governance experience outside the industry,” Wilson said. “As a result, his insights and experience are invaluable, particularly on Fonterra’s Milk Price Panel, Audit and Finance Committee and the Co-operative Relations Committee.”

To fill this vacancy, Fonterra has appointed Ian Farrelly as a director, until the 2017 Annual Meeting.

Spaans will also temporarily step aside from his chairman role at DairyNZ. His previous positions included chairman of the Animal Breeding Services Limited and Waikato Innovation Park Ltd, as well as directorships in OSPRI New Zealand Ltd and Manuka SA (Chile). A dairy farmer since 1984, Spaans owns a 500-cow dairy farm near Te Aroha. The family business includes farming interests in Chile, Canterbury NZ and Missouri.