Beef + Lamb New Zealand chairman to step down

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

James Parsons became chairman of Beef + Lamb New Zealand when he was 37 years old
James Parsons became chairman of Beef + Lamb New Zealand when he was 37 years old

Related tags: Lamb new zealand, New zealand, Meat, Beef, Lamb

The chairman of Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ), James Parsons, has announced he will not be seeking re-election in the organisation’s director elections in March.

Parsons, who farms a 478-hectare hill country farm in Tangowahine, Northland, has served as the Northern North Island director on the B+LNZ board for nine years, including four as chairman.

“Although I am still very energised as the organisation’s chairman, another three-year term would mean 12 years on the board and seven years as chairman​,” he said. “Consequently, I feel the time is right for fresh leadership. We have a strong and capable board, which leaves me confident in the ongoing governance of B+LNZ on behalf of farmers.

“I have felt privileged to be part of a great team of directors and staff. It is a team unified by a deep passion to see rural communities thrive, through growing and protecting the viability of sheep and beef producers.”

Two new directors

Parsons was first elected to the board in March 2009 and, in 2014 at the age of 37, became the organisation’s youngest-ever chairman following the retirement of Mike Petersen.

Andrew Morrison, of Gore, B+LNZ ‘s Southern South Island Farmer director, has been supported unanimously by the board to take over the chair when Parsons retires next year.

“This has been a thorough succession process over the last 18 months, so Andrew is well prepared for the role,”​ said Parsons. “Constitutionally, his appointment does require a vote of the board immediately following the B+LNZ Annual Meeting on 22 March. This will include one - and potentially two - new directors who haven’t been part of the board’s succession discussions.

“I look forward to leading the board for the final four months of my term, which will include engaging closely with the new government, completing consultation with farmers on a Government Industry Agreement on Biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA) and launching our natural Red Meat Sector Story.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to represent farmers over the last nine years and I’m grateful to all the individuals who have provided support and encouragement during that time.”

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