As a co-operative, our Board are elected from our membership and we have the ability to have up to two independent Directors.

Our Board members are some of New Zealand’s highest-performing business leaders who have first-rate experience in areas including finance, business transformation, legal, retail and agriculture.

Christine Burr (Chair)

Christine Burr was elected to the Board in 2012 and was appointed Chair in 2020.

Christine is Commercial Manager Milk Supply at Fonterra Co-operative Group. Before joining Fonterra in 2002, she worked in the fashion and tourism sectors. Christine has a commerce degree from Canterbury University and a proud family history involving co-operatives.

Andy Grant

Andy Grant was elected to the Board in 2018.

Andy is a Director at Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation Ltd (ALIL) and he is an Applied Science and Business graduate of Massey University.

Andy lives in New Zealand’s co-operative capital, Ashburton, and he is General Manager of the family-owned farming business, Craigellachie Dairy Farms.

Lisa Murray

Lisa Murray was elected to the Board in 2016.

Lisa is General Counsel at Farmers’ Mutual Group (FMG). As part of FMG’s Senior Leadership Team, she works across the business on both strategic and operational levels including matters related to the legislative, constitutional, governance and ownership aspects of the mutual.

Lisa has an LLB degree from the University of Alberta in her native Canada.

Greg Gent

Greg Gent was elected to Cooperative Business NZ’s Board in 2021.

He has an extensive career in governance, spanning several decades and across multiple sectors. Along with significant experience with the co-operative business model.

Greg is currently the Chair of Southern Cross Health Society, past chair of FMG, past Director of Fonterra, alongside being a dairy farmer in Ruawai with four dairy farms and two support blocks which ensures his membership with multiple New Zealand co-operatives. Being involved in both the agriculture sector and the financial services, Greg has a wealth of knowledge and experience which will be hugely beneficial to Cooperative Business NZ members. He was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2012.

Mike Brown

Mike Brown was elected to the Board in 2021.

He is the CEO of leading primary industry co-operative, Marlborough Grapegrowers Co-operative. He has spent his working career in the primary sector, first starting out as a winemaker, and is a specialist in the export of food and beverages.

He is an advocate for collaborative activity, has chaired the boards of Zeffer Cider and Pure NZ, and has been a director of several industry organisations. Mike greatly values education, especially in the primary sector, and is experienced in sustainability, Te Ao Māori and ‘NZ Inc’ (the collective of government agencies assisting business).

Matthew Washington

Matthew Washington was elected to the Board in 2021.

Matthew is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Mitre 10 (New Zealand) Limited. Prior to this he held senior management roles both in New Zealand and offshore. His industry experience is wide, including professional services, building and construction, and retail. With over 30 years’ experience in CFO and senior finance roles, he has extensive governance and financial management skill, and is a strong advocate for the co-operative business model.

Matthew is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors, a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and a seasoned attendee of Cooperative Business NZ Governance Courses.

Nicola Shadbolt

Professor Nicola Shadbolt ONZM joined the Board in 2021 as an Independent Director.

Nicola is the current Chair of Plant & Food Research Institute, Climate Change Commissioner and Professor of Farm and Agri Business Management at Massey University. Nicola is also a former director of Fonterra, an advocate of the co-operative model and comes to the Board with extensive governance experience.

Stefan Azzopardi

Stefan Azzopardi was elected to the Cooperative Business NZ Board in 2021 as Board Observer.

In 2014 Stefan joined Southern Cross Health Society as its Chief Finance and Risk Officer and is responsible for the business’ Finance, Risk, Compliance, Integrity, Investment and Analytics functions. Prior to Southern Cross, Stefan worked at Westpac as the Head of Business Unit Finance for two years and, before that, he spent eight years with American Express in a variety of Finance and leadership positions in both its New Zealand market and overseas.

Stefan holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Bristol University and is also a member of the UK’s Institute of Chartered Accountants.