Board of Directors

The LIC Board is responsible for the overall governance of LIC.

Our Board has 9 directors — six farmer-elected directors and three independently appointed directors. Directors serve terms of three years each.

Our Board is predominantly responsible for managing, directing and supervising the company, unless our Constitution or the Companies Act require those powers to be exercised by shareholders or others.

Board of Directors_Dec2020.jpg

Back row: Sophie Haslem, Ben Dickie, Gray Baldwin, Alison Watters

Front row: Tim Gibson, Matt Ross, Murray King, Ken Hames, Candace Kinser

Elected directors

Farmer-elected directors must be shareholders of LIC. They are elected by shareholders to represent one of the two regions– North Island and South Island.

Elections are held at our annual meeting each year.

Appointed directors

Appointed directors are selected to ensure our Board has the appropriate skills and competencies to lead our organisation effectively. The perspectives and experience they bring to the Board complement the industry knowledge and other expertise provided by your farmer elected directors.

The Board will recommend candidates that have been shortlisted through a Director Search and Selection Advisor.

Murray King 2020

M: 021 684 901

Murray King and his wife Sarah farm a number of dairy properties, plus associated support blocks, in North Canterbury and Nelson.

Murray has a background in farm management consultancy and has other business interests in Canterbury as well as in overseas dairying and food processing. He has had a long association with LIC in a number of roles.

Murray was elected to the Board in 2009 and has been chair since 2012.


  • B.Com Ag (Lincoln)
  • Dip Hort. (Lincoln)
  • Nuffield Scholar
  • Rabobank Executive Development Programme
  • Te Hono Stanford Bootcamp

Other directorships

  • Appleby Limited 
  • Waimea Community Dam Limited.
  • Waimea Irrigators Ltd (Chair).
  • Long Plantation Investments Ltd.
  • Callura Dairies Management Limited (Chair).
  • Cawthron Institute.
  • Dry Stream Irrigation Company Limited.
  • New Zealand Dairy Dessert Company Limited.

Matt Ross

M: 027 431 2746

Matt Ross and his wife Julie farm a 580ha property, milking 1800 cows in the Waitaki Valley inland from Oamaru. He and Julie were Sharemilkers of the Year in 2007.

Matt has a long association with LIC, starting as an artificial breeding technician in 1995. He is a current member of the Dairy Environmental Leaders Forum and is a graduate of the Fonterra Governance Development Programme.

Matt was elected to the Board in June 2017.


  • BApplSc Ag (Massey University).

Other directorships

  • North Otago Irrigation Company (Chair).
  • Bortons Agri Limited (director and shareholder). 
  • Waitaki Irrigators Collective Limited 

Ken Hames

M:  027 272 7234

Ken and his wife Janine have a dairy equity partnership at Wellsford as well as a beef farm at Paparoa. Ken has been involved in farming for more than 30 years and has held previous governance roles at Northland Beef + Lamb Council, Northpower Ltd and West Coast Energy Ltd.
Ken holds a Bachelor of Agriculture from Massey University and has completed many agriculture and governance related courses such as the Fonterra Governance Development Programme.

Ken was elected to the Board in June 2019.


  • B.Ag (Massey University).

Other directorships

  • Auckland Ballance Farm Environment Awards (Chair) 
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award NZ (Chair) 
  • Extension 350 (Chair)
  • Tomarata Dairy Farms Ltd

Ben Dickie - cropped

M: 027 293 7955

Ben and his wife Vanessa (along with their three children) milk 1,500 cows on three farms near Waverley in South Taranaki.

Prior to becoming a dairy farmer in 2005, Ben was a financial analyst in Sydney specialising in publicly listed mining companies.  While working in the finance sector, he completed the three year CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme in 2003.  
Ben was elected to the Fonterra Shareholders’ Council in 2016 and completed the Fonterra Governance Development Programme in 2017.  Until 2017, Ben was the Chair, for seven years, of the West Coast Lessees Association, which represents the interests of around 300 leaseholders of PKW land in Taranaki.


  • BSc (Hons) in Geology (Otago University)
  • BCom in Finance (Otago University)

Other Directorships:

  • Appointed Chair of the Shareholder Council’s Performance Committee in 2017
  • Taranaki Veterinary Centre Ltd
  • Trustee of the Waverley Primary School

Ben was elected to the Board in June 2018.

Alison Watters

M: 029 441 4022

Dr Alison Watters is an experienced company director with an agricultural science background who, with her husband Andrew, owns a 630-cow dairy farm in the Wairarapa. Alison and Andrew were National Sharemilkers of the Year in 2003.

Alison was Director of Human Nutrition at Massey University between 2002 and 2005 and a Technical Manager with Fonterra from 2006 to 2011. While at Fonterra she managed a team commercialising dairy ingredient innovations related to human nutrition and well-being. As part of this she was also involved in international sales and marketing.

Alison is an appointed Director for AsureQuality Ltd (a state-owned enterprise) and is a board member of the Proprietary Board of Nga Tawa Diocesan School.

Alison was elected to the Board in June 2014.  


  • B.Agr.Sc (Hons) (Massey University).
  • PhD (Massey University).

Other directorships

  • AsureQuality Limited (Chair).
  • High-Value Nutrition (National Science Challenge).
  • AgInvest Holdings Limited (shareholder). Owner of MyFarm Limited 
  • Agriculture Resources Limited
  • Totally Vets Limited

Gray Baldwin

M: 027 239 0497

Gray Baldwin and his wife Marilyn milk 750 autumn calving cows on their 730ha property near Lichfield in South Waikato. The property includes substantial areas of cropping and forestry land.

Gray started his career in rural banking and the fertiliser industry. He worked in a variety of senior management roles for Ballance Agri-Nutrients between 2000 to 2007. He is a graduate of the Fonterra Governance Development Programme and of the University of Missouri’s Graduate Institute of Co-operative Leadership programme. He is also a South Waikato District Councillor.

Gray was elected to the Board in June 2012.


  • M.Agr.Sc.(Hons) (Massey University).

Other directorships

  • Farmlands Co-operative Society Limited (approx 30% shareholder in FarmIQ) 
  • Trinity Lands Ltd (Registered Charity)
  • Longview Trust Board (shareholder in Trinity Lands Limited).

Tim Gibson - Shareholders - Directors

M: 021 390 587

Tim Gibson has had a long career in international business at senior levels, working for both large and small organisations including the New Zealand Dairy Board.

In 2003 he became the inaugural Chief Executive of NZ Trade and Enterprise. He retired from this position in 2009 to form Tūhana Consulting. Tūhana works in under-developed and developing markets, primarily in the agricultural sector.

Tim has extensive experience in governance roles. 

Tim was appointed to the Board in October 2017. 


  • BA (Hons) (Otago University).
  • LLB (Otago University).

Other directorships

  • Miraka Ltd and Miraka Holdings Limited 
  • Port Otago Limited and subsidiaries 
  • Tūhana Consulting Limited.
  • Close association with the Gates Foundation via Tuhana Consulting Limited.
  • Skills Consulting Group Limited.
  • The Equanut Company Limited (Chair) 
  • Silver Fern Farms Co-Operative Limited
  • Silver Fern Farms Limited and its subsidiaries
  • Manage My Health Global Limited

Candace Kinser

Candace has held a number of senior roles in the biotech and technology sector including over a decade of experience as a CEO and Board Director on private, Crown and NZX listed boards. In 2012, when she was the CEO of NZTech, she was behind the creation of TechWeek, the annual technology festival in New Zealand and was the founder of NZTech Women as well as a supporting founder for ShadowTech, helping young women into careers in technology. 

She is currently an NZTE Beachheads Advisor and works with the University of Auckland Return on Science national research commercialisation program.  Her driving passion is leveraging growth-focussed, innovative science and technology companies to succeed globally.  

With advanced qualifications in business, governance and technology, Candace has had experience growing companies on the world stage as the CEO of genetics software company Biomatters through to first-hand experience in preparing and listing a technology company on the NZX as a Director of EROAD. Candace was the recipient of the Leadership award for the 2017 AUT Business Awards and is a regular speaker at conferences on the topic of technology innovation and business growth. 

Candace was appointed to the Board in October 2015.


  • BA(Hons) in Anthropology & Political Science (University of Hawaii)
  • PG Dip in International Business (Massey University)
  • Masters of Management (Massey University)
  • Short form MBA in Bio-Pharma (Rutgers University)
  • Post-graduate studies in Governance and Risk Management in Asian Business (University of Melbourne)
  • Cybersecurity: Technology, Application and Policy (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Other directorships

  • WEL Networks Limited 
  • Cancer Society of New Zealand Auckland Northland Division Incorporated (Chair)
  • Cancer Society of New Zealand Incorporated
  • NZ Health Partnerships Limited
  • Return on Science Investment Scheme at the University of Auckland (Investment Committee Member) 
  • Eastland Group Limited

Sophie Haslam 2

Sophie has more than 20 years of broad commercial experience working across a range of companies.  She has a strong executive background in banking, finance and mergers and acquisitions.

Sophie has held a number of senior roles including Head of Commercial & Investment at New Zealand Post and Strategy and Investments Manager at The ECN Group. 

Sophie was appointed to the Board in December 2018.


  • Bachelor of Commerce (Melbourne University)
  • Postgraduate diploma in Management (Melbourne University)

Other directorships

  • Oyster Property Group Limited and its subsidiaries 
  • Rangatira Limited 
  • CentrePort Limited and its subsidiaries 
  • Meteorological Service of New Zealand Limited (Chair)
  • Kordia Group Limited 
  • CH4 Global Inc (shareholder)

Director elections

At our 2020 Annual Meeting shareholders voted to update and streamline our governance and representation structure which included streamlining the timing of elections and balancing the number of Elected Directors between the North and South Islands.

To transition our Board to the new structure, the below elections will take place.

Shareholders within the South Island Region are invited to submit nominations to fill two positions on the LIC Board by completing a nomination form.

Dates of Director elections

Annual meeting 2021 - 2x South Island Directors

Annual meeting 2022 - 2x North Island Directors and 1x South Island Director (1x North Island seat to be disestablished)

Annual meeting 2023- 1x North Island Director