Director election - candidate profiles

View the candidate profiles and vote for the 2018 Director election for Region 3 - Central.

Voting for the 2018 Director Election – Central Region opens at Midnight on Friday 20 April 2018.  

All Co-operative control shareholders in the Central Region are eligible to vote for up to two (2) candidates. 

Each shareholder has one vote for each Co-operative Control share held.  

Voting packs will be posted to you on Friday 20 April.

Voting closes at 4pm on Monday 21 May 2018 and the results will be announced by Friday 25 May 2018.

Voting Instructions

  • Before voting read the profiles of the candidates either in your voting pack or on this page.
  • Candidates names are listed in alphabetical order of surname on the profile sheet and on the voting paper.
  • As a Co-operative Control Shareholder in the Central Region you are entitled to vote for up to two (2) candidates. 

Vote in one of the following five ways

  1. Internet - follow the Vote online now button on this page. Enter your unique PIN and password that are listed on your voting paper.
  2. Postal Vote - Complete the voting paper received in the mail and return in enclosed freepost envelope to reach the Returning Officer before close of voting.
  3. Deliver - Hand deliver or courier to: Ltd, 3/3 Pukaki Rd, Yaldhurst, Christchurch
  4. FAX - Fax your completed voting paper to 03 377 1474
  5. Email - Scan and email your completed voting paper to Use "LIC Director vote" in the subject line.

Candidate profiles


Ben Dickie

I am 39 years old and, along with my wife Vanessa and our three children, milk 1,500 cows on three farms near Waverley in South Taranaki.


  • Prior to becoming a dairy farmer in 2005, I was a financial analyst in Sydney specialising in publicly listed mining companies.
  • While working in the finance sector I completed the three year CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme in 2003.
  • In 2000 I completed a BSc (Hons) in Geology and a BCom in Finance at Otago University.
  • I was elected to the Fonterra Shareholders’ Council in 2016 and appointed Chair of the Council’s Performance Committee in 2017.
  • I am currently Deputy Chair of the Taranaki Veterinary Centre Ltd.
  • For the past three years I have been a trustee of the Waverley Primary School.
  • Until 2017 I 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.
  • I completed Fonterra’s Governance Development Programme in 2017.

As a cooperative, LIC exists to serve the needs of its farmer shareholders. While the co-op may have many aspirations, there is no goal for LIC more important than helping to enable profitable and sustainable New Zealand dairy farms. In my opinion it is imperative that any strategic decision the board makes be assessed against this goal.

In order to best serve the needs of its farmers LIC must be profitable, efficient and resilient as well as anticipate the future shape of our industry, and invest wisely to meet our future needs. LIC has a proud history, is still financially strong, despite a couple of turbulent years, and is well positioned for the future. Given sound strategic decision making and execution, and good financial discipline the co-op will continue to be a fundamental part of dairy farming in New Zealand for many years to come.

As a director of LIC I will bring to the board a passion for dairy farming, very strong financial skills, a deep understanding for the place of cooperatives, and sound governance experience.

I’d very much welcome your support.

M 027 293 7955 E

Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

My name is Greg Mitchell and I’m standing for the LIC Board because I am a passionate shareholder who believes LIC plays a very important role in the success of our Dairy Farming businesses.

Since starting dairy farming 24yrs ago, along with my wife, we have grown our business to include 2 dairy farms milking 2500 cows. Over

this time, we have used a lot of LIC products, Premier sires, Herd testing, sire proving, Farmwise consulting and recently added Protrack Vantage to both farms. 

We have been able to grow our business through having good systems and being able to analyse information, through good strategic planning.

As Farmers we are constantly having to adapt to the changing world we farm in. A lot of the changes that face us can be solved with the science of breeding cows eg Environmental issues and animal welfare, can be mitigated through good breeding selection and gene identification. As we move forward I can see more technology being used on the farm, it is important that it’s researched and adding value to our businesses.

My past experiences include

  • B.o.T Chair 3 yrs. Upper Atiamuri School
  • President 6yrs Upper Atiamuri Cricket club
  • Fonterra Shareholders council (SHC) 5yrs
  • SHC Leadership team 2 yrs.
  • Chair Representation Committee 2 yrs.
  • SHC representative on Fonterra Boards
  • Shareholder relations committee 3 yrs.
  • SHC Representative on Fonterra Boards
  • External relations committee 1 yr.
  • Fonterra Governance development
  • programme 2013
  • Current Director Mitchell Dairy Farms Ltd

What I bring

A strong understanding of farm profitability, and the role LIC plays in this. 

Proven strategic thinker.  Proven track record of business growth and wealth creation, from growing our business from share milking to farm ownership.

My past experiences have given me empathy and understanding of shareholders.

Strong dairy industry knowledge. Someone who doesn’t mind asking the hard questions.

LIC plays a big part in all our farming business. We need to ensure it continues to evolve and grow so that we can continue to farm with confidence in the future.

Moving forward now that the new share structure has been voted in, it’s important that LIC continues to evolve, while at the same time staying connected to its farmer base. We can’t solve tomorrows problems with yesterday’s thinking.

I seek your support to become a director of LIC. I have the skills, passion and commitment to add value round the board table.

M 027 6732350 E

Alison Watters

Alison Watters

B.Agr.Sc (Hons), PhD – Massey University; 52 yrs old.

My husband Andrew and I own a 600-cow dairy farm in the Wairarapa.

As we’ve evolved our farming practices, we have welcomed modifications and improvements in the products and services from LIC that have helped maintain the productivity of our crossbred herd.

Andrew and I have been dairy farming since 1999, and we were awarded the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year title in 2003.

Since graduating from Massey University with a PhD in animal science, I have had a variety of roles involved with management of commercial and service enterprises, including being the Director of Human Nutrition at Massey University, and a Technical Manager at the Fonterra Research Centre (commercialising innovative dairy ingredients). 

These roles gave me valuable commercial experience regarding the development of products and services that meets consumer needs, and the importance of designing scientific programmes that help businesses deliver what their customers want.

My governance experience has been developed over 22 years, including board member and chair/deputy chair roles in not-for-profit Education, National Sports and Farming boards. I was the Chairperson (2005-2008), and Principal Change Manager for creation of the NZ Dairy Industry Awards, pulling together three competitions into a single format.

I am a graduate of the year-long Fonterra Governance Development Programme and a member of the Institute of Directors. I have been a Director of LIC for the past four years, and I am also a Director of AsureQuality Ltd, a global food assurance company.

I am passionate about the dairy industry, LIC’s co-operative structure, and the role LIC has in helping our NZ dairy farmers remain informed, adaptable and resilient to the many challenges our industry faces. I have a unique set of skills that I bring to your LIC board. In addition to solid governance experience, a strength is my understanding of agricultural science, which I use to ensure that LIC has a  strategic scientific programme designed to help NZ dairy farmers remain productive and prosperous via superior genetics, information management and agritechnology.

Thank you for your previous support and I again seek your support for my re-election as your LIC Director. I am committed to ensuring

LIC continues to offer services and products that are aligned with farmers’ needs both now, and in the future.

M 029 4414 022 E

Director elections - Region 3, Central

Voting closes Monday 21st May at 4pm.

Vote online

Director elections - Region 3, Central

Voting closes Monday 21st May at 4pm.

Vote online