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The Committee

The Governance Development Committee (GDC) is a joint Shareholders’ Council and Board initiative established in 2006 to address succession needs within Fonterra, the dairy industry and the wider rural community.

The Committee’s primary objective is to identify and develop governance acumen in future rural leaders. This is achieved primarily through operating the Governance Development Programme (GDP), which builds farmers’ skills and capability in areas including governance, leadership, strategic planning and delivery and an understanding of Fonterra’s business.

The GDC is chaired by Fonterra Shareholders’ Council Chairman Duncan Coull and members include Fonterra Chairman John Monaghan, Fonterra Director Peter McBride, Councillor Matt Pepper and independent member Janine Smith.

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Duncan Coull


Duncan Coull was first elected to the Shareholders’ Council in 2010 to represent Fonterra farmers in the King Country. He has served as the Council’s Chairman since July 2015.


Duncan has strong roots in the dairy industry and after progressing through the sharemilking system, he and his wife Julie now farm two dairy properties. They also have farming interests in South Otago.


Outside of his own farming operations Duncan has experience in rural banking and in 2006 founded Rural Business Solutions which was born from a desire to assist clients in increasing the financial performance of their farming businesses.

He also serves as chair of a building company advisory board and chair of a Southland farming business advisory board. Locally Duncan sits on the Otorohanga Business Development Board which is tasked with promoting the advancement of the Otorohanga community.


John Monaghan


John Monaghan was elected to the Fonterra Board in 2008 and became Chairman in 2018. Prior to joining the Fonterra Board, John was Chairman of the Fonterra Shareholders’ Council and the Inaugural Chair of the Governance Development Programme. He is also a Director of Centreport Limited and Centreport Properties Limited, and is a member of the Executive Board of theNew Zealand China Council.


John is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors. He holds a number of farming directorships and is a trustee of the Wairarapa Irrigation Trust. John has dairy farming interests in the Wairarapa and Otago regions. John has taken a lead role in representing Fonterra’s interests on global trade issues and has strong networks domestically and internationally with key stakeholders.


Peter McBride

Farmer Director


Peter McBride was elected to the Fonterra Board in 2018. He is a member of the Zespri China Advisory Board. Peter was previously the Chairman and a Director of Zespri Group Limited and other related companies.


Peter is a Managing Director of South-East Hort Limited and subsidiaries and Ellett Beach Farms Joint Venture. He was previously a Director of the New Zealand International Business Forum and a member of the Executive Board of the New Zealand China Council. Peter has shareholding interests in the Waikato.




Matt Pepper


Matt was elected to the Shareholders’ Council in 2014 to represent Fonterra Farmers in Rotorua. He is Chair of the Governance & Ethics Committee and has previously been a member of the Performance Committee and Chair of the Budget Committee.



Janine Smith


Janine has been a company director for over 25 years. She is a founding Principal of The Boardroom Practice Limited which specialises in boardroom practice and organisational development and change issues for boards and management. She has a MPhil (Hons1stclass) research only on the topic Effective and Ineffective boards. She received a MNZM for services to corporate governance in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List.

Janine is currently Chair of AsureQuality, Chair of Advanced Research Education Network, Council member at AUT, President of the London Business School alumni Auckland chapter and a business awards judge. She has held a number of other board positions in the public and private sectors, in the arts and tertiary education sectors, and was a member of the screening panel for Crown directors for over 10 years. 


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Programme overview

There are two stages to the Governance Development Programme.

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