Long serving former director Ian Farrelly has been appointed to fill the vacancy until the 2017 annual meeting. Farrelly spent nine years as a director until retiring in December 2016.
Spaans is DairyNZ chairman and will temporarily step aside from this role. DairyNZ’s board said Spaans’ decision was with immediate effect and he intended to continue as a director.
Fellow DairyNZ board member Barry Harris has been appointed as acting chairman.
Fonterra chairman John Wilson said that Spaans’ contribution to the New Zealand dairy industry had been significant both inside and outside the Fonterra boardroom. He has been a director for one four-year term and was recently re-elected for a further term.
He has been a dairy farmer, on the New Zealand Dairy Group shareholder council and then the Fonterra shareholders’ council before building his governance experience outside the industry.
Wilson said his insights and experience had been invaluable on Fonterra’s milk price panel, audit and finance committee and the co-operative relations committee.
Fonterra said that it has agreed with Spaans that, when he is given a clean bill of health, he should consider standing again for the Fonterra board.