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Fonterra Chairman To Resign

20 August 2002

Fonterra Chairman To Resign

The Chairman of Fonterra Co-operative Group, John Roadley, today announced his intention to resign as Chairman of Fonterra immediately following the Annual General Meeting on 12 September.

Mr Roadley conveyed his decision to a meeting of the full Fonterra Board this morning. He has agreed to stay on the Board until the end of the year to assist in the transition.

The Board has elected Henry van der Heyden as the Chairman-elect.

Mr Roadley said, "My decision comes after deep consideration of what is best for the Co-operative going forward."

"When I agreed to accept the challenge of leading our co-operative following the merger agreement in December 2000, I made it clear that I saw the role as comparatively short term, to steer the business through the high risk and difficult period of establishment," he said.

"I set myself three goals - to ensure our shareholders agreed to the merger, to see the co-operative through the risky transitional first year, to achieve consensus among the Board and Management on Fonterra's future business strategy.

"When I leave the Chairmanship, Fonterra's business strategy will be about to be signed off by the Board and Management and by October 1 we will be approaching our first anniversary. In other words the first three major challenges are behind us," he said.

Mr Roadley said that he had decided to announce his intention at this time in order to avoid the cost and diversion of another national election campaign, which would otherwise have been necessary to reduce the farmer directors from ten to nine.

"During the past few months a strong sense of unity of purpose has emerged around the Board table and my resignation ensures that this natural maturing of the new company is not disrupted by yet another round of election meetings.

"My decision to resign brings to conclusion a very challenging yet rewarding period of my involvement with our dairy industry. It began in 1988 as a director of Alpine Dairy Products and during the past two years I have seen the industry foundations re-laid to position dairy farmer shareholders of Fonterra as among the most respected group of farmers in the world," he said.

Mr Roadley said he had worked closely with the new Chairman over a number of years. "He is a natural leader and has a great contribution to make to this industry," he said. "I wish him well and he will always have my full support".

"It has been a pleasure to serve the industry over the years and I look forward to the final months of my contribution," Mr Roadley concluded.


John Roadley
Phone 09 256 5460

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