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Minister thanks John Roadley for his efforts

20 August 2002

Retiring Fonterra chairman John Roadley worked hard for New Zealand's benefit and has made a significant contribution, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Roadley announced his retirement as Fonterra chairman, effective from the company's annual meeting, and retirement from the company's board later this year at a press conference this afternoon.

Mr Sutton said Mr Roadley had been a driving force in the establishment of Fonterra. The product of a merger between Kiwi Dairy Co-operative and New Zealand Dairy Group, Fonterra is now New Zealand's largest company. Fonterra handles 95 per cent of all milk produced in New Zealand.

"The formation of Fonterra was an extremely demanding process, on both company representatives and officials. John saw that the necessary work was done at the company's end and that Government and officials had the information needed to make the decisions that enabled the dairy industry to restructure.

"Not many people though we could meet the ambitious timeline set for this. That we did owes much to the leadership of John Roadley.

"He has seen the company through some challenging times, but I feel Fonterra is now in a position where it can really do well. That is attributable to John's leadership. It's now up to the board under Henry van der Heyden's leadership to build on what has been achieved so far.

"Fonterra, as New Zealand's largest company and a huge contributor to our export earnings, has an enormous responsibility to all New Zealanders to perform well and to act responsibly."

Mr Sutton said it had been a pleasure working with Mr Roadley, and he wished him well for the future.

ENDS

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