BOARD TEAM

Derek Crombie
Managing Director
Derek is a Civil Engineer with over 20 years’ experience of large (over US$200,000,000) water resource based civil engineering projects in various countries including New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Philippines and Hong Kong. Derek became the Managing Director of CPWL in early 2017, he was previously the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and has been the overall project manager of the Scheme working with the Board to develop all aspects of the Scheme since 2009. Derek holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) from the University of Canterbury and a Diploma from Harvard Business School. He was a director of City Care Limited between 2003 and 2012. Derek is a Trustee of Tait Communications and was previously Managing Director (New Zealand) and General Manager (Asia) for MWH Asia Limited (formerly Montgomery Watson Limited) from 1989 until 2003, he was also a Director of the GHD Pty Global Company, South Island Manager for GHD NZ Limited, one of Australasia’s largest consulting engineering practices, up until 2010.
Geoff Stevenson
Chairman

Geoff is a farmer based in the Selwyn district with interests in both dairy and dry stock farming.  He has been an elected member of the Board for more than twelve years during which time he has been involved in the raising of capital via a rights issue and the issue of Stage 1 & 2 and Sheffield construction Shares.  

Geoff has an Institute of Directors in New Zealand certificate in company direction, which was obtained in 2009.  In 2006 he attended the Monash University Course in Agribusiness for Cooperative Leadership and Governance and in 2003 was a participant in the Kellogg Rural Leadership Course.  He has also been an elected member of the Fonterra Shareholders Council and the Livestock Improvement Corporate’s Shareholder Council. 

Geoff is currently a Director of Te Pirita Irrigation Limited (w wholly owned subsidiary of the Company) and his own business companies consisting of Clovernook Farm Limited and Addington Pastures Limited (both of which are Shareholders).

Bill Luff
Director

Bill is a professional director with more than 30 years’ experience in government and business roles, including a long period at British Petroleum and 4 years as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Development Corporation. 

Bill is currently a director of Isaac Construction Limited, Overseer Limited and J Ballantyne and Company Limited and a Trustee of the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra Trust and the Lighthouse Vision Trust.  Bill’s past directorships include Silver Fern Farms Limited and Lyttelton Port Company Limited.

Damon Summerfield
Director

Damon has been a dryland arable farmer in Sheffield for 20 years and is now irrigated by CPWL.

He is a director and shareholder in Summerfield Farming Co Limited, which owns Shares in the Company. He became a director of the Company in October 2011.

Grant Miller
Director

Grant is a Selwyn District Councillor who currently chairs the CPWL Audit and risk Committee.  He also farms a dairy, beef, and cropping enterprise based at Tai Tapu and McQueens Valley.  These farms are outside the Scheme area. 

Grant has previously been involved in New Zealand commercial banking at a management level before working for two large international banks in London.  Since returning to New Zealand, Grant has completed the Fonterra/Massey University Governance development programme. 

Grant is a current member of the Fonterra Alumni Programme as well as a Chartered member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

Willie Palmer
Director

Willie grew up in Sheffield and has an interest in an 80-hectare farm there irrigated from CPWL's Sheffield scheme.  He is a commercial litigation lawyer and partner in national law firm Buddle Findlay. 

Willie was an original member of both the Central Plains Water Enhancement Steering Committee (2000) and the Central Plains Water Trust (2003).  He has been on the Board since 2005. 

John Donkers
Director

John has been a director of the Company since October 2003 and has been involved in the Central Plains Water initiative since its inception, initially as a member of the Central Plains Water Steering Committee followed by a period as a Trustee of the Central Plains Water Trust. 

John graduated from Lincoln University in 1981 with a degree in Agricultural Science.  After working as a sharemilker for several  years followed by two years working overseas, he returned to New Zealand and held senior management roles with Apple Fields Dairy Company Limited from 1989 to 1992, developing and managing large-scale dairy farms throughout the South Island.  John also held a project management role with Sealord Shellfish in Nelson, before moving back to Canterbury in 1996 where he established the dairy business consultancy Dairy Farm Management Services Limited (DFMS).  John is a part owner of DFMS and continues to work for the business as a consultant. 

John has business interests, including shareholdings in, and directorships of a number of companies involved in dairy farming in Canterbury.  Several of these farms are shareholders in the CPWL scheme.  He has previously been a board member of Irrigation NZ Inc. and was a member of the Regional Committee of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy for five years from 2010.

Stuart Wright
Director

Stuart was elected to the CPWL Board in October 2019.

Stuart runs a dryland mixed arable, seed potato and lamb-finishing operation at Sheffield, west of Christchurch.  He has been on the Ravensdown Board since 2007 and was elected Deputy Chairman in December 2014.