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Fonterra's Waller steps down

NZN 16/08/2016 Paul McBeth

Fonterra's independent director John Waller will resign from the board of the world's biggest dairy exporter to cut back on his workload.

Mr Waller will leave at the end of August, having been on the board of Fonterra since 2009, Fonterra announced on Wednesday

During his tenure, he chaired Fonterra's fair value share review committee, the Trading Among Farmers due diligence committee and the Milk Price Panel, and was a member of the audit and finance committee and the risk committee.

Chairman John Wilson paid tribute to Waller, saying he had been "a true supporter of the cooperative and its farmers" during his tenure.

"I am pleased that after such a significant contribution John is finding the time to rebalance his commitments so that he can spend more time with his family and pursue his other interests," Mr Wilson said.

"John has been a good friend and a source of wise counsel for me and his fellow directors and we are all grateful for his careful analysis and judgment and the energy and commitment he brought to everything he did for the cooperative."

Mr Waller's exit comes as Fonterra looks to update its governance after proposals to trim the size of the board and introduce a new voting system was turned down by shareholders.

The dairy exporter is now proposing a clearer mandate for the Shareholders' Council on how it interacts with Fonterra.

Dissident shareholders had been pushing for a smaller board, but their plans were rejected at last year's annual meeting.

Fonterra currently has 13 directors, nine of whom are farmer directors and four independents.

Its three other independent directors are former EY chairman David Jackson, Singapore Telecommunications chairman Simon Israel, and former BHP Billiton executive Clinton Dines.

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