Efforts to get Fonterra director John Monaghan on to the
board of Alliance Group are continuing, with a push now to get
him appointed as an independent director.
Last week, Alliance Group confirmed Mr Monaghan's nomination
in its supplier representative director election had been
rejected, as he failed to meet criteria set out in the
Now, two Alliance Group shareholders, Mark Patterson, from
Lawrence, and Dr Mandy Bell, from Wanaka, have put forward a
resolution to the co-operative's annual meeting in Dannevirke
in December, asking the board to appoint him to replace
recently retired independent director Owen Poole.
Alliance Group chairman Murray Taggart said, during recent
supplier/shareholder meetings, that a process was under way
to appoint another independent director to replace Mr Poole.
When contacted yesterday, Mr Patterson said the rejection of
Mr Monaghan's nomination was disappointing for many
Alliance Group said Mr Monaghan, who lives at Eketahuna, did
not meet one of the criteria in the company's constitution,
which was that a director, or a person nominated as a
director, must directly or indirectly have a beneficial
ownership interest in ordinary nominal value shares in the
company of a nominal amount of not less than $5000, and the
board of directors had to adhere to the constitution.
Mr Patterson said someone of Mr Monaghan's calibre was wanted
around Alliance Group's board table. As well as being a
Fonterra director, he was also a former chairman of the
Fonterra Shareholders Council.
Importantly, for both Alliance Group and the red meat
industry in general, he was involved with the creation of
People like him might be the ''circuit-breaker'' for what
appeared to be an impasse that had developed. Nothing had
come out of industry talks and perhaps it was time for new
thinking and new people involved, Mr Patterson said.
The appointment of independent directors was at the board's
discretion but part of being a co-operative was that
shareholders got to have their say.
If an ''overwhelming message'' could be sent, then he hoped
the board would not turn the opportunity down, he said.
The number of sheep flocks continued to shrink and it was
about getting on a footing to start to grow the industry
He believed the opportunities were as good as there had been
in his farming career ''but we haven't got the structure in
place to be able to deliver that''.
Farmer shareholders were the ones that owned the company and
change was more in their hands than they ''actually
believe'', he said.
Meat Industry Excellence chairman John McCarthy, who strongly
criticised Alliance Group for rejecting Mr Monaghan's
nomination, while also acknowledging the board's decision was
technically and constitutionally correct, said the group had
since received ''strong feedback'' from sheep and beef
''A great many farmers expressed their disappointment when
this occurred,'' he said.
A shareholders' resolution was an appropriate way to put
forward the idea of inviting Mr Monaghan on to the board.
''Alliance is a co-operative owned by its farmers. It's quite
appropriate for shareholders to make suggestions such as
this,'' Mr McCarthy said.
A director profile on Fonterra's website said Mr Monaghan was
elected to the dairy co-operative's board in 2008. He is also
a director of CentrePort Ltd and CentrePort Properties Ltd
and has farming interests in Wairarapa and Canterbury.
When contacted, Alliance Group's company secretary Danny
Hailes confirmed the company had received a proposal for a
shareholders' resolution from Mr Patterson.
The company's constitution stated there should be not more
than 10 directors of the company, of which no fewer than six
directors, nor more than eight, should be elected.
Provided the total number of directors did not at any time
exceed 10, the board might ''from time to time'' appoint,
''on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit, up to four
persons as directors, who, in the opinion of the board are
capable of rendering special services in relation to the
affairs of the company'', The company's other independent
directors are John Waller and Graeme Milne.