Alliance Group chairman Murray Taggart is standing by his
comment that Fonterra director John Monaghan has withdrawn
from the director appointment process - despite Mr Monaghan
maintaining he has not.
On Thursday, Mr Taggart told the Otago Daily Times
that Mr Monaghan had decided to pull out of the process.
When contacted on Friday, Mr Monaghan, who lives in
Eketahuna, said he had not withdrawn from any process.
''I remain committed to helping the red meat sector and am
available to the Alliance board. If Alliance shareholders
want me there, I am available,'' he said.
Mr Monaghan said he had given that commitment to both Mark
Patterson and Mandy Bell, who put forward the resolution to
the company's annual meeting in December, asking the board to
appoint him as an independent director ''and nothing has
The groundswell for change among sheep and beef farmers
continued to grow, as signalled by the co-operative's
director election results, and, on a positive note, it was
good to see greater farmer engagement, he said.
But Mr Taggart said Mr Monaghan was invited by Alliance Group
to meet the consultant being used for the independent
director appointment process.
He agreed to meet that consultant and, at the ''last
minute'', pulled out. Mr Taggart had spoken to Mr Monaghan on
Thursday night, as a courtesy call, and he did not deny he
had withdrawn from the process, he said.
''It's a very unusual situation we find ourselves in. At the
end of the day, it still comes back to we've got to get the
best person for the job.
There were a lot of other people being looked at and, if Mr
Monaghan had ''stacked up'' against them, obviously he would
have been given serious consideration.
''If he won't go through the process ... so be it,'' he said.