Any attempt by Alliance Group's board to reject the wishes of
its shareholders, over the quest to get John Monaghan elected
as a director, would be ''very unwise'', Wanaka farmer Mandy
An attempt to get Mr Monaghan, a Fonterra director and former
Fonterra Shareholders Council chairman, on to the board of
the meat co-operative took an unusual twist last week, with
Alliance Group chairman Murray Taggart saying Mr Monaghan had
withdrawn from the independent director appointment process
and Mr Monaghan maintaining that he had not.
Yesterday, Lawrence farmer Mark Patterson, who moved the
non-binding shareholders' resolution to have Mr Monaghan
appointed, which was passed at Alliance Group's annual
meeting, and Dr Bell, who seconded it, issued a statement,
saying he remained committed to standing for the board.
Dr Bell, who has just completed a round of shareholder
meetings to elicit up-to-date shareholder views, said there
was a real sense of urgency concerning the need for change.
''You only have to look at the wave of capital stock coming
on to the market at present as land-use change gathers
''The status quo for the red meat sector is unsustainable and
new thinking from the likes of John Monaghan is desperately
needed. This is not business as usual; we need to work
together to find solutions,'' she said.
Mr Patterson said Mr Monaghan was committed to bringing his
skills and experience to assist in building up Alliance Group
and leading much-needed reform in the red meat sector.
''Murray Taggart's statement calls into question whether
there was ever any serious intent by the board to consider
the direction of their shareholders,'' he said.
There was an expectation among shareholders that Mr Monaghan
would be appointed, especially in light of the latent fourth
independent director's position, he said.
That would give the board the opportunity to continue its
process of filling the vacant third independent spot as well
as respecting the ''explicit direction'' of shareholders to
appoint Mr Monaghan.
''There is an opportunity for a complete win-win scenario to
be realised which is consistent with the co-operative values
that Alliance espouses,'' he said.
Meat Industry Excellence chairman John McCarthy described the
situation as ''bewildering''.
There seemed to be a lack of regard concerning the
shareholders' wishes which were quite clearly expressed both
by the ''huge'' increase in voter participation and also by
the fact the resolution was carried by more than a million
votes, he said.
The board could appoint up to four independent directors, so
there was ''every opportunity'' for it to carry out the
resolution passed by shareholders.
The board has two independent directors - Graeme Milne, from
Cambridge, and John Waller, from Auckland. Owen Poole retired
as an independent director last year.
In accordance with the co-operative principles, it would not
be unreasonable to expect the board to enable its
shareholders' wishes, Mr McCarthy said.