Colin Armer, who with his wife Dale controls New Zealand's biggest dairy farm operation Dairy Holdings, has suddenly quit the board of Fonterra Cooperative Group just one week after a new chairman-elect was appointed.
Armer resigned from the board effective immediately, and said he had nothing but praise for the dairy exporter's chief executive and management team. His resignation comes after John Wilson was designated chairman elect, replacing Henry van der Heyden. In the lead up to the election one of Armer's Bay of Plenty farms was fined $72,000 for discharging effluent into a Maketu stream.
"For many years I have been, and continue to be, a strong supporter of the New Zealand dairy industry and an advocate for Fonterra's important work. I will continue to be," Armer said in a statement.
Armer and his wife led the shareholder buyout of Dairy Holdings when failed lender South Canterbury Finance's one-third stake was up for grabs. The other shareholders include Alan Pye and interests associated with Humphrey Rolleston.
The Armers entered the National Business Review's annual Rich List this year, ranked 49th with an estimated fortune of some $200 million.