Friday 12th March 2010
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Two directors Kirsten Bryant and Anne Munro have been elected to the Meat and Wool New Zealand board, displacing men already involved in the industry's power structures.
Bryant, of Fordell, has been elected to represent the Western North Island ward and Munro of Fairlie, to represent the Central South Island.
Bryant was elected with 9620 votes, beating Manawatu farmer Tony Gray (5879) for a seat in which Ron Frew did not seek re-election. The voting return was 25%.
During campaigning Bryant said she was motivated to stand when farmers in her area told Agriculture Minister David Carter that hill country farming was on its last legs.
"If that goes, the whole face of New Zealand agriculture changes," she said.
"Meat and Wool NZ has got the horsepower and resources to hammer that home to the government because I don't really think they want all our hills planted in trees".
Munro of Wairewa Station received 8890 votes to beat incumbent director, David Douglas (7480). The voting return was 39%.
Munro said in her campaign that the region needed to see democracy in action and Douglas had to be challenged "to give farmers a choice".
"I think David has been there long enough, two terms is all you need to make a difference," she said.
Munro said she would bring a women's perspective to the board, as well as a focus on accountability, and an approachable nature.
Both new directors will start their electoral term from the Meat and Wool NZ annual meeting on March 24.
Six of the directors are elected by farmers, representing three electorates in the North Island, and three in the South Island. Their terms are for three years, and elections are rotated.
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