What was your first job?

I worked as a sailmaker for Windward Sails in my school holidays, starting when I was 15. I loved the job because it connected me to sailing.

What did you learn from it?

I learned a lot about male humour ... It was really my first experience being around adults all day who weren't my parents or teachers. I got my first experiences around customers and the importance of doing quality work.


What was the best advice you got from your parents?

My Dad advised me to do an engineering degree - a decision I've never regretted. Mum has always taken a strong role to make sure I am placing appropriate emphasis on all parts of my life - not just my performance at work. I'm still learning on that one.

How will you relax over the summer break?

A strong water theme - some time on a South Island lake sailing, windsurfing and wakeboarding and then out boating to Great Barrier and hopefully the Mokohinau Islands.

What are the challenges ahead for 2016 for your company?

It's still a challenging global market for dairy, so looking forward to seeing some positive signs. We've done a lot of work this year to deliver on many parts of our strategy. Much more to do next year, but also should see the results of some of the hard yards we've already done.

And for the wider economy?

New Zealand has a lot to offer the world and is in good shape, but I think it is going to be a tough year globally. We need to build our resilience and really understand and use our strengths as a nation.