Pāmu chief executive Mark Leslie has paid tribute to director and chair Dr Warren Parker, who died suddenly on Friday December 29.
“A great tree has fallen. Dr Warren Parker was a highly respected primary sector leader and, as Pāmu board chair, he made significant contributions to our organisation over his five years of dedicated service.
“It was an honour for me to have had Warren as a lecturer at Massey University nearly 30 years ago and then work shoulder to shoulder with his guidance and support when I joined Pāmu as CEO just under two years ago.
“Warren will be remembered for his vision, wisdom, and experience as well as his kindness which together have ensured a strong culture and clear strategic path for our organisation.”
Parker was appointed as chair of the Pāmu board on January 1 2019.
He was a former chief executive of Scion (the New Zealand Forest Research Institute) and Landcare Research and was previously chief operating officer of AgResearch.
He held several board roles, including on Predator Free 2050 Ltd, Farmlands Co-operative Society and Genomics Aotearoa, and was the chair of the Forestry Ministerial Advisory Group.
He was also chair of the NZ Conservation Authority and recently appointed independent chair of Quayside Holdings.
Parker had a PhD in animal science and was previously a professor of agribusiness and resource management at Massey University, where he spent 18 years in various roles, including supervising the 9000-stock unit Riverside Farm in Wairarapa.
“As we mourn Warren, we also work together to ensure continuity. Deputy chair Nigel Atherfold will step in as chairperson in the interim period,” Leslie said.