Our governing body is the Lincoln University Council. The functions, duties and powers of the Council are prescribed in the Education and Training Act 2020, sections 280, 281 and 283.

The Council is chaired by the Lincoln University Chancellor. 

Our Constitution 

The Council is made up of 12 members: 

  • Four members appointed by the relevant Minister of the Crown. 
  • The Vice-Chancellor of Lincoln University. 
  • One permanent member of the academic staff who is appointed following an election by the permanent members of that group of staff. 
  • One permanent member of the general staff who is appointed following an election by the permanent members of that group of staff. 
  • One member who is appointed following an election by Lincoln University students.  
  • One member who is appointed after consultation with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. 
  • Three members who are appointed by the Council, at least one of whom shall be alumni of Lincoln University.

Functions and Duties of the Council

According to Section 280 of the Education and Training Act 2020, the functions of Council are: 

  • To appoint a chief executive in accordance with the Public Service Act 2020, and to monitor and evaluate the chief executive’s performance. 
  • To prepare and submit a proposed plan if the institution is seeking funding under a funding mechanism that provides for funding via plans. 
  • If the institution has a plan: 
    • To ensure that the institution is managed in accordance with that plan; and 
    • To determine policies to implement that plan. 
  • To determine, subject to the Public Service Act 2020, the policies of the institution in relation to the management of its affairs. 
  • To undertake planning relating to the institution’s long-term strategic direction. 

Section 281 of the Education and Training Act 2020 provides that it is the duty of the Council in performing its functions and exercising its powers, to: 

  • Strive to ensure that the institution attains the highest standards of excellence in education, training and research.  
  • Acknowledge the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 
  • Encourage the greatest possible participation by the communities served by the institution, so as to maximise the educational potential of all members of those communities with particular emphasis on groups in those communities that are under-represented among the students of the institution. 
  • Ensure that the institution does not discriminate unfairly against any person.  
  • Ensure that the institution operates in a financially responsible manner that ensures the efficient use of resources and maintains the institution’s long-term viability. 
  • Ensure that proper standards of integrity, conduct and concern for the public interest and the well-being of students attending the institution are maintained.

Committees reporting to Council

Council Meeting Dates

Council meetings are held in the Council Chamber, Level 1, George Forbes Building Lincoln University campus. 

Date Time
28 February 2023 9.00-1.00pm
28 March 2023 9.00-1.00pm
26 April 2023 9.00-1.00pm
24 July 2023 9.00-1.00pm
29 August 2023 9.00-1.00pm
31 October 2023 9.00-1.00pm
28 November 2023 9.00-1.00pm
12 December 2023 (TBC) 9.00-1.00pm

Council Agendas and Minutes

The Council papers for each session are available from the public session of each Council meeting


 Members of Council

Council member Brief biography
Bruce Gemmell – Chancellor 

BBS (Massey), CA

First joined

20 August 2013

Current Term

12 July 2019 – 11 July 2023 


Bruce Gemmell joined the Lincoln University Council in August 2013 and became Pro-Chancellor in May 2018. He has also been a member of the University of Canterbury Council.  

A chartered accountant and former senior partner at international accounting firm EY, Bruce now works as a professional director, holding positions with Planz Consultants Limited, Orion New Zealand Limited, the Highlanders rugby franchise, Miramar Consolidated Limited, Central Plains Water Limited and Lincoln Agritech Limited. He owns and operates a private finance company. He is also board advisor to Ticket Direct, and Lincoln Agritech Limited. 

Bruce was appointed Chancellor of Lincoln University in January 2019. 

Emeritus Professor James McWha – Pro-Chancellor 

AO, BSc, BAgr(Hons) (Queen's University of Belfast), PhD (Glasgow), PhD ad eundum gradum (Adelaide), DSc honoris causa (Massey), DUniv honoris causa (Adelaide)

Current Term

24 July 2021 – 24 July 2025 

Professor James McWha has an esteemed career in the tertiary education sector. He began his university journey studying botany at Queen’s University Belfast in the early 1970s.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Agriculture (with honours in Agricultural Botany) before going on to receive his PhD from Glasgow University.

His first foray into teaching was as a lecturer in the Department of Botany at Canterbury University, followed by a term as Head of the Department of Plant and Microbial Sciences.

In 1985, Professor McWha returned to Northern Ireland to take up a joint appointment as Professor and Head of Agricultural Botany at Queen's University Belfast, and Deputy Chief Scientific Officer in the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture.

New Zealand soon came calling again and in 1989 he returned, this time to Wellington, to take up the role as Director of DSIR Fruit and Trees in the Department of Science and Industrial Research.

In 1992, he became the foundation Chief Executive of HortResearch, the Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand. Education, however, was never far from Professor McWha’s radar and in 1996, he was appointed Vice‐Chancellor and President of Massey University. He held this position until 2002, when he moved to the same role at the University of Adelaide.

After 17 years leading established universities, Professor McWha took up the challenge of founding the University of Rwanda in 2013. He held the role of Vice‐Chancellor until his retirement in 2015.

Professor McWha was Secretary General of the International Association of University Presidents from 2002 to 2005 and also the honorary treasurer and executive committee member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities from 2007 to 2017. 

In 2003, he received the Australian Centenary Medal for services to education and in 2011, he was made an honorary officer of the Order for Australia.

Massey University has also acknowledged his outstanding contribution to their institution and advocacy for the New Zealand education system, awarding him with a Doctor of Science in 2004.  

Rob Hewett - Council Member (Alumnus)

BCom Agricultural (Linc), MSc Marketing (Linc)

Current Term

1 February 2020 – 1 February 2024 

Rob Hewett has in-depth experience in governance, particularly across New Zealand’s agricultural and renewable energy supply chains. 

His current roles include chair and shareholder of Farmlands Cooperative Society Limited and Silver Fern Farms Co-operative Limited, Co-chair of Silver Fern Farms Limited, Chair of Pioneer Energy Limited and Strong Wool Action Group.  Rob is a director of NZX-listed T&G Global Ltd, Pulse Energy and Crossdocks Australia.   

Rob farms 9,250 stock units, 960 ha carbon neutral sheep and beef breeding/finishing unit with forestry and wind farming interests, in Manuka Gorge, South Otago. 

He is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors, and a Graduate of Lincoln University, holding an M.Com in marketing and a B.Com (Ag) in Economics. 

David Jensen - Ministerial Appointment 

BAgr, Dip Agri Sc


Current Term

8 September 2021 – 7 September 2025

David resides in the Bay of Plenty and owns and operates dairy, kiwifruit, forestry and avocado businesses around the Tauranga district.

David is graduate of Massey University with a Agri Degree as well as a Post-Grad Diploma in farm management.

Prior to going farming David with a dairy farm Consultant in Canterbury and the Waikato.

He has a wide governance background in the primary sector having held roles with Farmlands, Livestock Improvement, Satara, Eastpack Co-op, Figured, and chairs a wide range of MyFarm Limited Partnerships.

David is Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Professor Grant Edwards

BAgrSci (Hons) (Lincoln) DPhil (Oxford)


Current Term

1 January 2022 – 31 December 2026


Coming from a farming background in Northland, Professor Edwards completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences with Hons from Lincoln University in 1990. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1991 and through this scholarship, he completed a DPhil in behavioural ecology at Oxford University in 1994.

He then held research and teaching positions at AgResearch and Imperial College London, before returning to Lincoln University in 2005, first as a senior lecturer in pasture science, before moving to the position of Professor of Dairy Production in 2009. He was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor from 2019 to 2021 and began his appointment as Vice-Chancellor in 2022.

Professor Edwards’ research interests are in the profitability and environmental performance of dairy farming systems. At Lincoln University, he has been instrumental in the activation of a farm portfolio to support a continuum of activities from component research through to farm systems and demonstration.

Janice Fredric - Ministerial appointment

BCom (Cant), MBA (Dist) (Massey), CA, CFInstD

Current Term

8 September 2021 – 7 September 2025

Janice Fredric was appointed as a University Council member in 2017 by the Minister and currently chairs the Audit and Risk Committee and the Capital Asset Committee.  

An experienced chair and professional director with over 20 years of governance experience, she has a broad portfolio of directorships with experience in commercial, Crown and not-for-profit sectors. 

Janice has held senior executive positions in professional services and finance and banking sectors internationally.   

She is currently Chair of the Civil Aviation Authority and the Aviation Security Service, a director of NIWA, Mainpower NZ Limited and Unity Credit Union, an independent member of the Timaru District Council Audit and Risk Committee, and a trustee of the NZ Shipwreck Welfare Trust. 

Previous directorships include Maritime New Zealand, Credit Union South, Hurunui Tourism, NZ Family Planning, University of Canterbury Foundation, Duncan Cotterill Lawyers and YHA NZ. 

Janice is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors.  

Gabrielle Thompson - Ministerial appointment

BVSc (Massey)

Current Term

18 June 2020 – 17 June 2024 

Graduating from Massey University with a veterinary degree in 2000, Gabrielle developed her own companion animal clinic in 2004. 

She grew this to five clinics around the lower South Island over a 10-year period before selling to a nationwide company.

Together with her husband and their family, Gabrielle owns and operates a 530 ha arable and store lamb farm at Dorie, Mid Canterbury. She has also owned an artisan bread company, with products sold through supermarkets nationwide. 

Gabrielle is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors. In addition to this, she is a director of rural supplies company Rural Co and the first board-appointed Farmer Director for Silver Fern Farms Co-operative. 

Dr Marjan van den Belt - Ministerial appointment

Msc (Eramus), Grad Cert (Maryland), PhD (Maryland)

Current Term

26 February 2020 – 25 February 2024

Dr Marjan van den Belt has a life-long passion for ecological sustainability, social and cultural fairness and innovative economic solutions.

This is reflected in a unique combination of academic qualifications, inter/trans-disciplinary research, and management and governance experience.

As a strategic partner with Terra Moana Ltd, she seeks to serve communities of people and organisations who critically engage with a vision for a regenerative society through enterprise, board positions, facilitation, analysis and synthesis.

Formerly, she held the positions of Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability) at Victoria University of Wellington, and the Director of Ecological Economics Research New Zealand (EERNZ) at Massey University.

She was appointed to the Treasury’s Tax Working Group in 2019 and has been a Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (Impact) Assessor.

She is currently a member of Wellington City Council’s Sustainable Food Community Working Group.

Previously on the Sustainable Business Council, and currently a member of the Pool of Experts of the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, she has held seven board membership positions, been an advisor to seven boards and served on seven national and international strategic working groups or expert panels.  

Puamiria Parata-Goodall - Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu appointment 

BA (Cant), B Māori Performing Arts (Te Awanuiarangi)

First joined

9 December 2015 

Current Term

9 December 2019 – 8 December 2022 

Puamiria Parata-Goodall is passionate about cultural identity and legacy. She is a proud descendant of Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Māmoe, Waitaha and Ngāti Kahungunu.

She has a background in the arts, culture and heritage sector having worked for Canterbury Museum, Creative New Zealand and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

A previous board member for the Arts Centre of Christchurch Trust Board, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology and Te Matatini, Puamiria currently serves as a member of the Canterbury Museum Trust Board, Lincoln University Council, Ngāi Tahu Fund and Te Pae Kōrako. 

E kore au e ngaro.  He kākano i ruia mai i Rangiātea.   

I will never be lost. I am a seed sown from Rangiātea. 

Professor Derrick Moot - Academic Staff appointment

B.AG.Sci (Hons) (Canterbury), PhD (Lincoln)

Current Term

29 May 2022 - 28 May 2026

Professor Derrick Moot has previously served as the staff representative on the Lincoln University Alumni Association executive. He is a graduate of the University and was appointed as a lecturer in 1995.

He is a National Tertiary Teaching Award winner (2004) and was appointed a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science in 2015.

He has received numerous awards in recognition of his services to the sheep and beef industry including the Ray Brougham Award from the New Zealand Grassland Trust in 2016.

Professor Moot takes an evidence based approach to his teaching of diploma, degree and postgraduate students and has a strong rural extension presence, particularly among sheep and beef farmers.

He leads the Dryland Pastures Research programme which has been creating farm systems that are resilient to climate change for over 25 years. Its work has instrumental in the transformation of rain-fed farms across New Zealand, Australia and South America. It was awarded the NZIAHS significant achievement award for services to sheep and beef farmers in 2021.

Professor Moot has published more than 300 peer reviewed science papers, supervised more than 100 postgraduate students and managed more than 20 externally funded research projects.

His current research includes a farmlet comparison of conventional and regenerative grazing practices, assessment of pasture systems for the “Hill Country Futures programme” and development on the AgYields database of crop and pasture yields hosted by Lincoln University.

Jaime Shone - General Staff appointment

BA (Canterbury)

Current Term

30 May 2021 – 29 May 2025

Jaime Shone joined Lincoln University in 2005 and is presently Lincoln's Domestic Engagement Manager.

In addition to this position, she has held leadership roles in Alumni and Liaison, and is a senior member of the Customer Engagement team. 

Jaime is active across a range of institutional working groups and committees related to her role. She works closely with internal stakeholders on business development initiatives and growth strategies.

In addition, Jaime has established strong working relationships with external stakeholders including the education, industry and government sectors to help achieve Lincoln’s strategic objectives.

Amy Wells  - Student appointment

BSc. Environmental Science (Hons)

Current Term

1 December 2022 – 30 November 2023


Amy is the Lincoln University Students' Association President for 2023.


Nathaniel Heslop

Council Secretary, Strategy Governance Officer

Email: [email protected]

Contact Nathaniel regarding Council and committee meetings, papers, or other governance-related inquiries. 


Contact the Council Secretary

Email us