The Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT) has announced the appointment of three new trustees to its board, effective from August 2021.

Anne-Marie Broughton, Keri Johnston and Poto Davies have been appointed to serve the charitable trust that has developed almost 5,000 women and men in the primary sector and rural communities over the past 11 years.

“We are delighted with the diversity of thought and deep leadership and governance experience that Anne-Marie, Keri and Poto bring to our work,” AWDT chair Linda Cooper said.

“We look forward to their contribution to empowering women to address some of the big issues and opportunities facing the primary sector.  They bring specific and valuable skills that will support our work with Māori women, environment and natural resource management, entrepreneurship and community development.”

As alumni of AWDT’s Escalator leadership and governance programme, Anne-Marie, Keri and Poto join five other alumni members who have served in leadership roles in the trust over the years, including Linda Cooper and current general manager Lisa Sims.

Linda Cooper said the new appointments were part of the trust’s planned leadership succession, with former trustees, AWDT founder Lindy Nelson, Damian Buckley and Jessica Smith who stepped down from the board late last year.

Long-serving trustee Dr Scott Champion also stepped down from the board last month.    


Anne Marie Broughton

Anne-Marie is a director of regional economic development agency Whanganui & Partners, co-chair of the Whanganui West Catchment Group, chair of Whenuakura Marae, and serves on the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures Investment Advisory panel.  She has extensive experience in Māori land governance, management and development. 

With a passion for sustainable business development and change management, Anne-Marie has led many new and innovative projects and start-up operations from concept to full implementation phase.

Keri Johnston

A South Canterbury farmer, environmental consultant and natural resources engineer, Keri has worked in the primary sector on environmental issues for 20 years. 

An experienced governor, Keri has served five years on the IrrigationNZ board, the last two years as chair and is vice chair of Timaru Girls High School Board of Trustees.

She has worked with communities, councils, and stakeholders to find solutions and agreed outcomes to many of the environmental challenges faced by the primary sector.

Keri empowers and supports communities with the knowledge and tools to be able to co-design enduring and innovative environmental policy and solutions for a resilient New Zealand.

Poto Davies

Poto has held governance roles since 2010 for her iwi Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, as well as chair and co-chair for projects in her local community and across Waikato.  She is inaugural chair of Manawanui Development Limited Partnership (2016), the commercial arm of her iwi which owns and operates three dairy farms and a diversifying land use.

Poto’s strong environmental interest and governance experience has seen her facilitate strategic planning hui for whānau and marae trusts and contribute to planning in the Waipa district.    

Poto’s guiding principles and values are grounded in tikanga, kaitiakitanga and the success and wellbeing of her whānau and community.  

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