Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Sue Suckling

Sue Suckling

Lincoln Hub Board Chair

Sue Suckling assists companies, organisations and individuals to clarify their purpose and strategy to deliver success, including how to respond to new technologies and disruption. This is both through her work as a professional director in commercial and government sectors, as well as independent consulting.

Sue has undertaken reviews for some of NZ’s most significant departments and Ministries to best position them for effective future contribution to NZ citizens.

Sue is currently the Chair of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Callaghan Innovation Research Limited, Jacobsen Holdings Limited, the Lincoln Hub Establishment Board, ECL Group Limited and Jade Software Corporation Limited. Previous governance roles include chairing NIWA, AgriQuality Limited, and as a director of Restaurant Brands Limited, Westpac Investments Limited and the New Zealand Dairy Board. She holds an OBE for her contribution to New Zealand business. Sue is an inaugural Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand.


Helen Anderson

Dr Helen Anderson

Lincoln Hub Board Director

Dr Helen Anderson is a leader who has extensive experience in research, government and business.

Helen has a PhD in seismology from Cambridge University and was an active researcher in geophysics and seismology before taking on leadership roles in the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology.

At the Ministry she was Chief Scientific Adviser (1997-2003) and then Chief Executive (2004-10). She has represented New Zealand at many international forums, including APEC and the OECD.

Helen currently chairs the BRANZ board, is an independent director of DairyNZ, Antarctica NZ, Lincoln Hub, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and she ClearPoint Group Ltd. She is Pro-Chancellor of Massey University Council and is a member of the National Council of the Institute of Directors.

Helen chairs or is a member of advisory boards for the Department of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Cabinet, and the NZ Police.


Steve Saunders

Steven Saunders

Lincoln Hub Board Director

Steven Saunders (Ngāti Ranginui decent) has 34 years’ experience in the Horticultural sector and is the founder, owner and Managing Director of the Plus Group of companies, specialising in horticulture management consultancy, orchard ownership, global pollen production, robotics development via Robotics Plus ltd, international ventures, applied technology, environmental research & development, innovation and science.

Steven is the co-founder of Newnham Park Innovation Centre in Te Puna, Tauranga, which hosts eight local export award winning independent companies predominately in the food sector, a major stakeholder in the kiwifruit postharvest sector, an active Angel investor, a Seed Co Investment Fund (SCIF) Director and investor representative, a Director of many privately-owned companies and tech startups, an elected member of the executive board for Priority One (driving economic growth in the Bay of Plenty), independent director Lincoln Hub, Agrigate, Māori Economic Development Advisory Board and founding shareholder and Director of Rockit Global Limited.

Steven is an active member of the Te Hono Stanford Primary Sector Alumni, Nuku Ki Te Puku (Māori food and beverage cluster) and Te Tiro Toi Whakangao (Māori tech cluster).

Steven is a founder, director and shareholder of two Māori collective companies, Tuhono Whenua Horticulture Limited and Miro Limited.

Steven is a founder, shareholder and Director of “WNT Ventures” tech incubator which was one of the 3 NZ Callaghan awarded private tech incubators (which has just completed its second fund after fully investing fund one) and a founding member of PlantTech, Tauranga’s recently awarded Regional Research Institute, a Private sector / Government initiative.

The Plus Group and the Saunders Family Trust has a strong history of supporting New Zealand based research and development activities and Tech startups. This support extends well beyond co-funding several government assisted projects directly, to self-funding and commercialising research, tech startups and business models domestically, internationally and in the Māori environment.

Steven has developed a strong track record of governance, investment (including early stage and seed), technology development, global connections, Māori business and government relationships.

Steven was awarded the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce, Westpac “Business Leadership Award in 2014” and the Tauranga Boys College 2016 old boy award.


Paul Reynolds

Dr Paul Reynolds

Lincoln Hub Board Director

Paul Reynolds served as Chief Executive of the Ministry for the Environment from 2008 until 2015. Prior to that he worked at the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (1998-2002) as Chief Policy Adviser and then, from 2002-2008 was Deputy Director General (Policy) at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Prior to his career in the Wellington-based Public Service, Paul had a scientific research career, first at the University of Missouri, USA (1981-1984) then, following a year at Waikato University, with the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (1985-1992) and after that with the Crown Research Institute, HortResearch (1992-1998). He holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Otago.

In addition to his role as Deputy Chair of Landcare Research, Paul serves as a Director of AgResearch, as a Trustee of the Eastland Community Trust, and as Chair of the Land and Water National Science Challenge.  He also chairs the Board of the Sir Peter Blake Trust.


Nadine Tenley

Nadine Tunley

Lincoln Hub Board Director

Nadine is currently the CEO of Watson & Son LP which specialises in the production of premium Manuka Honey.  Her career to date has been based around senior management roles with a strong focus in business development, international trade, finance, logistics and administration.

Nadine was one of the founders of Energie Fruit Co NZ Ltd that exports mixed produce to over 34 countries.  She has been the chair of NZ Apples & Pears Inc since 2012 representing all growers of apples and pears in New Zealand, both domestically and internationally.

Nadine was an inaugural Manawa Nui (Associate Governor) for Ngai Tahu having a year at Ngai Tahu Holdings board followed by a year with Ngai Tahu Seafood.  She has also held a directorship with Quality NZ a start-up company shipping meat into India, and was the Commercialisation Manager for Kono NZ LP and focused on Honey, Hops, Pipfruit and Kiwifruit.

Nadine’s knowledge in global export markets is a key strength and understanding the importance of strong positive international relationships. She is heavily involved in market access, biosecurity and plant breeding initiatives for the Pipfruit Industry. Nadine has always been associated to the primary industries having worked in seafood, dairy and services to rural communities.


JAmes McWha

Professor James McWha

Lincoln Hub Board Director

Professor James McWha has an esteemed career in the tertiary education sector. For over 30 years, Professor McWha has held numerous leadership roles, devoting his time to teaching, research and educational administration in New Zealand, Northern Ireland and Australia.

Professor McWha 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, a position he held until 2002 when he moved to the same role at the University of Adelaide.

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

Professor McWha’s contribution to the tertiary education sector has been widely recognised. 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.

Professor McWha joined the Lincoln University Council in 2017 and has been appointed Vice‐ Chancellor of Lincoln University through until December 2018. He has been tasked with spearheading a cultural revolution which will ignite the University’s future direction.