Board Members

Forest Growers Research Ltd

Dean Witehira

Dean has worked in and around Kaingaroa Forest for over 30 years. In his role as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Timberland’s  he is responsible for leading Timberland’s Genetics, Tree Crop, Harvesting and Marketing Operations. Dean graduated from the University of Canterbury with a BForSc (Hons), holds a New Zealand Certificate in Forestry (NZCF) and in 2019 completed the General Management Program at Harvard Business School. Ko whakapapa ia no Ngai Tawake, Nga Puhi.

Peter Berg

Peter Berg ONZM is Chair of  the Forest Growers Research (FGR) board. Peter is also the chair of Tane’s Tree Trust and past President of the NZ Forest Owners Association for 12 years, and former member of the SCION (NZ Forest Research Institute) and Auckland Conservation Boards. Peter is presently the Chair of the NZ Branch of the Commonwealth Forestry Association and a member of the executive committee of NZ Farm Forestry Assn. Peter is involved in many aspects of NZ forestry and has jointly authored two books on New Zealand’s forest history.

Ross Larcombe

Ross Larcombe is the CEO of PF Olsen Group Holdings Limited and is a Director of PF Olsen Australia.

Ross joined PF Olsen in 1995 after graduating from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Forestry Science degree. He began this career with PF Olsen in Blenheim as a forestry supervisor and assistant in our seed orchard. He then moved to Rotorua where he undertook a consulting role and has over the years gained valuable experience and knowledge from PF Olsen’s company founders and other talented staff.  In his prior role Ross managed the Central North Island forestry team and has worked with staff throughout the business. Ross has been a company director since 2011.

Jason Syme

Jason Syme is the Director Forest Operations for Rayonier Matariki Forests

Jason joined Rayonier in 1996 and has worked across many different facts of the business. Prior to taking up the Forest Operations role, he was Director, Forest Investment and responsible for the management of Business Development, Forest Information, Research and Development, Lands and Legal and Environmental functions, and for delivering strategic analytical support across all aspects of the forest life cycle. In his role as Director of Forest Operations, Jason leads RMF operations across the estate with a strong emphasis on people, safety, financial, governance and environmental leadership.

Outside of work Jason enjoys sailing, paddleboarding and skiing.