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Board Members

President

Graeme Crossman

Graeme Crossman is a former New Zealand rugby union player. A hooker, Graeme represented Bay of Plenty at a provincial level, and was a member of the New Zealand national side, the All Blacks, from 1974 to 1976. He played 19 matches for the All Blacks, captaining the side in five games. He later coached Bay of Plenty between 1979 and 1984. Graeme is currently Managing Director at Kiwifruit Country Tours Ltd in Te Puke.

Vice President

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Phil Barnett

Phil Barnett joined the President's Group as Vice President in 2015, prior to which he had a long history of involvement in rugby through playing at a senior level in Canterbury and Wellington before embarking on a long stint with the referee's whistle. With 32 years of reffing and 300 premier games (in Wellington and Bay of Plenty) under his belt, Phil retired from refereeing at the end of the 2015 season, his passion for the game of rugby crossing over into a somewhat more sedate administrative role on the President's Group. Phil has had a 40 year career in banking, most of which has been associated with area and regional leadership roles with BNZ and currently Kiwibank/NZ Post.

Chairman

Paul Owen

Paul Owen has become the first Chairman of the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Board to hail from Opotiki and the Eastern Bay of Plenty. He has held the Chairman’s position for three years and been on the Board for eight years. Paul has a deep understanding of all levels of the game – from administration, coaching, playing and refereeing. He is also a trustee of Sport Bay of Plenty and has been a part of every facet of rugby apart from stitching together the jerseys. By day Paul provides the Opotiki community with their dental care, owning the sole dentistry practice, Opotiki Dental Services.

Deputy Chairman

Owen Cooney

Owen is a passionate supporter of Bay of Plenty Rugby and has been on the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Board for five years. Owen brings a wealth of legal and business experience to the Board. From a long rugby heritage including his father Des, who represented Auckland and Bay of Plenty and uncle Gavin, who was a Bay of Plenty selector in the 1960’s. Owens involvement in the game saw him play senior club rugby in Dunedin, Auckland and Tauranga and was part of the committee that successfully merged Tauranga Old Boys and Otumoetai Cadets in to the now highly successful Tauranga Rugby Sports Club. A partner in one of Tauranga’s largest legal firms, Cooney Lees Morgan, Owen brings both business and technical expertise to the governance table, together with a passion for the game.

Independent Board Member

Mark Canning

Mark was appointed to the Board in 2012 and is currently a Rugby Director for the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union. He played age group and senior rugby in Rotorua and was a Rotorua Rugby Referee for four years. Mark has held a number of administrative roles for Marist St Michael's, these have included; Club Captain, President and an avid member of the working committee. Mark was chairman of the Central Bay of Plenty Rugby Sub Union for 10 years and a member of the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Rules and Disciplinary committee. He is currently a member of the Rugby Services Committee for the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union. Mark was a self-employed plumber for over 20 years, and for the past 10 years has been the Account Manager for Bunnings.

Independent Board Member

Nick Lowe

Nick Lowe was appointed to the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Board in 2014. He is a former CEO of a number of businesses both in the UK and in New Zealand, including Farmers Trading Company and Noel Leeming. Prior to general management Nick had an extensive background in Marketing, Buying & Operations. Nick has significant experience working with Boards and as a Board Director in public and private companies, and is a member of the NZ Institute of Directors.

Independent Board Member

Ray Watson

Ray was elected to the Board in 2015. He chairs the Central Bay of Plenty Junior Rugby Advisory Board and is a member of the Bay of Plenty Junior Rugby Chairs Forum. Ray is also a director on the Rotorua and Bay of Plenty Cricket Association Boards. He operates his own consultancy business and has extensive governance, senior management and strategic advisory experience in the Health, Energy and Iwi Sectors. This includes previous Chief Executive roles with both Lakeland Health in Rotorua, Taupo and Turangi and Ngai Tahu Development Corporation in Christchurch. Ray has held multiple governance roles including six-year stints as a Commissioner with the NZ Mental Health Commission and also as deputy Chair of Meridian Energy Ltd. Ray has a strong interest in Maori rugby. His Iwi affiliations are Ngai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Waitaha, Te Atiawa and Ngati Rarua.

Independent Board Member

Quentin Quin

Quentin Quin was appointed to the board in June 2015. Quentin leads New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s (NZTE) Capital team, which promotes New Zealand business opportunities to targeted international investors and facilitates high quality investment into New Zealand. Prior to joining, Quentin was a Senior Investment Manager with the World Bank Group, based in Sydney. In this role he specialised in agribusiness working across Asia. Quentin also held positions as Managing Director Corporate Banking Pacific for ANZ, and CEO of New Zealand furniture manufacturer, Design Mobel. In these roles he developed significant experience in global markets, finance and leadership of investments, and managing a business.

Independent Board Member

Bill Gartshore

Bill was appointed to the Board in 2014. He has held various rugby administration roles in the Bay of Plenty over the past 35 years. He is a Director of the Gartshore Group of companies and brings to the Board a level of expertise combining both his governance and rugby administration skills.

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