Our Board

Professor Garth Cooper DPhil (Oxon), FRCPA, FRSNZ, FMedSci is one of New Zealand’s foremost biochemical scientists and entrepreneurs. While undertaking doctoral studies at Oxford University he discovered the hormone amylin, invented amylin-replacement therapy for diabetes and founded Amylin(UK) Ltd 1987 and the NASDAQ-listed US biopharmaceutical company, Amylin Pharmaceuticals.

After returning to New Zealand, in 1993 Garth founded and funded the privately owned start-up company, Endocore Ltd, in Auckland. This he re-incorporated in 1998 as the biopharmaceutical corporation Protemix, to advance some of his more recent discoveries into clinical therapeutics. His experimental therapy for diabetic heart disease received recognition from the FDA with the award of an IND in 2004, and in 2005 a product from this research became the first drug discovered in New Zealand to be awarded fast-track status by the USFDA. Garth stepped aside from his roles with Protemix in 2006.

Garth Cooper currently divides his time between the UK and New Zealand under three university appointments. These are: Professor of Discovery and Experimental Medicine and Director of the Centre for Advanced Discovery and Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Manchester; Visiting Professor in Pharmacology: Discovery and Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Oxford; and professor in Biochemistry & Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Auckland with joint appointments to the School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Medicine.

In 2003, Garth was named North and South’s New Zealander of the Year (jointly), in 2005 was NZ Bio’s inaugural Biotechnologist of the Year, and in 2007 he was made a World Class New Zealander by the KEA network. In 2013, Garth was elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences, one of two New Zealanders to receive such recognition.

Perhaps better known as Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook following the international success of her television series and cookbook of that name, Annabel is recognised as one of New Zealand’s most creative culinary figures.

Over a career spanning more than two decades she has self-published numerous cookbooks, which have been translated into multiple languages and sold close to two million copies throughout Europe, North America and Australasia.

Her television show Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook champions the use of the freshest seasonal ingredients, usually grown in her own garden or sourced from local artisan producers. Annabel’s themes of sustainability, provenance and community have struck a chord with audiences around the world, and the series has sold into 74 international territories. The book that accompanies the series has been published to great acclaim in New Zealand, Australia and the UK – so far!

Annabel divides her time between her home in Remuera, Auckland, and her family’s rustic cabin beside Lake Wanaka, where her television series was filmed. She is a largely self-taught cook but has attended courses at the Culinary Institute of America in upstate New York and studied horticulture at Lincoln University in New Zealand.

As well as directing her own media company, Annabel writes a bi-monthly food column for NZ Life & Leisure magazine and has a regular Thursday afternoon guest spot on Newstalk ZB and her own blog and website.

David Williams is a Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurobiology in the School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles. David grew up in Southland and Canterbury, and did his undergraduate studies at the University of Canterbury. He received his doctorate from the Australian National University, before moving to the US.  His research laboratory studies the molecular and cell biology of the retina, on which he has published more than 120 research articles. Strategies include genetic engineering of animal models, with the aim of developing gene therapies for inherited retinal degenerations. He has contributed to discussions on the applications of genetic manipulations in a number of forums, including the FAO of the United Nations.

Educated in Christchurch, Sam Neill began a career in Wellington as a film-maker. Demoted to actor, for over 25 years he has appeared in over 70 movies and T.V. productions.

Sam’s family has hailed from Otago since 1859. He is now based at Gibbston, Central Otago, where he planted his first grapes ten years ago.

Our Office

Simon Terry (Executive Director)
Simon has been Executive Director for the Council since its inception. His areas of research include:

  • Governance arrangements for avoiding dangerous climate change
  • New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme (Simon is co-author of a book it – The Carbon Challenge).
  • The low cost of significantly abating agricultural greenhouse gases
  • Potential economic and environmental costs of the release of GMOs in New Zealand
  • Revision of inadequate environmental liability law
  • Opportunities for enhanced biosecurity
  • Reform of food safety assessment requirements
  • Redesign of the regulations governing toxic substances

Since 1991 Simon has also managed an economics consulting partnership, STA Ltd. Through this firm, he has led an extensive series of research projects on issues including climate change response strategies, mechanisms for boosting renewable energy uptake, utility valuation and pricing, transport pricing, water supply contract structures, measures of sustainability, economic and regulatory issues associated with genetic modification, and energy efficiency uptake.

Prior to founding STA, Simon worked as an investment banker and as a financial journalist. He received a string of awards for his investigative reporting in the National Business Review during the 1980s.

Stephanie Howard (Projects Director)
Stephanie has worked with the council since its inception. She has also worked with civil society organisations in Europe, North America and New Zealand on emerging technologies, including genetic modification and nanotechnologies. Her analysis has centred on sustainability issues arising from these technologies and public processes for deciding how to regulate them. Her current research is on new types of GM techniques and the governance of nanotechnologies.