Board of Directors

Six member board with three members appointed by Timaru District Holdings Limited and three members appointed by Port of Tauranga.

Timaru District Holdings Limited Appointees

Roger Gower

Roger Gower, Chairman

Roger is an experienced Director with a lengthy career in the transport and logistics sector.  He has a B. Com from Auckland University, an MBA from Massey University and an M Phil from Cambridge University.

Roger's executive career included senior management roles at Air New Zealand and Tranz Rail.

Roger is currently a Director and Chairman of PrimePort Timaru Limited, Apprenticeship Training Trust and NZ Food Innovation Auckland.  He has been an external Director in a wide range of organisations for more than 20 years.

 Damon Odey

Damon Odey

Damon is an experienced businessman, he holds share holdings and directorships on several local businesses and is the Chairman of engineering company Parr & Co.

Having spent nine years in the Local Government sector as Mayor and a previous Councillor for the Timaru District Council, he has extensive experience in local body leadership, council controlled trading organisations and an in-depth knowledge of the engineering industry.

He is a member of NZ Institute of Directors, has a Management Diploma, and Diplomas in Business and Human Resource Management.


Onno Mulder

Onno is the Chief Executive of Southern Institute of Technology based in Invercargill.  Prior to this role he was Chief Executive of City Care Limited (2000 to 2020), one of New Zealand's largest infrastructure construction companies with an annual turnover of $300 million and 1,500 staff.  Onno is also a non-Executive Director of PrimePort Timaru Limited (2017), Infacore (2021) and the Southern Lakes English College (2021)

Onno has more than 35 years' general management, executive level and governance experience.  He has a master's degree in Construction Management from the University of Canterbury and is a Fellow of Engineering New Zealand and a Fellow of the Institute of Management (Southern).

Port of Tauranga Limited Appointees

David Pilkington

David Pilkington

David is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors and has BSc and BE (Chem)  degrees from Canterbury University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Dairy Science and Technology from Massey University.

He currently chairs Rangatira Limited, Douglas Pharmaceuticals Limited and Port of Tauranga Limited.  David is also currently a Director of Northport and a Trustee of New Zealand Community Trust.

Steven Gray

Steve retired from Port of Tauranga Limited on 30 June 2020 after 33 years with the Port, with the last 13 years as Chief Financial Officer.  He is currently a Director of Quality Marshalling Limited, Timaru Container Terminal Limited, MetroBox Limited and Ruakura Inland Port.

Tony Reynish 

Tony Reynish

Tony is a former Senior Executive of Port of Tauranga Limited with 30 years' experience in Port Development, Property and Commercial Contracts.  He is currently a Director of Port Nelson Limited, Timaru Container Terminal Limited, Quality Marshalling Limited and MetroBox Limited.  Tony has a Civil Engineering degree from Canterbury University.

Senior Management

Phil Melhopt 

Phil Melhopt, Chief Executive

Phil joined PrimePort as Chief Executive in December 2014.  Phil has held Chief Executive roles in both local government and state owned enterprise sectors.  His background also includes logistics and sales management in both the forestry and FMCG sectors.  Phil was the inaugural chairman of the Otago Rural Fire Authority and has an active interest in rural fire management.

Nick Donaldson 

Nick Donaldson, Finance Manager

Nick joined PrimePort in January 2012.  Nick brings strong commercial, financial and project analysis to existing activities and development opportunities.  He leads corporate finance, treasury, accounting, administration, property, special projects, and information and communications technology teams of the company.

Nick was involved in the Company's alliance with Port of Tauranga Limited in December 2013.

Prior to joining PrimePort, Nick held senior financial accounting roles with HC Partners and BDO in New Zealand.

Nick is a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand and the Institute of Directors.

Kevin Beeby, Operations Manager

After completing a carpentry apprenticeship with a local building firm, Kevin worked at the Timaru Harbour Board for seven years during the 1990's.  After leaving and working for the family business, Kevin returned to the Port where he worked as a Stevedore, Machine Operator and Carpenter in early 2000.  The Port of Timaru became PrimePort Timaru in 2002 whereby Kevin took up the role of Operations Supervisor, in 2017 Kevin moved into his current position of Operations Manager.


Grant Bicknell, Marine Manager

Grant joined PrimePort in October 2017.  Grant brings strong operational planning, leadership and management skills from the Royal New Zealand Navy.  He is responsible for the oversight of the management of the Port's Marine Operations.


Ben Kleinjan, Port Engineering Manager

Ben joined PrimePort in August 2018.  Ben brings a strong practical engineering approach to maintaining aging Port infrastructure.  Ben has spent the past three years providing asset condition inspections and structural assessments to PrimePort's wharf structures.

He brings enthusiasm and experience in developing technical solutions to complex problems.  Ben has experience in civil and structure engineering after spending 10 years with OPUS International Consultants Ltd.  Ben is tasked with providing PrimePort with fit for purpose assets and planning for future infrastructure development.

Niel Meyer 

Niel Meyer, Safety & Environmental Manager

Niel joined PrimePort in September 2021.  Before immigrating to New Zealand, Niel was working for Saint-Gobain, Murray & Roberts.  Niel brings a strong health and safety systems approach to the table with experience in developing and streamlining EHS management systems, to measurable and practical usable levels.  Niel is a people's person and understands the value that strong relationships bring to a health and safety culture.