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 Gower is an experienced board 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, Orion Minerals Group 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 Odey 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 CEO of Citycare Group, is a Director of Habitat for Humanity and has also been a Director of Apex Environmental, Command Building Services, NZ Water & Roading New Zealand.  Onno held the role of Chairman of SCRIT (Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team) Board until June 2017.

Onno is a member of the Institute of Directors and a fellow of the NZ Institute of Management Sourthern & Engineering New Zealand.  Onno has a master's degree in engineering management from the University of Canterbury.

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 Ltd, Douglas Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Northport and Port of Tauranga Ltd.  David is also currently a trustee of New Zealand Community Trust.


Steven Gray

Steve is currently the Chief Financial Officer, having held that position since 2007 and been with Port of Tauranga for 31 years in financial management of the Port.  He is currently a Director of Port of Tauranga Trustee Company Ltd, Quality Marshalling Ltd, Coda GP Ltd and Timaru Container Terminal Ltd.

Tony Reynish 

Tony Reynish

Tony is a former Senior Executive of the Port of Tauranga with 30 years' experience in Port Development, Property and Commercial Contracts.  He is currently a Director of Port Nelson Ltd, Timaru Container Terminal Ltd, Quality Marshalling Ltd and MetroBox Ltd.  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 is responsible for overall management of the accounting, administration, finance and IT areas of the company.  He was involved in the company's alliance with Port of Tauranga in December 2013.

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

Nick is a member of 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.


Steve Wills, Health, Safety & Security Manager

Steve started with PrimePort in 2017 in a safety and compliance role after 25 years with the NZ Police.

In June 2019 he joined the Leadership Team and was promoted to the position of Health, Safety & Security Manager with an oversight across all PrimePort operations.

He brings to the Leadership Team a wealth of experience and solid leadership skills, with an emphasis on people first.

Active in external governance roles, Steve currently serves on a number of community boards and organisations.