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Acting Chief Executive, Roger Ridley

Tēnā koutou katoa.

We recently said goodbye to our Ahorangi Chief Executive, Professor Dame Cindy Kiro, as she prepares for her role of Governor General.  We are proud of her and wish her all the very best.

I now have the absolute privilege of leading the Society until our new Tumu Whakarae, Chief Executive Paul Atkins, starts at the end of November.  I am no stranger to the Society. I have a background in the physical sciences (meteorology and modelling) before spending 15 years in government in senior management and policy roles in the Treasury and Ministry of Research Science and Technology – the latter including managing the government’s contracts with Royal Society Te Apārangi, and leading the parliamentary process to re-include the humanties in the Society’s Act. 

I have spent the past six years working at the Society leading preparation and publishing of evidence and advice on topics of importance to government and the community.  This depends heavily on working with our members and expert panels, the most recent example being the Society’s independent report on the New Zealand Histories Curriculum proposals from the Ministry of Education. Ngā mihi to all our Ngā Tumu Directors who will share this workload while I am acting Chief Executive.

The next four months will not see any slowing down in the Society’s mahi. We will continue to broaden and deepen Aotrearoa New Zealand’s knowledge base through investment and support for our researchers. We will continue to look for opportunities to be influential through our convening power; and we will continue to work on our relationships with te ao Māori, Pasifika and other communities.  That is how we will stay relevant as a Society and Academy well into the future.

Ka mahuta a Matariki i te pae, ka mahuta ō tatou tūmanako ki te tau.

When Matariki rises above the horizon, our aspirations rise to the year ahead.


Dr Roger Ridley

Tumu Whakarae