New Chancellor for Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Wellingtonian John Allen has been elected Chancellor of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington for 2022, succeeding Neil Paviour-Smith whose time on Council ends in early 2022.

Mr Allen was unanimously elected to lead the University’s governing body at a meeting of the Council. He is currently the Chief Executive of WellingtonNZ and is a former Chief Executive of the New Zealand Racing Board, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the New Zealand Post Group and a partner in the law firm Rudd Watts & Stone.

The new Chancellor is currently Chair of the University’s Audit and Risk Committee and has been a member of the Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington Council since January 2018.

Mr Allen is an alumnus of the University and has previously been a visiting lecturer in the Faculty of Law. He received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006.

Mr Allen is an experienced company director having been on boards including: Te Papa Tongarewa, Datacom, Kiwibank, the New Zealand Stroke Foundation, the Nikau Foundation, and the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts.

Council member Dr Dianne McCarthy CRSNZ CNZM was unanimously re-elected to the position of Pro-Chancellor at the same meeting. The Pro-Chancellor is the Deputy Chair of the Council. Dr McCarthy (BA; BSc.; MSc (Hons); PhD (AKL)) was first elected Pro-Chancellor in 2021.

She has extensive experience in a number of senior management and governance roles in the tertiary education, science and health sectors. A former CEO of Royal Society Te Apārangi, Dr McCarthy is Deputy Chair of the Board of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, a trustee of the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, and a member of a range of other governance boards.

Dr McCarthy was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Education in 2008, a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand for her services to science in 2015, and a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to science, business and women in 2016.

Mr Allen says it is a privilege to assume leadership of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s Council.

“This is one of New Zealand’s greatest centres of research, learning, and innovation. The impact of the University is seen not just in the contribution that its graduates make in their chosen disciplines but in the research, writing and advocacy of its academics, who are helping to grapple with issues from COVID-19 to climate change and the legacy of colonisation. It is a fantastic place with an exciting future.”

Mr Allen paid tribute to retiring Chancellor Neil Paviour-Smith.

“Neil has been an outstanding Chancellor of the University. He has led many successful projects and significant reforms, including the development of our strategy as a leading capital city university with our Marae at our heart, development of the Living Pā initiative, the launch of our rapidly growing Faculty of Health and navigating the challenges of COVID-19  and the Kaikoura earthquakes.”

The Chancellor is the Chair of the University Council and responsible for providing leadership to the Council in the development and implementation of its governance responsibilities, including in the area of strategic direction.

The Chancellor is also the ceremonial head of the University presiding over occasions such as Graduation.