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Waitangi leader honoured again

Waitangi leader honoured again

Jeanette Richardson, Chief Executive of the Waitangi National Trust, is among just five women to be nominated nationwide in the Arts and Culture section of the inaugural NEXT Woman of the Year. Dame Malvina Major is among the nominees in the same category, and Jeanette Richardson says she is proud but humbled to be among such company.

“The Treaty Grounds and the Trust are an important part of this recognition. As a leader, I enjoy challenges, and I acknowledge the creativity and loyalty of my staff that empower our achievement here. The Board and staff support and encourage me in both setting and achieving many ambitious goals as we continue to develop a world-class facility that Northland and the entire nation can be proud of. In the last nine years, I have been proud to see Waitangi grow as a national treasure that can claim to be loved as well as respected.”

Jeanette was recently nominated, and subsequently commended, in the New Zealander of the Year Awards, drawing praise from Prime Minister John Key who commented on how “incredibly skilled” she was. He personally presented her with her commendation.

Among the achievements that have prompted this Woman of the Year nomination are the significant enhancements to the Treaty Grounds which she has initiated and guided – including new buildings, tourism products, education programmes, landscaping and major preservation work to the historic icons. All this has been accomplished without any major government funding. In addition, under her administration the Board has been able to realise its long-held wish to grant New Zealand residents free access to the Treaty Grounds.

Jeanette is the first female CEO of the National Trust since its inception in 1932, and she has continued to break new ground for women. She was recently given the honour of being Reviewing Officer for the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Nurturing art and crafts at Waitangi has been a passion for Jeanette, who has scripted and encouraged new drama and original music composition and performance at the Treaty Grounds. She has also authored a number of publications, including her recently published work “The Making of the Treaty”. The success of Jeanette’s enthusiasm and business skills is evidenced by the strong and steady increase in visitor numbers to Waitangi, in contrast to recent tourism and other business trends.

While guiding the National Trust for nearly a decade, Jeanette has remained actively committed to other heritage and humanity causes. She continues to head a successful nationwide management consultancy, and still finds time to devote to her Paihia-based family which comprises three generations.

Jeanette says she is also honoured to share nomination with Ruth Aitken, the Silver Ferns Coach, Dr Kirsten Finucane, the Starship Children’s Hospital Chief Surgeon, and other exemplary women across the five categories of sport, science, community, business and arts & culture.


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