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Qualifications Authority Announces New Chief Exec

Wednesday 7 February 2000


Qualifications Authority Announces New Chief Executive

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority has named its next chief executive.
Dr Andrew West, who currently heads a crown research institute, will take up the position early in March.

The chairperson of the Authority’s board, Dr Frank Wood, said the appointment of Dr West would prove to be another milestone in the development of the Qualifications Authority. “Andrew West has a passion for education and an excellent understanding of the contribution education and training can and must make to the economic security and social future of our nation,” said Frank Wood.

“His mix of experience in developing and implementing government policy, in managing large organisations, in strategic planning at the highest level and working with industry in general will prove to be invaluable to the Authority and the tertiary sector at this time,” said Frank Wood.

“Dr West’s appointment was made after a very thorough and demanding selection process. He finally emerged as the preferred candidate from a field of over 40 New Zealand and international applicants,” said Frank Wood. “In Dr West the Board is confident that they have a person who will be able to lead the Qualifications Authority with distinction,” said Frank Wood.
Associate Education Minister Steve Maharey has welcomed the appointment of Andrew West.

“I am delighted to have a person of Andrew West’s calibre leading the Qualifications Authority. This appointment is consistent with the direction the government wants to see in the education and training sector. We expect a focus on quality and enhanced coherence across the education sector. Dr West provides an excellent link with the wider education and training community in New Zealand and overseas,” said Steve Maharey.

“I want at this time to acknowledge the work of Norman Kingsbury. He has been chief executive of the Qualifications Authority for little over sixteen months and has turned the Authority round. His outstanding leadership in this position has capped a notable career in education in this country. I was grateful that Norman agreed to stay on until the Authority’s board could find a suitable replacement. His wisdom and resolve will be missed,” said Steve Maharey.

Dr Andrew West is presently chief executive of the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Ltd, a Crown Research Institute. He is a research scientist specialising in ecology, with a BSc (Hons) and PhD from the Polytechnic of Central London and a business qualification from Victoria University of Wellington.

Dr West worked for the DSIR from 1982 to1988, and from 1988 to 1995 helped develop the government's science reforms. In 1993 he was the Personal Advisor to the Minister of Science.

Since 1997, Dr West has led the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Ltd, a research company with an annual turnover of $30 million and a staff of 260 scientists, technicians and support staff.

Dr West and his family live in Wellington.
The Authority’s current chief executive, Norman Kingsbury, has been in the position since October 1999. His initial one year contract was extended to March pending the appointment of a successor.

A FULL DESCRIPTION OF ANDREW WEST’S CAREER IS ATTACHED.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Bill Lennox, NZQA Phone 04 802 3008

Andrew West can be contacted on 04 562 8190 or 025 445 487

Due to a family bereavement, Norman Kingsbury is unavailable for comment.

Dr Andrew West is presently the Chief Executive of the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Ltd, a Crown Research Institute, the Government's principal earth sciences adviser. Dr West is a research scientist specialising in ecology and widely published in international scientific journals. He has a BSc (Hons) and PhD from the Polytechnic of Central London and a business qualification from Victoria University of Wellington.

Dr West has long had an interest in science and education policy, not the least because he is the parent of three primary and pre-school age children. In his role as President of the Association of Crown Research Institutes he guided the publication "Knowledge underpins quality of life" which reaffirmed the view that investment in education is the single most important and valuable investment.

Dr West worked for the DSIR from 1982-1988 on soil sciences (the soil carbon cycle and soil erosion). From 1988 to 1995 he helped lead the Government's science reforms, including the design and establishment of the Ministry of Research Science and Technology, Foundation for RST, all ten Crown Research Institutes and the Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit. In 1993 he was the Personal Advisor to the Minister of Science. He worked especially closely with the Hon Margaret Austin and the Rt Hon Simon Upton during the reform years.

When with Ernst & Young in 1995 he developed a sector-wide strategy for the NZ meat industry and then in 1996 went on to become the company strategist for AgResearch a CRI. In this capacity he helped establish the Foundation for Sheep Research and acted as Advisor to the South African Government for an audit of that nation's technological sophistication.

Since 1997, Dr West has led the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Ltd, a research company with an annual turnover of $30 million and a staff of 260 scientists, technicians and administrators, (of which around 160 are PhD qualified researchers). In recent years GNS has been most successful in both scientific and financial terms.

Dr West and his family live in Wellington.


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