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Ryman Chairman Recognised In New Year’s Honours List

Ryman Healthcare Chairman David Kerr has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List.

Dr Kerr received the award for services to health and business. As well as serving on Ryman’s board for more than 25 years, Dr Kerr has been an influential figure in the New Zealand health community.

Dr Kerr spent his career as a local GP in Christchurch, caring for thousands of residents in the east of the city over 30 years.

He has also shared his time and expertise by serving extensively in governance roles for health organisations including Pharmac and the Canterbury District Health Board. He was President of the New Zealand Medical Association in 2008-2009 and served extensively on Medical Association committees.

Dr Kerr was one of the driving forces behind the creation of Pegasus Health, which has grown to become a PHO with 445,000 enrolled patients in Canterbury. He was one of a number of visionary GPs who could see the sense in combining together to improve clinical outcomes for patients.

He has been a director and chair of a number of charitable, private and listed companies, and is one of the most experienced directors in New Zealand. His charitable governance work has been extensive, and includes the Life Education Trust, The Christchurch City Mission and the Champion Centre. Dr Kerr has also served iwi business through his governance work at Ngai Tahu Property.

His governance expertise has been recognised at a national level – he was named best chairperson in New Zealand in the 2013 Deloitte Top 200 awards.

Dr Kerr’s most extensive governance role has been with Ryman Healthcare where he has worked in governance for 25 years.

He was a director from 1995, became chairman for Ryman’s IPO in 1999 and has overseen Ryman’s growth in New Zealand and into Victoria.

Ryman Healthcare has grown to become New Zealand’s largest retirement village operator and has been named the Most Trusted Brand in the New Zealand retirement care sector six times.

Ryman Healthcare Chief Executive Gordon MacLeod said the New Year’s honour was a great recognition for David’s work.

“I am sure everyone in the Ryman family will join me in congratulating David. He’s a great supporter and mentor as well as a wise head, and his clinical guidance and insight into the health of older people is outstanding. He’s been on speed dial during COVID-19 and his support and advice have been invaluable to us in what has been an incredibly difficult year.

“For me personally he has been a great mentor and I’m really delighted for him, this recognises how much work he’s done for so many people in health and in business.’’

About Ryman Healthcare: Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns 41 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia which are home to more than 12,000 residents and the company employs 6,100 staff.

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