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University & polytechnic council members appointed

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills & Employment

4 September 2012 Media Statement
University & polytechnic council members appointed

Tertiary Education Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce today announced three new appointments to the councils of Otago and Auckland Universities.

Sir Ralph Norris is appointed to the Auckland University Council, and Dr Royden Somerville QC and Mr Stephen Higgs both join the Council of Otago University.

“I am very pleased to welcome these high calibre council appointees into their new roles,” Mr Joyce says.

“Each of the new council members brings extensive experience gained through distinguished careers in various fields, as well as personal qualities that will ensure their success. I look forward to seeing the valuable contributions they will make to their respective institutions.”

The Minister also reappointed several existing council members for Auckland and Massey Universities and Waikato Institute of Technology. These were: Mr Lex Henry to the council of Auckland University of Technology, Mr Ben Vanderkolk to the council of Massey University, and Ms Mary Cave-Palmer to the Waikato Institute of Technology council.

Information about the new appointees:

Sir Ralph Norris
Sir Ralph stepped down as Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia at the end of 2011. Banking has featured heavily in Sir Ralph’s career, however he has also spent time as Chief Executive and Managing Director of Air New Zealand. Knighted in 2009, Sir Ralph was also named Outstanding Māori Business Leader for 2010. Sir Ralph is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and of the New Zealand Computer Society. He is currently a director of Fonterra and a board member of Australia’s Origin Energy.

Dr Royden Somerville QC
Dr Somerville is a Dunedin-based barrister, appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 1998. Dr Somerville has specialised in local government and environmental law and has served on boards of inquiry on environmental issues. He is a trustee of the University of Otago Foundation Trust, a Fellow of Knox College, Dunedin, and Chairman of the Knox College and Salmond Hall Council. His academic qualifications include LLM and PhD (Otago) and he is an Associate of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand.

Mr Stephen Higgs
Mr Stephen Higgs is Managing Partner of Polson Higgs, a firm of business advisers and chartered accountants. Mr Higgs is a board member for a range of organisations, and is chairman of Mt Difficulty Wines Ltd and Motor Trade Finances Ltd. Mr Higgs also chairs Polson Higgs Wealth Management Ltd. He serves on a number of University of Otago boards and is a trustee of the University of Otago Foundation Trust. Mr Higgs has a BCom from the University of Otago and is a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

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