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Auckland's Champion of the Animals Takes Top JOB

Auckland's Champion of the Animals Takes on Top Nationwide Role

Bob Kerridge named as the SPCA's new National President

New Zealand's best known champion of the animals has been chosen as the National President of the Royal New Zealand SPCA.

Bob Kerridge, who is also Executive Director of SPCA Auckland, was elected to his new position by the Society's national Annual General Meeting in Rotorua, earlier today.

"I feel privileged to have been chosen for this role and, particularly, to be taking it on at a time of challenge and transition for the SPCA," he says.

"This very weekend, our Annual Conference in Rotorua saw the launch of our new 'Saving Lives' campaign, which is aimed at ensuring that as many dogs and cats as possible, who arrive at SPCAs across New Zealand , leave there as happy, healthy animals with loving homes to go to.

"By bringing together the best practices of our own centres and the experience of groundbreaking overseas animal welfare organisations, we plan to achieve a huge increase in adoptions and a massive decrease in the numbers of animals requiring euthanasia.

"I'm sure that every animal lover in New Zealand will support these aims and I'm honoured and delighted to have been asked to spearhead this important initiative," he adds.

Another significant challenge, says Mr Kerridge, will be accelerating the SPCA's move towards greater professionalism, at both national and local levels, whilst maintaining the Society's ethos as a compassionate, community-based organisation.

"Our outgoing National President, Peter Mason, has contributed greatly towards both these goals, as have our National Chief Executive, Robyn Kippenberger and many others who work as staff or volunteers, both in our national organisation or at our local centres.

"A key task now is to look at the Royal New Zealand SPCA's constitution and structure to see if it adequately reflects either the progress we have made or the directions in which we want to go. One possible way forward might be the development of strong regional structures, of the type favoured by many other successful not-for-profit organisations," he says

Mr Kerridge became SPCA Auckland's Executive Director in 2008, following a quarter of a century as its Chief Executive, during which time he led and presided over a marked expansion of the Society's activities across Auckland,along with the development of the SPCA Animal Village in Mangere.

He insists that his new national role involves no diminution of his commitment to Auckland.

"I think it's fair to say that SPCA Auckland is, and will always be, my first passion. As Executive Director, I have more opportunity than in my previous role, to work directly with animals and to advocate on their behalf, confident in the knowledge that our governance and day-today management are in good hands. I certainly won't be reducing this commitment as a result of taking on a larger national role.

"Nor will this be my first nation-wide SPCA commitment, as I'm into my third year as a member of our National Council and have performed a number of other functions down the years. I'm also conscious of the successful initiatives that we've pioneered in Auckland, that have great potential for adoption or have already been adopted elsewhere in New Zealand," he says.

Bob Kerridge adds that, as well as retaining his role with SPCA Auckland, he will continue as Chairman of the New Zealand Companion Animal Council and as a director of the World Society for the Protection of Animals in New Zealand (WSPA).

The Royal New Zealand SPCA's National Chief Executive, Robyn Kippenberger, describes Mr Kerridge as an inspirational figure, respected by all New Zealanders who truly care about animals.

"We are amazingly fortunate to be able to have Bob as our President at this time of significant change in the SPCA. He is someone of unbounded energy, commitment and, above all, compassion. In addition, of course, he is one of the most experienced professionals in the animal welfare movement, with an outstanding record of achievement and a superb flair for communication.

"With Bob as our National President, the next few years should be exciting and successful for the SPCA," Robyn Kippenberger adds.


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