Board Chair’s report - Annual Report 2022

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Board Chair’s report - Annual Report 2022

13 April, 2023

Tēna koutou katoa

It is my absolute privilege to provide you with my first Chair’s Report. Let me start by acknowledging the previous Chair Paul Atkins. It was a pleasure to work under Paul’s Chairmanship on the Board as he steered our waka through to the success it is today. Paul had a significant role in leading us through our successful rebid and we are extremely grateful to him for leading the Institute through such a crucial time.

Board Chair Time in position
Ian Watson 2002 - Dec 2009
Steve Thompson Jan 2010 - Dec 2014
Ray Thompson Jan 2015 - Dec 2017
Paul Atkins Jan 2018 - Dec 2021
Hēmi Rolleston January 2022 - present
Directors / Co-Directors Time in Position
Paul Callaghan 2002-2007
Richard Blaikie 2008 - 2011
Kate McGrath 2011 - 2015
Thomas Nann 2015 - 2017
Nicola Gaston 2018 - present
Justin Hodgkiss 2018 - present
Deputy Directors Time in Position
Richard Blaikie 2002 - 2007
Shaun Hendy 2008 - 2011
Simon Brown 2011 - 2013
David Williams 2013 - 2015
Alison Downard 2013 - 2015
Nicola Gaston 2015 - 2017
Justin Hodgkiss 2015 - 2017
Franck Natali 2018 - 2019
Geoff Willmott 2018 - present
Paul Kruger 2019 - present
Pauline Harris 2022 - present

This year we celebrate our 20th birthday. We acknowledge the legacy and the successes of the past as we navigate a challenging yet exciting future, and see the role that the Institute can play in this. In my mihi at the birthday event I made particular mention to those who have played a key role over the 20 years (see the table above) to remind us where we have come from. Earlier that day we had stretched our minds to challenge our thinking of what a future structure in the Institute would look like, allowing the structure and size of the Institute to give us freedom to imagine the future. I have always been clear in my time on the Board that Te Ao Māori can play a key role in the future of the Institute, and the Board has been always very supportive of this.

As I look across the Institute’s vision and work, I am extremely heartened by the mahi I see. The Institute’s four new research programmes leading Aotearoa New Zealand towards Zero Carbon, Zero Waste, Low Energy Tech and Sustainable Resource Use are truly inspiring. I can’t think of a more worthwhile area to apply the minds and hearts of the MacDiarmid Institute’s researchers than to support Aotearoa New Zealand and the world out of this climate emergency. And I again acknowledge the brilliance and foresight of the Institute’s founder, Sir Paul Callaghan, who 20 years ago when he set up the Institute, saw the critical state of the planet and knew the vital role a materials science institute would play in mitigating this coming crisis.

Website 450x300 11I am impressed by the calibre of commitment, passion and leadership among all of those working for the Institute. As someone who has a day job within the science system, I can certainly vouch for the strong reputation the Institute has within the ecosystem. I am extremely heartened by the focus we have on rangatahi and the efforts we are applying to bring through the next generation of science leaders.

I thank the Board for the support you have given me and the Institute, and the Directors for your excellent mahi as always. I also acknowledge the management team who make everything happen. A huge thank you to you all.

I invite you to read these stories of continued science excellence, key collaborations with our Māori partners, commercialisation of materials research through startups and with industry, the drive to improve public understanding of technology for sustainability, and the creation of a high-earning NZ-trained science workforce.

Signature Hemi Rolleston


Hēmi Rolleston

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