Thursday, November 30, 2023

Kerr becomes first woman to lead NZTE

Jennifer Kerr has been named as the new Chair of New Zealand’s trade and investment promotion agency – the first woman to be appointed to the role.

Ms Kerr (pictured), of Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Tama descent, was appointed to the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise – Te Taurapa Tūhono (NZTE) role by Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Damien O’Connor and Minister of Economic and Regional Development, Stuart Nash.

She will replace Andrew Ferrier, who has been Chair of NZTE from 2012.

The Ministers have also appointed three new members to the NZTE Board: Mike O’Donnell, who will become Deputy Chair; Sarah Paterson; and Carl Carrington. They replace Charlotte Walshe and Charles Finny, who have left the Board over the past nine months.

Ms Kerr has been a member of NZTE’s Board since 2013, and has been Chair of the Culture & People Committee and a member of the Audit & Risk Committee. She is also Deputy Chair of Callaghan Innovation and a director of New Zealand Rugby.

“Jennifer has accepted the role of Chair of NZTE and will bring a broad range of commercial and governance experience to the Board. This will be complemented by her detailed knowledge of NZTE and its people around the globe,” Minister O’Connor said.

“That in-depth understanding will be crucial as NZTE supports our COVID-19 Trade Recovery Strategy, ensuring that New Zealand can effectively re-connect with the world.”

Mr Nash said the three new directors each brought business experience that would be valuable to the organisation.

“Mike O’Donnell has a track record in digital businesses, from the early days of TradeMe to his current directorships. Sarah Paterson has a background in the primary sector, including Fonterra and Meat and Wool New Zealand, and Carl has broad experience in the food and beverage sector.”

“By joining the other current members of the Board – Traci Houpapa and Wayne Norrie – we will have an expert group of people to support NZTE as it delivers on its purpose, to grow companies internationally,” he said.

All four begin their new roles on March 7.

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