Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University welcomes new Chancellor and Pro Chancellor

Friday 8 March 2024

The university has welcomed Alistair Davis ONZM and Angela Hauk-Willis into the roles of Chancellor and Pro Chancellor.

Pro Chancellor Angela Hauk-Willis and Chancellor Alistair Davis ONZM.

Last updated: Friday 8 March 2024

Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas has welcomed Alistair Davis ONZM and Angela Hauk-Willis into the roles of Chancellor and Pro Chancellor of the university. The University Council is the governance body for the university’s operations and provides oversight of the institution and its affairs.

“At the recent meeting of the Massey University Council, Alistair and Angela were welcomed into the roles of Chancellor and Pro Chancellor. They have now both begun in their positions at the helm of our university,” Professor Thomas says.

“Their wealth of experience and commitment to our university is significant and I look forward to working with them both over the coming years,” she adds.

Mr Davis has been Massey’s Pro Chancellor since November 2023 and a member of the University Council since 2018. Prior to that he served on the Massey College of Business Advisory Board, which he chaired through until 2015.

Before retiring in 2020, Mr Davis was the Chief Executive Officer of Toyota New Zealand. He joined the company the day after his final university exam in 1979, becoming Toyota’s first graduate to join directly out of university.

He held many roles within the company before becoming CEO in 2008, including stints in most parts of the business. He served as Chair of Toyota New Zealand from 2020-2022 and was also a director of Toyota Australia and Toyota Finance. 

Mr Davis says it is the Council’s job to balance the interests of students, academics, professional staff, taxpayers, funders, the environment and society.

“Some of the Council’s work is the basic administration, financial management and compliance requirements that exist for any large institution, but it also extends to oversight of the more inspirational aspects of a university, including research, our contribution to society, nurturing of students, forging of new paths to obtain education and new ways of teaching, our growing understanding and application of Te Tiriti in the 21st century and so on.”

Mr Davis would like to see Massey become more resilient and able to operate with less reliance on constrained Government funding, and be able to continue to contribute consistently and mightily to New Zealand.

“We are in extremely difficult times, but the university has a variety of plans to respond to these challenges and over time I am confident that we can return to a healthy position. The world, more than ever, requires robust intellectual endeavour to address some hefty challenges, including climate change, the erosion of biodiversity, the malicious use of artificial intelligence and big data, political extremism and racism, inequality and so on. We need to be healthy to be able to contribute meaningfully to these challenges in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Ms Hauk-Willis was appointed to the University Council in 2022 by the Minister of Education. She has considerable experience in public sector management and administration, having held several senior management roles, including serving as Treasury Deputy Secretary for 12 years. She has also served as a board member of the New Zealand Fire Service Commission, Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the Independent Police Conduct Authority. She was Chair of the Ministry of Transport’s Risk and Assurance Committee for six years and is currently a Director of FireSuper Trustee Limited.

She welcomes the opportunity to help shape the future success of Massey in her new role.

“We are facing unprecedented challenges that will require astute and committed leadership at all levels of the organisation. Good governance from Council is critical, and I look forward to playing my part in ensuring Massey has the capability and resilience to make a sustainable contribution to Aotearoa New Zealand.”

The Pro Chancellor stands in for the Chancellor when required, whether that be for Council meetings, business meetings, sub-committees, or at graduation ceremonies.

Professor Thomas extends her gratitude and recognition to former Chancellor Michael Ahie for his dedication and valuable contributions to the university community.

“Michael’s tenure as Chancellor, and many years of generous service on Council, has been invaluable. I have no doubt that he will persist as a steadfast friend and advocate of our institution.”

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