Pasifika woman to lead Auckland Museum Trust Board

posted: 11:00 am - 23rd April 2018

For the first time, a woman of Pacific descent has been elected as Chairperson of the Auckland Museum Trust Board.

Tāmaki Paenga Hira, Auckland War Memorial Museum recently announced the appointment of Orchid Atimalala (pictured) to the role of Trust Board Chairperson, succeeding outgoing Chair of 10 years, Dr William Randall.  

It is a momentous occasion, as not only has a woman been elected for the first time to lead the Board, but it is the first time a person of Pacific (Sāmoan) heritage has been elected.  

William’s long and exemplary service to Auckland War Memorial Museum was acknowledged on the national stage in the New Year Honours in 2017, when he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to museum governance.

He says long-standing Board member and incoming Chairperson Orchid will ensure continuity to the Museum.

“Orchid is an advocate for the unique and leading role the Museum plays in shaping the cultural identity of Tāmaki Makaurau,” William says.

“With more than five years on the Museum’s Board, and a proven track record in strategic advisory and governance, this is a solid appointment that signals continuity and stability for the future of the Museum, and the stewardship of its Five Year Strategic Plan.”

Orchid has an extensive background working with local government organisations, including the North Shore City Council and Auckland Regional Council.

She is a member of the New Zealand Planning Institute as well as being a Certified Independent Hearings Commissioner.

She has held positions on a number of boards, including as Deputy Chair of the Pacific Peoples Advisory Panel and a member of the In2it Youth Development Trust Board.

Orchid is a fluent speaker of Sāmoan and a mentor for the Beatrice Faumuina Leadership Trust.

Humbled by her appointment, Orchid says the Museum is undergoing change and it is vital the existing solid governance of the Trust Board continues. 

“It needs to be led by leadership that is multi-lingual; strategic - upward, outward and future-facing; unafraid of positive transformation as an agent of change; agile - in thought, creativity and action; altruistic - leaving no man, woman, child in need of a cultural home; and reflective and unafraid - of social (intra/intergenerational), multi-cultural, professional (multi-disciplinary), political, technological and learning advance,” Orchid says.

The new Chairperson will assume the role effective immediately.

Meanwhile, long-serving Trust Board Member Brian Corban CNZM, QSO has been appointed as Deputy Chairperson.

Brian is an experienced Director, having served on the Auckland Museum Trust Board since 2012.

He has significant governance experience on boards at a local, regional and national level, including as former Chair of Genesis Power and Radio New Zealand.

Brian is a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Directors, and Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management.

He is also a great supporter of Pacific initiatives.

The Trust Board has also welcomed new Trust Board Member Mark Binns.

An experienced former Chief Executive with a background in construction, property development and asset management, Mark will provide added strength to the Museum’s governance particularly at this juncture with the Museum’s capital works programme about to accelerate.

The Auckland Museum Trust Board is a 10 member Board, with five members appointed by Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA), four by Auckland Museum Institute (AMI) and one by Taumata-ā-Iwi.

Mark fills the vacant AMI appointment previously held by Dr Randall.

Visit Auckland Museum for more information.