University Council Members

Members of the Council are appointed under the relevant provisions of the Council constitution in accordance with the University of Waikato Council Appointments Statute 2019.

Sir Anand Satyanand, Chancellor

Sir Anand Satyanand GNZM QSO KStJ is a former lawyer, judge and ombudsman who served as the 19th Governor-General of New Zealand from 2006 to 2011. He was chair of the Commonwealth Foundation for two 2-year terms, ending December 2016. He then chaired the Commonwealth Observation Group of the National Elections of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea in 2017. Sir Anand has been a member of Council and Chancellor since 2019.

Mrs Susan Hassall, Pro-Chancellor

Mrs Susan Hassall has an MA (Hons) from the University of Auckland. She has been Headmaster of Hamilton Boys’ High School since 2000, following her early career as a teacher of English, at the same school. She has extensive experience in education, and in the management of change in an organisation. Susan has also been involved, as an Executive member, with the Association of Boys’ Schools, since its inception in 2002, and has an abiding interest in, and involvement with, gifted education, having contributed to the Minister’s Advisory Group for many years. Mrs Hassall contributes to the wider community as a Justice of the Peace, and as a Wedding and Special Occasion Celebrant. She was appointed to the Council in March, 2016.

Professor Neil Quigley, Vice-Chancellor

Professor Neil Quigley has a BA and MA with first class honours from the University of Canterbury, a PhD from the University of Toronto, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Economics in Vietnam. He is an economist of international standing with a long track-record of academic and strategic leadership. He holds a number of Board and expert advisory group memberships; in particular he is the Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Professor Quigley was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waikato in 2015 and is an ex officio member of Council.

Michelle Blake

Michelle Blake is the University Librarian.  Michelle has worked in higher education for 20 years in both NZ and the UK. She brings a wealth of committee, board and advisory group experience from the higher education and international library sector. Michelle is leading initiatives in the open research space within Aotearoa NZ and her term are leading work to indigenise the Library. She is a skilled relationship builder, a champion of user experience techniques, and has an ability to harness digital technologies to enhance innovation and instil an ethos of continuous improvement. She believes in universal access to knowledge which should be collaborative, inclusive and sustainable. Michelle was elected to Council by and from the staff of the University of Waikato in 2023.

Ms Meleane Burgess

Ms Meleane Burgess holds a Bachelor of Management Studies in Accounting and is an alumna of the University of Waikato Management School. Meleane is Managing Director of Dynamic Advisory Limited with extensive governance and financial experience. Meleane is a Chartered Member of both the NZ Institute of Directors and Governance New Zealand. Her governance experience extends across public, private, and not for profit sectors wherein currently she is an Independent Director of Public Trust, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees for Hillcrest High School, a member of the Pacific Reference Group for the Ministry of Social Development, Trustee on the Anglican Action Board, Trustee of Te Tamawai Trust and is also the founder of the Waikato Pacific Business Network. Meleane was appointed as a member of the Council by the Minister for Education in August 2021.

Dr Joan Forret

Dr Joan Forret is a partner of Hamilton law firm Harkness Henry and her specialist area of practice covers all aspects of resource management and alcohol licensing. Joan is a Vice President of the Waikato branch of the Property Council and is a recent past chair of the Waikato branch of the Resource Management Law Association. Joan holds a PhD in law from the University of Waikato and arts and science degrees from the University of Otago and lectured for five years in Environmental and Public Law at the University of Waikato. She has been a Ministerial appointee on Council since 2018.

Mr Simon Graafhuis

Mr Simon Graafhuis has a Bachelor of Management Studies from the University of Waikato. He has been the CFO for the Gallagher Group since 2008 with responsibility for the global finance function. His career has also included a variety of mainly finance and project-related roles with LIC, Fonterra and New Zealand Dairy Group. Mr Graafhuis has been a Ministerial appointee on Council since December 2014.

Mr George Liu

Mr George Liu is the President of the Waikato Students' Union. Mr Liu has a Master of Management Studies with second-class honours (first division) from the University of Waikato and is currently working towards a PhD in tourism management under the Waikato Management School. Mr Liu's research explores corporate social responsibility practices in luxury hotels in China and generational differences from a staff perspective. He was the president of the Postgraduate Students' Association in 2022.

Ms Mary-Anne Macleod

Mary-Anne is an experienced board member who has served in governance roles for a number of organisations. Mary-Anne is an alumna of the University and has previously held leadership roles for the Ministry for the Environment and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, where she was Chief Executive for seven years until 2018. Mary-Anne has been a member of Council since 2022.

Ms Parekawhia McLean

Ms Parekawhia McLean (Ngāti Mahanga - Hourua, Waikato, Ngāti Maniapoto) is a Distinguished Alumna of the University of Waikato. Ms McLean is currently the Chair of Te Whakakitenga o Waikato, the governance body of Waikato-Tainui, as well as the Chief Executive of the Criminal Cases Review Commission. She has previously held senior roles at Counties Manukau District Health Board, Waikato-Tainui, New Zealand Transport Agency, and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Ms McLean is the Chairperson of Te Rōpū Manukura which, in partnership with the University Council, is the Kaitiaki (guardian) of the Treaty of Waitangi principles for the University of Waikato. She was appointed to Council in December 2021.

Mr Graeme Milne

Mr Graeme Milne has a Bachelor of Technology (Biotech) with first class honours from Massey University. He was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013. Graeme has spent most of his career in the dairy industry but also spent time in brewing, pharmaceuticals and the meat sector. He has held several senior executive roles in New Zealand, Europe and Australia including CEO of Bay Milk Products, CEO of New Zealand Dairy Group, CEO of Bonlac in Australia and CEO of Richmond Ltd. Since 2000 Graeme has been a professional director and is currently chairman of several organisations including Synlait Milk, Nyriad, Pro-Form and Rimanui and a current director of FMG, Alliance Group and PF Olsen. Graeme has been in the past a director of Genesis Energy and was the chairman of the Waikato DHB. He has been a Ministerial appointee to Council since 2017.

Ms Nga wai hono i te po Paki

Te Puhi Ariki, Nga wai hono i te po Paki (Waikato) is an alumna of the University of Waikato and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in tikanga Māori and te reo Māori. Ms Paki has a long association with the University of Waikato and oversaw the weaving team that prepared the tukutuku panels that reside in the University’s wharenui, Ko Te Tangata, in The Pā. Ms Paki is a member of the Waitangi National Trust Board, a member of Te Kohanga Reo National Trust, a board member of the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development, and a director of Kaarihi Limited. Ms Paki joined Council following her nomination by King Tūheitia in 2023.

The Council Constitution and Membership