The University of Waikato Council has welcomed well-known chief executive, director and Distinguished Alumna, Parekawhia McLean (Ngāti Mahanga - Hourua, Waikato, Ngāti Maniapoto), as a new member.
Parekawhia has also taken up the Chairpersonship of Te Rōpū Manukura following consultation with, and the support of, the Office of the Kīngitanga. The University Council membership statute provides for one member appointed by Council after consultation with Te Rōpū Manukura, and is usually held by the Chair.
Parekawhia is currently the Chair of Te Whakakitenga o Waikato, the governance body for Waikato-Tainui, as well as 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.
A Distinguished Alumna of the University of Waikato, Parekawhia embarked on her career in the public sector after graduating, returning to Waikato to work with her iwi in 2010 as well as continue her contribution to a number of organisations in governance and leadership roles.
University of Waikato Chancellor, Sir Anand Satyanand, says the Council is thrilled to welcome someone of Parekawhia’s experience and mana to the University.
“We very much look forward to working with Parekawhia and drawing on her wealth of governance, public sector and policy experience. The leadership role she also holds at Waikato-Tainui provides another opportunity for the University to continue to strengthen ties with the tribe and give greater expression to its commitment to the region.”
Parekawhia steps into the gap left by the outgoing Chair of Te Rōpū Manukura, Ngareta Timutimu. The Chancellor acknowledged the strong contribution that Ngareta has made during her membership on the University Council over the previous five years.
Parekawhia’s term as Chair of Te Rōpū Manukura and as a member of University Council is for a period of four years.