New chair and four other appointments to NZQA Board

Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced five appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority Board (NZQA).

The new Chair, Murray Strong has been a Board member for eight years and has held a variety of Crown-appointed senior roles over the past 15 years. New members appointed for three years are Lyn Provost and Jenn Bestwick, while Dr Neil Quigley is to continue as a Board member for another year and Kate Shevland has been reappointed for a three year term.

“I am delighted with these appointments. They provide an excellent mix of continuity of experience, and new ideas and perspectives,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The Vice Chancellor of the University of Waikato, Dr Quigley has been on the Board since 2010. The Board will continue to benefit from Dr Quigley’s oversight of NZQA’s strategic work programme, and from Ms Shevland’s extensive experience in the secondary sector, which includes her role as the Principal of Orewa College for 20 years.

“Retiring members Sue Suckling and Andrew McKenzie have each made a valuable contribution, and I would like to thank them both for their time and energy,” Chris Hipkins said.

NZQA administers the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) for secondary school students. Additional NZQA responsibilities include the quality assurance of non-university tertiary training providers; and helping to ensure New Zealand qualifications are recognised overseas, and overseas qualifications are appropriately recognised in New Zealand.

Brief biographies

Murray Strong

Murray Strong is an independent Chairman and professional director, and a Chartered member of the Institute of Directors of New Zealand. Mr Strong has held a variety of Crown appointed senior roles over the last 15 years, including Crown Commissioner, and has worked in governance and senior management roles across the education, aviation, professional services, tourism and sport sectors.

Neil Quigley

Neil Quigley is the Vice-Chancellor at the University of Waikato. Previously he was a Professor of Economics and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Victoria University of Wellington. He completed his BA and MA at the University of Canterbury before completing a PhD at the University of Toronto and has served on the boards of a number of educational organisations and companies. Quigley’s research interests are in applied finance, industrial organisation, and the boundaries between law and economics. Dr Quigley is also the Chair of the Reserve Bank Board.

Kate Shevland

Kate Shevland has been Principal of Orewa College for 20 years and has strong links across the education sector. She is currently on the Executive of the Auckland Secondary Principals Association and on the Board of Pathways to Employment Trust. She has previously been on the Board of Rodney Economic Development Trust, College Sport, Harbour Sport, Chair of North Shore Secondary Principals group and on many local educational advisory committees. Ms Shevland was on the Ministerial reference group for the Resource Teacher Learning and Behaviour review and the Twenty First Century Learning reference group, and is currently a member of the Prime Minister's Education Excellence Awards Panel. She is a strong advocate for relevant future focused learning, responsive to student and societal needs.

Lyn Provost CNZM

Lyn Provost was Controller and Auditor-General from October 2009 until 2017. From 2001 to 2009 she was the first female and civilian Deputy Commissioner of New Zealand Police. Ms Provost is currently a member of the International Auditing and Assurance Board and has recently been appointed to the Board of Education New Zealand. In 2016 she received the Global category award in the nationwide Women of Influence awards. In 2017, as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours List, Ms Provost was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the State.

Jenn Bestwick

Jenn Bestwick is an associate with the Project Office, where she provides strategic and business case development capability. She has proven experience in strategic planning and in senior strategy management roles across the health, tertiary education, natural resource management, science and research, and tourism sectors. Ms Bestwick has extensive governance experience including roles at Ara Institute of Canterbury (formerly CPIT), Southern Response Earthquake Services and Development West Coast. Her leadership of CPIT during its merger with Aoraki Polytechnic established a high level of credibility within the tertiary sector.