Sir Jerry Mateparae (pictured above with his wife, Lady Janine Mateparae) has just been appointed to be the next Chair of the Healthier Lives−He Oranga Hauora National Science Challenge, officially taking over from the inaugural Chair, Dr Jenny McMahon, on 1 June 2020.
“We are delighted that Sir Jerry Mateparae has taken up this appointment upon his return to Aotearoa. He will add a huge amount to this innovative Challenge, which includes some of the top minds in New Zealand research collaborating to solve some of our big health issues in non-communicable diseases,” says Richard Blaikie, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at the University of Otago which hosts Healthier Lives.
The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae GNZM, QSO, KStJ was born in Whanganui in 1954. He is of Māori descent, with tribal affiliations to Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Ngāti Kahungunu. He also has links to Tūhoe and tribes in the upper Whanganui.
Sir Jerry is married to Lady Janine Mateparae and they have five children. Sir Jerry and Lady Janine have recently returned to New Zealand from his most recent role as New Zealand’s 27th High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
“I am rapt to be joining the Board of Healthier Lives−He Oranga Hauora, and thank Dr Jenny McMahon for the leadership she has given these past five years. I have been keeping track of the work that Professor Jim Mann and Dr Jenny McMahon have been leading to achieve healthier lives for New Zealanders. The research that’s being done to prevent in the first instance or treat if necessary someone suffering from one of our country’s four main non-communicable diseases fits neatly with my interest in an holistic view to living healthier lives.”
Healthier Lives Director Professor Jim Mann says: “We are excited to have Sir Jerry as Chair of our Challenge’s Governance Group and Kahui Māori. He brings enormous expertise and networks to guide our research efforts aimed at equitably improving health and wellbeing for all New Zealanders.”
Current Chair, Dr Jenny McMahon, stepped down on 31 May 2020 after five busy years in the role. She was appointed the inaugural Chair in April 2015 prior to the launch of the Challenge at Ōtākou Marae in December that year.
“It has been a privilege and a pleasure for me to be a part of such a team, and to collaborate with people so eminent in their fields,” says Dr McMahon. “It was exciting to see first-hand the research and work being done in New Zealand in these important health areas.”
“Jenny has got us off to a tremendous start,” says Professor Mann. “She is an outstanding Chair and has led a great team to guide us through some significant developments.
“Over the last five years, she has played a pivotal role overseeing the establishment of Healthier Lives, introducing a unique co-governance arrangement with the Kāhui Māori and developing a targeted research strategy for our next phase of operations. Establishing a true partnership between the Governance Group and Kāhui Māori has been a particular highlight, and one that has brought real gains in understanding for our science challenge.”
“Ka tō te ra, ka rere te ra – as one day ends another day begins”