Over … And … Out

Over … And … Out

Next week I am stepping down as Director of the Institute, having taken up the role of Vice-Provost (Research) at VUW in January this year, so this is my last Update. No more desperately trying to come up with something interesting, informative, hopefully occasionally thought provoking and maybe even evocative and controversial every couple of weeks. Despite the pressure to have something to write about, I’d have to say I have actually grown to quite like the discipline of sitting down and writing something regularly – and I will miss that. Thomas Nann will be our new Director. Thomas will be taking up the position in mid-August. The next three Updates will be penned by Alison Downard, David Williams and Ray Thomson, our Deputy Directors and Board Chair, respectively. I feel very confident that the institute is in as good a place as I was able to get it to and I wish Thomas well in the role of Director – I quite envy him re the time at which he takes over the institute. Having just started the 6 years of secure funding, having a great team of researchers in place, a Board Chair well connected in the innovation/business space, strong outreach and Vision Mātauranga programmes established and a community of emerging researchers who are growing in their desire to do things differently, it is a strong position from which to just have some fun, focus on using the position the institute holds in the national and international research sectors and beyond to leverage the investment to its maximum, do some amazing things in and around the research, deliver the highest quality research possible and ultimately make a difference for people. It will be a great time. For me, it is hard to believe that it has been four years. The role has been challenging and rewarding. I was very fortunate that the then Board of the Institute, led by the then Board Chair Steve Thompson, and Pat Walsh, then Vice-Chancellor of VUW, the host of the institute, took a chance on me – they opened for me a world that hadn’t been mine to explore prior to that and to them I give my deepest thanks. It has all been worth it for the things that I have learned, the experiences I have had and the opportunity to put my mind to things that had the potential to create positive changes for people. Allowing me to go to Henley and do the Advanced Management Programme gave me the additional skills and confidence I needed to come back and lead the rebid – that investment in me made all the difference. Last Update, I thanked Alison and David, the successful rebidding couldn’t have been achieved without the two of them. There are others who I have either met because of this role or have worked more closely with that I have personally benefited from, I mention just a few here, please don’t be offended or upset if you are not named here. David Bibby, Charles Daugherty, Pat Walsh, Rebecca Mason, Steve Thompson, John Spencer, Rose and Mike (you two in particular, of course, well before, through to always), I couldn’t have made 4 years without you. Murray Nash, Glenda Lewis, Nicola Meek, Nihi Houia, Ron Hough, Richard Pinfold, Andy Newman, Rebecca Priestley, each of you inspire me beyond words, through you great things have and will continue to be done. Thank you all. I have worked with many many people through our Board and advisory groups, at our partners, the ministries and throughout the broader sector and community because of being the Director, these interactions have allowed me to understand so many things in different ways as each person has brought their valuable perspectives with them and openly and thoughtfully worked with me. These multiple encounters and explorations have made the past 4 years so diverse and so challenging two things that drive me. I wish everyone well and I know in my new role I will continue to work with many of you. In short, thanks everyone, it’s been quite a ride. So that is me – Over … And … Out Kate