David Clark (it had to happen) gets something right

In  one of the smartest  moves he has made,   Health Minister  David Clark  has recruited  Steve  Maharey to  be  Pharmac’s  chairman.  Unlike  many of the  “Labour luvvies”   being named  these   days  to  various  panels and  other  well-paid jobs, Maharey  has genuine  credentials for  the task.

He  was one of the  most effective ministers in the Clark government and then  moved  out of politics  when he believed  he had   contributed all he could in that  sphere.  He  subsequently  had  a stellar  period in public  service  as  Vice-chancellor of  Massey University  from 2008  to  2016.

As the fourth-ranked minister in  Helen  Clark’s Cabinet he held the positions of Minister of Education, Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Minister  Responsible for Crown Research Institutes, Minister of Broadcasting, Minister Responsible for Television NZ, and  Chair of the Cabinet Social Development Committee.

He served  as  MP for Palmerston North for 18 years from 1990.

He studied at Massey  to  graduate  MA   (Hons) and was a junior lecturer in business administration and a senior lecturer in sociology as well as being a Palmerston North city councillor before entering Parliament.

His teaching and publications helped influence the development of NZ sociology and formation of the fields of cultural studies and media studies in NZ.  His academic interests include social policy (particularly social development), education, media and cultural studies, social change and politics.

In  his two terms  as  vice-chancellor  of  Massey University,  the institution – with three campuses – expanded to  cater for  35,000 students.  He made no secret of his ambition to  turn  it into a global player.

As  Maharey saw it, Massey had a role in  creating a  better, more prosperous  “new New Zealand”.

One of  the initiatives  in his period as  vice-chancellor was  FoodHQ, which, with the support of the Palmerston North City and Manawatu District Councils, is creating a super campus comprising AgResearch, AsureQuality, Fonterra, Massey University, Plant & Food Research, the Riddet Institute and the Bio Commerce Centre.

He saw Massey’s input as a “science power house”,  with FoodHQ drawing on the expertise held in Massey’s College of Sciences and College of Health.  He also sought to shape  Massey’s Colleges of Business, Creative Arts, and Humanities and Social Sciences  to ensure they had  a role to play in making Massey “the engine of the new New Zealand”.

As the  Health Minister  said in  naming   him as   Pharmac chair, “Steve Maharey is a hugely experienced leader with strong governance skills. He is fiercely intelligent and compassionate”.

Maharey takes over as chair  this week from Stuart McLauchlan, whose term as chair   expired  on  July 31. His appointment, for a three-year term, was confirmed by Cabinet on Monday.

David Clark  says Pharmac plays a vital role in the public health service and is the reason New Zealanders pay some of the lowest prices in the world for pharmaceuticals.



2 thoughts on “  David Clark (it had to happen) gets something right

  1. A relevant question is “was Stuart McLauchlan eligible for another term, and if so, was he available?” If not, then the appointment is reasonable; if Stuart McLauchlan got a DCM, then it is pure cronyism.


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