Sir Jerry Mateparae’s next campaign is to improve Kiwis’ health as head of science challenge

Sir Jerry Mateparae   is  extending  his  life  of   service   to the  NZ  community,  moving  into  the  role  of  chair  of  Chair of the Healthier Lives−He Oranga Hauora National Science Challenge. He  says the  research  being done  in  preventing   some  of   the  country’s  worst diseases as  fitting neatly with  his own interest in an holistic view to living healthier lives.

Sir  Jerry  has  already  served  NZ  in  leading roles,  as  chief of the  NZ Defence  Force,  then as   Governor-general,  and  most recently as  NZ High  Commissioner  in the  United Kingdom.

Yet   clearly   he   believes   there  is  more to be  done  in  this   life of  service to  the  nation.  In succeeding   the inaugural  chair   of   Healthier Lives, Dr  Jenny McMahon,  he  says  he  is  “rapt” with   his   new  role   after keeping track of the work Professor Jim Mann and Dr Jenny McMahon had been leading to achieve healthier lives for New Zealanders.

Accepting   the  new  post,  Sir  Jerry   appears   keenly  aware   of the  work  done  by  Dr  McMahon  as  inaugural  chair.  Over the last five years, she has played a pivotal role overseeing the establishment of Healthier Lives, introducing a co-governance arrangement with the Kāhui Māori and developing a targeted research strategy.

Professor   Mann   says establishing a true partnership between the Governance Group and Kāhui Māori has been a particular highlight.

Sir  Jerry, with tribal affiliations to Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Ngāti Kahungunu  and links to Tūhoe and tribes in the upper Whanganui, brings  his  own  perspective  to   that.

He has his  own  special expertise and networks to guide  the  research efforts aimed at equitably improving health and wellbeing for all New Zealanders.   He has spent almost 50 years in public service,  reaching  the   highest  level of  command  in  the  NZ  Defence Force   after   his  distinguished  career  in the  NZ Army.

He has attended military and civilian leadership and management courses, including courses with the NZ Institute of Directors and Institute of Strategic Leadership.  He has a Master of Arts with first class honours from the University of Waikato, and was recognised by that University as one of its distinguished alumni in 2009.

In May 2011, Sir Jerry received an honorary doctorate from Massey University.  He was awarded Singapore’s highest military award, the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) [Distinguished Service Order (Military)], from the President of Singapore, S R Nathan, in May 2011.  And in June that year, at Buckingham Palace, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of New Zealand, as a Grand Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.  At the same time he became a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order.

Enlisting in the  Army  in 1972,  he served  in  both  battalions  of the  RNZIR  and  the  SAS. Later he commanded a  truce  monitoring group in Bougainville.  Other  foreign service  included  in  Southern Lebanon  and   East  Timor, where he  was  joint   commander  of  the  NZ  force as  it moved to independence.

He  became Army  chief in  2002, before  stepping up  to be  CDF in 2006, with the rank  of  lieutenant-general,  the first  of  Maori   descent to   hold  the rank  and  the  post.   Subsequently  he  served  as  director  of the  Government Security  Communications  Bureau.

Sir Jerry   ranks  up there   as  one of  the    greatest  New Zealanders  of  his generation.

One thought on “Sir Jerry Mateparae’s next campaign is to improve Kiwis’ health as head of science challenge

  1. Underlying much if not all dis ease or illness, both physical and emotional, is the severe inequality that has plagued Aotearoanz for decades since the 80s.
    Unless this basic problem is addressed and I am not optimistic that it will be, then any form of redressing the long standing gap between the have nots and the have mores, will simply be another band aid which addresses the symptoms not the disease.
    To get a full background read the Spirit Level and the Inner Level, publications by Professors Wilkinson and Pickett.


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