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NZ Productivity Commission welcomes new Commissioner

Dr Diane Ruwhiu new Productivity Commissioner
7 October 2022

The New Zealand Productivity Commission Te Kōmihana Whai Hua o Aotearoa welcomes Dr Diane Ruwhiu (Ngāpuhi) as Commissioner.

Dr Ruwhiu joins the Commission from the faculty of the University of Otago, where she holds a number of strategic and leadership roles. She is currently Associate Professor at the University’s Department of Management, the Deputy Director for Ageing Well (National Science Challenge) and the Deputy Dean Otago Graduate Research School.

Dr Ruwhiu begins her term on the Commission’s board, joining Chair Dr Ganesh Nana and fellow Commissioner Dr Bill Rosenberg.

"Dr Ruwhiu brings world-leading insight, research and educational leadership that will be invaluable in understanding the future challenges the Commission, and the country, face", commented Dr Nana.

"It is exciting to welcome Diane to the Commission and to add to the range of perspectives that we need to embrace to help reflect the Pacific nation that is Aotearoa in the 21st Century. The multi-dimensional nature of the productivity and wellbeing challenges require a multi-disciplinary approach and we are keen to see her contributing her skills to the Commission’s work."

Dr Ruwhiu has a background in strategic operations and supply chain management, but today is a national tertiary education leader with a focus on Māori business and organisation and Indigenous business education.

She is a researcher with Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (Māori Centre of Research Excellence), and has recently finished working with the Science for Technological Innovation (SfTI) National Science Challenge.

Dr Ruwhiu brings a human-centred, pragmatic approach to growth and productivity, and has an overall positive outlook for New Zealand’s near future.

"The economy is here to serve people - it is functionally human-made. I certainly don’t think we should chuck the baby out with the bathwater, but there are a variety of lenses and approaches we can bring to increase opportunity," she says.

"As economists, researchers and academics, we are most comfortable operating within relatively narrow paradigms - but if we want to make a difference, this comes with a recognition that the actual situation is messy and complex. There are a lot of factors and options involved in socioeconomic development, and I’m looking forward to exploring these further through working with the Commission."

Dr Ruwhiu joins the Commission’s board as previous Commissioner Dr Gail Pacheco’s term has concluded.