Press Release – Auckland Museum
The Auckland Museum Trust Board is delighted to announce the appointment of Sir Don McKinnon as its Interim Director. Trust board chairman Dr William Randall said as someone experienced on both the national and international stage, Sir Don was a strong …Auckland Museum appoints Sir Don McKinnon as Interim Director
The Auckland Museum Trust Board is delighted to announce the appointment of Sir Don McKinnon as its Interim Director.
Trust board chairman Dr William Randall said as someone experienced on both the national and international stage, Sir Don was a strong leader who would bring out the best in the Museum’s people.
“The Museum’s key focus for the near term is the development of a strong internal culture to support and further nurture our staff and their talents.
“We are committed to the idea of the Museum being a place where the best people want to work – and to have a leading team that supports our strategy and vision. Sir Don has a track record of bringing out the best in people. His steadying influence will be beneficial as Auckland moves towards a new governance structure.”
Sir Don’s distinguished career includes eight years as Secretary General of the Commonwealth. In that role, he was responsible for a staff of more than 300 drawn from 44 nations, answerable to 54 Governments and a budget of NZ$100m. He spent over 21 years in Parliament, serving in various ministerial roles including as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Minister of Pacific Island Affairs. He also served as Leader of the House of Representatives and in a previous administration, as the senior Government Whip.
Sir Don was appointed a member of the Order of New Zealand in 2008. In 2009 the Queen appointed him Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. Sir Don has received a number of other international awards and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in brokering a peace agreement in Bougainville.
Sir Don said the approach from the Board was unexpected but an honour, and he is looking forward to starting work next Wednesday, June 2.
“Auckland Museum is one of the country’s finest cultural institutions. Its people are some of the best in their fields, and I am looking forward to working with them.
“The Museum offers a unique window on New Zealand’s culture, identity and place in the world. It records where we have come from as a nation, and where we’re heading. It is integral to helping New Zealand expand its international cultural links and is one of Auckland’s greatest drawcards for local, out-of-town and international visitors.”
Dr Randall said the implementation of the Museum’s strategic direction and vision as set down in its annual plan will continue under Sir Don, as will popular public initiatives such as LATE and Artefact/Artefiction.
“It’s vital that we are relevant, connected and inspirational to all Aucklanders – and to New Zealand as a whole.
“Work is underway to find a permanent director who will carry on this strategic direction. Sir Don will assist us in that process.”