New appointments at Victoria University Council

Wellington business executive Neil Paviour-Smith has been elected Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington for 2018

Mr Paviour-Smith succeeds Sir Neville Jordan KNZM CNZM, who recently announced his retirement from the Victoria University Council.

Mr Paviour-Smith was unanimously elected to lead Victoria’s governing body at a meeting of the Council. He is the Managing Director of sharebroking and investment firm Forsyth Barr, a director of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) and a former director of NZX.

Mr Paviour-Smith is currently Pro-Chancellor, having been a member of the Victoria University Council since mid-2013, and chairs the Audit and Risk Committee. Born in Lower Hutt, Mr Paviour-Smith is a Victoria alumnus, who graduated with a BCA (Bachelor of Commerce and Administration, which is equivalent to today’s BCom,) after finishing his schooling at Naenae College. He was an inaugural recipient of a Sir Peter Blake Trust Leadership Award in 2005.

Sir Neville Jordan announced in October that he was retiring from the Council, of which he had been a member for four-and-a-half years, serving as Chancellor for three of those years.

Council member Dame Therese Walsh DNZM was unanimously elected to the position of Pro-Chancellor at the same meeting. The Pro-Chancellor is the Deputy Chair of the Council.

Dame Therese is an independent director and is currently Chair of Television New Zealand, serves on the boards of NZX and ASB Bank, is a Trustee of Wellington Regional Stadium and a member of the Government’s Major Events Investment Panel. She was the inaugural supreme winner of the Women of Influence Awards in 2013 and received a Sir Peter Blake Trust Leadership Award in 2014.

Mr Paviour-Smith says it is a privilege to assume leadership of Victoria’s Council. “I look forward to leading our Council and supporting management to deliver on the University’s aspirational strategic plan.

“I am passionate about Wellington and believe Victoria can play a bigger role in, and with, the city. This will help the University continue to grow the quality of the student experience and enhance our reputation for world-class research.”

Mr Paviour-Smith paid tribute to retiring Chancellor Sir Neville Jordan. “Sir Neville has been an outstanding Chancellor of Victoria. He has led many successful projects and significant reforms, including a restructuring of the Council two years ago, which has resulted in a genuinely diverse governing body.”

The Chancellor is the Chair of the University Council and responsible for providing leadership to the Council in the development and implementation of its governance responsibilities, including in the area of strategic direction.

The Chancellor is also the ceremonial head of the University presiding over occasions such as Graduation.

There will also be two new members at the Victoria Council table in 2018.

Alan Judge, a former partner of EY, begins a four year term in January 2018, replacing the retiring Chair of the Finance Committee, Roger Taylor. Mr Judge has a strong interest in Wellington and the arts, currently chairing the City Gallery Wellington Foundation and serving as a trustee of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation.

The other new member is Isabella Lenihan-Ikin, who has been appointed to a two year term by Council on the recommendation of the Nominations Panel after an election by students. She is completing a conjoint degree in Law and Biomedical Science at the University. She replaces Jacinta Gulasekharam, whose two-year term on the Council has been completed.

Find out more about Victoria’s Council members at