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Ainsley Walter appointed as Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Board

Ministers’ release: 7 July 2022

Beehive media release.

Ainsley Walter has been appointed as Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) Board for a three-year term, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Carmel Sepuloni announced today.

“Ainsley is one of many influential women across the arts and cultural sector and her appointment as Chair will only further support the orchestra’s growth,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“Ainsley brings a rich repertoire of governance experience and strategic expertise. She has served on the NZSO board since 2020, as a trustee of the NZSO Foundation since 2016, as well as being the former National Director of Export NZ.

“Being a keen philanthropist, Ainsley has been involved in various fundraising projects and is also greatly involved in her community, playing a key role in establishing the Hororata Community Trust.

“Ainsley’s appointment will refresh the board as the NZSO looks to grow into a more diverse orchestra that is more representative of Aotearoa New Zealand’s communities, reaching a wider audience.”

“I acknowledge outgoing Chair Laurence Kubiak for his years of service to the board since 2019 as Chair, as well as his wider contributions since first joining as a member in 2017. He has helped our national orchestra navigate what has been exceptional times in recent years.

“I’m pleased with the recent appointment of the first Pacific woman Wilma Smith to the board, as well as the reappointment of Edwin Read. Wilma has over 40 years of orchestral and chamber music experience, including as Concertmaster of the NZSO and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and as a founding member of the New Zealand String Quartet.

“Edwin, who joined the NZSO Board in 2020, will continue to provide critical financial and commercial experience to the Board. The sector knowledge and capabilities both appointees bring will stand them in great stead as they work to strengthen the NZSO brand both in Aotearoa and abroad.

“I look forward to seeing the board continue to support the NZSO to reach new and diverse audiences across the motu and continuing to foster New Zealand’s premier musical talents,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

Updated on 7th July 2022