Zara Morrison has been appointed to a 12-month future director role at forestry Crown Research Institute Scion.
Morrison, of Ngāti Whakaue and Ngāti Tūwharetoa descent, is the second future director to be appointed and follows Dr Melinda Webber, whose 12-month term finishes in July.
Board chair Dr Helen Anderson said she is delighted to welcome Morrison to the role.
“The role of future director is one that fosters talent in the governance space. Dr Webber shared meaningful insights during her term and we’ve greatly valued her contributions. On behalf of the board, I’d like to thank her for her passion and commitment to the role.
“We now look forward to working with Zara Morrison whose background in both science and accounting ensures she brings a wealth of knowledge and also a strong commitment to Māoritanga.”
As a future director, Morrison will participate in board meetings as an observer.
Morrison said she is honoured to take up this role at the request of her iwi.
“I will enjoy working alongside Ngā Hapū e Toru to strengthen the partnership with Scion. I also look forward to extending my governance experience and contributing to what is a world-leading science and commercial entity that is able to recognise the value of partnership with hapū and iwi.”
A chartered accountant for 12 years, Morrison has worked in both New Zealand and Germany, starting her career at Ernst & Young Wellington Tax as a member of the Māori Sector Services Team (now EY Tahi).
She is currently a project manager at Te Kura o Te Koutu in Rotorua, working in a full immersion te reo Māori environment.
Prior to that she was a senior accountant at GHA – Chartered Accountants & Management Consultants, working for local Māori entities with interests in farming, forestry and geothermal energy. She incorporated te reo Māori into reporting and everyday business communications.
Morrison obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from Victoria University in Wellington, majoring in Biology. During her studies, she worked in the Māori Strategy Unit at what is now the Ministry for Primary Industries. She sat on national biosecurity incursion responses and provided strategic input from a Māori view.
Her governance journey started last year through the Ngāti Whakaue Governance Development programme, which is a Ngāti Whakaue Assets Trust initiative to support aspiring Ngāti Whakaue governors.
Morrison was nominated for this role by the trustees of Ngā Hapū e Toru – Ngāti Hurungaterangi, Ngāti Taeotu and Ngāti Te Kahu.
“Zara is a member of Ngāti Taeotu and we are pleased to walk alongside her as she takes her next steps in governance with this appointment. Her research background and financial acumen lends itself well to this future director role,” said trustees Hoki Kahukiwa and Veronica Butterworth.
“Her commitment to Te Ao Māori, interest in driving equitable opportunities and outcomes for Māori, and her relationship management capabilities ensure that the relationship between the hapū and Scion will continue to grow.”