Massey University has appointed Professor Claire Massey as Director of its newly created Agri-Food Business School.
A great granddaughter of former Prime Minister William Fergusson Massey (1912-1925), after whom the University is named, she grew up on a dairy farm in Karaka, North Auckland.
She has been at the University since the past 19 years and became the Head of School of Management in 2006. As well as being Professor of Enterprise Development, she was the Founding Director of the University’s Centre for Small and Medium Enterprise Research.
She received her PhD in Management from Massey University in 2000.
Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey said that Professor Massey would bring to the new role her rich experince in entrpreneurship and agriculture.
He said New Zealand’s economic growth was dependent on innovation and value-added food production and hoped the University would be an international leader in the field.
“We know this is a huge challenge, but Massey is ready to play its part. We have more than 400 agri-food researchers, 2000 hectares of farmland and a history of innovation. With this new role, the University will focus on forming strategic partnerships and expanding its agrifood business opportunities,” he said.
Professor Massey said that successful farming entailed sound entrepreneurship.
“Enterprise and innovation are crucial to developing a successful agri-food sector. Massey is well positioned to lead the way, and I want to make the University a major international hub for agri-food research and partnerships with industry,” she said.
Mr Maharey said that Professor Massey would bring her strategic leadership experience to the new post.
“She was the first chief executive of the Palmerston North Enterprise Board, Past President of the Small Enterprise Association of Australia and New Zealand and a former Senior Vice-President of the International Council for Small Business.
“She also has a strong research record, with more than 30 refereed journal articles and four books, including some of the most widely known work on New Zealand SMEs.”