Science New Zealand board

The Board members are the chief executives of the Crown Research Institutes. A Chair and Deputy Chair are elected at the Annual General Meeting in August for a two-year term. The Board meets every second month.

The Board:

  • Provides a forum for chief executives to discuss issues, share views and agree actions.
  • Sets the strategic direction and policies for Science New Zealand.
  • Gives direction to and receives reports from pan-member groups which have specific focus areas.
  • Meets with groups and individuals with interests in areas relevant to Science New Zealand's work.

 Board members:

  • david hughes

    David Hughes

    Science New Zealand Chair

    Plant & Food Research

    Chief Executive since February 2018. David was Group GM Commercial of Plant & Food Research from 2009 and has led many business development and innovation teams in the food sector. He holds a BTech (Manufacturing, 1st class honours), and an Applied Stats Postgrad diploma from Massey University.

  • Sue Bidrose

    Sue Bidrose

    Science New Zealand Deputy Chair


    Chief Executive since July 2020. Sue started her working life as a laboratory technician for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries,.working in metabolic diseases of dairy cattle. Sue has since worked in the community sector and in central government in research, policy and operational leadership roles.  Most recently, in local government, she was CEO of Dunedin City Council. Sue holds a PhD in Psychology (Otago).

  • John Morgan v2

    John Morgan


    Chief Executive since April 2007.  Chair of Science New Zealand from February 2020. John has extensive executive and governance experience in public and private sector organisations across a range of markets and activities including business, science, education and sport.  John is a graduate of Macquarie University's Strategic Marketing Programme and the Executive Leadership Programme from INSEAD, France. 

  • Peter Lennox

    Peter Lennox


    Chief Executive since August 2020. Peter brings a blend of commercial and scientific disciplines gained from many years in the global biotechnology and meteorology sectors. This includes roles as director of biotechnology networks for Scotland’s national economic development agency; Director for Industry New Zealand’s biotechnology sector; and CEO of MetService and its international subsidiary Metraweather.  He has post-graduate degrees in biochemistry and biological sciences from Queen's University (Belfast) and Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh), as well as an MBA in Finance and Strategy from Glasgow University, and has studied at the London Business School.

  • Peter Benfell v2

    Peter Benfell

    GNS Science

    BE (Hons), University of Auckland; DipBusAdmin, Victoria University of Wellington

    Currently Chief Executive (interim), Peter re-joined GNS Science in October 2018 as General Manager, Science. He is responsible for the leadership and management of our research teams, as well as the quality and performance of our research projects and geohazard monitoring activities. Peter has had more than 30 years’ experience in research, science and technology and its successful application, as well as in establishing several major Research and Development partnerships. He previously worked at GNS Science as Group Manager, Environment and Natural Resources Group between 1998 and 2001.

    Prior to re-joining GNS Science, Peter was Chief Executive at the Infrastructure Industry Training Organisation, Connexis. Peter has held senior management roles at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, AgResearch, and Opus International.

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    James Stevenson-Wallace

    Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research

    James Stevenson-Wallace is Chief Executive of Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research. Prior to this he served as Chief Executive of the Electricity Authority, introducing a raft of improvements to electricity markets and the regulation of industry during a sustained period of volatility. He oversaw major investigations into competition and security and introduced various reforms to secure long-term benefits for consumers and to support decarbonisation through greater deployment of renewable energy.

    James is an experienced regulator and policy advisor to Government with strong ties to the natural resources sector. He has held senior leadership roles regulating land-use, and the development of forestry, fisheries, petroleum, and minerals resources at MPI and MBIE. In these roles he led various research investment programmes supporting sustainable development and the protection of endangered species and marine areas. He also has experience consulting to the private sector as a former economist at the NZ Institute of Economic Research.

    He holds a Master of Public Policy from Victoria University, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics also from Victoria, and a Bachelor of Business Studies in Management from Massey University.

  • julian elder

    Julian Elder


    Chief Executive since March 2017. Julian has held leadership roles in civil infrastructure including renewables, telecommunications, energy, and water. He was the WEL Networks CEO from 2007-2014. He holds a PhD in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Auckland University.

  • Anthony Scott Science NZ 200 x 200

    Anthony Scott

    Science New Zealand Chief Executive

    Chief Executive since 2001. Anthony has worked with public and private organisations, central and local government, and not-for-profits in the UK and New Zealand in strategy, policy and communications.