New Zealand Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy GNZM, QSO, DStJ has been made a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Directors (IoD).
The honour is the highest the IoD can award, reserved for directors who have made a sustained and prominent contribution to governance, business and their communities.
Dame Patsy has been an influential leader in a number of fields from becoming the first female partner at law firm Watts and Patterson (now Minter Ellison Rudd Watts) in 1982, to sitting on the boards of some of New Zealand’s largest commercial and arts organisations.
She became Governor-General in September 2016 and will continue in the role until September 2021.
IoD Chief Executive Kirsten Patterson MInstD says Dame Patsy has played an important role in business and society, and exhibits the virtues a contemporary director should aspire to.
“She has led in business on the boards of high-profile commercial companies Air New Zealand, Telecom and Sky City. Her input has been highly valued in the public sector where she has served on the boards of the Film Commission and the New Zealand Transport Agency, and as a member of the Risk and Assurance Committee for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet,” Patterson says.
“Dame Patsy has also been a leading voice in the governance of creative and charitable organisations, including the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, the Victoria University Foundation, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Foundation and The New Zealand Film Archive.”
Alongside her governance career, Dame Patsy has undertaken major consulting roles, including as an independent reviewer (with Sir Michael Cullen) of Intelligence and Security in New Zealand, as an independent facilitator of the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity, and as a chief crown negotiator of Treaty of Waitangi settlements for Tauranga Moana and Te Toko Toru.
She was a founding trustee and advisory board member for New Zealand Global Women and, in July, she presented awards on behalf of the New Zealand Humane Society (of which she is patron) to people who responded with bravery and compassion to the Christchurch mosque attacks.
“Looking at the remarkable things she has been involved with over her career, it is clear Dame Patsy is a very deserving recipient of Distinguished Fellow status,” Patterson says.
Distinguished Fellow status was awarded to Dame Patsy at an event on 27 July.
She joins a select group of 51 current Distinguished Fellows of the IoD that includes Dame Margaret Bazley DMNZ ONZ, the Rt HonJim Bolger ONZ, Sir Tipene O’Regan and Dame Alison Paterson DNZM QSO.