LIAC Commissioners

The Minister of Internal Affairs in her responsibility for the National Library of New Zealand, appoints six members after consultation with the Minister of Māori Affairs. The National Librarian is an ex-officio member of the Commission. The current appointees deliver the appropriate mix of skills and experience sought for the Commission and bring particular strengths relating to broadcasting, information technology, Mātauranga Māori, museum and public libraries management, and education. They are:

Alison DobbieAllison Dobbie (Chair)

First Term
Term expires September 2024

Allison commenced a career in librarianship in 1975. She has worked in public libraries across New Zealand. She was City Librarian for Dunedin from 1989 and for Auckland from 2001. In 2010 she became General Manager of Auckland Libraries and lead the amalgamation of library services to its 1.5 million people. She has also worked in academic and special libraries in New Zealand.

She holds a Dip NZLS (1974) and an MA in Librarianship from Victoria University of Wellington – her 1988 thesis compared public library systems in Norway and New Zealand.

She has contributed to developments in public library strategy, public lending rights, literacy, national digitisation initiatives, digital access, professional registration and leadership development. She has also served on the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council, Te Ara online encyclopaedia advisory board and Talking Matters advisory committee.

She has been a member of the Bertelsmann International Network for Public Libraries; a Strategic Adviser to the Gates Foundation Global Libraries Programme and a mentor for its Global INELI programme.

She was instrumental in establishing the first regional INELI programme, INELI Oceania, and chaired this group from 2013 – 2018. This included creation of a Pacific Libraries Network.

Prior to her retirement in November 2018, Allison was working as a Principal Development Officer at Auckland Council exploring future options for delivery of community services.

In 2019 she was awarded an MNZM for services to library and information management and the arts.

Allison is a volunteer for the Cancer Society in Auckland and enjoys walking, reading and knitting.

Mark BoddingtonMark Boddington

First Term
Term expires August 2024

Mark Boddington is an experienced lawyer and knowledge professional. He holds an LLM in information technology law from University of Edinburgh and undergraduate degrees from Victoria University of Wellington. He is currently the Group Legal Services Manager at Scientific Software and Systems.

Mark has previously worked in academia, the private sector and for an international organisation. He has contributed to publications examining the role of digital media in society and has presented his own research at international conferences and meetings.

Mark is an executive committee member of the Asian Pacific Copyright Association and has served on various boards and panels advising on information technology issues. He is the recipient of a number of legal awards and is a previous Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow.

Vanisa DhiruVanisa Dhiru

Second Term
Term expires March 2026

Vanisa works at InternetNZ as the Tumu Herenga Waka | General Manager of Public Impact.

She holds commissioner roles with the NZ National Commission of UNESCO and the Library & Information Advisory Commission, is a member of the He Tohu Advisory Board and Trustee of the Spark Foundation.

During her career, Vanisa has held various leadership roles including CEO of Volunteering New Zealand, Executive Director of 20/20 Trust and President of the National Council of Women NZ. Based in Wellington, she is a member of the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Global Network, and the Manawatū regional Te Aho Tāmaka Leadership Programme.

Her key achievements include being listed on the “50 Women of Achievement 2016”; supporting an NGO delegation to the United Nations in 2019; and being a finalist for Young New Zealander of the Year in 2010. In 2020, Vanisa was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to the community and gender rights.

Paula EskettPaula Eskett

First Term
Term expires August 2024

Paula Eskett lives in Christchurch and has a background in library management and advocacy. She works as the Manager of Waimakariri District Libraries. She has previously worked as the Knowledge Curator and Library Consultant for CORE Education, the Executive of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA), and as a Library Futures Development Specialist for the National Library of New Zealand.

Ms Eskett also brings governance experience through prior roles on the Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand / Tohatoha Board (Education representative), LIANZA Copyright Committee, NZ World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) 2020 Governing Board, Association for Learning Environments (Co-Chair, Canterbury Branch), and the Open Access Working Group.

Rachel Esson

Ex Officio 

Ms Esson is Te Pouhuaki National Librarian and is an ex officio member of the Commission.

She was previously Director of Content Services at the National Library of NZ, a role she has held since 2016, having held senior and strategic roles in academic and research libraries, including Associate Chief Librarian Research Collections at the Alexander Turnbull Library.

Rachel is a professionally registered librarian with a master’s in library and Information Science (MLIS) from Victoria University and holds a Certificate in Tertiary Teaching from the University of Otago. She has researched and published in the area of evaluation of library services.

Before joining the National Library leadership team, Rachel was Associate Director, Library Academic Services at Victoria University and Medical Librarian (University of Otago, Wellington). She is a Past President of the Library and Information Association of NZ (LIANZA) and remains actively involved with the organisation.

Dr. Spencer LilleyDr. Spencer Lilley

First Term
Term expires September 2024

MA (Hons) Auckland, Dip Lib (VUW), PhD (Massey)

Dr. Spencer Lilley is an Associate Professor in the School of Information Management at Victoria University of Wellington.

Prior to this he had academic positions at Massey University in the School of Māori Knowledge. He trained professionally as a librarian and worked in special and academic libraries from 1989 – 2011.

Dr Lilley’s research interests are Māori/indigenous information behaviour, specifically focusing on the indigenisation of cultural heritage institutions and professions. He was the recipient of a Marsden Fast Start Award from the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2018 to investigate how galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) are contributing to the revitalisation of te reo Māori (Māori language).

He is a former President of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA).

In recognition of his outstanding service to LIANZA and the wider library and information profession he was awarded a Fellowship in 2010. Spencer is also a founding member, and honorary life member of Te Rōpū Whakahau (Māori in Libraries and Information Management) and a professional member of the Association for Information Science & Technology. Spencer’s whakapapa includes iwi affiliations to Te Atiawa, Muaūpoko and Ngāpuhi, and Samoan and Scottish ancestry.

Dr. Warren WilliamsDr. Warren Williams

First Term
Term expires January 2026

Dr Warren Williams is the Chief Executive for the 20/20 Trust where the core service provision is digital inclusion programmes across Aotearoa New Zealand. He is passionate about enabling and empowering people through education and technology.

Dr Williams has extensive experience in IT, business and tertiary education spanning more than 25 years. He has held governance, executive and senior management roles, and is active in tribal and community-level groups.

Dr Williams currently holds governance or director roles for Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand, Trust Tairawhiti, Te Huarahi Tika Trust, Te Mana Raraunga – Māori Data Sovereignty, Tōnui Collab Charitable Trust, Ngā Uri o Maahanga Trust Board and Digital Taniwha Ltd. He has previously held governance roles in the technology, community and disabilities sectors. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and IT Professionals NZ.

His research background consists of increasing Māori participation within the IT industry, as well as Māori leadership and governance with rangatahi (youth) and wāhine Māori. Other experience and interests include Treaty negotiations, taiao/environment, education, employment, local government and business community.

List of Former Members

David Reeves, Chair

Dr. Judith Johnston

Bill Macnaught

Brian Pauling, Chair

Janet Copsey

Evelyn Tobin

Paul Reynolds

Ainslie Dewe, Chair

Chris Szekely

Karl du Fresne

Diana Kelly

Sue Roberts

Nathan Torkington

Carol Moffatt

Sharman Buckle

Hāromi Williams

Don Hunn, Chair

Brian Flaherty

Haneta Pierce

Brian Morris

Sharon Dell, Chair

Dr Rachael Ka‘ai-Mahuta

Matthew Oliver

Carolyn Robertson

Helen Tait

Te Paea Paringatai

Last updated: July 2022