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:

David ReevesDavid Reeves (Chair)

Second Term
Term expires September 2021

Mr Reeves is the Director of Collections and Research at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. He has held a range of senior management positions in the broader heritage sector, including Associate Chief Librarian at the Alexander Turnbull Library and Painting, Sculpture Collection Manager at Te Papa and Senior Registrar at Auckland Art Gallery.

Mr Reeves is currently Deputy Chair of the Archives Council and has previously served as a Member of the National Digital Forum’s Steering Committee and as a Council Member of the Australasian Registrars Committee.

Vanisa DhiruVanisa Dhiru

First Term
Term expires March 2023

Palmerston North born Indian Vanisa Dhiru is a champion for equality, working for change in human rights.

She holds commissioner roles with the NZ National Commission of UNESCO and the Library & Information Advisory Commission, and advisory roles with NGOs and government agencies.

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.

Vanisa's key achievements include being listed on the“50 Women of Achievement 2016”; supporting a NGO delegation to the United Nations in 2019; and being a finalist for Young New Zealander of the Year in 2010. She has been an Executive Judge for the NZ Awards since 2011. Vanisa works at InternetNZ as the Community Manager.

She is passionate about equality, developing young people and cultural relations.

Dr. Judith JohnstonDr. Judith Johnston

Second Term
Term expires September 2021

Dr Johnston is an independent management consultant with more than 20 years’ experience at senior executive levels in both the public and private sectors and thirteen years’ experience as a management consultant and Board Director. Dr Johnston is currently a Board Member of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and has been a Board Member of the Tertiary Education Commission, the Pharmacy Council, the Crown Research Institute ESR, as well as holding governance roles with the Inland Revenue Department, Parliamentary Counsel Office and other public sector organisations.

She has previously been a partner at Unisys Corporation, Chief Information Officer at the Ministry of Justice and Deputy Director General at the Ministry of Health. Dr Johnston has also held roles as a Teaching Fellow and Lecturer at the Universities of Auckland and Waikato, and was Visiting Professor of Public Policy at Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the Managing Director of her own consultancy company – Judith Johnston Limited – and undertakes a variety of consultancies for agencies in the public and private sectors.

Dr Johnston has post graduate qualifications from the University of Toronto and the University of Auckland and has more than 60 publications to her name. She has won two international leadership awards and is both a Harkness Fellow and Foundation 21st Century Trust Fellow.

Te Paea ParingataiTe Paea Paringatai

First Term
Term Expires November 2021

E kī ana te kōrero, kia totoia ngā waewae o te mokopuna ka whai taki. Tihei Mauriora! Te Paea Paringatai works at the University of Canterbury Library as the Manager, Engagement and Learning Support. She is actively involved within the New Zealand and international GLAMMI sector, and has held various leadership roles that include IFLA Section Chair, IFLA Special Interest Group Convenor, Subject Matter Specialist, Lecturer, Te Rōpū Whakahau President, LIANZA President and more recently Dialogue Contributor for UNESCO documentary heritage.

An advocate for ngā taonga i tuku iho (intergenerational transfer of wealth and knowledge), Ms Paringatai brings culturally responsive leadership and governance experience, applied mātauranga Māori praxis, local government, and a working knowledge of the library and information management sector. Ms Paringatai champions the role of libraries as essential for empowering citizenship and cultural literary experiences, evolving education, and community convergence.

Carolyn RobertsonCarolyn Robertson

Third Term
Term expires September 2021

Ms Robertson is the Libraries and Information Manager for Christchurch City Council, a position she has held since 2005. She leads the planning, development and delivery of public library services for Christchurch and sponsors several library building projects which form a key part of the Christchurch rebuild. The largest of these is the new Central Library, an important anchor project in the rebuild of the CBD, which is due to open in 2017. 

Ms Robertson is a fellow of LIANZA (the Library and Information Association of New Zealand) and served as President of the Association in 2010/11. She has been a Member of Public Libraries of New Zealand since its inception and has until recently been a long serving member of the Te Puna Strategic Advisory Committee.

Ms Robertson is actively involved in several international library networks such as the Metropolitan Libraries Section of IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) and is currently a sponsor in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries Network INELI programme for emerging leaders.

Helen TaitHelen Tait

Third Term
Term expires September 2020

Ms Tait brings public governance and management experience, as well as knowledge of the library and information and information management sectors. She is a freelance consultant, principally in community planning, and also works as a tour escort with both New Zealand and international tours. She was a Member of the Victoria Council for the Arts, a former Trustee of the National Library of New Zealand, and Chair of the Guardians Kai Tiaki of the Alexander Turnbull Library.

She had a management role as City Librarian Auckland, Director of the State Library of Victoria and Acting University Librarian at Victoria University of Wellington, and has worked for both the Alexander Turnbull Library and Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa as an interim contract manager, as well as holding general manager positions in local government. She was the National President of the Australian Library and Information Association and the New Zealand Library and Information Association, where she held executive positions for 13 years.  Ms Tait is a current Member and former Chair of the Guardians of Lake Wanaka, and is the National Secretary of ProGuides New Zealand.

Bill MacnaughtBill Macnaught

Ex Officio

Mr Macnaught is the National Librarian and an ex officio member of the Commission. He came to the National Library in 2011 from Puke Ariki, a position held since 2005. Before coming to New Zealand, he was the Director, Libraries and Arts and later Head of Cultural Development at Gateshead Council in the North of England. He was awarded a CBE in the UK for services to public libraries and cultural life. He was Chair of the UK Advisory Council on Libraries and was a visiting Professor (Librarianship) at the University of Northumbria.

Mr Macnaught is a founder Member of the Governance Group for the Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa programme which was inspired by a UK project in which he was involved. He initiated the discussions that led to the National Library supporting the current Kotui project, designed to deliver better value for public libraries through the collective procurement of library management IT services.

Bill was born in Scotland, and is now also a New Zealand citizen.

List of Former Members

Brian Pauling, Chair

Janet Copsey

Paul Thompson

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


July 2020