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Dame Beverley Wakem

  • 13 April 2012

Prior to becoming an Ombudsman, Beverley enjoyed a distinguished career for over 25 years in broadcast news, current affairs and general programming culminating in her appointment as Chief Executive of Radio New Zealand Limited in 1984 - a post she held until 1991. During this period Beverley was also President of the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union.

In 1991 Beverley was appointed Commercial Director for Wrightson Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of Fletcher Challenge which was then New Zealand largest industrial conglomerate. In 1992 she became General Manager, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs for the company.

In September 1997 was appointed by the Government to the Higher Salaries Commission (now the Remuneration Authority). She was reappointed to that body in 2001 and again in 2004. Concurrently she also held a number of other Government appointments, private sector directorships and consulted widely on management issues to the state sector.

In March 2005 Beverley was appointed as an Ombudsman and was appointed Chief Ombudsman in April, 2008.

In March 2008 she was elected as a Director of the International Ombudsman Institute and in June 2009 as Regional Vice President (Australasia and the Pacific) for the Institute. She was elected President of the International Ombudsman Institute in 2010.

She is also a Director of the Pacific Ombudsman Alliance, established to strengthen integrity institutions in the Pacific and specifically to develop and support the establishment of Ombudsman offices in the region.

Beverley is actively involved in the community - she is a former President of the Rotary Club of Wellington, a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Management, and an Associate Member of the Institute of Directors.

She has a BA in English and History and a Masters Degree in Communications. Following completion of the latter degree, Beverley was awarded a post graduate research award from the National Association of Broadcasters in the United States. She also has an FTCL in Speech & Drama.

She was awarded a CBE in 1990 for services to broadcasting and the community and was also awarded the 1990 Commemoration Medal. Beverley was made a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary in 2002, and a Hunter Fellow of Victoria University in 2004.