John Whitehead has been appointed as Chancellor and Chair of St John New Zealand’s National Priory Board from 24 June 2020, for a three-year term.

Based in Wellington, Whitehead has an extensive background in governance, business and finance, and is perfectly positioned to guide the organisation through a significant reset and new direction.

Joining Treasury in 1982 he held the role of Secretary to the Treasury from 2003 to 2011, being made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2011 for services to the Treasury. He has served as Executive Director on the Board of the World Bank, and earlier this year he was promoted to Knight of St John (KStJ), one of the highest honours conferred on members of the organisation.

St John Chief Executive Peter Bradley says Mr Whitehead’s vast experience will prove invaluable as the organisation continues to build on its strategic aims and works to resolve its funding situation once and for all.

“As we lead the organisation through change in a time of global economic uncertainty, I welcome the opportunity to work with John over the coming years.”

Whitehead has served on St John’s Board and has been associated with St John since 2016.  He says it is the people of St John who attracted him to the role.

“The responsiveness and adaptability of St John and its people is truly remarkable and I am constantly impressed by our ability to discover new ways of doing things as we adapt to do what is best for our people, patients and customers.”

“One of my key focuses will be improving the funding model and resetting our organisation to enable us to continue our work to improve the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.”

Whitehead takes over the role of Chancellor and Chair from Dr Steve Evans (KStJ) who served for a six-year term.


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