Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Te Papa Chief Executive Rick Ellis

Te Papa Chief Executive Rick Ellis. Photo: Kate Whitley, Te Papa.

Te Papa Board pays tribute to Chief Executive Rick Ellis, Te Papa Blog, 15 December 2016

Te Papa Chief Executive Rick Ellis will leave the role in 2017, Te Papa Board Chairman Evan Williams announced today.

Rick Ellis took up the role in November 2014. A date has not been set for his departure, but it is likely to be by June 2017.

The museum will begin recruiting for a new Chief Executive immediately, to enable a nationwide and global search, and allow time for a smooth transition.

Board Chairman Evan Williams paid tribute to Mr Ellis’s achievements in the role.

“We appointed Rick Ellis with a mandate to transform Te Papa, to move with pace and energy, and to help this national institution reach its potential as a twenty first century museum. Rick has achieved all we asked of him and more.”

“Te Papa is in an incredibly strong position. The museum has seen record visitor numbers, its finances are healthy, and it is delivering exhibitions and programmes that are touching the hearts and minds of New Zealanders,” Mr Williams said.

Mr Williams said that while Mr Ellis had originally taken up the role for a three year period, he was now set to leave the organisation after two and a half years. He said the decision was a personal one.

“With his family based in Australia and the Cook Islands, Rick has opted to put family commitments first. Obviously we are very sad to lose him, but as a Board we respect his decision to focus on family at this time in his life.”

Mr Williams paid tribute to Mr Ellis’s leadership of the organisation, and the many successes during his tenure as Chief Executive.

“Rick has brought together a talented executive team and imparted a real sense of energy and positivity right through the museum.”

“He has initiated a major renewal of Te Papa which will reinvent the museum, replacing exhibits which have been there since it opened in 1998.”

Innovation has been a focus for Mr Ellis, with a number of exciting new initiatives delivered.

“Rick has taken Te Papa into new territory with the Mahuki innovation hub, the launch of a Te Papa Foundation, and the Hīnātore Learning Lab,” Mr Williams said.

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See also: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/87596456/te-papa-chief-executive-rick-ellis-resigns

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