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Adrian Orr

Adrian Orr is the Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. He was first appointed in March 2018 and has been reappointed for a second 5-year term effective from March 2023. This page lists his career summary and achievements.

Adrian is New Zealand born and bred, and primarily of Cook Island and Irish descent. He is married to Sue, a novelist, and they have three adult children.

Career summary

Adrian is a 1983 undergraduate of the University of Waikato (New Zealand) and a 1985 Masters graduate (with Distinction) from the University of Leicester (England).

Following his Masters, Adrian remained in the United Kingdom for three years working as a Research Associate and tutor at the City University Business School, in London.

Adrian returned to New Zealand in 1988 to take up the position of Research Economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research before joining the Economics team at the National Bank of New Zealand the following year.

In 1992, Adrian moved to France to work as an economist at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). After holding this role for three years, Adrian returned to New Zealand and worked for a short time as a Chief Analyst at The Treasury, before returning to the National Bank as Chief Economist.

Adrian was appointed Chief Manager of the economics team at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in 1997, providing core economic and policy advice to the Governor.

Between 2000 and 2003 he served as Chief Economist for Westpac Banking Corporation. This was followed by a four-year stint as Deputy Governor and Head of Financial Stability of the Reserve Bank through to 2007.From 2007 until his appointment as Governor, Adrian held the position of Chief Executive Officer at the Guardians of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. The Fund has won a variety of international awards for investment, responsible investing, and leadership.

International governance

Adrian has previously served as Chair of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds, and Chair of the Pacific Pension and Investment Institute. He has also served as a member of the:

  • Focusing Capital on the Long-term initiative
  • Inclusive Capitalism initiative
  • Long-term Investment Council of the World Economic Forum
  • Expert Advisory Committee of the World Bank Treasury
  • Advisory Board for the Emory University (Atlanta) Centre for Alternative Investments.

Past directorships

Adrian’s previous directorships, associations and representations include:

  • Director of Lake Taupo Funds Ltd (1995–2005)
  • Chairman of the Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation (1998–2005)
  • Member of the Governing Council of Victoria University (2001–2003)
  • Member of the NZ Government appointed Capital Markets Taskforce (2009–2010)
  • Member of the Capital Markets working group of the Māori Economic Taskforce (2010–2011)
  • Member of the University of Auckland panel charged with recommending distribution of research funding on issues of Māori economic development (2010–2012)
  • Independent Trustee WA Stevenson Memorial Trust, the sole owner of Stevenson Group Ltd, a large privately-owned NZ industrial business (2009–2014)
  • Trustee of the Victoria Theatre Trust, Devonport, Auckland (2010–2013)
  • Chairman of the Auckland Restorative Justice Trust (2010–2013)


Throughout his career Adrian has been the recipient of various awards, including:

  • Pacific Business Trust’s Pacific Business Person of the year in (2003)
  • Pacific Business Trust’s Navigator Award (2013)
  • Deloitte IPANZ Improving Performance through Leadership Excellence Award (2016)
  • CFO Award for Outstanding Contribution to Finance and Business NZ (2018)
  • Asian Investor’s Individual Contribution to Institutional Investment Award (2017).

In addition to these awards, Adrian is a Hunter Fellow of Victoria University of Wellington which is awarded recognition of an individual’s outstanding contribution to the advancement of Victoria University. He remains a member of the Komiti Pasifika at the University.


Adrian has had various research papers published in peer-reviewed journals (European Economic Review and Economica) and various Reserve Bank, OECD, NZIER, IMF and World Bank official publications.

Topics he had covered through these publications include long-term investing, economic growth, financial sustainability, monetary policy, financial market regulation and stability, and financial instrument pricing (interest rates).

Academic qualifications

Adrian graduated from the University of Waikato in 1983 with a Bachelor of Social Sciences, majoring in Economics and Geography. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Development Economics (Distinction) from the University of Leicester, England, graduating in 1985.