Hemi Rolleston, Callaghan Innovation's general manager Maori Economy, has been named interim chief executive following yesterday's surprise resignation by Mary Quin.

Quin yesterday said in a statement she was stepping down at the end of this month from her inaugural CEO role after three years to pursue personal interests in New Zealand and overseas. She was recently appointed to the Westpac board.

The news was announced by deputy chair Robin Hapi who said she had provided the leadership and vision the government-funded organisation needed through its start-up phase.

Callaghan's board has begun the process of finding a permanent replacement and in the interim appointed Rolleston, a member of the senior management team for two years, to take over in an acting capacity from August 1.


Rolleston is a former chief executive of Maori-owned kiwifruit business Te Awanui Huka Pak and has previously held roles with Waikato University as Maori liaison officer and with Tauranga District Council as a Maori land officer and revenue manager. Just prior to taking up his current role, Rolleston attended a Maori business leaders' boot camp at Stanford University.

When he was appointed, Quin said his role was pivotal to Callaghan's ability to deliver value to Maori organisations through innovative projects.

He has iwi affiliations to Te Arawa, Ngati Ranginui, and Ngai te Rangi.

Callaghan was the sponsor of the inaugural Maori Hi-Tech Awards this year at the NZ Hi-Tech awards and Rolleston led a haka when the winner was announced.

The agency handed out $138 million in total grants last year and is expected to have total annual revenue in the 2016/2017 financial year of just under $300 million.