Massey University has announced a new chancellor after Chris Kelly stood down following his comments that a female veterinary graduate was worth only "two-fifths"of a full-time veterinarian.

The remarks, published in a rural magazine last week, were criticised as sexist, outdated and insulting.

Michael Ahie was today announced as his replacement following a vote by the Massey University Council yesterday.

Ahie, of Nga Ruahine and Ngati Ruanui descent, was raised in Opunake and lives in Wellington.

Michael Ahie has been named as the new chancellor for Massey University. Photo / Supplied
Michael Ahie has been named as the new chancellor for Massey University. Photo / Supplied

He chairs the Plant and Food Research board of directors, the Food Safety Assurance Advisory Council, ComplyWith NZ Ltd and the Plant Market Access Council.

He is a founding partner of business coaching company AltusQ New Zealand Ltd and a director of several other organisations including Farmers Mutual Group and BCC Ltd.

He has a Bachelor of Business Studies (Hons) from Massey and has held senior roles at Toyota New Zealand, the New Zealand Dairy Board and Wrightson Ltd.

He was appointed to the university council by the Minister of Tertiary Education in December 2012 and has been Pro Chancellor (deputy chairman) since December 2013.

Kelly stood down on Wednesday after his comments about going through vet school when it was dominated by men.

"Today it's dominated by women.

"That's fine, but the problem is one woman graduate is equivalent to two-fifths of a full-time equivalent vet throughout her life because she gets married and has a family, which is normal.

"So, although we're graduating a lot of vets, we're getting a high fall-out rate later on."


Ahie said it was an honour to take up the chancellor role.

"I am looking forward to working with staff, students, my fellow council members and all the many supporters and alumni of the university. I feel proud and thankful for the opportunity we have ahead of us. I am sure 2017 will be another successful year for Massey."