He takes over from Maggie Barry, who left the board in July following her move to Auckland.
“Peter has an ideal background to provide leadership for the Council,” says acting chair Owen Marshall. “A former chair of Creative New Zealand, he is also a successful businessman and has governance experience in various organisations. Above all he has a long-standing enthusiasm for cultural pursuits, especially literature and music.”
Biggs’ list of achievements is impressive. He comes from a two-year post as MD of Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne (multiple agency-of-the-year recipients) and was MD of the Wellington branch before that. He’s sat on boards for Wellington’s Westpac Stadium, The Asia: NZ Foundation, the New Zealand Institute, Creative HQ and Ngai Tahu Communications, and advised Helen Clark on growth and innovation for four years.
Just to pad out the CV, Biggs has recently become chair of the government’s Cultural Philanthropy Taskforce and in Melbourne is a member of the board of the Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Chunky Move Dance Company. Oh, and he has a first class honours degree in English Literature and Latin.
“New Zealand literature has been a deep part of my life,” says Biggs. “I regard it as a privilege to chair the New Zealand Book Council and contribute to the promotion of New Zealand’s extraordinary writing tradition and talent – both within our country and around the world.”
All that and he also has time for a wife, four kids and a farm in the Wairarapa. He da man.