Len Cook, CBE

Len’s longstanding interests are population change and public policy, public administration, official statistics and the place of science in policy.

He has been working on issues around the place of evidence in both social policy and the operation of social services, and how statistical practices can lift trust in the way evidence is applied. Another interest is the place of statistics in how governments are held to account by citizens, and he is involved in the Ageing Well National Science Challenge.

Contact details

Email: len_cook@xtra.co.nz
Phone: +64 4 475 7077, +64 021 476496

Lifting the evidence base

Since July 2015, Len has been the Families Commissioner and Chair of the board of Superu, a New Zealand crown agency operating as a “what works” centre.

Superu has had a strong involvement in lifting the evidence base used by NGOs, developing standards of evidence generally, and understanding the nature of cultural capital. In late 2016 he was appointed as a member of the Remuneration Authority.

Recent roles

From 1992 to 2000 Len was Government Statistician of New Zealand, after working in Statistics New Zealand in a variety of roles from 1971 to 2000, and from 2000 to 2005 was National Statistician of the United Kingdom and Registrar-General of England and Wales.

Other roles include Vice-President, International Statistics Institute (2005-2009), Chair, Medical Training Board (2007-2009), President, Institute of Public Administration NZ (2009-13), Member, NZ Royal Commission on Social Policy (1987-88).

He has been “Friend of the Chair” for the regular meetings of Pacific Chief Statisticians (PCS), and continues to support the long-term regional leadership of statistical developments by local statisticians and the PCS.

Len is a life member of the Population Association of New Zealand and the New Zealand Statistical Association, an elected Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and also has honorary academic appointments at AUT, Otago University School of Medicine, and NIDEA.