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Head of science company honoured at business awards - 10/05/2007

The Chief Executive of GNS Science, Alex Malahoff, received a special honour at the annual Wellington Region Gold Awards this week.

Alex Malahoff

Alex Malahoff, Chief Executive of GNS Science

Dr Malahoff received the Absolutely Creatively Wellington Award which acknowledges individuals who are making a significant contribution to Wellington’s reputation as the ‘Creative Capital’ of New Zealand. The award was presented by Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast at an event in the TSB Arena on Queens Wharf in Wellington.

The award is separate from the competitive business awards, and only one such award is presented each year. It was initiated by the Wellington City Council in conjunction with the Wellington Gold Awards.

The selection of Dr Malahoff is in recognition of the role that he and GNS Science play in building the intellectual standing of the Wellington region nationally and internationally.

Recent projects in which Dr Malahoff has demonstrated leadership and innovation include improving the knowledge of the ocean floor in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone, getting GNS Science established in new headquarters at Avalon in Lower Hutt, and building the recently opened New Zealand Ice Core Laboratory at the National Isotope Centre in Gracefield.

Dr Malahoff came to New Zealand as a 10-year-old with his Russian mother, after World War 2. He was educated at Rongotai College in Wellington and Victoria University. He gained a PhD in geophysics at the University of Hawaii and spent three decades working in the United States.

Much of his career has been focused on exploring the great tectonic features of the Pacific Ocean, particularly around the Hawaiian islands. As professor in oceanography at the University of Hawaii, he built the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory into a world-class centre for deep sea exploration.

Dr Malahoff returned to New Zealand in 2002 to head GNS Science, which is a government-owned research and consultancy company that works to secure economic and social benefits from natural processes occurring in the Earth’s crust. GNS Science employs 300 people, 230 of whom work in the Hutt Valley.