Dr William Roleston

William is the production director of South Pacific Sera Limited (SPS) – a biologicals company he founded with his brother, John, in 1988.  One of the country’s first biotech companies, SPS supplies serum, antiserum and other blood products produced from its own farm based donor animals.

SPS also produces and contract manufactures a range of biologics including vaccines, recombinant proteins, enzymes and hormones as well a clinical trial material and test kits.  SPS has a reputation for high quality in the tough GMP environment.

William has held leadership, governance, and strategic advisory roles related to science, agriculture and economic development including chairman of the Government’s Innovation Board and as a member of its Science Board, President of Federated Farmers and of the World Farmers Organisation. 

He was founding chairman of New Zealand’s biotechnology industry organisation and the Life Sciences Network—a national science and industry umbrella organisation which advocated for science based regulation of genetic modification.  He currently chairs the national science platform, Genomics Aotearoa.

William obtained his medical degree from Otago University in 1984.  In 2009 he was awarded the Distinguished Biotechnologist of the Year award for services to the biotechnology industry and in 2018 was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to farming.