Richard was born and raised on a Waikato Dairy farm. He studied at the University of Auckland completing a Bachelors and PhD in Mechanical Engineering. While studying he worked at Gallaghers Engineering in Hamilton, Volvo in Sweden, MacMaster University in Canada and as a part-time lecturer at the University of Auckland.
Since completing his studies Richard has worked for: Fisher & Paykel Healthcare as a Research Engineer; Industrial Research as a researcher, team leader and General Manager; Meat & Wool New Zealand as General Manager Research; The Foundation for Research Science & Technology as a General Manager and Acting-CEO, the Ministry of Science & Innovation as acting General Manager Research; and most recently as General Manager Research & Technical Services at Callaghan Innovation. Richard joined Manawatū District Council as Chief Executive in May 2016.
Richard is a Fellow of Engineering New Zealand, Associate Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and is married with one son.