Professor Damon Salesa is the country's first Pasifika Vice-Chancellor.
He has begun his new role leading AUT this week, previously he was the University of Auckland's Pro Vice-Chancellor (Pacific).
During his long career in academia he has specialised in Pacific politics, history, technology, culture and society.
He's also an author, Rhodes Scholar and Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi.
Professor Salesa says the Covid 19 pandemic has illuminated just how much access and opportunity is unequally distributed across different groups of people, and that has to change.