NZ Catholic’s new editor is the newspaper’s former associate editor Michael Otto, Bishop Patrick Dunn has announced. Dr Otto has been acting editor at NZ Catholic since early July.

A former student of St Patrick’s School in Panmure, in 1981 Dr Otto was Dux of St Peter’s College, Epsom, and went on to study electrical engineering at the University of Auckland, graduating with a PhD.

He worked in electrical engineering research and development for the best part of a decade and also studied for the priesthood at Holy Cross College, Mosgiel, earning a degree in theology from the University of Otago and winning an Otago University Bookshop
prize in theology.

In 2003, he gained a graduate diploma in journalism from the Auckland University of Technology, and received the National Business Review Award for outstanding graduate.

For the next five years, he worked in south Auckland, for the Manukau Courier, mainly reporting on local government, and he also worked for then-Mayor of Manukau Len Brown.

From 2008 until 2014, Dr Otto worked as at NZ Catholic, eventually being appointed associate editor.

He has won several Australasian Catholic Press Association awards for his news reporting.

In 2014, Dr Otto changed to freelance journalism, and also worked as a port chaplain in Auckland.

“It is a privilege and an honour to be editor of NZ Catholic,” Dr Otto said, “and to follow in the footsteps of the outstanding editors who have preceded me. I hope to live up to their example.

“Having lived for several years in Hawke’s Bay and in the seminary at Mosgiel, I appreciate that New Zealand is much more than Auckland and I would hope that NZ Catholic’s reporting will continue to reflect that.

“And just as New Zealand is not one city, so the universal Church is much broader than one country so I would hope NZ Catholic’s readers will continue to receive excellent coverage of global Catholic news.

“Of course, we live in an extraordinary era in the Church under the leadership of Pope Francis, with a strong emphasis on concepts like mercy, synodality and inclusion. There’s plenty of debate in Catholic circles as the breadth and depth of these emphases are
further explored, and I would like that to be reflected in NZ Catholic’s opinion sections.”

Dr Otto said he hopes NZ Catholic will continue to play its part in the life of the New Zealand Church, informing, entertaining and challenging, and, in so doing, making a contribution to the rich and varied life of the Catholic community in this country.