Expert group to steer formation of new Institute of skills and technology

Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the members of the Establishment Board of a new kind of organisation that will provide both work-based and off-the-job vocational learning and training right across the country.

The Institute was announced yesterday and will see the country’s 16 institutes of technology and polytechnics brought together to operate as a single national campus network.    

“The board will be made up of 10 members and be based in Christchurch. It will start work from Monday and continue until it is superseded by the governing council of the Institute, when it starts operating on 1 April 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.

“I am delighted with these appointments, which will ensure the Establishment Board has the capability, skills and experience to ensure that the Institute is operational and effective from day one.

“Together, they provide a New Zealand-wide perspective.

“They are based in Northland, Auckland, Gisborne, Hamilton, Wellington, Queenstown and Dunedin and have personal and professional links to other regions. 

“Selecting 10 members at the same time ensures strong governance from Day 1. They will form a board with a wealth of experience in vocational education, governance and financial expertise, cultural awareness, and an understanding of the issues facing the sector.”

The Institute has a working title of the Institute of Skills and Technology but that will change, Chris Hipkins said.

The members are: Wellingtonian Barry Jordan, Chair; Kim Ngārimu of Gisborne; Deputy Chair. Shane Culham, Maryann Geddes, Kathy Grant, Dr Sandra Grey, Tania Hodges, Brett O’Riley, Dr Linda Sissons, and Peter Winder.

Ms Ngārimu, Ms Grant and Mr Winder are council members of three tertiary institutions (MIT, EIT and Otago Polytechnic) and understand the challenges facing the sector. Dr Grey contributes the TEU perspective and Mr O’Riley is Chief Executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association. Ms Geddes is a board member of an industry training organisation and part of Queenstown’s tourism industry. Tania Hodges facilitates leadership-training programmes and has extensive governance experience. Dr Sissons is the Chief Executive of Primary ITO and Mr Culham is active linking education and industry in Northland.

“I would like to acknowledge the work of the governing councils of institutions of technology and polytechnics across the country,” Chris Hipkins said.

“I have asked all council members to stay on until the Institute is established and to continue to provide their leadership through the next months. These council members have made and continue to make a significant contribution their own institutions and to the sector as a whole.”

Brief Biographies of appointed members

Barry Jordan (Wellington) is a commercial, financial, and mediation specialist and former lead partner of the Deloitte Forensic & Restructuring teams in New Zealand.  He is an accredited mediator and, in 2018, retired from the Deloitte partnership to operate as an independent commercial mediator. As a negotiator, Mr Jordan is able to identify areas of common interest and help develop options for mutual benefit. Mr Jordan is a member of the Advisory Board to the Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership, at the School of Management at Victoria University.

Kim Ngārimu Te Aitanga ā Mate, Ngāti Porou, has been a council-appointed member of the Eastern Institute of Technology since 2017. Based in Gisborne, she is a director of Tāua Limited, a consultancy specialising in public policy and management advice, and relationships with Iwi and Māori communities. Ms Ngārimu began her career at Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Porou. Senior public sector roles that followed included the Office of the Controller and Auditor General, Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Waitangi Tribunal. Ms Ngārimu is a member of the Medical Council of New Zealand.

Shane Culham is the Chair of Culham Engineering in Whangarei. He joined the family business as an apprentice in 1973 and worked his way up. Appointed Managing Director in 2005, Mr Culham expanded the company to embrace construction in Auckland and maintenance contracts for the pulp and paper industry. Mr Culham is heavily involved in programmes linking local schools to industry, including a collaborative project with Whangarei Boys High School, and the creation of the Safe Trades training programme in conjunction with NorthTec. Mr Culham has extensive commercial governance experience.

Maryann Geddes is the Group Manager Risk and Compliance at Skyline Enterprises and has developed the key human resource, training and development, risk and compliance processes and procedures for both New Zealand and off-shore subsidiaries. Ms Geddes was Operations Manager then Group Manager Human Capital & Compliance before taking up her current role. Ms Geddes is a board member of ServiceIQ. Her governance roles have included the RNZRSA, Tourism Industry Association, the Otago Southland Employers Association, the Aviation, Tourism and Travel Training Organisation and the Hospitality Standards Institute.

Kathy Grant was formerly an Associate in the Dunedin legal practice of Gallaway Cook Allan. Mrs Grant has been a Ministerial appointee and Chair of the Otago Polytechnic Council since 2010, and was previously a member of the University of Otago Council and Chair of the Council of the Dunedin College of Education. She is also a deputy chair of Dunedin City Holdings Limited, and Dunedin City Treasury Limited.  In 2015, the Minister of Health appointed Mrs Grant as Commissioner of Southern District Health Board following the disestablishment of the DHB.

Dr Sandra Grey is the Communications and Campaigns Officer of the TEU and served as TEU National President (2011–12 and 2015–19). In her leadership of the TEU, Dr Grey focused on the professional and industrial needs of tertiary education colleagues and sought improvements in the tertiary education system. In May 2019, she was honoured by the TEU with a Life Membership Award. Dr Grey was a staff member of Victoria University 2003–14, continuing her research. into a range of social and political issues. Dr Grey was the spokesperson for the campaign that fought successfully to win a referendum on the retention of MMP (2010–15).

Tania Hodges JP, Ngāti Pāhauwera, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Hauā, Tuwharetoa, Maniapoto, Kahungunu. Ms Hodges is the Managing Director of Digital Indigenous.Com Ltd and has been consulting and facilitating leadership-training programmes since 2002. Her experience includes governance, funding, change management, and Māori and Iwi relationships. Ms Hodges’ governance roles have included the Waikato District Health Board, Ngāti Pahauwera Commercial Development Ltd, and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Ms Hodges has an MBA and other tertiary qualifications in social science, business research and Te Reo Māori to complement her Registered Psychiatric Nursing qualification.

Brett O’Riley is Chief Executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA), owns O’Riley Consulting Group Ltd, and has a background in telecommunications and IT. He was the founding Chief Executive of NZICT Group made up of leading information and communications technology companies, Deputy Chief Executive of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, and Chief Executive of Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (2012–2017). His governance experience includes the New Zealand Film Commission and Manaiakalani Education Trust. He chaired the 21st Century Digital Technologies Learning Reference Group.

Dr Linda Sissons CNZM is the Chief Executive of PrimaryITO. Dr Sissons has an extensive background in the education sector. Her previous roles include Chief Executive of the Wellington Institute of Technology (2001–2015) and of the Hutt Valley Polytechnic (1999–2001). She was also Interim Chief Executive of Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre (2015/16).  Dr Sissons is a board member of Education New Zealand and board Chair of the Commonwealth of Learning, an intergovernmental organisation concerned with the promotion and development of distance learning.

Peter Winder has been a Ministerial appointee and Chair of Manukau Institute of Technology since 2013 and is a Member of the Advisory Committee to the Commissioner at Unitec. Mr Winder is a Director of McGredy Winder & Co. He was Chief Executive of Auckland Regional Council (2005–2010) and of Local Government New Zealand (2001–2003). He is Crown Manager of the Kaipara District Council, and is a member of the State Services Commission Risk and Audit Committee.