First governing council of the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST)

  • Hon Chris Hipkins

Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced seven appointments to the first governing council of the NZIST, established from 1 April 2020.

The announcement follows the naming yesterday of directors who will serve on the boards of subsidiary Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs).

“I welcome the important skills and experience these appointees bring to the leadership of the NZIST,” Chris Hipkins said.

“We can all appreciate the challenges our country, our businesses, our people – and our training and education institutions – are facing right now.

“It’s clearly not business as usual but we need to carry on, and keep up momentum. This remains a crucially important time for our vocational education sector.

“Substantial change is needed to achieve this Government’s aim that all New Zealanders are equipped to be successful in the 21st century with the transferable knowledge and skills to take on different types of work throughout their careers.

“We’re creating something new here – we need new ways of thinking, doing, delivering. There are huge changes taking place in the world around us, and our reforms recognise that learning is no longer limited to a classroom.

“The NZIST will be at the forefront of that change and must also ensure high standards of teaching and learning are maintained and enhanced across the sector.

“Five of the new appointees have served on the Establishment Board for the NZIST, since 1 August 2019, and have worked hard to ensure the NZIST can be effective from day one.

“I also wish to recognise and thank members of the Establishment Board who are not going forward to the NZIST Council for their valuable service. They are Chair of the Establishment Board, Barry Jordan, and members Sandra Grey, Brett O’Riley and Linda Sissons.

“They have shown energy and commitment in their board role and in leading work-streams, strong engagement with stakeholders, and made a real contribution to the Government’s reform programme,” Chris Hipkins said.

The new appointments are made for four years and former members of the Establishment Board are appointed for three years:

  • Chair of the NZIST Council: Murray Strong
  • Deputy Chair: Kim Ngārimu
  • Maryann Geddes
  • Kathy Grant
  • Tania Hodges
  • Sam Huggard
  • Peter Winder

Two further appointments are due to be made in the next few weeks and three members will be added to the council once elections can be held for staff, student and Māori representatives.

Brief notes on the appointees

Murray Strong has been the Executive Director of the IST Establishment Unit since August 2019, and took leave from his role as Chair of NZQA to do so. He is an independent director and Chair, and a member of the Institute of Directors of New Zealand. Mr Strong has governance and senior management experience across a range of sectors including tertiary education. In leading the Establishment Unit he has been closely involved with all the board’s work-streams, the key stakeholders and the future direction. He is also Crown Commissioner at Unitec, the Crown Manager at Tai Poutini Polytechnic and chairs the Centre of Digital Excellence in Dunedin.

Ms Kim Ngārimu Te Aitanga ā Mate, Ngāti Porou, has been Deputy Chair of the IST Establishment Board since August 2019. Based in Gisborne, Ms Ngārimu is a director of Tāua Limited, a consultancy specialising in public policy and management advice. Earlier in her career, Ms Ngārimu held a range of senior public sector roles in Wellington. She is a member of the Medical Council of New Zealand and the Waitangi Tribunal, Chair of Tairāwhiti District Health Board, and a council-appointed member of the Eastern Institute of Technology since 2017.

Ms Maryann Geddes is based in Queenstown and the Group Manager Risk & Compliance at Skyline Enterprises. She has worked for Skyline since 1994. Ms Geddes is a board member of ServiceIQ. Other governance roles have included RNZRSA, the Tourism Industry Association, the Otago Southland Employers Association, the Aviation, Tourism and Travel Training Organisation and the Hospitality Standards Institute.

Mrs Kathy Grant (Dunedin) is a former 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 council Chair of the Dunedin College of Education. In 2015, the Minister of Health appointed Mrs Grant as Commissioner of Southern District Health Board following the disestablishment of the DHB.

Ms Tania Hodges JP, Ngāti Pāhauwera, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Hauā, Tuwharetoa, Maniapoto, Kahungunu has substantial governance experience. Based in Hamilton, Ms Hodges is the Managing Director of Digital Indigenous.Com Ltd, providing advice on governance and leadership, strategic development, change management, Māori and Iwi relationships, and community development. 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.

Mr Sam Huggard is the former National Secretary of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions 2014–2019. He is now a Strategic Researcher with E tū, which represents more than 50,000 workers. Mr Huggard is an experienced not-for-profit sector leader, with twenty years’ service across trade unions, the community sector and students’ associations.

Mr 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 was Crown Manager of the Kaipara District Council, and formerly the Commissioner, and is a member of the State Services Commission Risk and Audit Committee.