Roger Sowry to Chair new Whitireia Council

Kāpiti’s Roger Sowry has been appointed as new Chair of the Whitireia Community Polytechnic Council and Wellington Institute of Technology (Weltec) Council.

The fact he is to Chair the council of two competing institutions has raised speculation about a merger or takeover of one by the other.

“No, that is not part of the thinking. There are a lot of cross credited directors all across the country, the same as the DHBs. There is nothing sinister in it,”says Mr Sowry.

“Weltec and Whitireia have several complementary courses and we will be looking for efficiencies in course design and service delivery. Administration needs to be looked at and appropriate backroom changes will be made.”

Mr Sowry says there will be changes but a lot of the existing people will carry on.

“The governance model is new but it is very similar to that of DHBs and is akin to the local government model.

Mr Sowry says he is looking forward to this new challenge.

One further Ministerial appointee and four Whitireia appointees are expected to be announced in the next two weeks.

The three Ministerial appointments are:

Roger Sowry (Chair)

Roger Sowry was a member of Parliament from 1990 to 2005, firstly representing the Kāpiti electorate, then as a National list MP. Mr Sowry retired from Parliament in 2005 moving to become chief executive of Arthritis New Zealand. He is a member of the Electricity Commission and a member of Paraparaumu College Board of Trustees. He is currently a consultant with Saunders Unsworth and is a director of CityLink.

Dr Alan Barker (Deputy Chair)

Dr Alan Barker is a Senior Consultant with MartinJenkins. He has extensive experience in public sector reform, strategic planning, organisation review and financial management. Dr Barker has worked for a number of education related institutions such as the TEC, MOE, NZQA, and Tairawhiti Polytechnic, as well as a number of other public sector entities.

Dennis Sharman (Current Chair)

Dennis Sharman owns and operates Sharman Consulting Ltd, a consultancy company that delivers comprehensive technology services to small-and medium-sized businesses. Mr Sharman is a founding member of the National Association of Maori Mathematicians, Scientist and Technologists, and Te Awe Wellington Maori Business Network.