Kapiti’s Ron Wilkinson is among the four community members to join the new Whitireia Council after ratification at the final meeting for the outgoing Council last night (Wednesday 28 April)

Kāpiti’s Ron Wilkinson is among the four community members to join the new Whitireia Council after ratification at the final meeting for the outgoing Council last night (Wednesday 28 April). Three candidates representing Porirua business, Ngati Toa Rangatira iwi and the Kāpiti region were reappointed.

“We can maintain and build on our strong community links with the appointment of existing Council members Aka Arthur, Gregory Fortuin and Ron Wilkinson”, said outgoing Chair Dennis Sharman. “Community needs and outcomes are a core aspect in a polytechnic’s vision, as well as effective and consistent strategic governance. I am also very pleased to welcome new Councillor Dr Kabini Sanga. The new Council shares interests in achieving and measuring economic outcomes from quality applied learning. The high calibre appointments are appropriate for our vision to lead and illuminate our communities.”

The new Council has a balance of tertiary and educational quality management, geographic representation and cultural community development. The complementary appointments fit well with the Tertiary Education Strategy intentions which include developing outcomes for Maori and Pacific students, increased weighting of study above level 4 and increasing under 25s involvement in tertiary training.

Ron Wilkinson (Kāpiti) is the director of Management Answers, consultants in media and marketing. He is the former Chairperson of The Steam Radio Company Ltd which owns and operates Kāpiti’s Beach FM. In 2008 he was presented with a Civic Award by the Kāpiti Coast District Council. In addition, he was awarded a 1990 Medal for services to broadcasting by the Queen, in recognition of his previous work with Radio New Zealand. Mr Wilkinson is a former New Zealand radio broadcaster of the year. A former board member, fellow and graduate of the New Zealand College of Management, he has designed and led workshops in management and media topics for principals, senior staff and board members of schools and colleges in New Zealand and worked extensively in Vietnam, Malaysia, the United States of America, Australia and various countries in the South Pacific.

Aka Arthur, of Ngati Toa, has been a resident of Porirua for over 60 years. He is a kaumatua for the Royal New Zealand Police College (since 2000), a member of the Conservation Board and of the Aratahi (the Maori Regional Representative Group of the Wellington Regional Council) and on the Kaiwhaka Manua for the Department of Courts.

Gregory Fortuin (Porirua) is a company director and former Race Relations Conciliator. He is a current director of New Zealand Post, Kiwi Bank, ACC, Chairs the board of Catalyst Injury Management and was formerly on the board of Industry New Zealand. Gregory is a Trustee of the Crown Forest Rental Trust. He was the Founding Chairman of the Youth Suicide Awareness Trust and serves on the Boards of Prison Fellowship New Zealand and Youth for Christ.

Associate Professor Sanga is a new appointment nominated through the public process during March. He is currently the Acting Head, School of Te Kura Maori, Faculty of Education at Victoria University of Wellington, as well as Co-Director of He Parekereke The Institute for Research and Development For Maori and Pacific Education, at Victoria University.

“He has an extensive background in commercial and academic management of tertiary education in a Pacific context and the Council was pleased to appoint a person of Kabini Sanga’s skills and experience” said Sharman. “He has fostered Pacific leadership and development and I look forward to his contribution to the Whitireia Council.”

Associate Professor Sanga gained his doctorate from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada in 1996. He has been the Director of the Institute of Education at the University of the South Pacific, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Solomon Islands College of Education, and Chief Education Officer, Solomon Islands Ministry of Education as well as undertaking significant governance and consultancy roles that progressed Pacific leadership and achievement.

Last week Stephen Joyce, Minister of Tertiary Education, completed the four ministerial appointments to the Whitireia Council. Chair Roger Sowry, Dr Alan Barker (Deputy Chair), Dennis Sharman and Suzanne Sniveley will govern Whitireia alongside the four community appointments from 1 May 2010. This completes the requirements of the Education (Polytechnics) Amendment Act 2009, restructuring polytechnic governance across New Zealand.

Suzanne Snively is the current deputy chair of Whitireia Council. She is a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Wellington. Ms Snively is a member of the Institute of Directors and the New Zealand Association of Economists. She was awarded the Fulbright and Reserve Bank scholarships, was honoured by the Queen along with 100 women with a Women’s Suffrage medal and is a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

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 Paraparaumu College Board of Trustees.

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 owns and operates Sharman Consulting Ltd, a consultancy

company that delivers comprehensive technology services to small and medium

sized businesses. Mr Sharman is also on the board of NZITP and ITPNZ. He is an elected member of the Tawa Community Board and also on the board of Mana Tiaki.

“With the ministerial appointments and community appointments completed, Whitireia has a new Council with excellent skills and experience for an applied tertiary institution with a commitment to high quality qualifications and diverse communities” says Chief Executive Don Campbell. “The appointments will maintain and develop strong connections to Porirua, Kāpiti and Wellington communities, continue to respect, engage and lead in consideration of mana whenua, and strengthen the Pacific voice in governance.”

Mr Sharman thanked the outgoing Councillors for their excellent stewardship of Whitireia, noting the steady and consistent results achieved, the strong fiscal management outcomes and outstanding results for students.

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