A new chairperson has been appointed to the council for the newly merged Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.

Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce announced Cathrine Cooney as chair today, along with three other new members.

Ian Turner has been declared deputy chair, Rahera Ohia QSM and Ngaroma Tahana as members to the council of the new tertiary education institution that combines Waiariki Institute of Technology and the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.

Tertiary Education minister Steven Joyce. Photo/file
Tertiary Education minister Steven Joyce. Photo/file

Ms Ohia and Mr Turner are members of the current Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Council and Mr Turner is the Chair.

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Ms Tahana is a member of the Council of the Waiariki Institute of Technology.

They wwould retain those positions until the disestablishment of those two councils on 1 May 2016.

"I want to acknowledge the important contribution that these three council members have made in bringing together the two institutions," Mr Joyce said.

"All four of the new appointments are effective immediately. The appointment of members from the existing councils provide continuity and the new Chair will bring fresh insights.

Waiariki Institute of Technology in Rotorua
Waiariki Institute of Technology in Rotorua

"As Minister, I may appoint four council members for up to four years. I have staggered the terms of appointment for the new council and, so that I may review two appointments after completion of ongoing consultation with iwi of the region, I have appointed Ms Ohia and Ms Tahana for one year each."

The next stage in the process of creating the new institution is the appointment of the remaining council members by these four Ministerial appointees. The council will then appoint the Chief Executive for the new institution.

"With strong governance and leadership in place, I am confident that the new institution will be well positioned to meet the needs of the wider Bay of Plenty region for tertiary education well into the future," Mr Joyce said.