The new NorthTec board has met for the first time since becoming part of the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST).

The virtual meeting was held via Zoom, while NorthTec campuses are closed during the national lockdown.

On April 1 NorthTec, along with the country's 16 other polytechnics, became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the NZIST, as part of the government's reform of the vocational education sector. The new board members were appointed by the NZIST.

The organisation's formal trading name is now Northland Polytechnic Ltd, making it a limited liability company, although it retains the NorthTec brand.


Chief executive Wayne Jackson welcomed the move, especially as the organisation worked through the current pandemic.

"For the first time, New Zealand's Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics are coming together as one organisation. While we will continue to operate as NorthTec/Tai Tokerau Wānanga, and our learners will initially not see any changes, in the long term this is a very positive move for NorthTec," he said.

"The government has confirmed its commitment to tertiary education provision in New Zealand, and its intention to increase support for polytechnics delivering teaching in regions like Northland. The formation of the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology is based on ensuring that learners have equitable access to high quality tertiary education throughout the country."

The new Board members are:

* Ripeka Evans (chair) (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kahu), based in Wellington, she is a consultant specialising in Treaty partnerships and Māori economic development.

* Murray Bain (deputy chair) is a Northland-based company director involved across a range of sectors. He is deputy chair of TSB Bank and chair of TAS, a DHB shared services company. He has previously filled a wide range of director roles, including chair of the Open Polytechnic.

* Nicole Anderson (Ngāpuhi) is a director with a background in accountancy, health and business development. She has primarily worked with organisations advancing Māori, as well as public and private organisations focusing on policy, economic development and governance.

* Erena Kara, who has a background in community and iwi development, and holds a Master's degree in social science, has worked in various roles to support the health and wellbeing of community, including iwi, Māori provider and government agencies.


*Matt Keene, born and raised in Whangārei, worked in the UK and Europe in finance and the telecommunications industry after completing a Bachelor's degree in management studies. He has 25 years' experience in the IT sector, and is co-director of a Whangārei-based software development company. He currently has governance roles on several not-for-profit boards in the arts, environment and education sectors.

* Bronwyn Yates QSM has long experience of governance and senior executive roles. She sits as governance on the NorthTec Tai Tokerau Wānanga Council and the Māori Education Trust, with roles in both standing and ad hoc government advisory groups and whakaruruhau. She is Te Tumuaki (CEO) of Literacy Aotearoa Charitable Trust, and maintains professional development for management and governance roles.

* Kim Ngārimu (cross-board appointee - NZIST Council, Te Aitanga ā Mate, Ngāti Porou), has been deputy chair of the IST Establishment Board since August last year. Based in Gisborne, Ms Ngārimu is a director of Tāua Limited, a consultancy specialising in public policy and management advice. She is a member of the Medical Council of New Zealand and the Waitangi Tribunal, chair of the Tairāwhiti District Health Board, and a council-appointed member of the Eastern Institute of Technology since 2017.


NorthTec is continuing to deliver teaching to students via a variety of online and digital methods throughout the Covid-19 lockdown. Last week tutors teaching from home delivered online and virtual classes, which will continue until the two-week Easter break, starting on Friday. Teaching methods will be reviewed as the next stage of the country's pandemic response is decided.

NorthTec is also providing support to students through its Student Support and IT support teams, and providing regular communications updates to keep students informed.