03 Mar 2016
Well known Rotorua business woman Catherine Cooney is pleased to accept the position of Council Chairperson at the new tertiary education institution that brings together Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Waiariki Institute of Technology.
“Building on the significant contribution of both Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Waiariki Institute of Technology, I am looking forward to being a part of the new direction in tertiary education for the wider Bay of Plenty region,” said Ms Cooney. “The new institution will build on the successes and expertise of the highly committed staff of both institutions in fulfilling dreams and aspirations of students around the region.”
“Today, the new Council meets for the first time. Our desire is to continue to work collaboratively across the region with industry and communities, ensuring we provide relevant targeted vocational and professional education to meet current and future employment needs that will benefit the whole of the Bay of Plenty.”
“The new institution will support our region to grow and prosper, increasing access and participation and ensuring enhanced education and employment outcomes for our young people. It is exciting to be at the forefront of building an education institution for the future.”
Ms Cooney’s appointment follows the Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce’s announcement of the four Ministerial appointments to the Council. As well as Ms Cooney, the appointees include Ian Turner as Deputy Chair, and Rahera Ohia QSM and Ngaroma Tahana as members.
Ms Ohia and Mr Turner are members of the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Council and Mr Turner is the Chair. Ms Tahana is a member of the Council of the Waiariki Institute of Technology. They will retain those positions until the disestablishment of those two Councils on 1 May 2016.
The next stage in the process of creating the new institution is the appointment of the remaining Council members by the four Ministerial appointees. The Council consists of up to eight members and is responsible for setting the vision and strategic direction of the new institution.
The Council will then appoint the Chief Executive for the new institution.
The new institution will commence operations on 1 May 2016; both students and staff should experience a seamless transition between the old institutions and the new. A name for the new institution will be announced shortly.
Catherine Cooney has a background in professional and corporate leadership, executive level health management, workforce development, quality systems and accreditation, nursing and community development. She has 40 years’ experience in the health sector and from 2001–2012 was the Chief Executive of Lakes District Health Board. Ms Cooney is Director of Kowhai Health Associates and Joint-Chair of Healthy Families Rotorua. She is a Justice of the Peace (JP) and former President of the Rotorua and Districts JP Association.
Ian Turner is a Ministerial appointee and the Chairperson of the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Council. He is Managing Director of New Zealand Educational Tours Ltd, a Tauranga based company. Mr Turner is a Chartered Accountant, past president of Tauranga Chamber of Commerce and has 28 years’ board experience, 18 of which he has spent as Chair.
Rahera Ohia QSM is a Ministerial appointee to the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Council. She is of Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāi Te Rangi, Waitaha, Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Māhanga descent. Ms Ohia is the Lead Negotiator for Ngāti Pūkenga’s Treaty settlements. Earlier in her career, her social work experience and knowledge allowed her to transition into policy development in the public sector where she worked for 17 years in a number of departments and roles. Ms Ohia was named as one of Unlimited Magazine’s Top 25 Business Influencers for 2012 and her QSM was awarded in 2014 for services to Māori.
Ngaroma Tahana LLB BMS is a Ministerial appointee to the Waiariki Institute of Technology Council. In 2010, Ms Tahana returned to her home town and joined Gordon & Pilditch, Rotorua. Before that she was an Associate at Simpson Grierson in Auckland, where she had over five years’ experience covering environmental litigation, resource management, public law, Māori issues and local government. Ms Tahana’s governance experience includes co-president of Te Hunga Roia Māori o Aotearoa (the National Māori Law Society), Chair of Te Rūnanga O Ngāti Pikiao and elected member to the Rotoma No.1 Incorporation Committee of Management.
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