Unitec announces new Council members

22 April 2010

Unitec Institute of Technology's new-look Council is now complete with the announcement of its four Council-appointed members joining the four ministerial appointments made last week.

Businessman Ron Reid, distinguished tertiary educator, Professor Charmian O’Connor, industrial relations leaders, Dr Gay Simpkin, and chartered accountant, Dinu Harry, have all been appointed to sit on the new Council.

They join the four ministerial appointments - Ted van Arkel (Chair), Kaye Turner (Deputy Chair), Anne Blackburn and Aroha Hudson - announced by the Minister for Tertiary Education Steven Joyce last week.

Unitec Chief Executive, Dr Rick Ede, is pleased with the new appointments and says Unitec can now move forward under the guidance of the new Council.

“We are fortunate to have a new council that offers exceptional experience and expertise across the board,” says Dr Ede.

“As we continue to grow as an organisation and improve the service we offer our students, their skills and experience will be essential in directing our future development and supporting our attainment.”

The first meeting for the new Unitec Council has been scheduled for 13 May 2010.

Unitec’s four ministerial appointments are:

Ted van Arkel (Chair)
Ted van Arkel has been re-appointed to the Unitec Council. Mr van Arkel is a director of several public and private companies including being the Chair of Restaurant Brands NZ and Charlies Group Limited. Mr van Arkel is also a director of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and President of Youthtown Inc. He was the Managing Director of Progressive Enterprises Limited before he retired in 2004.

Kaye Turner (Deputy Chair)
Kaye Turner has been re-appointed to both Manukau Institute of Technology and Unitec Councils. She is appointed as Chair of MIT and Deputy Chair of Unitec. Ms Turner is the acting Chair of the Tertiary Education Commission and Chair of Career Services. Her previous roles include Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Waikato.

Anne Blackburn
Anne Blackburn has been re-appointed to the Unitec Council. Ms Blackburn has a professional background in banking following earlier careers in journalism and diplomacy. She is a director of a number of businesses in the infrastructure, finance, investment and research sectors. She also holds governance positions in various arts, education and not-for-profit organisations.

Aroha Hudson
Aroha Hudson is Chief Executive of HealthWest Primary Health Organisation. She is a chartered accountant and her governance experience has centred on the health sector including membership of the Health Research Council and serving as Chair of the Council’s Maori Health Committee. She has been a director of several Auckland region PHO’s, the National Heart Foundation and Waitemata District Health Board. She is company secretary for the Otakanini Topu Incorporation, a Maori forestry and farming venture.

Unitec’s four Council-appointed members are:

Ron Reid:
Mr Reid continues his association with Unitec having been a member of the Unitec Council since 1995. His expertise lies in the banking and finance area. Reid has been actively involved within Unitec throughout his time on Council including being a key member of the Unitec and Waitakere City Council committee that led to the establishment of Unitec’s Waitakere campus. He has been both a member and a Chair of numerous Unitec committees including Unitec’s Finance Committee, Marae Committee, Recreation Trust, Property Committee and Audit and Risk Committee.

Professor Charmian O’Connor:
Professor O’Connor offers a wealth of experience having been a member and Chair of various academic committees around Auckland. She has been a member of the Unitec Council since 2005and has chaired Unitec Council’s Audit and Risk Committee. Outside of Unitec, Professor O’Connor has 13 years experience as a member of Manukau Institute of Technology’s Council, 15 years serving as Assistant Vice Chancellor at the University of Auckland, and has sat on the council of various organisations including Diocesan School for Girls, the Academy of the Royal Society of New Zealand and UNESCO. She is currently the Chair of the Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust, a role she has held for the past six years.

Dr Gay Simpkin:
Dr Simpkin’s is one of only a handful of people whose experience in education spans more than five decades. Nominated by the NZ Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) for her advocacy around employee issues, Dr Simpkin became a member of the Unitec Council in 2007. She has contributed actively to Unitec’s Strategy Committee, and Property and Infrastructure Committee. The former secondary school teacher also has extensive tertiary sector experience as a lecturer at both the University of Auckland and the University of Waikato. Dr Simpkin also worked for the Post Primary Teacher’s Association in policy and negotiating roles, which has helped her gain valuable governance experience.

Dinu Harry:
Mr Harry is a chartered accountant with extensive governance, business, and accounting and financial management experience in the public, private and not for profit sectors. This experience has been gained through his involvement as a chartered accountant and business advisor to a range of clients, and through election and appointments to a range of private and public companies. Mr Harry is the current president of the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants. He combines financial and audit skills with knowledge of one of Unitec’s principal areas of teaching and research.  He has served on the Finance Committee since he was appointed to the Unitec Council two years ago.


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