Leadership Team Merran DavisMerran Davis
Interim Chief Executive, Executive Dean – Academic

Merran Davis was appointed Interim Chief Executive of Unitec from June 13, 2018, succeeding Alastair Carruthers CNZM. She remains Executive Dean – Academic and Chair of the Academic Board.

As Executive Dean – Academic Merran has responsibility for the Health & Community and Environmental Animal Sciences Networks, Construction & Infrastructure and Engineering Networks, High Technology and Business & Enterprise Networks, Bridgepoint and Te Miro Networks, Ako Ahimura, The Pacific Centre, Te Waka Urungi, Te Puna Ako, Academic Service Centre and the Library. She is also Chair of the Academic Board.

Merran joined Unitec in April 2017 and has a diverse academic and industry background. As the inaugural Executive Dean at Wintec for seven years she led major change in the ITP sector. As well as executive roles in the tertiary sector involving strategy, academic delivery and quality. Merran has worked as a teacher and physiotherapist, lectured and researched in innovation and entrepreneurship, undertaken doctoral study in strategic management and leadership, and also has experience in commercialising technology and growing small businesses.

Most recently in her own Consultancy business, she worked in an advisory role with Callaghan Innovation, and managed complex capability development and stakeholder collaboration projects for organisations such as Education New Zealand, Waikato Innovation Park and Canterbury Development Corporation. Governance experience includes community, start-ups, private and public sector organisations.

Merran is passionate about lifelong learning in all forms and her formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Teaching, Diploma of Physiotherapy, Masters of Business Administration (with Distinction), Graduate Certificate in Research Methods and Postgraduate Certificate in Business Research. She has also undertaken doctoral study in the areas of strategic management and leadership.


Leadership team David GloverDavid Glover
Executive Director, Partnerships

David is Executive Director of Partnerships at Unitec with responsibility for establishing partnerships with key stakeholders and agencies designed to provide long-term, work-integrated learning experiences for Unitec students.  He leads the Industry and Workforce Development, Business Development and Research & Enterprise teams.  

David has an extensive track record in strategic marketing and global business development in the education sector, working with a range of government agencies, educational institutions and international corporations.  David has held key senior roles prior to joining Unitec, including CEO of Learning Media and Managing Director and Owner of David Forman Ltd.

David holds an MA from Cambridge University, is a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Management and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.

Leadership Team Mary JohnstonMary Johnston
Executive Director, People and Safety

Mary Johnston is Executive Director, People and Safety, at Unitec with responsibility for human resources, learning and development development, recruitment, payroll, equity and inclusion, and health and safety.  Prior to joining Unitec, Mary was General Manager of Human Resources, Infrastructure, at Downer New Zealand.

Mary has broad experience across a range of industries including education, retail, property, information technology, health and infrastructure. She has extensive change management expertise with a focus on developing and implementing strategy in partnership with business leaders.  Mary has also worked closely with health and safety professionals to drive a zero harm culture in the workplace. She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Administration.

Glenn McKay Tumu Tauwhirowhiro Maori


Glenn McKay
Tumu Tauwhirowhiro Māori
Executive Director, Student Experience

Glenn McKay is Tumu Tauwhirowhiro Māori (Executive Director, Transformation Māori) and Executive Director of Student Experience at Unitec.    

Of Te Arawa descent and fluent in Te Reo me ōna Tikanga, Glenn leads the Māori strategy for Unitec and ensures that the treaty-based principles of Te Noho Kotahitanga, Unitec’s commitment to work in partnership with Māori, are actively demonstrated across all areas of the organisation.  

As Executive Director of Student Experience, he is responsible for developing and implementing an integrated strategy for the delivery of all facets of Student Experience, including student wellbeing and support, career development and the language learning centre.
Glenn was previously Regional Director, Auckland & Northland, at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, one of only three institutions in New Zealand designated as a Wānanga. Prior to this, Glenn was Regional Manager for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa - Tāmaki/Te Taitokerau where, as part of his role, he partnered with Unitec for the delivery of the Wānanga’s Certificate of Applied Technology (Carpentry) programme.

Glenn also spent ten years with New Zealand Police as a Senior Sergeant in Auckland City and holds a Masters of Business Administration. 


The Leadership Team is supported by:


Hare Paniora Pae ArahiHare Paniora, MNZM
Pae Arahi

Hare comes from an educational background with 25 years’ experience as a principal of primary schools throughout the North Island.  He also tutored at the Auckland College of Education as Senior Lecturer in Māori Studies for eight years. He joined Carrington Polytechnic in 1991 as Head of Centre Puukenga, before being appointed to his current position as Unitec’s Pae Arahi in 2002.

Hare is responsible for providing support and guidance for the institution in terms of tikanga Māori and bicultural issues. In addition to his institutional commitments, he continues to provide advice and support on Mātauranga Māori to a variety of educational establishment within the Auckland region. 

Hare graduated with a Trained Teacher’s Certificate in 1962; was awarded the ‘Te Atakura’, Te Tohu Mātauranga Māori in 1989; and Te Taumata Runanga Award for contribution to education, social and community services in 2009.  He maintains his role on Unitec’s Nursing Advisory Committee, Unitec Council and Runanga.

Hare was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of his services to Māori and education in the 2018 New Year's Honours List.