Fri 5 May 2017

Our 'critical importance'

The newest member of the WITT council is no stranger to the Polytech.  

Venture Taranaki chief executive Stuart Trundle was previously a ministerial advisor to the statutorily-appointed Crown Commissioner in 2008.  

His appointment was announced by Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith this week.

Stuart Trundle said he was honoured to be asked to help the strategic direction of “this significant contributor to the Taranaki economy’’.

“The single largest challenge that Taranaki faces in the medium term is the ability to attract and retain talented people. Regional access to lifelong learning through tertiary education is a critical component in meeting this challenge,” he said.

“Vocational education is at the heart of our economic wellbeing, and it is of critical importance that we retain control of our regional destiny through the local provision of high quality education and training to meet the needs of our communities now and in the future.”

Mr Trundle is also a trustee of the Bishop’s Action Foundation, a former board member of New Plymouth Boys High School and the Economic Development Centre at AUT, and past Chair of the Economic Development Association of New Zealand. He has also held governance roles at two British universities.

WITT chairman Robin Brockie said he was delighted Mr Trundle had accepted a post on the council.

“He has a wealth of experience nationally and internationally as a recognised leader of business development and having his expertise around the table can only be good for the institute.”’

Mr Trundle replaces Ruakere Hond, who recently announced his intention to stand down from the council he joined in May 2010.

“Dr Hond has made an enormous contribution as an educationalist and his depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise has been invaluable,’’ Mr Brockie said.

It is the third recent change for the council, and there are more to come.  

Two council appointed members, Rex Hendry and Allie Hemara-Wahanui, have also announced they will to stand down, but remain on the board until replacements are named.

Last September Mr Brockie and Lyal French-Wright were appointed as chair and deputy chair.

Four members of the eight-strong council are appointed by the Minister, the other four are appointed by the council.