WITT Council and Leadership

Welcome to the WITT Council

WITT Council is the governing body of the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki.  The WITT Council is constituted as follows:

Members appointed by the Minister of Tertiary Education:

  • Robin Brockie – Chair
  • Lyal French-Wright - Deputy
  • Elanga Ekanayake
  • Stuart Trundle

Four members appointed by the WITT Council:

  • Cassandra Crowley
  • Ross Dingle
  • Charlotte Littlewood
  • Michael Braggins

Advisor to Council:

  • Daniel Fleming

Duties of the WITT Council include:

  • Ensuring the institution attains the highest standards of excellence in education, training and research;

  • Acknowledging and adhering to  the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi;

  • Encouraging community involvement in the institution;

  • Striving to maximise the educational potential of all who choose to come to WITT;

  • Ensuring WITT does not discriminate unfairly against any person;

  • Overseeing the institution’s operation in a financially responsible manner that ensures the efficient use of resources and maintains the institution's long-term viability.

Members of the WITT Council also have obligations under the Education Act 1989, the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, the State Sector Act 1988, the Crown Entities Act 2004 and the Official Information Act 1982.

Functions & duties of the WITT Council as stated in the Education Act 1989 are to:

  • Appoint a Chief Executive in accordance with the State Sector Act 1988, and monitor and evaluate his or her performance;

  • Prepare and submit a proposed Plan if the institution is seeking funding under a mechanism that provides for funding via Plans;

  • Ensure that the institution is managed in accordance with the Plan; and determine policies to implement that Plan;

  • Determine, subject to the State Sector Act 1988, the policies of the institution in relation to the management of its affairs;

  • Undertake planning relating to the institution's long-term strategic direction.

For details of the Council’s obligation under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, the State Sector Act 1988, the Crown Entities Act 2004, and the Official Information Act 1982 please follow this link http://www.legislation.govt.nz/default.aspx

 

Meet the Council

Robin Brockie - Chair

Robin Brockie is a recently retired partner of the chartered accounting practice of Staples Rodway Taranaki Limited (formerly with Ernst & Young). Mr Brockie’s governance experience includes roles with the Dame Malvina Major Foundation, Venture Taranaki Trust, Tui Ora Limited, Anglican Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki and the Taranaki Arts Community Trust. He received a Queen’s Service Medal in 2016 for services to the community.

 


 

Lyal French-Wright

Lyal French-Wright has been CEO of the Taranaki law firm, Govett Quilliam, since 2012. At Govett Quilliam, his focus is on the strategic vision, implementation of the strategic plan, and the growth and development of the firm. Before this, Mr French-Wright was Executive Principal of the Al Khor International School in Qatar and the Headmaster at New Plymouth Boys' High School.


 

Sriyan Elanga Ekanayake

Elanga Ekanayake was appointed to the WITT Council by the Minister for Tertiary Education in May 2010. He is a Fellow Chartered Accountant, a Fellow Chartered Secretary and a Certified Management Accountant of Australia.

Elanga was the Chief Financial Officer of Powerco Limited, the second largest energy distribution company in New Zealand for over 20 years and retired from this position just prior to joining the WITT Council. He has also worked in Papua New Guinea for many years as a Consultant Accountant of an Asian Development Bank project.

It is Elanga’s aspiration to see WITT and its wholly owned subsidiary NZIHT becoming premier tertiary education providers in Taranaki and beyond maintaining very high quality academic standards, financial stability and good governance.

 

 

Stuart Trundle

Stuart Trundle is the chief executive of Venture Taranaki Trust, the regional development agency for Taranaki regarded as one of the leading models for economic development in New Zealand.

Stuart is a board member of the Bishop’s Action Foundation, past chair of the Economic Development Association of New Zealand and former trustee to the Bashford and Nicholls Trust that sponsors agricultural scholarships in Taranaki.

Prior to forming Venture Taranaki, Stuart was managing director of the largest Chamber of Commerce in the United Kingdom, an external examiner of the MBA programme at the University of Wolverhampton Business School and the course validator for the University of Central England’s Diploma in Management Studies.

Stuart’s work in the formation of regional economic development agencies in Poland and Romania was supported by the British Government and European Commission. 

In October 2012 Stuart was awarded the New Plymouth District Mayoral Award for Business, presented in recognition of over 14 years commitment to economic development in the region.  He is a past winner of the Vero Excellence in Business Support Award.

Stuart is married with two adult children. 


 

Cassandra Crowley

Cassandra Crowley joined the WITT Council in 2013 after returning to Taranaki after 16 years away from the region. A Chartered Accountant and Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, Cassandra is an independent director on Student Job Search Aotearoa and the industry training organisation the Skills Organisation. Cassandra is also and is a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand Council. She is the Kaitumuaki for Te Korowai o Ngāruahine Trust based in Hawera. Cassandra’s vision for WITT is that it is a sustainable institute that is supported by, and delivering to the needs of, the entire Taranaki community.

 

Ross Dingle

Ross is CEO of TenderLink a digital procurement platform provider owned by Fairfax Media. Ross is responsible for strategic direction and overall management of operations across Australia and New Zealand.
Previously, Ross has held senior finance and operations positions at Fletcher Challenge Energy, KCL Property, and Doctor Global. Ross has a strong interest in seeing the youth of Taranaki succeed through education and sport. Previous posts include Chairman of Spotswood College Board of Trustees, and West End School Board of Trustees. Ross is currently President of Taranaki Triathlon, and Patrol Director at New Plymouth Old Boys Surf Lifesaving Club.

 

Charlotte Littlewood

Charlotte is a Taranaki Regional Councillor and a director of Port Taranaki. She has worked in a variety of project management, strategy and research roles across Powerco Ltd, the Ministry for Social Development in Wellington and the Department for Work and Pensions in London.

She has also held a number of governance roles in the community, was a joint founder of the Taranaki Young Professionals organisation and also Vice President of Durham Student Union.

She has a Masters in Finance, a BA(Hons) in Economics and Politics and is a member of the Institute of Directors and the New Zealand Association of Economists.


 

Michael Braggins

Michael was the Head Boy of New Plymouth Boys High School in 2001 and went on to complete a Bachelor of Commerce at Canterbury University and a Bachelor of Construction at Unitec in Auckland. Michael worked abroad in the United Arab Emirates before returning home with wife, Sophie, to raise their family in Taranaki.

Michael is a Director of Clelands Construction, Taranaki’s largest construction company. His key operational responsibilities include commercial management, administration oversight, human relations, marketing and project management. Previously, Michael was a member of the senior management team at Energyworks and was responsible for the construction management of significant pipeline projects in Taranaki and Auckland.

Through his leadership role at Clelands Construction, Michael supports the Taranaki Health Foundation, Taranaki Arts Festival, NPBHS Rugby and various other organisations and charities. He is also personally involved with The Cathedral Project, The Legacy Trust, Taranaki Futures and Big Brothers Big Sisters.


 

Daniel Fleming

Daniel moved back to New Plymouth in 2013 as pre-opening General Manager of the King & Queen Hotel Suites, New Plymouth’s leading luxury boutique hotel.

After attending NPBHS and a STAR hospitality course at WITT he went on to study his degree at the Pacific International Hotel Management School (PIHMS).  Since then he has worked in various hotels throughout New Zealand and Australia with companies such as InterContinental and Sheraton.

In addition to managing the hotel he is a board member on the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the West End Precinct and on the steering committee for BARA (Business and Retail Association).