Tue 20 Mar 2018

Glen announces departure

The man who heads WITT’s New Zealand Institute of Highway Technology has decided to take a new road.

Glen West will end a 14-year relationship with WITT in June when he takes on the role of New Zealand General Manager based in New Plymouth with Wood Group, a Scotland based international company, which delivers project, engineering and technical services to energy and industrial markets.

“I love my job at NZIHT and WITT but I am excited by the challenge of this new position,” he said.

Glen was born in New Plymouth. He and wife Tetsu Garnett, who is a festival coordinator for the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust, have two children, aged nine and 10.

Glen was a WITT hospitality student from 1996 until 1997 when he crossed the Tasman to put his new-found skills to use.

Four years later he was back at WITT as a hospitality tutor. His role was changed or added to almost every year for the next five years – he became a programme manager, head of a department, then was given responsibility for trades training, including automotive and welding.

He joined the WITT executive in 2008 and was responsible for over half of the institute’s portfolio and departments including Engineering, Oil and Gas, Hospitality, Trades and Agriculture. He was retained on the Executive with the leadership changes, and significantly broadened his portfolio. Four years ago he took on the role of Executive Director of the WITT owned NZIHT, based in Young Street in New Plymouth, and he also oversees the Institute’s International Student business.

Glen said he had enjoyed working with the WITT executive and teaming with Chief Executive Barbara George both domestically and overseas to promote WITT as a learning centre of excellence.

“I will miss the great sense of team, purpose and healthy debate and banter,” he said.

“I have had 14 years at WITT and one year has never been like another – I’ve enjoyed the challenging and diverse roles, putting the strategy into action,” he said.

“WITT has also had some turbulent times and I am proud of how the leadership team has remained focused. I also think WITT does very well in investing in its staff professional development,”

He says he could point to individual student successes as major highlights of his time at WITT, but opts for the success of promotions year on year to ensure the polytech provides the best education opportunities.

He notes the work behind the scenes to provide those courses – and the decisions on which ones not to continue with – is considerable.

“I think it’s fair to say the algorithms behind the scenes and the fact that tertiary education provision is a business and there are significant requirements on institutes to measure and report their work can go unnoticed,” he said.

NZIHT is a key component of the WITT portfolio, but despite having its head office in New Plymouth only two percent of its operations are carried out in Taranaki.

“I’m proud that we have produced a surplus year on year and have been able to deliver programme on sites in the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Samoa,” he added.

Chief Executive Barbara George has worked with Glen the entire time she has been at WITT.

 “I will miss Glen’s attention to detail, corporate knowledge, and willingness to give something a go,” she said.

“He has significant achievements under his belt and now it is time for him to put all that great work and training into practice for himself as a CE in his own right.   

“Wood Group’s gain is definitely WITT’s loss, and we wish Glen and his family well.  Lucky for us his new office is only on the other side of town, so I expect we will still see him often.”


PICTURED: Glen West has been at the helm of NZIHT for four years.