Fri 24 Aug 2018

WITT chief Christchurch bound

In a notice to staff today, WITT Chief Executive Barbara George has announced she will leave the Institute at the conclusion of her five-year contract in October.

Barbara George will take up the post of Chief Executive of The Court Theatre in Christchurch.

“I have loved my time at WITT, brickbats, bouquets and all,” she said. “I am proud of the achievements WITT continues to make as a learning organisation and everyone in the organisation is part of that.  I am also grateful to the support of the Taranaki community, particularly my family, and Ngāti Rahiri o Te Atiawa hapū, who welcomed us home to our tūrangawaewae.” 

She said her new challenge was professionally and personally compelling. She has a history as a leader of significant performing arts companies in New Zealand and overseas, and before returning home to Taranaki and WITT in 2013 she was chief executive of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Chief Executives of polytechs are typically appointed for a five-year term, and any subsequent renewal is by mutual agreement. 

During her time at WITT, she has led the institute through many challenges but counts as her greatest achievement the establishment of a cohesive and forward-looking team, capable of providing excellent services and outcomes for learners, employers, stakeholders and the community. 

WITT council chair Robin Brockie said he was disappointed that Barbara George had chosen to leave the region and wished her and her family well for their next move.

“I met Barbara soon after her appointment and worked with her on a number of issues.  Since becoming Chair two years ago, I have been pleased to see under Barbara’s leadership how the institute has transformed, the engagement of the WITT team, the recently improved confidence ratings by NZQA and the significant progress on maintaining the sustainability of the institute. 

“As WITT Council we will now take the opportunity to now consider the ongoing leadership of WITT and the needs of the region as the outcomes of TEC’s Roadmap 2020 become known, and the Tapuae Roa action plan for Taranaki progresses.”   

Barbara George will work through to her final day, October 26.