Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is pleased to announce the appointment of Nepia Winiata (Ngāti Raukawa) as chief executive.
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa chairperson Vanessa Eparaima said she was grateful to be able to appoint someone with Mr Winiata’s experience, knowledge and understanding of the organisation into the role.
Nepia has been acting chief executive for almost a year, was deputy chief executive for five years and has held several senior leadership roles across Te Wānanga o Aotearoa for more than 12 years.
Mrs Eparaima said that while Te Mana Whakahaere were impressed by the high calibre of the candidates who applied to lead the organisation, Nepia’s experience, his considered and decisive leadership through the many challenges and disruptions due to COVID-19 in recent years, and his deep understanding and passion for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and its purpose, ensured that he was the successful candidate.
“Nepia has shown outstanding leadership through recent exceptional disruption and uncertainty ensuring business continuity for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, in what has been a difficult time for all across Aotearoa.
“His strong commitment to our kaupapa (purpose) means ongoing stability for our organisation and consistency for our kaimahi (staff). Nepia remains focused on the quality of our offerings and all that we do, while also bringing fresh ideas and vision to seek out new opportunities.”
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is among New Zealand’s largest tertiary education providers with more than 20,000 full-time tauira (students) and more than 1500 kaimahi across 80 sites throughout the country.
Nepia brings more than 30 years of experience across the education, corporate, finance and processing sectors to his role.
“I’m very humbled and grateful to be appointed to the role, and I’m excited to take this opportunity and continue to further advance the aspirations of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa,” said Mr Winiata.
“Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has made education accessible to all New Zealanders for many years and I’m focused on ensuring we continue to deliver on our promise of quality programmes and quality educational outcomes for our tauira.”
Mrs Eparaima said Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, which provides education from certificate to master’s level and delivers more than 60 per cent of all te reo Māori education in the tertiary sector, was excited by the skills and experience Mr Winiata brings to the role.
“Te Wānanga o Aotearoa plays a key role in lifting Māori participation and qualifications in te reo Māori and we’re enhancing all our programmes and educational delivery. We’re focused on quality teaching, digital learning and are excited about new possibilities in the vocational education space.
“We have a major role to play in increasing vocational training opportunities to learners, and especially to Māori. Nepia is committed to ensuring we achieve our potential in this arena, and we look forward to continuing our momentum with this kaupapa under his leadership.”Mr Winiata began his new role as chief executive this week.