The following people have agreed to serve as directors on the board of Open Polytechnic from 1 April 2020:
Vaughan Renner – Chair
Xiao Peng (Jerry) He
“The appointment of this Board of Directors is a significant step forward in the journey towards a cohesive, sustainable vocational education system,” says Establishment Board Chair Barry Jordan.
“In making these appointments we have balanced the need to ensure continuity of operation with sound local and regional relationships. We are delighted with the diversity of thought within each board, alongside the complementary skills and experience that will drive positive outcomes for their respective communities.”
The Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Act requires that the initial board for each subsidiary ITP comprise at least four and no more than eight directors, of which at least half must reside within the region that the subsidiary primarily serves.
Open Polytechnic Board Chair Vaughan Renner says, “I’m excited about the changes we are embarking on as a sector – they are a once in a lifetime opportunity to significantly improve vocational skills training across New Zealand.
“The Open Polytechnic plays a key role in the vocational sector and is undergoing a significant transformation in the way it develops, delivers and assesses courses and programmes. As a member of its current governance team, I am aware of the potential of these changes and have a strong desire to see them positively implemented.”
To further drive the shift from competition to operating as one regionally accessible network of provision, the Establishment Board has decided that one NZIST Council member will be a director on each subsidiary ITP board. Each board may also receive a ‘cross-Board appointee’. These names will be confirmed in April.
The Establishment Board based its approach to the appointment of directors on the Treasury framework used to appoint directors to the boards of Crown companies. More than 370 expressions of interest were received over the Christmas and New Year period.
All appointments to subsidiary boards are subject to ratification and approval by the NZIST Council on 1 April 2020. Members of this Council will be confirmed by the Minister of Education, Hon Chris Hipkins, before the end of March.
Vaughan Renner – Chair
Vaughan is a director and consultant with extensive board experience, currently serving on a number of public sector, private sector, and not-for-profit boards.
He is the President of Business New Zealand and Business Central, Chair of the New Zealand Standards Approvals Board, and director of a number of privately held companies. He was previously a member of the Combined Council of Weltec and Whitireia Polytechnics.
Vaughan has had a 20 year executive career including senior leadership and general management positions in the automotive sector. He holds an MBA, BE (Chem), and a BSc (Chemistry).
Thérèse Arseneau is currently Chair of the Board of ChristchurchNZ, Council Chair of Ara Institute of Canterbury, Chair of Regenerate Christchurch, Director of J Ballantyne Company Ltd and Chair of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
A political scientist, she has worked as a political and election night analyst for TVNZ and TV3 in New Zealand and for CBC TV and Radio in Canada. She was also a member of the NZ Electoral Commission’s Expert Advisory Panel for the 2011 Referendum on the Electoral System and the post-referendum review of MMP.
Therese has over 30 years of experience in the tertiary education sector, including as a university lecturer in Canada and New Zealand, and is currently an Adjunct Senior Fellow in Political Science at the University of Canterbury. She holds a Doctorate from the University of Oxford, UK.
Xiao Peng (Jerry) He
Jerry is founder and director of Olivia Premium Food, a company that aims to provide 100% NZ-made products to children all around the world at reasonable prices. He’s the former Deputy Convenor of The Small Business Development Group which advises the NZ Government on issues affecting Small-to-Medium Enterprises and helps government agencies communicate with them.
As the Chair of the NZ Green Industry Association, he offers regular trade updates and speaks with CIQ officials of Chinese Customs. He was the founding Chair of Singapore-based Asia Pacific Micro-Small-to-Medium-Enterprise (MSME) Trade Coalition, set up to help MSMEs to trade more across borders, facilitate internationalization through more permissible trade policies and serve as a data repository for the common challenges faced by Asia MSMEs.
Breccan is CEO and Director of Ackama, a software development company with offices in Wellington, Auckland, and Melbourne. He is a Director of PledgeMe and Co-Chair of NZRise. He believes in applying pragmatic solutions to make lives better. He has worked closely with organisations ranging from startups with global growth aspirations through to NGOs delivering aid programs into the Asia Pacific region.
He was a finalist for EY Entrepreneur of the Year NZ in 2018 and Ackama is a TIN 200 company. He is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors, holds a BA(Hons) in Philosophy, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration.
Suzanne (Sue) Sutherland
Sue is a consultant working in the areas of strategy, policy and service development. She has held roles as the acting Chief Executive and National Librarian for the National Library of New Zealand, the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of the National Digital Library, and was the Libraries Manager for Christchurch City Council.
Sue is a member of the Institute of Directors, Internet New Zealand and an honorary life member of LIANZA. She is a former trustee of the 2020 Communications Trust, an elected council member at Christchurch Polytechnic from 2003 to 2008, and the Council of the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand from 2011.
Dr Karen Vaughan is well known for her cross-field research and thought leadership as a former Chief Researcher at the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Her work has been influential in initiatives such as Vocational Pathways and STAR, and internationally in career guidance and practice-based learning. Recently she has focused on future-of-work, leading the development of an analytics tool to support apprenticeship completion and a “vocational thresholds” capability model.
Karen has substantial governance experience and is currently a board member of NZACE (work-integrated learning), and community representative to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.