Chief Executive appointed to lead Te Pūkenga

Hakihea 8, 2022 | 5 min read

Te Pūkenga has appointed Peter Winder as Chief Executive, maintaining the progress built over the second half of 2022. 

Te Pūkenga Council Chair Murray Strong congratulates Mr Winder on the appointment, and says Peter’s experience with Te Pūkenga, as a former member of Council, and as Acting Chief Executive since July of this year, made him a strong contender for the role. 

“Peter has led the organisation as Acting Chief Executive through a reset and realignment of our mahi. His appointment today allows us to maintain the momentum and pace we’ve gathered over the second half of 2022 as we move ahead to a busy 2023,” Mr Strong says. 

“Peter brings a wealth of experience in managing large and complex organisations – and he’s been involved at a governance level in the tertiary education sector for a number of years, including in the establishment board for Te Pūkenga.” 

Mr Winder’s appointment is for a fixed term until June 2025 reflecting normal practice for a Crown Entity of the size and scale of Te Pūkenga. It also reflects that Te Pūkenga Council will consider how joint leadership at the CE level might best be approached. This will include a report and summary of options to the Minister of Education by the end of 2023 on the nature of the parties involved and how it could be enacted, noting that legislative change would be required. 

Mr Winder says he appreciates the opportunity to continue to lead the organisation through its establishment to some key milestones. 

“Leading Te Pūkenga is a once in a life-time opportunity to drive major systems change. It is change that must ensure equity for those who have been poorly served by vocational education for far too long. It is change that must put learners and their families at the centre. It is change that must meet the needs of industries and employers. I feel absolutely humbled to be entrusted with this task. I feel acutely the obligations to give effect to Te Tiriti, to work in partnership with iwi and hapū across the motū, and to ensure that we do our absolute best for the 250,000 learners who have chosen to train and learn with us.  

“Since my appointment as Acting Chief Executive we’ve been really focused on giving our kaimahi, our people, a clear sense of direction. We have also focused on how we effectively manage our finances and return to financial sustainability. We’re working hard and fast through our new structure and how we will work together to better meet the needs of our learners.  

“There’s a lot of passion and tremendous expertise across Te Pūkenga – and I’m very grateful to have been able to appoint a new leadership team that shares the passion to help us change the lives of our learners and their whānau,” he says. 

“By the middle of 2025, all of our people will have transitioned into the new structure, and we’ll be seeing more of the benefits of the Reform of Vocational Education – more consistent programmes delivered across the motu, work-based and provider-based working much more closely together and more services supporting learners through their journeys.” 

Peter’s appointment comes alongside other appointments to Te Pūkenga executive team. Since October, appointments have included Keri-Anne Tane as Chief People Officer, Teresa Pollard as Chief Digital Officer, Michelle Teirney as Chief Financial Officer, Gus Gilmore as Deputy Chief Executive Ako Delivery, Dr Megan Gibbons as Deputy Chief Executive Academic Centre and Learning Systems, Richard Forgan as Deputy Chief Executive Strategy and Transformation and Andrew McSweeney as Deputy Chief Executive Learner and Employer Experience and Attraction. 

Mr Winder’s appointment comes after a process, led by recruitment firm H2R. Thirty-three applications for the role were received and three of those candidates were interviewed. The interview panel included Murray Strong, Chair of Te Pūkenga Council, Council member Mary-Ann Geddes, as well as independent member, Rauru Kirikiri, who is Kaihoutū at the Public Service Commission.