Stephen Town starts as inaugural Chief Executive


Stephen Town starts as inaugural Chief Executive

July 6, 2020 | 2 min read

A pōwhiri at Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa marae at the Wintec city campus in Hamilton took place for Stephen Town. He has started as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology.

Stephen, former Chief Executive of Auckland Council, is looking forward to picking up the role and is excited at the challenges and opportunities ahead.

“Before us is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a sustainable and world-class vocational education system that connects people into life-long learning, strengthens communities and will ultimately underpin New Zealand’s social and economic resilience.”

“We have a significant task ahead and we will need to encourage collaborative change to achieve our ultimate goal of providing New Zealand with much greater agility from the vocational education and training sector into the future,” says Stephen.

“I am really looking forward to working collaboratively with everyone in the sector to effect what I think will be meaningful and lasting change.”

NZIST Council Chairman Murray Strong is pleased Stephen has now officially started in the inaugural CE's role

“We are delighted to have attracted someone of Stephen’s calibre into this large, complex and significant role. We have a huge amount of work to do to bring together on-the-job, on campus and online vocational education and training through a unified, sustainable network of regionally accessible provision.”

“Helping to blunt the weighty impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across our communities makes our role even more vital. I am confident in Stephen’s well proven track record of bringing people together through periods of complex change to help us achieve the impact we want.”

Murray thanked Chris Collins the interim Chief Executive for his part in overseeing the NZIST during the transition phase before Stephen’s arrival. “The Council is grateful to Chris for stepping into the interim role.”

While the NZIST headquarters is being established in Hamilton, Stephen will be based between Auckland and Wellington, as well as regularly engaging with the 16 national institutes of technology and polytechnics that are now NZIST subsidiaries.