Tai Poutini Polytechnic Subsidiary Board of Directors appointed


Tai Poutini Polytechnic Subsidiary Board of Directors appointed

March 17, 2020 | 5 min read

The following people have agreed to serve as directors on the board of Tai Poutini Polytechnic from 1 April 2020:

Rebecca Keoghan – Chair

Rob Caldwell – Deputy Chair

Kara Edwards (Ngāi Tahu)

Renee Rooney

“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.

Tai Poutini Board Chair Rebecca Keoghan says, “I’ve had great experience with Tai Poutini as an end user taking primary industry graduates into the workplace.

“With the world of work constantly evolving, our graduates need to come out of study with a range of relevant skillsets. I am excited by the prospect of providers and industry working together to create best practice and fit for purpose programme delivery that better serves the needs of learners, industry and regional economies.”

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.

Rebecca Keoghan – Chair

Rebecca MNZM, MInstD is a professional director based in Westport. She has considerable governance and executive experience across a variety of industries; manufacturing, energy, ports, medical, agriculture, FMCG, forestry, health & safety and fire and emergency.

Rebecca’s current governance portfolio includes: Deputy Chair, Fire & Emergency New Zealand; Director, Invercargill City Forests; Chair, Invercargill City Forests Board Health and Safety Committee; Director, Gravity Dance Studio; and Director, Keoghan Farm.

In 2016, Rebecca was awarded Dairy Woman of the Year, in 2017 she received a New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to business, and in 2018 she was awarded the Rural Westpac Woman of Influence Award.

Rebecca holds a degree in Medical Science from Otago University, Diplomas in Advanced Business Management and leadership and a Certificate in Company Direction.

Robert (Rob) Caldwell – Deputy Chair

Rob has been Chief Executive of community-owned Electricity Distribution Business Westpower Ltd and the ElectroNet Group of Companies since December 2001. Rob has led the group through a growth period which now sees it employing over 300 people with bases in Greymouth, Nelson, Christchurch, Wellington, New Plymouth, and Auckland.

Rob has previously been a Director of one of Westpower’s subsidiary companies for 12 years and has also held external Governance roles including six years as a councillor with Tai Poutini Polytechnic and eight years as Trustee of the West Coast Community Trust.

Kara Edwards

Kara (Ngāi Tahu) was born and raised on the West Coast and currently resides in Gladstone. Her background is in cultural heritage and the natural environment and she has held senior management roles with the Department of Conservation and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. She is an active member of Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio and has a strong history of iwi and community governance roles. 

Kara is passionate about the West Coast and its people and is driven to ensure opportunities for future generations to thrive here on the Coast. She is very excited to take up this role and to contribute to the community in this way. 

Renee Rooney

Renee is a dairy farm business owner who has previously worked in the education and corporate sectors. She is currently Chairperson of Development West Coast and has been Trustee Elect for Grey District since 2016.

She is currently an executive member of Federated Farmers West Coast; a committee member of TBFree West Coast; and a committee member of Lake Brunner Community Catchment Care Group.

Renee’s previous governance experience includes: Chair and Trustee of Lake Brunner School Board; Federated Farmers National Dairy Industry Executive; Westland Milk Products Shareholder Sub-Committee.