Our Board

On 1 April 2020, Whitireia and WelTec became subsidiaries of the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST). Our board comprises of:

Read the media release announcing our board’s appointment.

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.


Justin Lester – Chair

Justin Lester is a businessman and local government politician who has served as both Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Wellington.

An experienced Director, he is currently the Chair of Storbie and Good Bitches Baking. His previous governance roles include Local Government New Zealand National Board, Wellington Waterfront Ltd, The NZ Festival of the Arts, and Zealandia. He is currently working with fast growing businesses Dot Loves Data, Fix & Fogg and Simplicity.

Justin is a 2020 New Zealander of the Year Community Award winner and holds an LLM from the University of Heidelberg and an LLB/BA from the University of Otago.

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Linda Meade – Deputy Chair

Linda has been a partner at Deloitte since 2013, where her roles include Lead Partner Deloitte Access Economics, and Lead Partner Public Sector, Financial Advisory Services.

Linda is the co-founder of Daisies Early Education and Care centres and trustee of the Whanake Education Trust.  She has a passion for education and supporting the economic prosperity and liveability of the Wellington region.

A founding member of the Advisory Board to the Women’s Infrastructure Network, Linda is also an independent director on the boards of The NZ Initiative and Studio Pacific Architecture and a former Trustee of the Wellington Zoo Trust.

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Caitlin Barlow-Groome

Caitlin Barlow-Groome is the Association Manager at Massey at Wellington Students' Association. She was previously the President at Otago University Students' Association, New Zealand Union of Students' Associations Vice-President and Acting President, and sat on numerous boards and committees including University of Otago Council and University Bookshop.

Caitlin has a background in finance, economics and youth leadership and development. She is currently a board member for Student Job Search and the Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute.

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Suzanne (Sue) Hope

Sue is a consultant, facilitator, director and mentor. She has a strong background in global corporate learning, strategy, and delivery with 19 years’ experience across the health, education, human resources and more recently the technology sectors. She works with clients, leaders and staff to grow and develop them as life-long learners.

Sue is passionate about building a strong work-based learning sector, so all employees have access to learning when and where they need it. She currently works as a sole trader consulting with a range of businesses and organisations in learning, organisational development and change. She is a trustee of the Miramar Maupuia Community Trust.

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Tupara Morrison 

Tupara is from the Morrison and Mitchell whānau of Ngāti Whakaue (Ngāti Hurungaterangi, Ngāti Pukaki koromatua hapū)

A Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Tupara is an accounting and finance graduate from Massey University. His favourite Ngāti Whakaue place is Pukeroa Hill which brings back childhood memories from growing up in Ohinemutu, and is also where he began his leadership career as Financial Accountant for Lakes DHB.

Tupara brings over 30 years of executive and governance experience in the health, tertiary education, research and innovation, tourism, iwi development, and arts and culture sectors. He was a foundation trustee of Ngāti Whakaue Assets Trust in 2009 leaving in 2012 after being appointed inaugural Chief Executive of Ngāti Whātua Orākei Whai Maia Ltd. He was re-elected by Ngāti Whakaue to the Assets Trust in 2019.

Tupara is currently a Māori Outcomes consultant to Kainga Ora, the new Crown entity bringing social housing, affordable housing, and market housing into a single organisation and tasked with activating programmes and associated projects to address national housing issues on behalf of the Government.

Tupara is also a director on 6 other organisations – the NZ Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, industry training organisation Competenz, state owned enterprise MetService, health service provider Waiheke Oranga Urgent After Hours Limited, Nga Kaihoe o Aotearoa (Waka Ama NZ), and arts and culture facility MOTAT. He has well developed relationships and networks in a number of key sectors nationally as well as with local Government bodies and central Government Ministers, Ministries and agencies.

Tupara’s technical skills are in governance, financial management, bicultural strategy, business development and strategic partnerships.

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Kura Moeahu

Kura Moeahu has strong whakapapa ties to Te Āti Awa, Ngā Ruahine, Taranaki-tuturu, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Tama and Ngāti Toa. Born and raised in both Wainuiomata and on his local marae of Waiwhetu he brings an in-depth knowledge of both Te Reo Māori and Mātauranga Māori to the board.

Passionate about the advancement of rangatahi and starting them on their educational journey, to further enhance their potentiality through tikanga and mātauranga Māori innovation. A stronger believer that education is a life journey not a destination.

Currently the chair of Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Awa, Waiwhetu Marae, Āti Awa Toa FM Radio, Harbour Island Kaitiaki Board as well as a board member of Creative NZ and Te Ara Whānui Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Awakairangi.

It is important to ensure that their journey is one where their skills and knowledge are further enriched and contribute to the region. Kura is excited about the opportunity and new challenges that are ahead of the board.

During his down time, he enjoys whanau, his three mokopuna, playing the guitar and composing.

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Ranei Wineera-Parai

Ranei (Ngāti Toa Rangatira) is passionate about supporting people to reach their potential through learning.  She currently chairs a high school Board of Trustees and is a strong community advocate for education and continued learning.

Ranei wants to ensure the ability for vocational pathways and learning remain accessible and appropriate for the Wellington Region and is excited about the new opportunities presented by the reform of vocational education. 

Ranei was born in Porirua and raises her whānau in Takapuwahia, Porirua. She enjoys being surrounded by whānau, the beautiful environment and the vibrant community.

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Kathy Grant

Kathy Grant was formerly an Associate in the Dunedin legal practice of Gallaway Cook Allan. Kathy was appointed to the IST Establishment Board in August 2019 and confirmed as a member of the governing council of Institute of Skills and Technology in March 2020. She has been a Ministerial appointee and Chair of the Otago Polytechnic Council since 2010, and was previously a member of the University of Otago Council and Chair of the Council of the Dunedin College of Education. She is also a deputy chair of Dunedin City Holdings Limited, and Dunedin City Treasury Limited. In 2015, the Minister of Health appointed Mrs Grant as Commissioner of Southern District Health Board following the disestablishment of the DHB.

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Notice of Board Meetings