New ministerial appointments to Council and Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau Tiriti

Tuesday 11 June 2024

Jo Davidson and Mark Ratcliffe have been appointed to the University Council and a new Te Tiriti leadership body is established.

Jo Davidson and Mark Ratcliffe have been appointed to the University Council.

Tertiary Education and Skills Minister Hon Penny Simmonds has appointed two new members to the University Council. Jo Davidson, a Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa University alumna (Bachelor of Horticultural Science), is a professional director and consultant who has extensive experience in the agribusiness and food and fibre industries. She is currently an independent director on Pamu – Landcorp Farming, Wakatū Incorporation's commercial board and a member of Our Land and Water National Science Challenge’s governance group. She was the past Chair of Kono NZ and Timber Unlimited and was an independent Director on AUT Ventures Board.

Mark Ratcliffe is a consultant and professional director and was the previous Chief Executive of Chorus. He has significant experience in the delivery of major capital infrastructure projects and has been a senior executive manager of major New Zealand companies for the past 20 years. Amongst his board roles, Mark is currently the Independent Chair of the Major Capital Programme Governance Group which oversees the delivery of approximately $8 billion of land transport projects.

Ms Davidson and Mr Ratcliffe will officially join Council on 18 June for a four-year term, replacing Michael Ahie, who stepped down as Chancellor in March following three terms on Council, and Oriana Paewai who has served on the University Council since 2020.

Introducing Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau i Te Tiriti o Waitangi

A new taumata or leadership group, Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau i Te Tiriti o Waitangi i Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa, has been established to provide the university with a high level of Te Tiriti expertise and Te Ao Māori leadership for our Te Tiriti o Waitangi kaupapa and mission.

University Chancellor Alistair Davis says having Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau i Te Tiriti o Waitangi is another progressive step in the university's ongoing Te Tiriti journey.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas says as a Te Tiriti-led university, we are committed to demonstrating authentic leadership in contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand as we uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the founding document of our nation, and its principles through our practice.

“This is about advancing more inclusive and socially progressive outcomes for our nation. As detailed in our university strategy, we are achieving this through well-resourced Te Tiriti education, including research, teaching and collaborations that emphasise Te Tiriti-informed partnerships.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori Professor Meihana Durie says the establishment of Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau builds on several existing initiatives.

“Over the past two years the university has delivered several important initiatives to both strengthen and advance our Te Tiriti o Waitangi commitments. These include the Te Tiriti o Waitangi Policy which also helps to guide other university policies and policy development, and the launch of Ngā Kaiārahi Tiriti, the ground-breaking staff Te Tiriti development programme that is delivering transformative educational and leadership programmes across all areas of the university.

“Ngā Kaiārahi Tiriti ensures that we are in an immensely receptive position to both safeguard and strengthen our Te Tiriti mission.”

Taumata members include representatives endorsed by each of our Mana Whenua iwi, Te Ātiawa, Rangitāne and Ngāti Whātua, as well as a member representing Ngā Iwi nō Ngā Hau e Whā (iwi from throughout Aotearoa New Zealand), and a representative for Māori staff and ākonga. Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau will serve a three-year term and they are:

  • Te Kaiwhakapūmau o Ngāti Whātua: Dame Rangimārie Naida Glavish DNZM
  • Te Kaiwhakapūmau o Rangitāne: Hohepa Sharland
  • Te Kaiwhakapūmau o Te Ātiawa: Michael Ahie
  • Te Kaiwhakapūmau o Ngā iwi o Te Motu Whānui: Traci Houpapa MNZM 
  • Te Kaiwhakapūmau o Ngāi Māori i Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa (Māori Staff at University) Distinguished Professor Graham Hingangaroa Smith NZOM
  • Te Kaiwhakapūmau Hāpai o Ngāi Māori i Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa: Dr Rangimārie Mahuika (Te Whare o Te Tiriti, Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori at University).
  • Te Kaiwhakapūmau o Ngāi Tauira Māori i Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa (Ākonga Māori) Cameron McCausland-Taylor.

Additional members include Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori Professor Meihana Durie, Pūkenga Tiriti Associate Professor Veronica Tawhai.  

Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau will be formally welcomed to Te Rau Karamū Marae on the Pukeahu Campus in Wellington, as the foundational Kaiwhakapūmau Tiriti.

University Constitution

Alongside the formation of Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau, an amendment to the University’s Constitution was recently This updated Constitution clarifies that the (up to) four members appointed by the Council on the nomination of the Vice-Chancellor are appointed under a statute that recognises and respects the legal duty to acknowledge the principles and provisions of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Within this provision, Council will also refer to Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau on Vice-Chancellor nominations to Council. The decision to appoint following consultation continues to rest with Council. The amended Constitution also reflects legislative changes since the previous version was published in 2015, including the introduction of the Education and Training Act 2020.

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