12 new council members have been announced for Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

The new council includes the appointment of Te Rūnanga o Ngai Te Rangi Chairman Charlie Tawhiao, alongside ministerial appointments Rauru Kirikiri and Tuihana Pook both of Te Whānau a Apanui, who will transition from the former council. Adrienne von Tunzelmann was also appointed by the Minister following a period of service as a co-opted member to the former council.

Council spokesperson Sir Harawira Gardiner welcomed the Minister’s appointments and said that the new appointments will bring many new skills to the council.

“Charlie Tawhiao brings important skills in media and communication, governance and policy to the Council and along with his chairmanship of Ngai Te Rangi this strengthens our links into Tauranga and an important connection with our Mataatua whanaunga.

“The reappointment of Rauru Kirikiri and Tuihana Pook reaffirms our commitment to consolidate our links into Te Whānau a Apanui as well as bringing considerable experience in Science, Technology, Teaching and te reo – all areas of significance to the current and future business of the Wānanga.

“As an economist with a lengthy public sector and governance background Adrienne Von Tunzelmann remains an important asset to the Council.”

In February 2016 Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa reappointed Sir Hirini Mead, Judge Layne Harvey, Materoa Dodd and Dr Joseph Mason (Honoris causa) who along with Te Kei Merito and Sir Harawira Gardiner will continue as Ngāti Awa representatives on the new council.

Sir Harawira said that a robust process has been engaged to recruit two co-opted members with a focus on adding to the strong and complementary range of skills of the new 12-member council. The new appointments are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

He said the new council came as a result of recent governance reforms for universities, polytechnics and wānanga.

“The tertiary sector overall must confront a number of critical challenges, such as competitive pressures, employment outcomes and competing with and integrating and expanding online course provision as part of its offerings.

“We need to be more agile to meet the needs of employers in the regions we service. We need to continue to provide a compelling proposition for students, and strategically invest to enhance our particular areas of expertise and competitive advantage.

Awanuiārangi will benefit from a smaller, more flexible council to continue to perform at a high level while being nimble and more adaptable to meet the demands of a dynamic tertiary education landscape.”

The service and contribution of outgoing council members was also recognised at the 2016 graduation held on 27 May at Te Mānuka Tūtahi Marae..

The new council will meet for the first time at the end of June.