Last week, Wednesday 1 April, the New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology (NZIST) held its first council meeting, passing resolutions required for the Institute to come into being.

The 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics are now incorporated as subsidiary companies, wholly owned by the NZIST, and their new Boards of Directors have met to pass the necessary resolutions for a seamless governance transition.

At the meeting, NZIST Council Chair Murray Strong outlined key principles that will guide the implementation of the council’s work, including:

• We will build an institute that gives effect to the NZIST Charter and the Minister’s Letter of Expectation.

• We will have an unwaivering focus on Māori equity.

• We will keep learners at the centre of everything that we do and every decision that we make.

• We will develop a develop a deeper understanding of business and employer requirements through close connections with Workforce Development Councils and Regional Skills Leadership Groups, ensuring we understand how a national network of provision can meet their needs with an integrated offering across New Zealand.

TEU tumu whakarae|national president Michael Gilchrist was in attendance as a member of the public at the meeting. Afterward he noted the huge raft of resolutions and recommendations required to ‘stand up’ NZIST and paid tribute to the work of all those involved in making this happen over a very short timeframe – including all the work put in by TEU members.

‘That achievement is especially notable during a period of national emergency. There is a lot of commitment and goodwill that has gone – and continues to go – into realising the vision of a unified, accessible and equitable vocational education system’.

Gilchrist continued, ‘Looking forward to the next NZIST Council meeting, just a couple of days away on Thursday 9 April, our priority is to ensure staff have a voice at governance level from the outset. Branch Presidents are writing to their subsidiaries’ new boards – and we will table a letter at NZIST council signalling our desire to be involved in designing the representative structures for staff and Māori that are required to feed into council’.