Nepia Winiata appointed Te Wānanga o Aotearoa chief executive

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has appointed Nepia Winiata (Ngāti Raukawa) as its new chief executive.

Winiata was already in the job as acting chief executive last year, stepping in as Te Ururoa Flavell had previously resigned abruptly from the role in April 2021.

Chairperson Vanessa Eparaima says she is grateful to be able to appoint Winiata given his experience, knowledge and understanding of the organisation into the role.

Winiata was also deputy chief executive for five years and has been in other senior position roles in the institution for more than 12 years.

While Te Mana Whakahaere (Te Wānanga o Aotearoa's council) were impressed by the candidates who applied for the role, Eparaima says Nepia's experience, his leadership through the challenges brought on by Covid-19, and his understanding and passion for the wānanga ensured he was successful.

“Nepia has shown outstanding leadership through recent exceptional disruption and uncertainty ensuring business continuity for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, in what has been a difficult time for all across Aotearoa," Eparaima says.

“His strong commitment to our kaupapa (purpose) means ongoing stability for our organisation and consistency for our kaimahi (staff). Nepia remains focused on the quality of our offerings and all that we do, while also bringing fresh ideas and vision to seek out new opportunities.”

Nepia brings more than 30 years of experience in the education, corporate, finance and processing sectors to his role.

“I’m very humbled and grateful to be appointed to the role, and I’m excited to take this opportunity and continue to further advance the aspirations of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa,” Winiata said.

“Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has made education accessible to all New Zealanders for many years and I’m focused on ensuring we continue to deliver on our promise of quality programmes and quality educational outcomes for our tauira.”