The people of Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology are passionate, creative, and supportive. Our students, staff, and governance come from a range of different backgrounds and experiences, but they have one thing in common; they're the kind of people we're proud to work with, to ensure everyone reaches their fullest potential.

Toi Ohomai Subsidiary Board of Directors

  • Catherine Cooney

    Catherine Cooney


    Cathy has been the Chair of Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology since 2016. She is passionate about supporting learners to achieve their full potential and about the role vocational education plays for advancing regional, social, cultural and economic development.

    Cathy has a background in governance, health sector leadership, public health, community development, nursing and midwifery. She was the Chief Executive of Lakes DHB from 2001 to 2012 and has been a management consultant since that time holding a number of local and national governance and advisory roles.

    In addition to her experience on the Toi Ohomai board, Cathy has an extensive background in professional and corporate leadership, executive level management and governance at both a local and national level.  She is the existing Director of Kowhai Health Associates and Joint-Chair of Healthy Families Rotorua.

  • Tania Hodges

    Tania Hodges

    Director (NZIST Board appointee)

    Tania (Ngāti Pāhauwera, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Hauā, Tuwharetoa, Maniapoto, Kahungunu) has substantial governance experience and is a current NZIST council member.

    Based in Hamilton, Ms Hodges is the Managing Director of Digital Ltd, providing advice on governance and leadership, strategic development, change management, Māori and Iwi relationships, and community development.

    Ms Hodges, a JP, has an MBA and other tertiary qualifications in social science, business research and te reo Māori to complement her Registered Psychiatric Nursing qualification.

  • Ripeka Evans

    Ripeka Evans

    Deputy Chair

    Ripeka (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kahu) has been a director, Chair, Chief Executive and strategic adviser. Based in Wellington, she is a consultant specialising in Treaty partnerships and Māori economic development.

    Ripeka began her career with the Māori Economic Development Commission and then Television New Zealand. She has held Chief Executive roles with Te Māngai Paho, Toi Eastern Bay of Plenty Economic Development Agency as well as director and trustee roles with Te Aupōuri Fisheries Limited and Te Rūnanganui o Te Aupōuri. She is a member of the Te Ao Māori Strategy Committee of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

  • Niwa Nuri

    Niwa Nuri

    Director (Cross-Board appointee)

    Niwa (Te Arawa) is the current Chair of the Wintec subsidiary board.

    He is an elected member of the Te Arawa Lakes Trust and currently chairs the Lakes Trust's Audit Finance and Risk Committee, as well as a Board of Trustee member on Rototuna Primary School and a fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

    He holds a Bachelor of Management Studies from the University of Waikato and is a former chair of Trust Waikato. Niwa has a strong desire to contribute to Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Limited and to create a regionally accessible vocational education and training facility.

  • Ngaroma Tahana

    Ngaroma Tahana


    Ngaroma Tahana
    Raranga to hau ki te muri Raranga to hau ki te tonga Kia makinakina i uta
    Kia mataratara i tai
    Kia whakapuke ai nga ngaru o Te Ngarue
    Ko nga potiki a Hinehopu e heru mai ra i Te Matarae i o Rehu Tihei Mauri Ora!
    He uri ahau o Ngati Pikiao ko Tapuika hoki.

    Ngaroma is a partner at Kahui Legal, a boutique Māori law firm based in Rotorua and Wellington. She is a senior solicitor with over 15 years litigation and governance experience. Her experience includes involvement at all stages of criminal and civil litigation and in particular dealing with serious crime.

    Ngaroma is passionate about education as a vehicle for developing individuals and growing communities. She was a Ministerial appointee on the councils for Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology and Waiariki Institute of Technology.

  • Leith Comer

    Leith Comer


    Leith (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Māmoe, Te Arawa, Ngāti Rangitihi, Ngāti Pāhauwera) lives in Rotorua with his wife. He holds a number of community appointments including chair of Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Trust and chief negotiator for its iwi treaty settlement, chair of the Rotorua Golf Club and chair of both the Veterans Advisory Board and the Ngāti Pumanawa Waru Education Trust.

    Leith is a recent member the New Zealand Parole Board and a former chair of Lakeland Health Limited. He is a former senior public servant in Wellington, spending three years as Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development followed by 12 years as the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Māori development – Te Puni Kokiri. Leith’s first career was in the New Zealand Army as an infantry officer where he commanded the 2nd/1st Infantry Battalion.

    He was the contingent commander of the peace keeping unit in the Sinai and an exchange officer with the United States Army. He attended the United States Army Staff College where he passed with Distinction and received the Eisenhower Award.

Executive Leadership

  • Dr. Leon Fourie

    Dr. Leon Fourie

    Chief Executive

    Dr. Fourie joined Toi Ohomai in December 2016, bringing with him a wealth of experience in tertiary education management both in New Zealand and his native home of South Africa.

    Formerly Dr. Fourie held the position of Deputy Chief Executive at Unitec Institute of Technology; he was a member of the senior leadership team at Unitec from 2009 – 2016. Prior to coming to New Zealand, Dr. Fourie held an executive position at Vaal University of Technology in South Africa and a number of senior roles at Tshwane University of Technology.

    Dr. Fourie has extensive expertise in framing, leading and implementing institutional strategy and plans. In 2015 he received the Woolf Fisher Trust Scholarship and completed Harvard University’s Senior Executive Educational Leadership programme in Boston, USA

  • Anthony Robertson

    Anthony Robertson

    Executive Director: Corporate Services

    Anthony Robertson has spent the last 17 years working in the financial area of education, both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. He is an innovative leader, a pragmatist and has a strong grasp of what it takes to ensure Toi Ohomai remains financially sustainable.

    Mr. Robertson is a chartered accountant with recent roles including Director Corporate Services at Toi Ohomai (then known as Bay of Plenty Polytechnic), Chief Financial Officer at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, and Vice Principal Corporate Services at Gower College Swansea (UK). He has a passion for sustainability and a reputation as someone who likes to push the boundaries of conservative business intelligence norms.

  • Keri-Anne Tane

    Keri-Anne Tane

    Executive Director: People Engagement and Capability

    Keri-Anne Tane (Ngāti Rangiteaorere and Te Rarawa) is a human resources professional with a solid background in capability development. Throughout her career Ms Tane has forged a path as a strongly people-orientated, values based leader.

    A Rotorua local, Ms Tane is a passionate communicator and an advocate for the raising of aspirations through education. She has held previous roles as the General Manager People, Culture & Safety at Scion (NZ Forestry Research Institute) and has extensive commercial experience working with the likes of Unilever Australia, Boise Office Solutions (now OfficeMax) and Fletcher Challenge Steel & Wire.

  • Patrick Brus

    Patrick Brus

    Executive Director: Student Engagement and Experience

    Patrick Brus has more than 20 years of senior management experience building an in-depth understanding of how to develop clear business strategy and shape successful teams. He has spent many years at the ‘top table’ in various companies and has always maintained his passion for education and enabling others.

    Mr. Brus has extensive experience in operational and service management roles and has had previous involvement in major change and restructure in public and private sectors. His previous appointments span a multitude of industries and include companies such as Comvita, WINTEC and Fonterra.

  • Ana Morrison

    Ana Morrison

    Executive Director: Strategic Partnerships and Māori Success

    Ana Morrison (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Pākehā) has held senior roles throughout New Zealand and London, including as a Solicitor for Russell McVeagh, a Legal Counsel for BMC Software, and as the Contracts Manager for Manaaki Ora Trust.

    She holds Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Science degrees from The University of Auckland, and is a member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand. She is a recent graduate of the Institute of Directors’ Mentoring for Diversity programme, and is an Alumni of New Zealand’s Global Women Breakthrough Leaders Programme and the US Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Programme.

    Ms Morrison has governance positions across the region, including as a Ministerial Appointee to Lakes District Health Board, trustee on the Te Arawa Partnership Board – Te Tatau o Te Arawa, and is a trustee and former Chair of successful iwi commercial entity Te Kotahitanga o Ngāti Whakaue Assets Trust. She is also an Advisory Group member for Sprout AgriTech.

  • Kieran Hewitson

    Kieran Hewitson

    Executive Dean: Academic Development, Innovation and Research

    Kieran Hewitson (Ngāti Porou me Te Whānau-a-Apanui) is a passionate advocate for providing unhindered education for all learners, a passion which has kept her within the sector for more than 20 years.

    During her extensive career, Ms Hewitson has held positions with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (Associate Kaihautū – Marautanga (Curriculum) and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic (Director Education & Māori Development).  She is a board member of Para Kore Marae as well as a member of the NZQA Te Hono o te Kahurangi Advisory Group.