Our Board of Directors
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 HodgesDirector (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 Indigenous.com 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 EvansDeputy 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 NuriDirector (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.
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 (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.