Our staff

Automotive Staff

Phil Mudgway, Automotive Programme Manager

Phill Mudgway - Programme Manager

City and Guilds Certificate in Motorcycle Repairs, C&G Diploma in Motorcycle Repairs, Diploma in Tertiary Teaching, NCALNE

Phill has been with WelTec for a number of years, working in the academic team before moving to automotive, initially as a tutor and now as Programme Manager.

Motorcycles have always been his passion. This, combined with his love for working with people and seeing them achieve their goals is why Phill enjoys being part of the automotive school.

Kerry Butters - Tutor

Kerry Butters - Tutor

Kerry started in the motor industry in 1985 after growing up helping his father work on cars at their gas station. His own passion for motorcycles and cars is what drove him to work in a range of workshops, both big and small, as a technician, foreman, and later as a Service Manager before coming to WelTec.

Kerry enjoys seeing the evolution of technology in the industry, passing this knowledge onto ākonga, and seeing their confidence grow.

Vijay Chhika - Tutor

Vijay Chhika - Tutor

Vijay started off as an automotive technician and is now a senior academic staff member. He began working at WelTec in 2016. He began his automotive career as an apprentice mechanic in Wainuiomata before working for BMW and then owning his own business for 13 years, specialising in BMWs.

Vijay is passionate about working with people and passing on his knowledge to his students, as he says you can’t take it with you to your grave.

Grant Davies - Tutor

Grant Davies - Tutor

A Grade Diesel Mechanic

Grant has been at WelTec since 2006 after starting out doing an adult apprenticeship at Gough Gough and Hamer and then moving into a role as a Diesel Service Manager.

He loves helping ākonga to develop their skills and confidence to prepare them for their vocation.

Carl Donaldson, automotive tutor

Carl Donaldson - Tutor

Advance Trade Cert

After owning his own business for several years, Carl became a vehicle compliance certifier for VINZ, before starting at WelTec in 2007. One of the things he enjoyed most when he owned his own business was training apprentices, so moving to WelTec and working with students felt like the natural progression.

Husmuck Kala - Tutor

Husmuck Kala - Tutor

NZ Trade Cert, Teaching Cert and Literacy and Numeracy L5

Hus began his career as an apprentice when he left school. His industry experience started with busses. He was self-employed in the Hutt Valley for over 30 years as a qualified Automotive Electrician.

He has worked at Weltec since 2018 and has his NZ Trade Cert, A Grade Teaching Cert and Literacy and Numeracy L5.
Hus enjoys meeting new people and passing on his knowledge to the youth of today, along with the technical side of the trade.

Dean Riches - Tutor

Trade Certificate and Advanced Trade Cert

Dean has a love of cars and all things mechanical and has been at WelTec since 2007 after previously owning his own business and being a tech rep for a paint supplier.

He enjoys watching learners grow learn and achieve.

 Jason Robertson, automotive tutor

Jason Robertson - Tutor

BA Education, Certificate in Tertiary Learning and Training, National Certificate in Automotive Engineering, National Certificate in Motor Industry: Automotive Heavy Engineering, 4098/11281 Workplace Assessor Training, National Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education

After completing a pre-trade course at what was then Hutt Valley Polytechnic, Jason (Rob) spent 9 years working as a diesel technician and 4 years as a petrol technician before joining WelTec in 2012.
Jason (Rob) enjoys the technical aspects of the automotive industry intertwined with the reward of being involved with the student’s success.

 Damian Ward. automotive tutor

Damian Ward - Tutor

A Grade petrol light trade qualification

Damian has been working at WelTec since 2010, he originally completed a course at Hutt Valley Polytechnic (now WelTec) and then gained an apprenticeship at E.J Motors in Petone before moving on and working for Honda Cards and Ford Motor Company. He has spent 3 years tutoring at the Ford Training Establishment.

He finds it very satisfying to pass on his experience to today’s learners so they can develop into successful technicians in the automotive industry.

 Automotive Tutor Punesh

Punesh Gounder - Tutor

Diploma in Automotive Engineering L5, Trade Cert Motor Vehicle Electrical/Electronical Systems, National Cert in Motor Industry (Automotive Electrical Engineering) L4, Advanced Cert in Automotive Engineering L3, Cert in Automotive Engineering L2, Diploma in Tertiary Learning and Teaching L5 and 6, National Cert Adult Literary and Numeracy Education L5

Punesh joined WelTec in 2007. He started in the industry after completing an apprenticeship in 2000 which he gained through a programme he started in school in Fiji. He then taught automotive, metalwork and technical drawing at a secondary school in Fiji.

His passion for cars is what drove him to pursue a career in the motor industry, he takes pride in his profession. As someone who shepherds the future generation, taking the opportunity to ignite a spark in ākonga learning is what his passion for teaching will always be.

Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti arahia o tatou mahi”

(Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work)



Henry Ma’alo - Programme Manager (Level 3 and Allied Trades)

NZ Certificate in Adult and Tertiary Education, Qualified Builder, LBP Registered

Henry started at WelTec in 2020 as a carpentry tutor bringing with him 20 years’ experience. He started his career as a labourer, working hard to develop skills and knowledge which he can now bring to students.   

He loves developing new builds and enjoys watching the growth and knowledge of our ākonga and tutors, he finds wearing different hats in our organization a blessing and an honour. 

Carpentry programme manager, Fasio Saolele, in a high vis top

Fasio Saolele - Programme Manager (Level 4)

Licensed Building Practitioner, NZ Certificate in Adult and Tertiary Teaching L5, National Certificate in Carpentry L4

Fasio joined WelTec in 2015 bringing with him years of experience from the industry, from working in the building industry, completing an apprenticeship and working as a foreman/supervisor after becoming a qualified carpenter.

He enjoys passing on the great knowledge that he gained in the building industry to our ākonga and watching them become the future builders of NZ.

Mike Pearce, Carpentry Team Leader

Mike Pearce - Team Leader

Qualified builder, Level 4 NZ Certificate in Construction, NZ Cert Adult Literacy Teaching Level 5

Mike started at WelTec in 2019 after looking for a new challenge. After all his time working in the industry, he felt it was time to give back. In 2001, he completed a building apprenticeship, before working moving onto multi-story commercial construction for 9 years. He then moved into light commercial/residential construction, specialising in remedial work.

He enjoys his role and gets a lot of satisfaction seeing his ākonga achieve their goals and progress through their career in construction.

 Tom Dailly - Carpentry Team Leader

Tom Dailly - Team Leader

City and Guilds L3 brick and block, Diploma in Teaching in Lifelong learning sector (DTLLS) L6

Tom has been at WelTec since 2018, working on the Level 2 NCEA Construction and Infrastructure programmes, including Trades Academy. Originally starting as a labourer, Tom has worked in the building industry for more than 25 years, where he’s gained a wide range of experience and skills that he can pass onto ākonga.

His work as a tutor started in 2010 in the UK, where he taught students in correctional facilities. Helping shape lives for the better gave him great joy, and he enjoys continuing to do that every day at Whitireia and WelTec. Tom also enjoys learning new skills and gaining more knowledge.


Logan Ellis - Tutor

NZ Certificate in Carpentry L4, Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP), NZ Certificate in Adult and Tertiary Teaching L5

Logan has been at Whitireia and WelTec since 2019 after spending 13 years in the construction industry. Logan first entered the industry when he took on some casual work on a construction site, to earn some money to go to a concert with some friends. After gaining a sense of belonging on the construction site, he decided it was the path for him, and he never returned to school.

Carpentry became a hobby for him, but it was when he was a site foreman that he developed a passion for teaching. He realised he loved helping the less experienced workers develop their skills, which saw him pivot to tutoring at Whitireia and WelTec.

 Richard Carter, Carpentry Tutor

Richard Carter - Tutor

Qualified builder

Richard has been with Whitireia and WelTec since 2011 after starting in the industry as a labourer, where he worked for several years before securing an apprenticeship. He then spent the next 30 years gaining experience in the industry, 7 of which he spent running a business with his wife.

He enjoys stepping back and seeing the fruit of his labour and knowing that someone gets a roof over their heads.

Matt McCullough, Carpentry Tutor

Matt McCullough - Tutor

Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP), Level 5 teaching qualification

Matt has been with Whitireia and WelTec since 2003 after spending 17 years in the building industry. He started off as an apprentice through Māori Affairs. He has a wide range of skills that he has gained through his years on the tools. His range of experience includes being a coach builder and a real estate agent. Matt loves working with his students and guiding them through their study journey.

 Peter McNamera, Carpentry tutor

Peter McNamara - Tutor

Qualified Carpenter/Joiner/Furniture Maker, Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP), Level 5 Adult and Tertiary Teaching

Peter started off in the industry making and designing furniture for Galway Technical Institute in Galway, Ireland. When he came to New Zealand he spent some time as a site foreman for Ryman Healthcare Residential contractor, before joining Whitireia and WelTec in 2019.

 Lucas Reid, Carpentry tutor

Lucas Reid - Tutor

National Certificate in Carpentry

Lucas has been at Whitireia and WelTec since 2019, he is a carpenter born and bred, originally starting off in the industry after the Canterbury earthquake.

He enjoys hands-on work with the students and finds teaching especially rewarding.

 Trevor Huse

Trevor Huse - Tutor

Certificate in Carpentry L4

Trevor started at Whitireia and WelTec in 2021 after spending 12 years in the building industry, originally starting off as a labourer on a site.

He made the move to tutoring as he really enjoys getting to know the students and passing on his skills and knowledge.


Mike Porteners – Tutor

Qualified licensed builder, Diploma in Heke Te Reo Maori, 501 and 502 Teaching Qualification (Adult Literacy)

Mike has been at Whitireia and WelTec since 2017, where he started off teaching Level 2 Trades Academy, before joining the Level 3 team. He brings with him 15 years of experience, 12 as a self-employed builder and 3 as a building surveyor.

Mike enjoys seeing the smiles on the students’ faces each day and watching them succeed.


 Dan Desmond

Dan Desmond - Tutor

Qualified licensed builder, National Certificate in Carpentry, Certificate for assessing candidates (4098), Diploma in Architectural, NZ Certificate in Adult and Tertiary Teaching Level 5

Dan has been part of our carpentry team since 2018, originally studying Architectural Technology at Whitireia and WelTec, before he worked as a draftsperson designing homes and construction detailing. He has worked in Wellington as a carpenter in commercial and residential construction, new builds and large additions and renovations.

He has always had a keen interest in carpentry after watching his father and grandfather, who were both carpenters. He started an apprenticeship in his late teens.

Dan enjoys meeting new people, passing on his knowledge to the students, and playing a part in their journeys as carpenters; watching them develop skills and gain confidence to prepare them for their careers.

Olaea Pauga, Carpentry Tutor 

Olaea Pauga - Tutor

National Certificate in Carpentry L4, National Certificate Construction (leading hand) L4 and Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP)

Olaea joined Whitireia and WelTec in 2020 after spending many years as a lead builder and then foreman for Residential Build. He got into the industry after applying for a scholarship at Auckland Unitec Polytech.

He enjoys interacting with students and using his building skills and experience to give back to them.

 Tana Phillips, Carpentry Tutor

Tana Phillips – Tutor

Certificate in Architectural Technology, Diploma in Architectural Technology, Trade Certificate Carpentry, National Certificate in Adult Education (L4), SASM

Tana started off his first two years as an apprentice with Māori Affairs on new house builds, before completing his apprenticeship with Hawkins Construction in commercial and then onto multi storey/high rise buildings, before joining Whitireia and WelTec in 2005.

He finds seeing young men and women completing their apprenticeships and becoming qualified very satisfying, and an extra bonus is when they end up working along-side you as a colleague (which has happened four times so far).

 Leo Pirini, Carpentry Tutor

Leo Pirini - Tutor

Licensed Building Practitioner, Bachelor Architectural Technology

Leo started at Whitireia and WelTec in 2012 after spending 20 years in construction, before moving into processing and managing building and planning consents.

He enjoys passing on his skills to students and finds that his range of different construction processing perspectives is of benefit to his students.

 Rick Mawby, Carpentry Tutor

Rick Mawby - Tutor

National Certificate in Carpentry

Rick started at Whitireia and WelTec in 2022 after spending a year away from the industry. He started in the construction industry in 1999 after a number of years in the heavy automotive industry. He completed a pre-trade apprenticeship course here at Whitireia and WelTec and then after completing the National Certificate in Carpentry, completed an apprenticeship with Maycroft Construction in Lower Hutt.

He then started his own building company in 2006, working on a range of residential alternations and additions in the Wellington region. During this time he employed a number of Whitireia and WelTec students, so he has a great understanding of the student and employer perspective.

Rick enjoys the change and being part of the team, and sees the construction sector as the backbone of the NZ landscape, one where you can pursue a career where you won’t be replaced by a robot or a computer, and there are lots of people doing good hard mahi.

 Willie Lafaele, Carpentry Tutor

Willie Lafaele - Tutor

National Certificate in Carpentry L4

Willie started at Whitireia and WelTec in 2022 after originally getting into the industry to follow in his Dad’s footsteps as a carpenter. He brings with him 10 years’ experience in both commercial and residential.

He enjoys helping people achieve their goals and working with them to achieve something they didn’t think they could, he finds it very satisfying to see the students progress and grow within the programme.


Arnold Lomax - Cadetship Coordinator

Diploma in Business and Diploma in Applied Management

Prior to joining Whitireia and WelTec, Arnold ran Youth/Adult Development programmes in Wainuiomata. Arnold has been working as our Carpentry Cadetship Co-Ordinator since 2010.

He enjoys helping people get started on their study and employment journey.

 Hector Rurehe, carpentry tutor

Hector Rurehe - Tutor

Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP), Adult Education L4

Hector has been with WelTec since 2002, bringing with him over 30+ years of experience.  When he started off in the industry it was all about nail guns, swinging hammers and building homes and condos. He enjoyed the challenge of the work and finishing a home and looking back at what he had accomplished along with the physical challenge of the job.

He now enjoys working with and teaching young people and seeing them develop and go home feeling successful. He is very passionate about working with ākonga and passing on the knowledge he’s gained over the years. He loves fostering the pathway to knowledge, strengthening future generations.

Ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi

(As an old net withers another is remade)

 Edwin Spinks, Carpentry Tutor

Edwin Spinks - Tutor

Trade cert in patternmaking (1990), NZ Certificate in Engineering (Production) 1997, LBP (2019)

Edwin has been doing building maintenance since 1986, before gaining various experience in the aluminium industry and alternative energy systems. He started his own company in 2004 where he installed alternative energy systems, building houses and building maintenance both domestically and commercially, before moving building houses full time in 2018.  He started in the industry originally as an apprentice patternmaker working in foundry in 1986 making wood patterns for casting metals.

He joined WelTec in 2021 bringing this wealth of knowledge with him to pass on to his students.

Creative Technologies Staff

Gareth McGhie - Associate Programme Manager Creative and Senior Tutor

PG Cert in Applied Practice

Gareth has taught across the suite of Creative Technologies programmes since 2010. Prior to this Gareth worked across many fields in the creative industry including hairdressing, film work including design, SPFX make-up, costuming, miniatures, props manufacture and set construction. Initially training as a hairdresser, Gareth spent 10 years in this industry and was actively involved in Wella’s design team and national competition circuit winning both regional and national titles during the 1990s.

Gareth then moved to the NZ film industry in 1999 and worked for Weta Workshop for the following 10 years, the last 5 of which were spent as workshop supervisor overseeing production on multiple film, gaming, and public art work projects including King Kong, Lion, Witch and Wardrobe Trilogy, District 9, and Avatar films. Gareth still works closely with Weta Workshop and film-based manufacturing companies in the Wellington region and actively researches in this area.

Gareth’s personal art practice centres on contemporary Māori carving and adornment working predominantly in bone, wood, and stone. The Kaupapa of this work is settled firmly within the concepts of Te Ao Māori and Whakapapa in particular. His work is exhibited regularly both in NZ and internationally. The intersection of this carving practice and his work in the film-based manufacturing industry is a primary area of research in regard to materiality, process, and development.

Craig Anderson - Senior Tutor 

BCrea, Dip. Computer Graphic Design, C. Adult Education

Craig teaches across a range of creative fields, with a focus on digital media and emerging technologies. His core teaching includes graphic design, web media, photography and video. Craig is a passionate educator, who combines creativity and critical thinking in his student projects and enjoys mentoring students through their educational journey and into creative careers.

Craig’s knowledge of multimedia, photography and graphic design is translated in direct collaboration and multidisciplinary projects with industry including Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) and GS1.

Darren Ward - Tutor

PG Cert in Applied Practice  

Darren has been teaching in the tertiary sector for 10 years. Darren has over twenty years of experience in various engineering fields which include NZ Defence, high speed packaging engineer for Lever Rexona and locomotive rebuild engineer for KiwiRail. Darren also has over 15 years of experience working within his Māori art practice which includes Marae, gallery work and providing work for private collectors and commissions.

Darren’s research expertise is in Māori art and design and 3D methodologies and processes. He utilizes his knowledge of engineering to apply hard materials and processes along with emerging technologies into his teaching and creative practice. Darren has interests in the digital modelling, scanning, and virtual reality fields. Darren also has a close link with Te Papa which includes various back of house collections visits and links with local Iwi and industry relationships that bridge into the props making, game design, and world building areas.

Adrian McCleland - Tutor


Adrian teaches within the image making courses, across all year groups. His skillset acquired over many years means he comes well equipped to cover a vast array of crafts, skills, methodologies, and mediums.

Teaching from the practicalities and artistry of printmaking, through the precise observational world of photography, all the way to the digital application of these via software and fundamental design principles, helping lead to students always being kept on their toes, engaged, and pushing further with their work. The students develop not just a comprehensive list of techniques, but new ways to investigate and explore our world, their surroundings and work.

Adrian has worked in the vocation of education for many years, as well as working in the design industry in Tongatapu, New York, Canada and here. His work has involved print, web, motion graphics and illustration work and has covered everything from infographics, branding through to VJing. But teaching is his love, to support and nurture the abilities of others, to get the best from his students is where he thrives. To learn and to grow is a life-long journey, to explore and experiment is something that should never stop – E hoa ma, ina te ora o te tangata.

 Creative Technologies tutor, Deidre Sullivan

Deidra Sullivan - Tutor

BDes (Photography), MFA, BA History & Art History (Hons)

Deidra (Dee) is a lecturer on the Creative Technologies programmes at Te Auaha, specialising in photography and 2D image making processes. She has been teaching at WelTec since 2012.

Her research interests relate to alternative and historic photographic processes, and art and photographic history. In 2018 Deidra co-curated the exhibition ‘Still Looking: Peter McLeavey and the last photograph’ at the Adam Art Gallery, and in 2020 she was the (acting) Photography Curator at the Alexander Turnbull Library

Andy Firth - Technician


Andy is the Technician for CT Programmes and the Whitireia Music Programme. Andy has worked for WelTec for over ten years.

The Technician is responsible for the programme specific equipment and spaces as well as looking after the Health and Safety issues for the workshop and studio spaces. Andy’s expertise and support to students and staff are aimed at helping you to get the most out of your time at Te Auaha.

Electrical Staff

Richard Davies - Programme Manager

Certificate in Adult Education L5, Trade Certificate Painting and Decorating

Richard has been with WelTec for 14 years, bringing with him 20+ years of industry experience. After starting off originally as an apprentice with Brooker & Miles, he became a self-employed painter and decorator. He then worked with Wattyl/Taubman’s where he gained sales experience.

Prior to becoming the Electrical Programme Manager Richard was a tutor in our Allied Trades area, where he enjoyed passing on his industry experience and watching the students gain knowledge, experience and confidence. He is sports-mad - he’s played rugby and cricket, and has now moved into playing golf. He likes travelling and keeping active and has completed over 20 marathons.

Matt Allan - Tutor

National Certificate Electrical Engineering L5, Registered Electrician, Electrical Inspector

Matt started working at WelTec in 2022 after gaining a wide range of experience and skills in both NZ and other countries. He worked in domestic, commercial, industrial, and mechanical industries working on high voltage in distribution and transmission. He has also worked in generation on windfarms and hydroelectric systems.

Matt studied at WelTec initially, and was fortunate enough to get an apprenticeship with a small company that did a wide variety of work. He says that one of the great things about the electrical industry is that it is so diverse and growing which enables you to explore lots of different options and pathways. One of the things he loves about the industry is the combination of physical and academic work, which means you are never bored.

Paul Bowden - Tutor

Advanced Trade cert

Paul started out in the industry when he was 16, as an apprentice installing lifts and doing electrical wiring. He knew this was the industry for him, he joined WelTec in 2021 bringing with him over 40 years of industry experience as both a registered electrician and in plc/industrial and variable speed drive.

He loves passing on knowledge to the students, engaging with them and watching them achieve their goals. He can be found playing golf or riding his motorbike when not at work.

Tony Dellabarca - Tutor

Advanced Trades Certificate, Registered Electrician, NZCE Electrical Engineering

Tony has been with WelTec since 2001 but started with us 23 years earlier, back in the day when we were known as Petone Technical Institute.

He trained and worked as an industrial electrician doing mostly maintenance and fault finding. He was encouraged to learn a trade at school and chose electrical as plumbing seemed too smelly. Even as a young apprentice he found himself enjoying helping others with their tech work so the transition to teacher/tutor was quite a natural one.

He still enjoys helping younger people and the balance between his work and outside interests.

Justin Graham - Tutor

National Certificate in Electrical Engineering L4, Registered Electrician

Justin started with WelTec in 2022, bringing with him a wide variety of skills and experience after spending several years working in the commercial, domestic and maintenance electrical industry in the Wellington Region.

He enjoys having the opportunity to guide the next generation of electricians and watching them progress.

Graham Paine - Tutor

NZ Certificate in Engineering, Electrical Registered Electrical Inspector

Graham joined us in 2013 bringing with him extensive industry experience in telecommunications on the heavy electrical side and as a self-employed electrical contractor.

He has always had an interest in all things electrical from a young age and it is this that brings him joy in paying it forward to young learners as they look to enter into or progress in the electrical industry.

Owen Vambe - Tutor

Registered Electrical Inspector

Owen started at WelTec in 2019 after spending 26 years in the industrial electrical industry across Zimbabwe and NZ. He did his electrical apprenticeship in Zimbabwe and moved to NZ in 2002.

He finds it an honour to be able to pass on the experience he has gained in the electrical industry over the years to the new generation of electrical trades people.

Hendrik Vermeulen - Tutor

Master Education Leadership, Electrical Inspector, Certificate in Adult Teaching L5

Hennie joined WelTec in 2020 after originally starting out in the industry in South Africa before coming to New Zealand and firstly working as a National Evaluator for the Skills Organisation before working at Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology as a Senior Academic Staff member and Programme Coordinator in their Electrical Team.

He loves working at WelTec and enjoys sharing his knowledge and working with the students as they come through.

Alan Lee - Tutor

City and Guilds Electrical 1971, NZ Trade Certification, 4x Advanced Trade Papers, Certificate in Training and Assessment Tertiary Education L4

Alan has been working in our Electrical Team since 2003 after spending a couple of years at the College of Electrical Training in Perth. He was an indentured apprentice in April 1968 before he was a registered electrician in the UK, Australia and NZ where he spent 41 years gaining an amazing amount of industry knowledge and experience.

He enjoys seeing students achieve the goals they set at the start of the course and watching them mature in their trade, outside of here he can be found reading, playing golf watching live sport and travelling.

Evan Green, electrical tutor

Evan Green - Tutor

Registered Electrician, Advanced Trade Electrical A and B, Infrared Thermographic Technician and Security Installations L3

Evan started at WelTec in 2022 bringing with him over 40 years in the industry. It all began after working in the school holidays at his father’s work under the electrician. He enjoyed it so much he went out and got himself an apprenticeship, which led him to working in various parts of the industry as a tradesman, service manager, sales rep and business owner.

He has worked on several projects over the years in both Wellington and overseas. He enjoys the variety of work in the industry and joined WelTec after working with his own apprentices, where he realised he liked training and passing on his knowledge to others.

Mark Hollis, electrical tutor

Mark Hollis - Tutor

Qualified Electrical Tradesman

Mark joined WelTec in 2022 after spending 35 years in the industry, bringing with him a vast knowledge of both domestic and industrial work, including air conditioning, elevators and escalators, traction systems, railways and high voltage (Haywards).

What Mark likes about being in the industry is that you meet many different types of people and you use theoretical and practical skills. He enjoys being able to apply what he has learnt to help educate others.

Chris Meehan, electrical tutor

Chris Meehan - Tutor

Electrical Inspector, Electrical Engineering Certificate L5, L5 Teaching Certificate and L6 Numeracy and Literacy Certificate

Chris has been at WelTec since 2009. His journey in the industry started after completing an adult apprenticeship, he then went on to gain extensive industry experience which our students are fortunate to get the opportunity to learn from.

He enjoys working with people, problem-solving and watching young people achieve their goals.

Information Technology

Tony Assadi IT tutor

Tony Assadi - Programme Manager

Tony Assadi is one of the Programme managers at the School of IT who is responsible for the undergraduate Programmes at Whitireia and the postgraduate IT Programmes at the Wellington campus.

Tony has been involved in a variety of roles in the NZ IT industry and the tertiary education sector since 1998. He has been working at Whitireia & WelTec since 2002, teaching Programming, Database Design, Object-oriented Design and Development, Mobile Application Development, Project Management while also supervising a range of undergraduate Capstone and postgraduate research projects. Tony’s research interests are in Work-Integrated Learning, Computational Thinking in tertiary education, and Digital Divide research. He is passionate about teaching and helping students fulfil their goals.

 Dr Chalinor Baliuag Programme Manager

Chalinor Baliuag - Programme Manager

Chalinor has Masters and Bachelor degree in Computer Engineering.

She is passionate about IT education with nearly two decades of teaching and leadership experience in tertiary education in New Zealand and overseas universities. Before coming to the Programme Manager role at WelTec, she enjoyed teaching Software Development courses such as Programming III, Software Development & Testing and Mobile Application Development. Her research interests are in developing technological solutions that aid students and staff in designing buildings.

She’s a great believer that one of the most significant influencers in student’s life is a teacher.


Dr Dax Roberts - Tutor 

Dr Roberts completed his PhD by research thesis from the University of Otago in Data Remanence. That's a fancy term for examining second-hand hard drives and finding all sorts of juicy/interesting/useful information that people may not even realise still exists. This is a specialisation of Digital Forensics which is one of the main courses offered as part of the Cyber Security Degree course.

Dr Roberts also has strong interests in Information Assurance, Cyber Security and Networking/Infrastructure. More important than topic names however is passion so if there is something you are keen on in the field of Security and want to investigate it further especially at the Postgraduate level, he'll be keen for an initial discussion.


Clement Swarnappa IT tutor

Clement Swarnappa - Tutor

Clement works in the areas of Web and Mobile Application Design and Development. He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering from India and has a Master of Science from Malaysia. His experience includes Micro-controller based automation design, Web and Mobile application Development and Computer Programming. His current research includes Web and Mobile Application Development, Social Media Filtering, Data Scrapping, and Data mining. 

Richa Panjabi IT tutor

Richa Panjabi - Tutor

Richa is an experienced IT professional with over 10 years of experience in IT training. She has a Bachelor of Science, a Master’s in Computer Science, and a Diploma in Systems Management. She also has a New Zealand Certificate in Adult and Tertiary Teaching (Level 5).

Richa specialises in Object Oriented Programming languages (like C, C++ and Java), Mobile Programming, Relational Databases, Data Science & Analytics, Software Testing & DevOps.

Passionate about empowering her students with adequate theoretical and practical hands-on experience to succeed in their chosen career path, she remains up to date with recent developments in the technology sector.


Dr Anthony Allsobrook IT tutor

Dr Anthony Allsobrook - Tutor

Anthony approaches teaching from a science background with B.Sc. (Hons) and PhD from Rhodes University.  Doctoral thesis involved a structural elucidation of a marine algal polysaccharide from Aeodes ulvoidea.

I have also been involved in research using high-resolution mass spectrometry, investigating chemical carcinogens and cancer of the oesophagus and of the human vaginal vault.  I have also worked in the areas of agricultural meteorology, soil chemistry, metallurgy, and testing in the petrochemical industry. All this led to extensive publications in international journals. 

Through teaching at the CIT I have gained practical knowledge of virtually all the chemical and food processing works in New Zealand, and especially with regard to statistics - from the collection, number crunching and interpretation of data from a vast number of fields.  Since 2001 I have taught in various areas on the BIT, but especially Mathematics and Statistics and Programming in C and C++.  I am passionate about giving beginning students a solid, high-quality foundation to underpin their future studies on an IT degree.

Dr Yuliya Khrypko IT tutor

Dr Yuliya Khrypko - Tutor

Yuliya has over 15 years of experience as an IT researcher and project manager. She is particularly interested in interdisciplinary research including artificial intelligence (AI), interactive narrative, and computational psychology. Yuliya enjoys helping her students strive in their learning and inspires them to undertake their own research projects.


Manu Katene - Tutor

Ko Whitireia te Maunga 
Ko Raukawakawa te Moana 
Ko Ngāti Toa Rangatira te Iwi  
Ko Takapuwahia te Marae 
Ko Manu Katene ahau

Manu has been teaching for over 20 years, focusing on IT related courses covering NZQA unit standards and certificate level 2 up to bachelor level degree papers. He has a passion for teaching lower-level courses and encouraging learners to excel, particularly Iwi Māori. Manu is a board member of Te Runangao Toa Rangatira, chairperson of Takapuwahia Marae committee, and Iwi representative on the Whitireia Park Board. He has supervised level 7 capstone projects to develop Te Reo Learning apps and the Treaty of Waitangi mapping website. He has a Master’s in Information Technology. 

Geoff Gordon IT tutor

Geoff Gordon - Tutor

Geoff is a Network Administrator who helps students, staff, and lecturers with technical support. A self-described hardware guru, Geoff is our on-site fix-it man who offers efficient technical solutions and helpful ideas.

Sue Scott IT tutor

Sue Scott - Tutor

Over her 30 years of design experience, Sue Scott has worked in a broad range of design disciplines such as point of sale advertising Web Communications, film marketing, films, special effects, and interactivity including games.

Sue has directed hit films and won multiple awards. In 2001 the BBC World Life series interviewed her in exegesis on new media works. It is inherent that through new graphic forms, interactivity and platforms, that new technologies offer significant contributions to storytelling. For this reason, Sue’s Master’s Thesis which investigates and contextualises the way new technologies and narrative systems can liberate narratives has acquired significant attention. In recent years her focus has been in helping students to better understand, utilise and develop design thinking processes through which interactive IT products can be developed.

Michele Carroll IT tutor

Michele Carroll - Tutor

Michele has been an IT administrator since 2001. She enjoys an admin role where she can have meaningful interactions with staff and students. She has a Level 5 qualification in IT.


Dr Minjie Min Hu IT Tutor

Dr Minjie (Min) Hu - Tutor

Min started teaching IT in New Zealand 1997 and before that, he taught IT at a university in China for eight years. He mainly teaches computer software courses such as Programming I and II, Software Development, Software Testing, Database, Data Analytics and Business intelligence. Having published extensively in NZ, Australia, and the USA, Min’s research focuses on teaching novices programming, engagement in eLearning, data analytics in business and finance information, and software testing.

Dr Hamid Mahroeian IT tutor

Dr Hamid Mahroeian - Tutor

Hamid joined Whitireia Community Polytechnic and the Wellington Institute of Technology in 2019. He has a PhD from the University of Otago which focussed on the area of analytics across New Zealand Higher Education institutions. He delivers papers such as Fundamentals of Programming Languages, Web Development, Software Development and Design, Information Systems Management, Software Quality Assurance and Testing, and Interactional Design Fundamentals. Hamid’s research interests cover areas such as Learning Analytics, Big Data, and Educational Technology.

Terry Jeon IT tutor

Terry Jeon - Tutor

Terry has been teaching Database, System Analysis & Design, and computer programming for almost 20 years. He has an industry qualification of Oracle database (OCP) and a Master's degree in Knowledge Management. His main focus is developing students to be industry-ready, and in his free time, he researches the efficiency of Pair Programming.

Dr Marta Vos IT tutor

Dr Marta Vos - Tutor

Marta has been teaching at Whitireia since 2014, and is currently the Post-graduate Co-ordinator. Currently, she teaches Research Methods in the post-graduate school, and has taught a range of other subjects including introduction to database, data visualization, and systems analysis. She also supervises Postgraduate Diploma and Master of IT projects, as well as being an external PhD supervisor. Her primary research interests lie in understanding the nature of the IT artifact, particularly from the cultural/indigenous perspective, as well as in the implementation and management of data and IoT systems. Her industry experience includes working in business intelligence and data analytics, as well as being a project manager.

Dr Steve Mckinlay IT tutor

Dr Steve McKinlay - Tutor

Dr Steve McKinlay has over 12 years experience working in the IT industry throughout the 1990s in a variety of roles including programming in various languages, database analysis, design and administration and as a consultant. Steve began teaching at Weltec in the early 2000s and has taught across a wide variety of topics from Analysis and Design, Database, and Information Management. Most recently Steve developed the Digital Ethics course, a first in an IT Bachelor degree in New Zealand. Steve’s research sits at the intersection of technology and computing ethics, and the impacts of emerging technology on society, work and democracy.

He has spoken as a guest and presented at conferences at many Universities around the world, he regularly publishes in international journals and has several chapters in various texts. Steve completed a PhD with Charles Sturt University in 2014, winning the Litwin award (2013) for research in the Philosophy of Information for his work. Steve also teaches at Regensburg University, Bavaria, Germany and chairs the Open Polytechnic’s Ethics Committee. Steve is currently the Executive Director of the International Association of Computing and Philosophy.

Teena Joseph IT tutor

Teena Joseph - Tutor

Teena is very passionate about teaching and inspiring students. She has acquired a Master of Technology and a Bachelor of Technology, both specialising in Computer Science and Engineering. She is also focused on community facilitation with her knowledge acquired from a Level 5 certification in Community facilitation specialising in diversional Therapy with a proven ability to assist people in meeting their holistic needs.

She has experience in the IT industry in New Zealand as she has worked as a Project Analyst with Salvation Army. Coming from a family with a teaching history of more than a century, she is always proud of being a teacher. She started her teaching career as an assistant professor at Mahatma Gandhi University. Teena has successfully presented and published international research papers based on areas, Ubiquitous creation of the electronic medical record and clinical data management using a Tablet PC, An architecture based hybrid approach for network management through mobile agents, Information Accountability on the Cloud for Data Sharing in a Distributed Environment, An efficient approach using AES for accountability in cloud. Teena is currently teaching Hardware servicing, Implementing networks and Server management courses at Weltec.

Her other areas of interest are art, photography and organising events for the community.

Dr Abubakar Siddique IT tutor

Dr Abubakar Siddique - Tutor

Research Scientist with more than four years of experience to devise novel machine learning systems, inspired by cognitive neuroscience, to provide efficient and scalable solutions for challenging and complex problems in different domains, such as Boolean, computer vision, and navigation. Dr. Siddique is engaged as an author and reviewer for different journals and international conferences including IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine, GECCO, IEEE CEC, and EuroGP. He has been working as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Victoria University of Wellington before joining WelTec.

Dr. Siddique did his Bachelor's in Computer Science from Quaid-i-Azam University, Master's in Computer Engineering from U.E.T Taxila, and Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Victoria University of Wellington. He was the recipient of the VUWSA Gold Award and the ``Student Of The Session'' award during his Ph.D. and bachelor studies, respectively. He spent nine years at Elixir Pakistan, a California-based software company. His last designation was a Principal Software Engineer where he led a team of software developers. He developed enterprise-level software for customers such as Xerox, IBM, and Adobe.

David Bailey IT tutor

Dr David Bailey - Tutor

Dr Bailey’s professional IT career spans over 30 years. He has worked in many capacities including Project Management, IT Support Management, Business Analysis and Programming. Sixteen of those years were spent in the City of London at major financial institutions. Dr Bailey, moved into the field of education latterly teaching ICT at Secondary level in the UK. Serving as Head of ICT he managed his school’s network, significantly upgrading all aspects of it during his time in that role.

He then went on to complete his education with a master's degree in Digital Media Art at the University of Brighton followed by a PhD at the Auckland University of Technology. The focus of his master’s and doctoral studies was VR working with cutting edge immersive technologies. He introduced a new term ‘Synchronous Reality’ to the VR field through his doctoral practice-based work and thesis to describe the creation of multisensory installations combining virtual and physical worlds together.

Dr Bailey currently teaches UI and UX at certificate level and Fundamentals of IT drawing on his experience to give a practical real-world flavour to the courses. He introduced 3D design to the UI/UX course where students can now learn to successfully design a 3D game and UI interface using Unity, as well as web design. Dr Bailey goes for a stepped learning approach bringing in new concepts on a gradual scale from simple to increasing complexity ensuring students have grasped the material as the course progresses. His aim is always that students will complete the courses richer in knowledge and with the ability to apply what they’ve learned. Dr Bailey aims to introduce a VR element to the course in the future and is keen that students experience and gain exposure to cutting-edge technology.

Hiroshika Hinduramage - Tutor

Hiroshika is an experienced lecturer with over nine years of experience in teaching. Currently, she is following her PhD in Computer Science at Victoria University of Wellington, where her research topic lies in human-computer interaction, mobile augmented reality and behavioural skills of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She has a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (Software Engineering) and a Master’s in Information Technology. Her experience includes Human Computer Interactions, Database Management Systems, Software Engineering, Object Oriented Programming (C++, C# and Java) and Mobile Application Development. Her current research includes Co-designing with children with ASD, AR face masks, game development and assistive technology.

Dr Arkar Kyaw IT tutor

Dr Arkar Kyaw - Tutor

Dr. Arkar is a Senior Academic Staff Member (SASM) within the School of Innovation, Design and Technology at WelTec. Arkar teaches Server Management, Unified Network Infrastructure, and Cloud Computing courses at WelTec in 2022. Arkar received a PhD (Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics) from the School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences at Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand) in 2019 and was supervised by Dr Brian Cusack and Dr Dave Parry.

As a member of the IT academic team at Whitireia since 2010, Arkar collaborate with other colleagues for formulating industry related (capstone) projects for undergraduate and research projects for postgraduate students. In addition, Arkar supervise both undergraduate and postgraduate students’ projects (including Master’s Thesis). Furthermore, Arkar has contributed to curriculum development for obtaining the accreditation of the Master of IT (MIT) program by designing postgraduate courses together with IT staff members from Auckland and Porirua campuses while working for Whitireia.

With regard to the academic research, Arkar has more than 10 years of research experience in Computer Networks, IoT, Information and Network Security, and Digital Forensics. In his research career, Arkar has published peer-reviewed research papers in high ranked international conferences and journals. Arkar has also presented his research papers at various international conferences including IEEE, ACM, eHealth Security, Safety and Security of IoT and Digital Forensics in Australia, China, France, New Zealand, and the United States of America.


 Robert Vansverry, Programme Manager

Robert Vansverry - Programme Manager 

Robert is from the UK and has been working in and around the hospitality industry for over 30 years. 

He started his career as a silver service waiter but quickly moved into the kitchen as a chef, he has worked across multiple aspects of the industry in hotels, restaurants, café’s, pubs and bars. As well as working in commercial sales to the hospitality industry. 

Settling in Wellington in 2004 Robert started work at WelTec’s School of Hospitality in 2005 as a cookery tutor, Robert became the school’s first ever PASM (Principle Academic Staff Member) in 2016 and Programme Manager in 2018. 

“I love the diversity of hospitality and the opportunities it provides people; it is so rewarding. The positive effect we have on customers, the pressure and excitement of a busy service and the camaraderie of the team. Hospitality teaches us resilience, adaptability, systems and processes but also allows you a degree of independence, flare and showmanship that other careers do not.” 

Ali Bahmad Hospitality Tutor

Ali Bahmad - Tutor

Born and raised in Sydney, Australia. Ali has been a cookery tutor at WelTec for over 7 years now. Ali's worked in fine dining restaurants and hotels in Australia and Aotearoa including the Hilton Hotel, Sydney Cove, Oyster Bar and most recently as Head Chef of Wither Hills Winery Restaurant in Marlborough before joining the whānau at WelTec.

Ali grew up in a household dominated by Middle Eastern cooking. Like many households the kitchen was the heart of the home. The ‘hands-on’ technique of mixing, shaping, and preparing this style of food appealed to him from a young age and cultivated his ambition that would later lead to the world of food as a career.

Ali completed his formal training at the Hotel School in Sydney and his adult education training in Aotearoa.

With his breadth of industry experience Ali understands many facets of our ever-changing industry and understands how to apply them to his delivery and teaching with a level of charm and passion. Away from WelTec, Ali loves keeping active by working in his extensive vegetable garden and tending to his flock of hens.

At WelTec Ali teaches across the suite of cookery programmes with a primary focus on the Level 4 Managed Chef Traineeship.

Derek Yee Hospitality Tutor

Derek Yee - Tutor

Derek is a qualified Chef with New Zealand Cookery certificates 751, 752 & 753, and a City & Guilds Diploma (with Distinction).

His tertiary education qualifications include NZ Certificate in Adult Education, and National Certificate in Adult Literacy & Numeracy Education (NCALNE).

Derek has taught for 7 Years at WelTec, teaching L2 and L3 WTA Hospitality and L4 Cookery. He is a qualified Culinary Competition judge and Licensed Manager.

Derek has 30 plus years' experience as a Chef, including 20 years as a business owner/restauranteur and caterer.

Derek worked as a chef at New Zealand Government House and Parliament (Bellamys). He travelled and worked in Europe and Australia, working as a private chef to international clientele while working overseas.

He has an interest in coaching youth development in various sports including basketball and cricket, from level 2 up to secondary school level.

Frank Prskawetz Hospitality Tutor

Frank Prskawetz - Tutor

Frank has been teaching at the School of Hospitality since 2013.  

He is originally from Austria where he started his chef’s apprenticeship when he was only 14 years old. Before arriving in New Zealand in 1992 he travelled and worked around the globe including luxury cruise ships. His highlight is the opening of the first ever purpose-built hotel in an Olympic village for the 2000 games in Sydney. Frank loves teaching as no two days are the same and he is very proud to see students excel in their chosen career.  

Gavin Mackenzie Hospitality Tutor

Gavin Mackenzie - Tutor  

After gaining a Higher National Certificate in Professional Cookery, Gavin started his career as a chef and pastry chef working in hotels in Britain and France. He moved to New Zealand in 2001 and worked in hotels, restaurants and bakeries in Wellington before becoming a tutor at WelTec in 2008. He enjoys passing on his knowledge and skills to students, developing their confidence around food.  

As well as teaching cookery and bakery, Gavin has studied adult literacy and numeracy at Victoria University and developed the on-line learning for cookery at WelTec. 

Liam Brash Hospitality Tutor

Liam Brash - Tutor 

Born in Dunedin with Scottish and Irish heritage, Liam moved to Wellington at age 10. He is a product of WelTec having graduated from the School of Hospitality in 2001.  

Gaining employment at Shed 5 through the work experience programme provided by WelTec, Liam had the opportunity to work at some high-end businesses, namely Martin Bosley’s Yacht Club, The Savoy Grill (Gordon Ramsay/Marcus Waring Holdings) and Popcorn Catering (George Michael 25 Live Tour)  

Having returned to New Zealand he found a passion for teaching through becoming a workplace assessor and having apprentices in his workplace at Smith the Grocer.  

Liam made the move to teaching in 2015 at the Porirua campus, first teaching Level 5 Pâtisserie, then working his way through almost every hospitality programme within the suite. 

In 2020 he moved to the WelTec Cuba street campus where he has been teaching Level 4 Cookery and Trades Academy classes.  

Outside of work his main interests are fermentation, home automation, DIY and golf. 

Mark Francis Hospitality Tutor

Mark Francis - Tutor 

Mark has worked at WelTec since 2011 after having spent a career working at various hotels and restaurants in London, Italy, Canada and Australia.  

Arriving at WelTec with teaching qualifications, he has completed several qualifications during his initial years at WelTec including NCALNE and DTLT.  

Mark is a junior member of the team who enjoys assisting and helping to train students reach their goals. 

 Nick Huffman Hospitality Tutor

Nick Huffman - Tutor 

National Certificate in Adult Education and Training 4098 Workplace Assessor Qualification City and Guilds of London 706/1 & 706/2. 

Nick joined Whitireia and WelTec in 2011. With almost 40 years in the restaurant industry to date, he has no plans to stop any time soon. Nick has worked in top restaurants around New Zealand, including the likes of Matterhorn in Wellington, Huka Lodge in Taupo, and Soul Bar & Bistro in Auckland Viaduct.  

In 1991 Nick was awarded Chef of the Nation and Chef of the Region (Wellington). He’s also been the finalist and winner for multiple national industry competitions, like Cervena Plates (1995), and Corbans Food and Wine Challenge (1994, 95 and 95) 

He was a consultant chef to Air New Zealand from 1994 to 2000, working on first class and business routes.  

Nick loves growing food in his garden, baking sourdough bread, curing meats of all descriptions and fishing from his kayak to feed him and his family in an effort to be as self-sustainable as possible. 

 Robert Bok Hospitality Tutor

Robert Bok - Tutor

Robert began teaching formally in 2013 at WelTec and has continued to gain skills from practical teaching to designing content and aligning assessments for the specialist area of bakery, patisserie, desserts and gateaux work.  

His main focus is to keep maintaining the core skills and logic of the work that bakers and pâtissiers need in today’s climate whilst still incorporating sustainable practices as we recognise the need to use all resources thoughtfully.  

Robert continuously keeps current with the industry as well as academia to fine tune and continuously bring out the best of education and skills for the baking industry in Aotearoa and beyond.  

Before coming into vocational teaching, Robert’s 28 years of work and education journey in his kitchen craft has taken him to multiple international hotels, resorts and casino patisserie and bakery kitchens from Malaysia to Singapore, France, Australia, New Zealand and now in Wellington.  

Highlights in his career have included running a million-dollar pastry operation, cooking for the regular, royalty and celebrities, volume catering to 5000 customers, representing New Zealand in both National and International competitions, judging and then managing pastry competitors successfully. He loves passing on knowledge and empowering junior professionals by enabling their talents through bakery and patisserie making. 

 Ray Morrell Hospitality Tutor

Ray Morrell - Tutor

Ray Morrell has worked in a variety of positions in kitchens in New Zealand and the United Kingdom including Glasgow and London. Ray has 20 years teaching experience and has taught on various programmes at the school including patisserie, cookery and bakery.  

His primary focus is on student success and ensuring that students achieve their goals. Culinary competition is also another passion that has allowed him to judge locally and internationally including supporting students competing in Hong Kong and America.  

A notable highlight was winning the Chef of the Capital and success with the student Toque d’Or, ICCC and Young Chef Olympiad teams.  

Qualified in cookery with the NZ Professional trade certificate 751, 752, 753, and City & Guilds Culinary Arts Diploma 7065. Tertiary qualifications include NZ Certificate in Adult Education, National Certificate in Adult Literacy & Numeracy Education (NCALNE) and the Diploma in Tertiary Learning & Teaching level 6. Ray also is a qualified L4 culinary judge.  

As a passionate Wellingtonian, he enjoys travelling and has spent time in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America experiencing the culinary differences around the globe.  

His favourite pastimes include running, DIY and tinkering with his beloved 1974 Kombi. 

Robyn Appleyard Hospitality Tutor

Robyn Appleyard - Tutor

Robyn began her career in office reception and business administration work but soon become drawn to work in the hospitality industry as there was more contact with people. She started with the Town House Hotel chain then moved onto the Quality & Copthorne hotels in Wellington.  

Robyn first joined Hutt Valley Polytechnic in 1994 as a tutor on the Hotel Front Office programme and since then moved to WelTec, spending time in tutoring and as Programme Leader for Business Administration, Retail and Hotel Front Office programmes. She has also taught across the Tourism and Business Management programmes.  

Now Robyn is a senior academic staff member and lectures on the Diploma in Hospitality Management Level 5 programme. She has a Bachelor of Hospitality Management L7 as well as a Certificate in Adult Literacy Education L5, City & Guilds Diploma in Reception Operations, a City & Guilds Certificate in Accommodation Operations, and the Certificate in Hotel & Catering Accommodation Operations (HCITB)  

A highlight of Robyn’s career has been the time spent training the reception and housekeeping employees at the Rarotonga and Aitutaki resorts in the Cook Islands. 

Scott Campbell Hospitality Tutor

Scott Campbell – Senior Tutor 

School of Hospitality C&G 706 1&2 

Scott has over 35 years’ experience in the world of kitchens and is a vastly experienced teacher. He has worked in the UK, Switzerland, the Channel Islands, Australia, and NZ in a variety of hotels and restaurants and event catering and still works in industry on the odd occasion.  

A passionate fisherman, Scott enjoys teaching others how to prepare and cook fish, how to use the whole fish, and will occasionally bring his catch in for students to see different species. 

Scott has been involved in culinary competitions, both competing and training our students in local and international competitions and is a well-respected culinary judge. Some of Scott’s highlights in this field:  

  • Winning two national Toque d’Or events which are NZ’s premier national student competition.  
  • Trained the last two world ‘Young Chef Olympiad’ students to 3rd and 4th places, the world’s premier international student culinary competition.  

Scott’s teaching philosophy is simple – get students to the stage where they can enter a job at the end of their studies and feel comfortable in that environment. 

Steve Ray Hospitality Tutor

Steve Ray - Tutor 

Wellington born, Steve began his career in tertiary education in 2015, tutoring Certificate Cookery Level 4, Diploma Level 5 (Advanced) Cookery, and Diploma of Management Level 5.  

Steve is driven by bringing his industry experience to the classroom and training kitchen. Steve takes pride in developing students from all levels in a guided and supportive environment.  

Prior to 2015 Steve enjoyed a significant career as an Executive Chef in several well-known 5 and 4.5- star hotels in New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, PNG and Vietnam.  

Steve is a qualified chef and educator with City and Guilds 706/1 and 706/2, several food safety qualifications, Diploma of Management and Certificate in Adult Education level 5. 

Toby Sanderson Hospitality Tutor

Toby Sanderson - Tutor

Following 15 years working around the world in a variety of kitchens (fine dining & wine bars to pubs & cafes), Toby returned to New Zealand and started sharing his knowledge and experience with his students here at WelTec. He continues to engage closely with the industry, working in a casual capacity at various venues around Wellington.

Since 2008 when he started as a tutor, he has mentored hundreds of students including training very successful culinary teams for regional and national competitions. He’s currently managing and delivering the Wellington Trades Academy (WTA) Hospitality suite of programs. Toby gains great satisfaction from interacting with schools and supporting students as they begin their tertiary journey and staircase on to further studies and employment on completion of their programs.

Qualified in cookery with national certificates 751 & 752, and a City & Guilds diploma (with excellence). Tertiary education qualifications include NZ Certificate in Adult Education, National Certificate in Adult Literacy & Numeracy Education (NCALNE) and a Diploma in Tertiary Learning & Teaching (DTLT) Level 6. Toby is also a qualified Culinary Competition judge and Licenced Manager.

Paul Gibbs Tutor

Paul Gibbs - Tutor 

Having worked in many establishments around the world for twenty years Paul finally took on the role as a tutor at Weltec in 2004. 

Paul started his culinary career in London followed by a stint in Muscat, Oman and finally Wellington. 

His qualifications include City & Guilds 706-1, 706-2, 706-3 Pastry, 706-3 Advanced pastry, L5 National Certificate in Adult Education and Training, New Zealand Certificate in Adult Literacy & Numeracy and a 4098 Workplace Assessor Qualification. 

One of the things he enjoys about tutoring is watching the students skills grow and become more confident working in the patisserie field.

Mechanical Engineering Trades

Chris Barclay - Mechanical Engineering Tutor

Chris Barclay

NZ Certificate in Engineering L6 (Mechanical), NZ Trade Cert in tool making, Certificate in Management studies, National Certificate in Adult Education, Literacy and Numeracy Education (L5)

Chris started off his engineering career as a student back in 1984 at WelTec when it was known as The Petone Technical Institute where he moved into an apprenticeship in toolmaking. He has worked in the manufacturing sector both as a tradesman and production engineer and has been tutoring at WelTec for the last 17 years.

He enjoys the process of making parts and machinery combined with helping students to develop both an interest in and the skills required for the industry. Outside of WelTec he has an interest in motorsport and enjoys tinkering about in his own small workshop.

Jim Wood - Mechanical Engineering Tutor

Jim Wood

Trade Certificate in Engineering L4 – Heavy Fabrication

Jim is new to WelTec but has ten years general experience in engineering, silos and bulk storage, structure steel (having worked on the largest shopping mall in the country; Westfield Newmarket), sawmills, cement plants, boats, transport, and heavy machine repairs.

He got into the industry originally after taking some initiative and just walking in off the street asking for work and was then offered an apprenticeship.

Jim is looking forward to helping the next generation of trades people find their feet in the industry, whilst being able to keep an eye on what is new out there in the engineering world.

Performing Arts Staff

Commercial Dance 

Esther Robinson - Commercial Dance, Performing Arts Tutor

Esther Robinson - Tutor

Dip Commercial Dance, NZAMD

Esther Forsyth Robinson trained at Wellington Performing Arts Centre to complete her Diploma in Commercial Dance in 2007. After graduating, Esther spent two years living and working in Melbourne and getting involved with the Australian dance scene. Since that time, she has travelled the world performing in Australia, America, and Japan. Credits include Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Sea, and Princess Cruises. Esther loved her time working on cruise ships and has been lucky enough to visit almost all the continents and see many countries. She feels blessed to have lived a life where she was able to dance and travel at the same time – her two biggest passions.

After retiring from performing in 2014, she focused on teaching in New Zealand. She loves working with the students at Te Auaha, especially those that aspire to have careers in the dance industry. Esther is passionate about dance and hopes to instill this same passion and love for the arts in her students. Her wish for them is that they will leave the course as strong, hardworking, versatile dancers ready to tackle the ever-changing dance world.

Jun Samblaceno, Commercial Dance tutor

Vivencio (Jun) Samblaceno JR - Tutor

Dip Commercial Dance, NZAMD

Vivencio, (Jun as he is also known by), trained in Manila, Philippines and danced professionally with the Philippine Ballet Theatre. He later joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company and performed classical, neo-classical, and contemporary works in Australasia, Europe, America, and Asia for twenty years as a soloist and principal.

He received his Fellowship degree with distinction under the International Dance Teachers' Association UK and is a Mutually Recognised Teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance. He has an Adult and Tertiary Teaching qualification through the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.

He also teaches at the New Zealand School of Dance and the Chilton Ballet Academy. He has taught adjudicated classes at the Alana Haines Australasian Awards and was an artistic judge at The Royal Academy of Dance Solo Seal Award. Jun holds Ballroom, Latin American and New Vogue NZ titles and continues to train and dance competitively.

He has been teaching Classical Ballet, Pilates and Dance Styles for the Commercial Dance and Musical Theatre courses for over ten years and has a passion for mentoring and passing on his knowledge.

Musical Theatre Staff

Kate Marshall, performing arts tutor

Kate Marshall - Programme Co-ordinator, Musical Director and Tutor

BMus in Composition


Kate Marshall has a BMus in Composition from Victoria University under the tutelage of New Zealand composers Jack Body, Ross Harris, and John Psathas. Her composition credits include The Merchant of Venice for VUW Summer Shakespeare, Twelfth Night for KAT, and Nictitate performed by the Wellington Symphonia.

Following in the footsteps of her family, Kate is an accomplished Musical Director, accompanist and musician having been at the helm of numerous productions and concerts including; Little Shop of Horrors, The Addams Family, Cry Baby, Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease, West Side Story, High School Musical, Fame, Hairspray, Cabaret, Little Voice, Demolition of the Century at Circa, Evita for Amici Productions and PLT, and her own Marshall Stack productions of Godspell, Smokey Joe’s Café and on Broadway.

Her true passion is combining education with industry. Kate is a Patron for Kauri Theatre and will also be involved in the first show for Capital Theatre Trust which will be the start of new things for Musical Theatre in Wellington.

Leigh Evans, performing arts tutor

Leigh Evans - Tutor

Leigh is trained in RAD Ballet and American Jazz and is recognized as one of New Zealand’s foremost Choreographers and Jazz tutors.

In 2001, she pioneered the Commercial Dance Course and has been sharing decades of experience and industry knowledge to both the Commercial Dance and Musical Theatre courses ever since. Leigh has been creating, choreographing, and directing shows for both programmes.

Addams Family, Crybaby, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Footloose are just a few of the much-loved shows that Leigh has helped our Musical Theatre students perform.

She has been involved in many successful Musical Theatre and Stage Productions throughout the country. Although firmly based in Wellington, Leigh's skills are in such demand that she travels regularly around the country and overseas to fulfil choreography, adjudicating, tutoring and directing assignments.

For film she has worked on “The Waterhorse” and “King Kong”. For television, “McDonalds Young Entertainers”, “Camp Rock” and “The Big Night In”.

She has worked with New Zealand’s Musical Theatre talents, Tina Cross, Jackie Clarke and Shane Cortese. Last year she worked on the Joseph Gordon-Levitt Apple TV show ‘Mr Corman” and this year a high-profile American Horror movie being shot in New Zealand starring Mia Goth. Because of this, our students were given the opportunity to work on these projects and have built important industry connections as a result.

Stage and Screen 

Carmel McGlone, Performing Arts tutor

Carmel McGlone - Tutor

BA, Dip Exec Mus, Dip Teach

Carmel McGlone is one of New Zealand’s most renowned actresses. She has performed in theatres, film and television her entire professional life. During the 1990s, Carmel was a member of Simon Phillip’s ensemble of actors at the State Theatre Co, Australia. In 2004, Carmel received the Chapman Tripp Best Actress award for her role as Lady Macbeth in Circa’s production of Macbeth. In 2009, Carmel was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the Chapman Tripp Awards for her role in the Willem Wasenaar directed production of Blood Wedding. Carmel has been nominated in the Film and Television awards three times. In the latter half of 2010, Carmel acted in both series of the Emmy award-winning on-line TV drama Reservoir Hill. Carmel stars in the feature film Hook Line and Sinker which premiered at the Embassy. 

For eight years Carmel held the position of senior drama tutor at Wellington Performing Arts Centre in Wellington, and since 2009 has tutored at the Whitireia Performance Centre. 

In 2011 Carmel was granted a prestigious fellowship to work at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. 

Paula van Beek - Tutor

Paula van Beek is an artist and arts educator with a passion for supporting emerging arts practitioners to create original performative work. She has found many ways to live this passion throughout her career including founding a theatre company (Open Book 1999), being the Programme Manager of BATS Theatre (2001-2004) and teaching performance and creative practice at Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), Melbourne University (2008 – 2018) and Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School (2018). Dedicated to pushing her practice and finding new forms and frames for performance Paula has just recently completed a Research Masters in Fine Art from RMIT School of Art, Melbourne (2018). She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Animatuering (Performance Making) from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), Melbourne University (2006) and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Theatre and Film from Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand (1998). 

She has travelled widely with her work with projects across Aotearoa/NZ and Australia, as well as in Colombia and Indonesia, training in the UK, residencies in Europe and the US, and teaching in Tokyo. She has made works in car parks, theatres, hallways, galleries, on river banks and online. 

Paula is thrilled to be back in her hometown of Wellington and join the Stage & Screen team to train the next generation of actors, performance makers, artistic thinkers and doers. Her extensive experience working in the arts sector as a devisor, performer, director, lighting designer, and arts manager enables Paula to approach making work from multiple angles. She is excited about the potential of collaboration, cross-pollination and inter-disciplinary practice under the roof of Te Auaha. 

Paula is active in her own arts projects and within an expanded performance practice she investigates self, site and alternative performance forms with a focus on feminine experiences. 

Plumbing Staff

Nadim Ali - Tutor

NZ Qualified Plumber, NZ Certificate in Teaching

Nadim has been at WelTec since 2016 originally starting out as a plumbing maintenance officer for both WelTec and Whitireia before moving into the Plumbing team as a tutor.

He has over 20 years of industry experience in both plumbing and sheet metal in both NZ and Fiji. Nadim believes education is a gift and a privilege that everyone must have access to, and that his role as a tutor is to facilitate that process making learning accessible through ideas that are fun and engaging.

Ron Heywood - Tutor

Diploma in Tertiary Teaching, Certifying Gasfitter and Plumber, Tradesman Drainlayer

Ron started out in the industry working for British Gas before gaining extensive experience running a fireplace company in Auckland and working at MIT Plumbing School for 12 years prior to joining the plumbing team here at WelTec in 2019.

Ron is a keen indoor and outdoor cricketer playing for Wellington Masters who enjoys helping others.

Andrew Lyle - Tutor

Certifying plumber, drainlayer and gasfitter, rigger, Adult Education Certificate

Andrew immigrated to New Zealand in 2006 from South Africa bringing with him 25 years of experience working previously as a rigger in the South African Naval Dockyard. He completed a plumbing apprenticeship in NZ working in the West Coast and Christchurch before joining us here in WelTec in 2019.

He enjoys training new students and seeing them develop their skills and knowledge and is an avid beekeeper when he isn’t at work.

Paul Robertson - Tutor

Licensed Certifying Plumber, Gasfitter and Drainlayer, Certificate in Adult Education L5

Paul has been at WelTec since 2019 bringing with him over 40 years of industry experience. He originally started off in the industry straight from school as a store man, before starting a Plumbing apprenticeship and becoming qualified. He soon began working on a number of projects including high end residential, housing corp maintenance, drain clearing, renovations, roofing and light commercial work before being self-employed for 20 years.

He enjoys the challenge of developing learning materials that makes the subject matter interesting and accessible to all of our ākonga and collaborating with colleagues and students in the process.

Publishing Staff

All staff of the publishing programme come directly from industry, where they honed their skills and knowledge. Most are still working for publishers alongside their teaching.

The programme also draws on the expertise of numerous specialist tutors and industry speakers. Many publishing professionals take classes through the year – whether to teach a core part of the curriculum or take a specialist lesson or simply as a visiting speaker.

Odessa Owens - Senior Tutor

Odessa Owens has worked in publishing for over a decade, making award-winning books for Te Papa Press until 2015, when she joined the Whitireia Publishing programme. In 2016 she was the convening judge of the PANZ Book Design Awards, and she was one of the judges of the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

Theresa Crewdson - Tutor

Theresa Crewdson completed the Diploma in Publishing in 2006 and the Editing Masterclass in 2012. She worked at Lift Education for nearly a decade and is now a freelance editor for both local and international clients.

Screen Production staff


Bret Nichols - Tutor

Bret is a professional director of photography, producer, writer, and digital video editor. He has been involved in the production of documentaries, short films, music video, tv commercials, feature films, and online videos. He has many years of experience in all these areas and roles, specialising in camera and editing. Bret started in the industry as a photographer, camera assistant, and assistant film editor and worked his way up through these departments to become a fully trained Director of Photography (DOP) and Editor. He has also spent over four years as a film tutor at the Waikato Polytechnic (now Wintec), tutoring a degree course and setting up a digital video editing and motion graphics design tutoring lab.



Mark Jackson - Tutor

Mark has worked for Whitireia since 2012, prior to that he was involved with the NZ Film School. Mark is both tutor and technical support, his area of expertise is in editing.

Te Auaha Staff

 Mick Jayes - Head of School

Michel (Mick) Jays - Head of School (HOS), Creative and Hospitality

MPP Hospitality and Tourism, D. Business (Management), City & Guilds 706/1 & 706/2 (Cookery & Culinary Arts)

Mick began his career in tertiary education in 1990 and has developed significant experience and knowledge of the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnic (ITP) sector from teaching, administration, and management perspectives, across a number of discipline areas, culminating in this current position as Head of School – Creative and Hospitality for the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) and Whitireia Community Polytechnic. His specialist subject area is management, which he has practised within different contexts with a focus on sustainability, strategic management, organisational behaviour, marketing, and operations management.

Aside from his teaching experience, Mick has been involved in research projects and activities resulting in presentation and publication of research in peer reviewed forums in relation to customer expectations and perceptions of service, management and leadership skills for industry, industry views on vocational education and training, and multi-dimensional scaling of tourist accommodation preferences and choices.>

Mick’s years prior to 1990 were spent in the hospitality industry, working in the food & beverage and accommodation sectors in Auckland and Wellington, including three years of self-employment as the proprietor of a restaurant.

Brenda Saris - Programme Manager, Creative and Performing Arts

PhD, MPhil, MDes, Dip VCD

Brenda’s career began with art direction and graphic design roles; she has over twenty years’ experience in the design and advertising industries in the UK, Holland and New Zealand. Her experience as an all-round creative meant she was able to support the strategic initiatives of corporate clients, retailers, manufacturers, and high-profile service industries alike.

Following completion of her MDes in 2010, Brenda worked as a lecturer at AUT, then moved to Whitireia in 2012. Brenda’s teaching within the Creative Technologies programmes centred on enabling students to transition into a commercial context, with a focus on the nexus between typography and illustration for brand identity purposes. Brenda has been in the role of programme manager for Whitireia and Weltec since early 2019.

Brenda gained her PhD in 2020, her overarching research interests lie within sociocultural and historic contexts of creativity, creative design process learning, and transnational education.

Marietta, Operations Manager for Creative and Hospitality

Marietta Foote - Operations Manager, Creative and Hospitality

NZ Dip in Hospitality 

Marietta has a background in Education Administration Management, she worked for EIT Hawkes Bay for 28 years as an Administration Manager.  She was appointed as enrolment advisor for the School of Creative and Hospitality Whitireia in April 2016, moving to Senior Enrolment Advisor and now Operations Manager for the Creative and Hospitality School.

Marietta’s role as Operations Manager is to oversee and manage all administration requirements across the School of Creative and Hospitality.  She also chairs the School’s achievement committee meetings and has responsibility for managing the five administration staff.

Veronica Harwood, Administration for Te Auaha

Verónica (Vero) Harwood - Administrator Creative 

Public Relations  

Verόnica (Vero) began working at Whitireia in 2009 across different campuses and areas including: Foundation Studies, Performing Arts, Radio and Journalism. When the new Te Auaha Campus opened in the city, Vero worked her magic as a host, welcoming and helping with enquires about the new campus, the venues, courses, gallery, and the building itself.

At the beginning of 2020, Vero was appointed administrator for the CT and Music programmes. In this role, Vero is key to ensuring the smooth running of these programmes, and helps to facilitate contact between students, tutors, and the programme manager. If you have any enquiries, she is always ready and happy to help. For any students that speak Spanish, Vero hails from Chile, so she loves any opportunity to speak her native tongue.

Bianca Aquino - Administrator Creative

BSc Biology, C. Foundational Skills

Bianca has a background in Marine Zoology and worked as a Research Assistant in the Philippines. During that time, she was also working remotely as an administrator for companies based overseas. When her family decided that it was time to start a new chapter in New Zealand, she eagerly went with them and started fresh.

Before finishing a course at WelTec Petone, she got recommended for a fixed-term role as a Host/Administrator at Te Auaha. With her love for the arts in mind, she applied without hesitation and got accepted. After a few months, Bianca was offered a permanent position as an administrator who mainly looks after the Media, Literature, and Performing Arts programmes. You can always count on Bianca to lend a helping hand with a smile on her face.

Karen Harris - Administrator/Host, Cosmetology

Karen has been working for Whitireia and Weltec since 2003. She has been involved in the hairdressing industry since her early twenties, having previously owned a salon, rented a chair, worked as an off-job co-ordinator, and tutored hairdressing apprentices for the past three years. This has given Karen a great understanding of the creative industry in which we work in.

At the beginning of 2022 Karen decided to help out the administrative team at Te Auaha with her skills. Karen is thoroughly enjoying her new role and assisting tutors with admin help within the cosmetology team.

Karen is very enthusiastic about her role but she also enjoys travelling and socializing with family and friends.

Linda Smillie, Operations Officer

Linda Smillie – Operations Officer, Creative and Hospitality

BA, Psychology (Macquarie University, Sydney)

Linda started working at Te Auaha campus in February 2020 after various administration roles in education/research organisations, originally arriving from Sydney, Australia in July 2005.

Linda’s role as Operations Officer is to assist the Operations Manager, provide support to the Head of School as needed, and to help with any operational and administrative tasks required at Te Auaha and Cuba Street campuses. She also compiles minutes for the school’s Achievement Committee meetings, and the school’s Board of Studies Committee meetings.

With her love of fine dining at very reasonable prices, Linda has been a devoted supporter of the Hospitality campus’ “Bistro 52”, since 2006 (when the Bistro restaurant was based at Petone). Plus, she has been a long-term client of WelTec’s hairdressing services, since 2011. For many years, Linda has enjoyed attending musical theatre and dance performances, concerts, plays and tribute artist/band shows.

As a lover of all things within the creative industry, Linda appreciates working with and assisting the creative and hospitality staff, students and visitors at both campuses.

Te Wānanga Māori

Ngā Toi 

Music tutor, Rick Cranson

Rick Cranson - Tutor

BMus (Jazz) 

Rick has over 26 years of experience teaching music at a variety of levels including drum tuition from year one (five years old) through to year 13 in the secondary sector. Rick has taught at NZSM Jazz School and is currently at Whitireia Polytechnic where for the past 14 years he has taught on programmes from level four to level seven. As a performer and recording artist, some of his more notable work includes Little Bushman, Auckland PhilharmoniaNZSO, Trinity Roots, Damian Dempsey, The Woods, Fire Waltz, The Tyson Smith Group, Darren Watson band. Rick also appears with many Wellington based ensembles lead by artists such as James Illingworth, Jeff Henderson trio and Johnathan Crayford. Currently Rick performs at many NZ summer festivals and also abroad in various ensembles and bands. Currently Rick’s main project is as drummer and composer for KITASOUNDZ.


Writing for Creative Industries 

Anna Taylor - Writing for Creative Industries tutor

Anna Taylor - Tutor 

MA (Creative Writing)

Anna’s first book ‐ Relief, a collection of short stories – won Best First Book of Fiction at the 2010 NZ Post Book Awards. The first draft of Relief, which was awarded the Adam Prize in Creative Writing in 2006, was written during her MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University's IIML.

Anna was the recipient of the 2009 Todd Writer’s Bursary and a Sargeson Fellowship in 2012, where she was writer in residence at the Frank Sargeson Centre in Auckland. Her work has been published in Hue and Cry, Sport, Turbine, The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories, and the German language edition of Some Other Country.

Donna Banicevich Gera

Donna Banicevich-Gera - Senior Tutor

MA (Creative Writing)

Donna’s work has been produced for radio, page, stage, and screen, with her stage plays being presented in New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Austria, the USA, and Alaska. She has had several overseas artist residencies, and attended many offshore workshops, seminars, and conferences, enabling her to acquire knowledge and write outside her New Zealand framework.

Donna has written a trilogy of plays based on Croatian immigration into New Zealand: Anton’s Women, Land without Sundays, and Tarara Child. Two scripts My Name is Ruhi (which premièred at Waikato Museum), and Burn, have been developed using oral history interviews. She currently writes a bi‐monthly column for PANZ (Playwrights Association of New Zealand), and is presently researching storytelling and scriptwriting in business.

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