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.

Stewart Doherty - Tutor

Stewart Doherty - Tutor

NZ Certificate in Automotive Engineering, NZ Certificate in Tertiary Learning and Teaching

Stewart has been at WelTec since 2014 after coming to us from the industry where he completed an apprenticeship in 1995. He then worked as an automotive engineer working on light vehicles, forklifts, and construction equipment. He has also worked as a service advisor, workshop foreman, workshop controller, service, manager, and fleet manager.

His love of automotive started at a young age which saw him carrying out his own motorcycle maintenance on his motocross bikes, encouraged by his father who was a mechanic who ran a motorcycle repair business from home.

He enjoys working with and teaching young people and seeing them develop and go home feeling successful.

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.

Carl Donaldson - Tutor

Stuart Henderson - Tutor

Advanced Trade Certification in Automotive Engineering, Diploma in Tertiary Teaching

Initially, working on cars was a hobby Stuart did with his friends, but after finding he really enjoyed it, he decided to turn it into a career by pursuing an apprenticeship. He honed his skills, gained invaluable experience and entered the industry, where he went on to accumulate 20 years of experience working with Jaguar, Rolls Royce, BMW, Porsche, and American cars.

He has worked at WelTec since 1998 and enjoys passing his knowledge and experience onto students, then getting to work with them over the years as they work through their apprenticeship.

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.

Adrian Gardiner - Tutor

Diploma Engineering Management UK, Certified Automotive Engineer NZ & UK

Adrian has been working at WelTec since 2012, after working in the industry in both NZ and the UK. His love of the industry started at age 8 after Denny Hulme brought a race car to a calf day at school. He really enjoys working with students and watching them progress through to getting their qualification.

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

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.

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.

Mike Robinson - Tutor

BDes

Mike completed a BDes (Hons) at Massey University majoring in Visual Communication Design and Digital Media in 2013. He has since been working as a freelance designer and artist in areas spanning illustration, ceramics, graphic design, web design, costume design, sound design and sculpture. Much of his work has been based in central China in the last three years where he has been teaching design courses for various institutions. He has a keen interest in mixing technologies both old and new and brings this multidisciplinary approach to all his teaching and personal practice.

Adrian McCleland - Tutor

PGDip FA, Dip VCD

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.

Alice Moore - Tutor

BDes

Alice is currently leading Te Auaha’s China projects and has extensive experience developing tailored courses for the unique cultural context of China. She is a passionate teacher of visual communication design, encouraging students to discover and develop their own distinct critically informed creative practice.

Alice is a multidisciplinary designer who works across illustration, motion design, animation, publication design and typography. Her work employs both hand and digital techniques and seeks to impart meaningful messages – it is playful and curious to sustain imaginative creative thought and thinking.

 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

BDes

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.

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.

 

Dr Trang Do IT tutor

Dr Trang Do - Tutor

Dr Trang Do is an enthusiastic lecturer and a scientist in Machine Learning, Data Analytics, Digital Integrated Circuit design and Video Codecs. She earned her B.Eng. degree in Information Technology, her M.Sc. degree in Information Processing and Communications, and her Ph.D. degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the National University of Singapore. Before she joined W&W in 2020, she was a lecturer in the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam and a scientist in the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore. Her current interests focus on data analytics and health informatics. She has published extensively in international journals and conference proceedings.

 

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. 

Robert Sutcliffe IT tutor

Robert Sutcliffe - Tutor

Robert Sutcliffe has taught at Whitireia & WelTec for the past 20 years. An experienced networking engineer, and qualified in IS management, Robert’s teaching focuses on project management and coordinating the Bachelor’s Capstone Projects – the projects that students complete in their last year. He encourages out-of-the-box thinking in designing solutions to real-world problems, often using humour and personal anecdotes f to illustrate concepts so students can understand easily.

Adrian Hargreaves IT tutor

Adrian Hargreaves  - Tutor

Adrian has been interested in data science for the last decade, particularly around using data visualisation techniques to tell a narrative with data. An expert of R Studio, a sophisticated statistical programming and visualisation tool, he shares his expertise in the Applied Data Science major. Adrian has extensive industry experience in New Zealand and the UK using Oracle DBMS. During his time at Whitireia, he has developed his expertise in SQL Server Management Studio, MS Analysis Services, MS Reporting Services and MS Integration Services.

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.

Dr Waqar Khan IT tutor

Dr Waqar Khan - Tutor

Dr. Waqar has a Bachelor with honours in Computer Science, a Master’s in Computer Software Engineering, and a PhD in Computer Science. He’s an experienced software development tutor and specialises in the delivery of game development and machine learning courses. Dr. Waqar has published extensively in the areas of machine learning and computer vision. He has been a member of the Centre for Robotics & Vision research group at AUT, and is actively involved in postgraduate research supervision at W&W.

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 Diane Strode IT tutor

Dr Diane Strode - Tutor

Diane teaches courses in the Bachelor of Information Technology, supervises Master’s thesis research projects, and coordinates and teaches courses in the Master of Information Technology for the Wellington ICT Graduate School. From March 2020, she will be a visiting Research Fellow at the Open University in the United Kingdom. Diane has teaching experience at Regensburg Technical University in Germany and Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. Her expertise is in Agile Software Development, Agile Project Management, systems and Software Modelling, Requirements Analysis, and System Testing. Diane’s research focuses on information systems development and the impact of agile software development on projects, teams, and organisations.

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.

Dr Drew Duncan IT tutor

Drew Duncan - Tutor

Drew started his IT training career in the UK as an MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) teaching Microsoft technologies back in 1999. After emigrating to NZ in 2007 the move from industry to the tertiary education sector also saw the addition of Cisco networking from 2011 when he joined WelTec.

With a Masters in Networking and Systems Administration combined with a passion for teaching he loves nothing more than seeing what can be achieved with the right support and encouragement. Drew’s advocacy for students and staff alike has only been strengthened by his appointment to the role of WelTec Branch President for the TEU (Tertiary Education Union).

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.

Komal Sorthiya IT tutor

Komal Sorthiya - Tutor

My self Komal Sorthiya, originally from India where I completed my Bachelor's and Master's in Computer Science era. After that I gained Industrial experience by working as a Project Lead in a software-based company in India. I started my journey in New Zealand in 2018 by initiating a research course into the domain of Artificial Intelligence particularly in Artificial Neural Networks. Along with my research here in New Zealand, I worked as a Lecturer in Christchurch and New Plymouth based Educational Institutes for four years. My area of expertise lies into Software Development which can involve varied programming languages mainly C, C++, Java, Web Programming , .NET, Android/IOS, Matlab and so forth.
Along with all these expertise and experiences, I give my best to my teaching profession as I believe in "I don't Just Teach, but I Touch the Future".

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.


Jay Harris - Mechanical Engineering Tutor

Jay Harris

City and Guild in Fabrication Engineering and Welding

Jay has been at WelTec for the last 3 years after arriving in NZ eight years ago, bringing with him extensive industry knowledge which all began when as a 15 year old he was on a youth training scheme in Bradford and he hasn’t looked back since.


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.

Atu - Mechanical Engineering Tutor

Atu Vaka

Diploma in Education (L6) TIOE Tonga, Training and Assessment (L4) APTC/TIST/Tonga, Engineering Fabrication Trade (L3) APTC-NUS/Apia Samoa, Trade Certificate Mechanical Engineering (L4) TIST/Tonga, Trade Certificate General Engineering & Construction (L4) TIST/Tonga

Atu has been in New Zealand since 2018 and with WelTec since February 2022 after previously working in Mechanical Engineering for Kiwirail at the Hutt Workshops.

He started out early on doing welding and mechanical work where he gained skills and experience in Mechanical Engineering for 14 years in Tonga, he enjoys helping students by sharing his skills and knowledge that he has gained along the way, and he believes you shouldn’t give up doing good things where you go or whatever you do.

Stephen Hainsworth - Mechanical Engineering Tutor

Stephen Hainsworth

Advanced Trade Toolmaking

Stephen qualified as an advanced toolmaker in 1978 spending five years as an apprentice at Southward Engineering in Lower Hutt and has gained industry experience as press toolmaker, specification engineer, production engineer, engineer manger and a plastics toolmaker making up a fabulous 40 years of experience.

He has been teaching at WelTec for 12 years and enjoys passing on his extensive industry skills to students which relate to his interest in automotive and mechanical engineering, he has a keen interest in vintage cards, airplanes and machinery along with model airplanes, model engineering and local history.

Music Staff

Music tutor Gloria Hildred

Gloria Hildred - Tutor  

BAppA Music

Gloria has worked in various fields of education and the music industry for over 20 years, playing with Kiwi artists including Jools Topp (Topp Twins) Brendan Power, Rodger Fox and the late Mahinarangi Tocker. She has also worked with NZ theatre groups such as Red Mole, Not Broadcast Quality and Magdalena Aotearoa in live sound production, event management, set building and performance. She has 30 years experience in a diverse range of businesses as a manager, director and sole trader. As a bass player, Gloria has played with The Kapiti Coast Big Band (jazz), Mtown (Motown covers), The John O’Connor Experiment and continues to play in various bands focusing on originals. She has been teaching and tutoring since 1992, and is a BAppA (Music) graduate of Whitireia.

Music Tutor Phil Hornblow

Phil Hornblow - Senior Tutor 

BMus, Amus T.C.L.

Phil has worked in the Recording/Music industry for over 25 years. He owns and manages a music production studio, producing music across a wide range of genres including recording work with the NZSO and various classical choral ensembles, radio and television commercials, production work with singer-songwriters and bands and educational audio resources. He is also an arranger and keyboard player for the Dave Feehan Band and does recording work as a session player. Phil is a committed educator with 14 years’ experience teaching on the Whitireia music programme.

Music tutor Daniel Adams

Daniel Adams - Tutor   

BMus, BA, DipTeach

Daniel Adams is a leading researcher of the arts at Te Auaha. He has presented papers at Arts and Humanities conferences in Brighton, UK and in Venice, Italy, and at the Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference in Launceston, Tasmania. Daniel’s Master’s thesis Crawford, On The Hill, By The Sea (2022) involved interviewing former inmates and staff of Mt Crawford Prison on Te Motu Kairangi Miramar Peninsula and representing those lived experiences in sound, song, music and video.

Daniel has composed, performed and toured work with the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of The Arts, Wellington Fringe Festival, Wellington Jazz Festival, Tauranga Arts Festival and Hamilton ‘Fuel’ Festival. His wide research interests encompass songwriting, audiovisual composition, community formation, penal reform and transgressive artistry.

Music tutor, Lisa Tomlins

Lisa Tomlins - Tutor

Lisa has 30-plus years in the music industry as a backing vocalist and lead singer/songwriter with Fat Freddy’s Drop, Shapeshifter, Michael Parmenter, Hollie Smith and Neil Finn, to name a few and currently with, Lord Echo, LAB and Rhombus, is also a judge for Smokefree Rockquest, MC and music mentor.

Music Tutor, Sandy Cairns James

Sandy Cairns-James - Tutor

BA Jazz, MA Ed, PG Dip (Singing Teaching)

Sandy Cairns-James is a vocal coach and educator in the music department of Whitireia and Weltec NZ. Sandy's musical career started at a young age as the lead singer in original and local rock bands. In the music department, Sandy specialises in voice coaching and in more recent time's academic papers. Her singing career and knowledge has facilitated in developing a reliable and comprehensive vocal programme. To achieve her own goals in education, she has acquired a Jazz Performance under-graduate degree, a Post-graduate diploma in singing teaching, and an MA in Education. The educational pathway has enhanced Sandy's teaching abilities and given her the necessary tools to achieve success. The topic of interest for her MA in Education was to explore sport psychology methods and how these might transfer into voice training. The Whitireia Journal of Nursing, Healthy and Social Services Issue 26 2019 has published the findings of this thesis.

With a musical career spanning over 25 years as the lead singer in original and local rock bands. With a Jazz Performance undergraduate degree, and her MA in Education which was to explore sport psychology methods and how these might transfer into voice training.

Sandy's motivation is to see all students reach their full potential both academically and in the music industry.

Music Tutor Johnny Lawrence

Johnny Lawrence - Tutor

Dip. Jazz Performance

Jonny is a professional guitar/bass player who has worked extensively abroad in the Caribbean, Thailand and the USA and he brings 17 years of professional musicianship with him. When back on home soil Jonny regularly tutors and leads local soul/funk band Pyramids, funk/fusion band Hoonhunters and the electric duo Ugly Disco. He also plays bass for Eva Lankum and continues playing on cruise ships as time permits.

 Marino Karena Music Tutor

Marino Karena - Tutor 

BAppA Music  

Having been raised at Ratana, Marino Karena began his music career at the age of eight, in the Ratana Brass Band. He has been working in the music industry for over 30 years, and in that time has played with or supported Herbs, Dalvanius Prime, Māori Volcanics, Roger Fox, Jenny Morrison, Adijah and Midge Marsden to name a few. Marino has been teaching for the last 20 years preparing students for employment in the music industry. He is highly proficient in a variety of music genres ranging from Rock, Blues, Reggae, RnB, to contemporary and has dexterity for teaching across all age groups and is an active band member himself, singing and playing guitar, bass, and trombone.

Music tutor, Tyson Smith 

Tyson Smith - Tutor

Dip. Jazz Performance

Tyson performs as a guitarist in a range of genres from blues, jazz and funk gigs to TV and Theatre productions including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and was guitarist with singer Hollie Smith for many years. He has also been an itinerant guitar tutor at high schools around Wellington. He has produced various albums, including 2 under his own name. He regularly performs around New Zealand festivals and venues as a solo act or in various ensembles including psychedelic rock group The Electrons. 

Music tutor, Rick Cranson

Rick Cranson - Tutor

BMus (Jazz) 

Rick has 18 years of experience teaching. Some of his work includes Little Bushman, Auckland Philharmonia, NZSO, Trinity Roots, The Tyson Smith Group, Darren Watson, The James Illingworth Trio, Jeff Henderson and Johnathan Crayford. Currently Rick plays around the country in various ensembles and bands and is drummer/composer for KITA.

Music - DJ and Electronic Music Production 

Music Tutor, Tom Scrase 

Tom Scrase - Tutor

Tom has established himself as one of Aotearoa’s leading drummers – performing with he likes of dDub, Corrella, and in New Zealand’s premier percussion ensemble Strike! Percussion. He has taught throughout New Zealand in workshops, masterclasses, and itinerant teaching for over 20 years and is excited to be part of the Whitireia whanau.

Creating sound design for dance, film and installation, Tom’s creative outlet – Aotūroa – sees elements of ambient, textural soundscapes blended with complex and hypnotic rhythms and field recordings. Continuing with a regular performance schedule as a session drummer, Tom also makes and plays Taonga Pūoro, which forms a major part of his live ambient performances.

Having performed at major festivals (Rhythm & Vines, New Zealand Festival, Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival) with commissions for the 2018 Commonwealth Games (Gold Coast), Tom has a wealth of knowledge to inspire the next generation of creators and performers.

 

Lucas Zaner - Tutor

BoC Performing Arts (Music)

Lucas is a Wellington based DJ, musician, and performer. After completing his bachelor's degree in music, he continued to develop his audio production which has since been featured on international electronic music platforms including EDM Movement, Drop Nation, and Digital High. 

Lucas has been involved in various roles throughout the Wellington performance community with highlights including sound and lighting design for exhibitions at the Te Auaha gallery, performances at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, and performances involving members of the Royal Family Dance Crew.

 

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. 

Tess Jamieson Performing Arts Tutor

Tess Jamieson - Tutor

Karaha BPA

Tess gained a BPA from Toi Whakaari in 2010 and has worked as a professional actress in the TV, film, theatre and radio industry since. 

Her many credits include Seed by Elisabeth Easther at Circa in 2015, the feature film How to Meet Girls from a Distance in 2014, Pop Up Pantomime by Geraldine Brophy in 2016, and playing Beth in the internationally successful web series Potluck by Ness Simons. Potluck gained six nominations worldwide including the United Kingdom and Dublin webfest and has been picked up by TVNZ On Demand, Kinda T.V and Revry. Her solo show Please help yourself was picked up by Radio New Zealand and transcribed for radio in 2012. 

Tess produced, wrote and performed in her short film Coffee Group which was nominated for an online audience award as part of the Promofest Short of the Year competition in 2016. She is currently producing her next film project, a web series called burnt chops. She is a regular voice over artist for New Zealand Media and Entertainment, school journals and Clemenger BBDO. 

Paula van Beek - Performing Arts Tutor

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. 

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

Corey Levaillant 

BA Theatre, G.Dip. Film and Television, BSc Ecology and Biodiversity, C. NZ Film and Television

Corey is a producer, director, 1st AD, and tertiary-level tutor in production and assistant directing. He has worked behind the scenes across a wide range of fields, including natural history and documentary, television, short and feature films and live theatre and performance. He is Secretary of the Wellington Branch of the Screen Industry Guild of Aotearoa, New Zealand, and a member of the Directors and Editors Guild of New Zealand.

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.

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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