New appointment to Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s Council

Mr Te Puni has been appointed to the University Council for a four-year term beginning 1 January 2021. He replaces Dr Farib Sos, who completes his second term as a Council member at the end of this month.

Mr Te Puni has held a number of senior management roles across a broad range of sectors. He is the Kaiwhakahaere Matua for Te Āhuru Mōwai, a Ngāti Toa-led initiative that delivers social housing in the Porirua/Tawa area, and has been the Chair of Barnardos NZ since 2015. His previous roles include Chief Executive of the Hurricanes and Wellington Rugby, and General Manager Māori at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Mr Te Puni’s appointment brings the total number of Māori members on the Council to four, alongside Cath Nesus (Ngāti Porou), Rhianna Morar (Ngāti Porou, Te Arawa), and Tiana Jakicevich (Ngāti Kahungunu, Whakatōhea, Tūhoe), who begins her term on 1 January 2021.

Chancellor Neil Paviour-Smith said Mr Te Puni’s appointment reflects his knowledge, talent and experience, which will be an asset to the University Council.

“James is also an alumnus, has spent his career in Wellington, has important relationships within iwi, commercial and NGO sectors, and has previously served as an external member on the University’s Te Aka Matua Committee, and MBA Advisory Committee.

“I am delighted to welcome James to the University Council, and greatly look forward to his contribution to the Council.”