Our People

Meet some of our national team

We also have regional managers, site managers, site administration staff and many amazing tutors working across 30+ sites around Aotearoa

Te Koruru
- National Governing Body of Literacy Aotearoa

Te Koruru (the National Governing Body) is responsible for establishing policy and monitoring the effectiveness of the organisation. Te Tumuaki (CEO) is an ex officio member of Te Koruru, and is responsible for the management of the national organisation.

Norm McKenzie

Te Koruru Member (Joint Chairperson)
Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa

Norm has successfully led small, medium and large sales and marketing organisations in New Zealand (NZ) and the United Kingdom (UK). He has extensive experience with over 30 years in high level leadership. He has excellent skills in governance and leadership at finance, sales and marketing senior management levels in NZ and the UK, and is experienced with private, public and not for profit environments. Norm has delivered small business management programmes and is active with business coaching. Norm is currently a trustee of the Kahukuraariki Trust Board (representing descendants of his iwi, Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa). He is also a board member of De Paul House; ADC Properties; Automatic Data Capture Systems Limited; Ngati Kahu Social and Health Services Trust; the Community Impact Forum and Te Runanga o Whaingaroa; Norm has led small, medium and large sales and marketing organisations in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Norm is also co-chair of Te Tai Tokerau Māori Party electorate.

Howard Fancy

Te Koruru Member (Joint Chairperson)

Howard brings to Te Koruru extensive governance, management and public sector experiences. He has successfully led major policy reforms and organisational changes. He has worked closely with a diverse range of community and population groups. His public sector experiences include roles as the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry for the Environment. Prior to these roles he was a Deputy Secretary in the Treasury Since leaving the public sector Howard’s roles have included being a Director of Cognition Education Ltd, Executive Director of Motu Economic and Public Policy Research institute and a Trustee of Arts Access Aotearoa. Through his own company he has provided advisory services for organisations in the public, private and international sectors. Howard joined Te Koruru in 2017 and from January 2019 to June 2023 was the Kaiwhakahaere (Tauiwi). Howard holds a M.Comm (Hons) in economics and BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from the University of Canterbury. In 2007 he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for public services.

Jenny Solomon

Te Kaiwhakahaere Māori
Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa

Jenny Solomon Jenny’s early career focused on corporate learning and development culminating in her managing Westpac Australia’s Registered Training Organisation (RTO). On her return to Aotearoa, she co-owned the highly successful Māori Private Training Establishment – Solomon Group. This kaupapa Māori organisation was fully Government funded to support the South and East Auckland communities and Northland with particular focus on Māori, Pasifika and rangatahi. Solomon Group held long-standing contracts with TEC, MSD and MOE including as the largest provider of the Youth Transition Service and delivering successful Work Placement and Literacy programmes. Since 2018, Jenny has moved into governance and consulting roles. Through these Jenny helps organisations to develop in areas such as people strategies, learning and development, governance, strategy, innovation, and cultural competence. She is passionate about achieving social outcomes and equality in Aotearoa and currently serves as a Trustee on five Boards that focus on these kaupapa. She holds an EMBA with Honours (Massey University).

Tania Anderson

Te Koruru Member

Ko Tania Anderson tokū ingoa, ko pākeha ahau. I tipu ake au ki Tauranga Moana. Kei Whanganui-a-tara ahau e noho ana. She works in systems informed participatory design and Developmental Evaluation, with a background in programme and change management. She brings together these diverse skills and approaches to all things social innovation, to work in culturally grounded, trauma informed participatory practices for change in the disability support system, homelessness, mental health distress and addictions, family and sexual violence. She is also lived experience leader within the mental health and addictions sector, engaging her and her whānau’s experiences to support change for social justice and wellbeing outcomes. She believes that compassion, evidence and participatory practice is key to co-creating change and making a real difference with people. Driving to address equity, wellbeing and achieving system change with those who have historically been excluded.

Emily Vaka'uta

Te Koruru Member

Emily is the Chief Financial Officer at Springload Ltd, a chartered accountant and holds degrees in both a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration and Bachelor of Tourism. Emily has over 20 years experience in financial services with over 10 years spent in hedge funds leading teams across both medium and large (local and global) organisations. She is passionate about creating pathways for our Māori and Pasifika young people in order for them to achieve success.

Don Mann

Kaiwhakahere Tauiwi
Ngāti Ruapani ki Waikaremoana, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa and Neiafu, Vava’u, Tonga

Don Mann was born and raised in West Auckland, one of five sons to Don Mann snr and Elaine Mann (nee Hema). Don’s whakapapa is Ngāti Ruapani ki Waikaremoana and Ngāti Kahungungu ki Wairoa through his mother Elaine. Don is Tongan through his father Don Mann snr who emigrated to NZ from Neiafu, Vava’u in 1947. Don is married to Louise, an experienced executive with the NZ Police. Don and Louise live in South Auckland with their daughters Sarah and Olivia. Don is the Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Media Network, a public media broadcaster whose mission is to empower, encourage and nurture Pacific cultural identity and economic prosperity in Aotearoa. Don’s leadership roles across the public and private sector include; CEO of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation, Head of Commercial Partnerships at Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED), General Manager of the NZ Warriors NRL franchise. Don joined the NZ Police at the age of 20, serving 13 years that included eight years as a Detective with the Auckland Criminal Investigation Branch. Don is a graduate of Massey University, a Certified Company Director and a member of the Institute of Directors. Don also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Sky City Auckland Community Trust, The Rising Foundation and is an executive committee member of the NZ Tonga Business Council.

Executive team

Dr Claire McGowan

Tumuaki /CEO


Chief Operating Officer

David Gin

Chief Financial Officer

Chris Richardson

National Cluster Manager

Support Office staff

Delivery Team

Lucy Wratten
National Business Services Coordinator
Bruce George
National Curriculum Manager
Brenda Munro
Compliance and Information Liaison
Brent Barclay-Jones
National Business Development Coordinator
Ada Zaragoza Pena
Training Coordinator
Helen Oakes
National Training Facilitator
Garland Tonihi
National Training Facilitator

Finance and Business Support Systems Team

Julie Davis
Finance Manager
Iris Niu
Office Administrator and Receptionist
Takavee Thanluengtong
Junior Accounts Assistant
Jayran Mansouri
National Administrator

Strategic EngagementTeam

Manogi Tavelia
Priorities Engagement Facilitator
Mick Wheeler
National Business Development Coordinator
Stephanie Spraggon
National Outcomes and Quality Coordinator
Lynn Cumming
National ITO Coordinator and National Outcomes and Quality Coordinator
Roohi Faizal
Policy Analyst