How you can contribute as a TEI council member

How you can contribute as a TEI council member

Last updated 22 December 2021
Last updated 22 December 2021

This page sets out the value and importance of being a member of a tertiary education institution (TEI) council. It tells you how you can be appointed and what skills and experience you need.

Why you should consider being a council member

Being a TEI council member is an opportunity to provide leadership in a sector that is vital to New Zealand’s future. It is a chance to help guide an educational provider to be the best it can be, helping to ensure that New Zealanders have the knowledge and skills they need for lifelong success. 

How are council members appointed?

The Minister responsible for tertiary education is responsible for appointing three to four members of each council. All other council members are appointed by the council in accordance with its own arrangements.

We look for suitable candidates to be council members of TEIs and manage the appointment process on behalf of the Minister.

We look for people with the right blend of skills and experience to make a significant contribution to the institution and the wider community.

What skills and experience do council members need?

To be eligible for appointment, council members need:

  • experience in governance
  • strategic financial and/or business management skills
  • a commitment to education and the community served by their institution.

They may also need some additional specific skills for a particular council vacancy due to its composition, performance, strategic direction, or as prioritised by the Minister.

See TEI council members: Framework for selection infosheet (PDF, 642 Kb)

Diversity of council members

The Government has an expectation that Crown entities have councils that are representative of the diversity and demographic make-up of New Zealand, including gender, ethnicity, age and geographic location.

Profiles of some current council members

Simon Graafhuis

Simon Graafhuis, council member, University of Waikato

Simon Graafhuis has been a ministerial appointee on the University of Waikato’s council since December 2014. He is also a member of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Simon’s experience is in finance, system implementations and organisational change. Since 2008, he has been the Chief Financial Officer of the Gallagher Group. This privately-owned Waikato company has a very global focus with many overseas subsidiaries and exports to 130 countries. 

Simon is an alumnus of the University of Waikato, where he gained a Bachelor of Management Studies in Accounting and Finance. He is member of both the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand and the Institute of Directors. He has a number of local governance roles, including being a ministerial appointee to the establishment board for the new Rototuna Junior and Senior High Schools in Hamilton.

Simon says being on the University of Waikato’s council has allowed him to put something back into an organisation and community that has given him so many opportunities. It has also provided a great opportunity to learn and engage with other members and university executives from a variety of backgrounds and occupations.

Jackie Llyod image

Jackie Lloyd (right) congratulates new WelTec graduate Roopinder Kaur at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington.

Jackie Lloyd was appointed by the Minister to the WelTec Whitireia Combined council in July 2015.

“Along with safeguarding the sustainability of our organisations going forward, I see my role as ensuring our institutions have in place an environment and culture that is safe, and one where staff and students are supported.” 

Jackie is an independent director and business advisor with a background in human resources, management and leadership. Her interest in the relationship between human behaviour and business performance led Jackie through an executive career as a global human resources director for the New Zealand Dairy Board and NZMP Fonterra, to consulting and on to governance.  

In addition to her role on the Combined Council, Jackie is Chair of the Wellington Museums Trust, Deputy Chair of the NZ Post Group, Chair of the State Services Commission’s Risk and Audit Committee and a trustee of the Lion Foundation. Jackie is a member of Global Women and a chartered member of the Institute of Directors.

Bronwyn Yates, Te Tumaki, Literacy Aotearoa

Bronwyn Yates, Te Tumaki, Literacy Aotearoa

Bronwyn Yates , QSM (Te Arawa, Ngāti Maniapoto, Te Aitanga ā Mahaki, and Rongowhakaata) has been a Ministerial appointee of NorthTec’s council since December 2015.

Bronwyn is the Te Tumuaki (Chief Executive) of Literacy Aotearoa and has been a Ministerial appointee of NorthTec’s Council since December 2015.

Bronwyn has worked in the field of adult and community education for 30 years and has a particular interest in education as a vehicle for excellence for te iwi Māori. As an experienced adult literacy and ACE practitioner, she continues to promote, support and lead efforts to build capacity and excellence in the adult literacy and adult education sectors.

Bronwyn was a foundation Trustee of Workbase and a founding Executive member of Adult and Community Education (ACE) Aotearoa; is a founding and current member of the Adult and Community Sector Strategic Alliance and the Literacy Alliance; currently co-Chair of the Māori Education Trust; member of the NorthTec council and Trustee for Hui E! Community Aotearoa.  She is a past and current member of many tertiary sector advisory and working groups, as well as a long-standing volunteer and donor for a few charities.  Bronwyn was awarded a Queen's Service Medal in 2003 in recognition of her public service.

As a member of NorthTec’s council, Bronwyn is interested in ensuring that the educational strategies adopted by the Polytech are underpinned by sound business and financial strategies.  With Deputy Chair Wayne Jackson, she enjoyed presenting draft concepts of the proposed strategic plan to staff at their recent conference.  She was impressed and assured by the enthusiastic participation of staff who identified critical aspects of educational priority and capability development. With contributions from other key stakeholders, NorthTec Council is committed to set the strategic direction that will strengthen its future contributions to Northland and Te Tai Tokerau.

How can I apply to be a council member?

We welcome applications or nominations from people who consider they have the appropriate skills and experience to become a TEI council member.

If you would like to register your interest in being a TEI council member, or wish to nominate someone please send a curriculum vitae to:

Minister of Education
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6011


The Tertiary Education Commission
PO Box 27-048
Wellington 6141

or email 

As we seek nominations from a range of sources, an application or nomination may not result in an appointment.

Note: It is a general Cabinet policy that public servants are not appointed to statutory boards and other public bodies in which the Crown has an interest, however appointments of public servants may be made under special circumstances.

Further details can be found in the Cabinet Office circular CO (02) 5 – Appointment of Public Servants to Statutory Boards.

Cabinet Office Circular CO (02) 5 – Appointment of Public Servants to Statutory Boards

The Treasury’s board appointment system

One of the sources we use to find suitable candidates for TEI councils is the Treasury’s board appointment system.

By searching the Treasury’s database for particular skills and attributes, we can identify candidates for specific appointments, so it is important that all candidates ensure their record is complete and up to date. We also use the database for maintaining TEI council membership records.

If you would like to be considered for appointment to a TEI council, or another board that the Treasury administers, please register on the Treasury’s website.

Treasury board appointments

Registering with other agencies

We also request nominations from other agencies, such as the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, Ministry for Women and Te Puni Kōkiri, and recommend that you register with any of the following nominating agencies:

Ministry for Pacific Peoples
Ministry for Women
Te Puni Kokiri

The Ministerial appointment process

These are the steps in the process

  1. We identify TEI councils with Ministerial appointees whose terms are due to expire in the upcoming year and we inform the Minister.
  2. For each appointment due, we consider:
    • Is reappointment an option?  Consider the member’s contribution and the length of term already served
    • Contact chair/chancellor to determine suitability of incumbent for reappointment or what the current council needs in a new member
    • Undertake a skills analysis of the council (using TEC Board approved Framework for Selection) to identify skills gaps, gender balance, etc
    • Best governance practice.
  3. We source potential candidates from nominating agencies, including:
    • Ministry for Women
    • Te Puni Kokiri
    • Ministry for Pacific Peoples
    • We also search the Treasury’s candidate database.
  4. We make recommendations to the Minister
    • Reappointment OR a new appointment is recommended 
    • Copy of TEI council skill analysis


      Potential candidates identified
  5. The Minister’s decision(s)

    • The Minister meets weekly with the TEC SMT and appointments discussed.
  6. Cabinet is notified of the appointments

    • The Minister is the statutory “appointing authority” and informs his colleagues via the Cabinet Appointment and Honours Committee (APH)
    • The appointments are also considered at the next Cabinet meeting.

    The Minister’s letters to successful candidates is the instrument of appointment.
    • A press release from the Minister’s Office announces the appointments and/or reappointments.

How candidates are assessed

The TEC assesses the relevant skills and experience of the candidates and considers any potential conflicts of interest.

We may discuss the role with candidates for appointment and ask about their previous governance experience and any potential conflicts of interest that may arise from an appointment.

How TEI councils can manage a conflict of interest

The Minister notifies the Cabinet Committee on Appointments and Honours of his intended appointments and reappointments to TEI councils and the minutes of that meeting are taken to the next meeting of the full Cabinet.

What happens when a council member’s term ends?

When the term of a Ministerial appointee is due to end, we will:

  • if eligible (based on the length of term served), ask you if you are willing to accept reappointment 
  • ask the Chair if they would support your reappointment – they must have specific reasons for doing so 
  • review the council’s skills composition, identifying any potential gaps 
  • advise the Minister before your term of office ends whether we are recommending your reappointment or not. 

You should not have any expectations that you will be reappointed. Council members can stay in office until reappointed or replaced, so they may end up serving longer than the appointed term.

The appointment and reappointment process follows the guidelines for board appointments issued by the State Services Commission.

More info: Board appointments and induction guidelines