About us

The role of Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) is to ensure the vocational education system meets industry needs and gives a stronger voice to Māori business and iwi development. We will give our industries and employers greater leadership and influence across vocational education. 


Success for us means employers - including Māori business owners - are confident that vocational education graduates are ready for work and that the future skills needs of their industry will be addressed by the vocational education system. 

As well as directly benefiting employers, we improve confidence and outcomes across the sector. Providers can be confident their programmes are relevant to employers and endorsed by industry. Learners can be confident their qualifications will meet employers’ expectations and national industry standards. 

Kia tu tangata ai tātou, puta noa I te ao. (We will stand with confidence and competence anywhere in the world). 

The industries we represent  

Hanga-Aro-Rau (Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics) Workforce Development Council represents industries including Manufacturing, Processing, Extractives and Drilling, Transport (including heavy and commercial), Postal, Warehousing and related engineering.  

Industry Stakeholder Group 

We are currently working with industry to establish an Industry Stakeholder Group that will enable industry to influence the direction and performance of the Workforce Development Council. 

This group will be responsible for future appointments to the Council and providing advice and feedback on the organisation’s strategic direction and performance.  

The members of the industry stakeholder group must represent a broad range and diversity of views across the specified industries. 

What we do 

We work with industry and employers to understand the skills that are needed. This information is passed to education and training providers, who will be expected to create learning programmes that will give people relevant skills to address future workforce needs.  

We lead the development of industry qualifications, set industry standards and quality assure training provision against these industry standards. Where appropriate, we set and help with capstone assessments at the end of a qualification. Industry standards will be consistently applied across the country, and across all modes of learning, whether on the job (such as apprenticeships), on campus or online.  

We also endorse vocational education programmes prior to them being approved by NZQA.   

Who we work with 

We work with learners, industry (including, but not limited to, employers, employees, self-employed people, volunteers, industry associations, and unions), tāngata whenua, stakeholders, the other workforce development councils and other organisations to deliver the outcomes that the Council seeks. 

We are in the process of appointing our staff to lead this engagement, and ensuring we have fit for purpose mechanisms to engage with industry.  

As well as engaging with industry and employers, we work collaboratively across the vocational education sector. We will engage with Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs), Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) and Providers (Te Pūkenga, Wānanga and Private Training Establishments (PTEs).  

We also engage with a range of parties to help inform and prioritise their service delivery. These include the Ministry of Education (MoE), Advocacy Groups, Learners, Te Taumata Aronui, Government agencies and schools.  

Our name 

Our Te Reo Māori name gives a holistic and circular explanation of Hanga-Aro-Rau's coverage 

Hanga-Aro-Rau – Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics.  

Hangarau or Engineering - to design and plan a product  

Hanga or Manufacturing - to produce the product  

Arorau or Logistics – to transport the raw materials and finished products  

The name of Hanga-Aro-Rau was catalysed through thinking schematically around the circular process of the product from design, production to distribution, and through to people, learning and on-going journey of development. Hanga-Aro-Rau can perhaps be technically translated as 'Manufacturing through Creativity and Networking’ or taking it a step further, 'Manufacturing through Innovation and Collaboration'. 

This beautiful reflection of the intermingling of our industries in Te Reo Māori was created by Adjunct Associate Professor Dr Joseph Te Rito. 

Our logo  

Our logo is an image of a taura whiri, a plaited rope. The taura whiri, plaited rope has been used as a metaphor by kaiwhaikōrero (orators) to connect whānau groups through a shared ancestor and to acknowledge a leader’s ability to bring people together. It has been applied to various situations where elements come together in unity. The taura/rope is made by plaiting aho (strands) made from rolled muka (scraped flax strands). Creating a stronger taura (rope) than the aho could on their own. 

Our logo colour relates to Māori culture and the connection between people and nature. The darker green links back to te taiao, our natural world, as the source of materials used for the production of objects, tools and structures, those utilitarian objects used in everyday life. 

Who we are 

Our Council 

Renata Hakiwai – Co Chair 

Renata Hakiwai – Co Chair 

Renata Hakiwai, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine, Tūwharetoa, Waikato Tainui, is the Managing Director of HTK Group Ltd, an organisation established in 2015 to meet the growing demand for a Māori and indigenous professional services organisation that is purpose driven. Renata has more than 10 years of experience in senior executive and leadership positions alongside being a successful investor and dual exit entrepreneur. 

Mr Hakiwai was previously co-chair of the interim Establishment Board Hanga-Aro-Rau, Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics Workforce Development Council. He sits on several Boards on a range of organisations which include crown, commercial, iwi, post settlement entities, not for profit and start up entities. Mr Hakiwai has extensive experience and a diverse range of skills working across iwi, public, Start-Up and commercial sector, and has a major passion for Māori economic development with a focus on Māori business, innovation, enterprise, workforce development and employment, STEM and the Future of work. Mr Hakiwai has deep connections into the communities in which he serves, and sees himself as an enabler of people, and an accelerator for Māori and indigenous development.

Dr Troy Coyle – Co Chair

Dr Troy Coyle 

Dr Troy Coyle is the Chief Executive Officer of NZ Heavy Engineering Research Association (HERA). She has more than twenty years of experience in the engineering and manufacturing sectors in both New Zealand and Australia including senior roles with New Zealand Steel Ltd, Blue Scope Steel Ltd, and the University of Wollongong. 

Dr Coyle was previously the co-chair of the interim Establishment Board of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics Workforce Development Council. She has a portfolio of governance roles which include being Chair of Sustainable Steel Council, a member of the Construction Innovation Council, a board member of Metals NZ and a member of MBIE's Building Advisory Panel. 

Carla Seymour-Mansell 

Carla Seymour-Mansell 

Carla Seymour Mansell (Ngāti Raukawa, Whakatōhea and Ngāti Maniapoto) is Owner-Operator of TC Logistics and Project Manager for Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency based in Tairāwhiti. She has extensive experience in the transport and logistic industry. 

Ms Seymour-Mansell has a long-standing commitment to the promotion of health and safety at work. She received the EROAD Outstanding Contribution to Health and Safety Award at the New Zealand Road Transport Industry awards in 2019. Her current role at Waka Kotahi involves leading efforts to reduce workplace injuries across the forest to port supply chain in the region. 

Jerome Mika 

Jerome Mika is Community and Business Development Lead at The Cause Collective, a Pacific social change agency in South Auckland. He has previously held a number of roles focusing on engaging with Māori and Pacific communities and ensuring cultural insights are embedded into projects. Jerome has led and been part of great teams in both the corporate and not for profit sector. 

Mr Mika has considerable experience in unions in both New Zealand and Samoa with roles at the Dairy Workers Union, Samoa First Union, First Union and EPMU. He has also been a Business Director for Ogilvy and Mather Marketing agency. Jerome currently sits on the Pacific Advisory Board for the Counties Manukau Police. 

Mark O’Grady 

Mark O’Grady 

Mark O’Grady is the owner and managing director of Excel Digital Ltd, one of New Zealand’s largest cut sheet digital print operations. He has previously held senior executive roles at Wool Equities Ltd, New Zealand Wool Board, and NZ Meteorological Service. 

Mr O’Grady has extensive experience as a director with organisations in the manufacturing and technology sectors including Print NZ, Wool Research Organisation of NZ, Andar Ltd, Keratec Ltd, Ovita Ltd, and Softswitch Ltd. He also has considerable involvement with vocational education having been involved in the targeted review of qualifications (TRoQ), the manufacturer and supplier of training resources for almost all industry training organisations, as the major sponsor of the “Got a Trade: Got it Made” campaign, and as a judge at the NZ Apprentice of the Year awards. He was also a member of the Ministerial Science Task Force that led to the restructuring of the Government science sector and the establishment of the Crown Research Institutes (CRIs). 

Nick Leggett

Nick Leggett 

Nick Leggett is the Chief Executive of the Road Transport Forum, the peak industry body for the trucking industry. He has previously held a number of executive level positions including being Executive Director of NZ Alcohol Beverages Council, Executive Director of Porirua Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor of Porirua City. 

Mr Leggett is a director of MITO, the Industry Training Organisation for the motor, transport and contracting industry, as well as being a director of WRC Holdings LTD and the chair of the Hutt Mana Charitable Trust. He has previously held a range of governance positions including being chair of Spark Foundation, chair of Wellington Regional Emergency Management Group, a member of Capital & Coast District Health Board. Nick has long been a strong advocate for vocational education as a tool to enhance employment, qualifications and competencies among our workforce and potential workforce. 

Rachel Mackintosh

Rachel Mackintosh 

Rachel Mackintosh is the Assistant National Secretary for E tū, New Zealand’s largest private sector union. She has twenty years of experience in unions and has previously held a number of senior roles with E tū and EPMU. 

Ms Mackintosh is the Vice President of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and a member of the interim Establishment Board of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics Workforce Development Council. She also has considerable experience with governance of tertiary education organisations being a current board member of the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) and a former board member of the Plastics and Materials Processing Industry Training Organisation (PaMPITO).

Stuart Lawrence

Stuart Lawrence 

Stuart Lawrence, ko Uenuku te Iwi, is Director – Programme Kaitautoko at Whatukura Ltd, a boutique consultancy firm where he has led a number of workforce development, pastoral care and community projects focusing on Māori and Pasifika development. He previously spent 13 years as National Manager – Māori for The Skills Organisation Industry Training Organisation. 

Mr Lawrence holds a number of governance positions including being chair of Māori Pasifika Trades Training (Tamaki), an advisory board member of Project Retrain – Increasing Gender Equity, and a committee member for a number of community organisations. 

Maea Pivac

Maea Pivac (Nga Puhi, Ngati Whatua, Ngati Wai, and Ngati Hine) is extensively experienced in the vocational education arena, both in Aotearoa and Australia. So far in her 25+ year career, she has worked across the PTE, ITO, ITP sectors and in industry in a large Northland company with a strong and enduring commitment to industry training.

Based in her hometown of Whangarei, Ms Pivac is the Managing Director of Tai Tokerau Trades Training, an educational consultancy specialising in vocational education and industry capability development in Northland. She is also the director of a small business advisory company called People Weavers Raranga Tangata Ltd, and of Kia Mauria te Pono Ltd, a start-up company delivering workshops and services that are imbedded in the values which have guided the hearts and minds of Iwi Māori for generations; those values being; I runga I te Tika, i te Pono me te Aroha.

Our leadership team 

Phil Alexander-Crawford, Chief Executive

 Phil Alexander-Crawford, Chief Executive

Phil Alexander-Crawford (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Rēhia, Ngāpuhi) is a highly experienced leader of transformation, who has worked with and for iwi and hapū. Mr Alexander-Crawford was previously Director of Te Pae Tawhiti – Māori Equity Partnership at Te Pūkenga. He has held senior leadership positions in the vocational education sector, including Chief Executive of Te Matarau Education Trust, General Manager Education for the Ngātiwai Trust Board and as Director of Development for Tai Tokerau Wānanga (NorthTec).

Samantha McNaughton, Deputy Chief Executive

  Sam McNaughton headshot

Samantha McNaughton has been involved in the vocational education sector for more than a decade and has held various senior positions at Competenz, MITO and Skills International.

Prior to her current role, Samantha led the strategic industry engagement and learning design and innovation functions, including standard setting, quality assurance, resource development and programme innovation at Competenz. She is acutely aware of the workforce development challenges facing New Zealand and is particularly passionate about ensuring all people have clear and accessible educational pathways that support sustainable employment and prosperity.

Mike Crossan, General Manager Industry Standards

Mike Crossan is the former Executive General Manager Learning Services at Primary ITO, previously having worked at LearningWorks and Wintec. He has been in the vocational education sector for the last 20 years and prior to that was an automotive mechanic for 18 years. Mike has an absolute passion for the transformation of lives and communities through the opportunities that vocational education provides having received those opportunities for himself and his whānau.

Yvonne O'Callaghan, General Manager Improvement and Operations

Yvonne O’Callaghan is an experienced leader in vocational education, with a proven track record in developing staff, ensuring academic integrity, delivering training, process improvement and change management. Prior to her current role, Yvonne managed the Quality Support team at Competenz for five years and, more recently, was involved in preparing the organisation for its transition to the Workforce Development Councils.

She has a strong background in a broad range of industries, including ten years’ training experience which saw her write and deliver learning modules. Yvonne’s passion is ensuring all New Zealanders are given the opportunity to pursue higher education and obtain a qualification they can be proud of.

Darrell Lambert, Poumatua

Darrell Lambert (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Ruapani and Ngāti Kahungunu) has 25 years of experience in the tertiary sector and has held several senior leadership roles responsible for improving outcomes for Māori. Prior to joining Hanga-Aro-Rau, Mr Lambert was the Regional Economic Development Manager for the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in Te Taitokerau (Northland). In this role he worked with hapū/iwi, industry and local/central government to stimulate regional economic development that generated employment and improved wellbeing indicators for Te Taitokerau.

He was a Director at NorthTec (Northland Polytechnic) before moving to MSD and worked at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa for 15 years and the Open Polytechnic in Wellington before that. Mr Lambert began his career as a tutor of traditional Māori carving for ten years.

Maria Fuata, General Manager Corporate Services

Maria Fuata brings 15 years of experience in financial management and corporate services, working across a number of New Zealand crown entities, primarily within the Pacific business development, Pacific regional cooperation and Pacific media spaces. Prior to that, Ms Fuata worked in auditing and assurance for five years at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Suva, Fiji.

She was recently the Programme Manager Pasifika at Auckland Uniservices Limited, leading the mahi for professional learning and development (PLD) for educators in schools with high Pacific learners across Aotearoa, working closely with the Ministry of Education.

Ms Fuata is an advocate for promoting and preserving Pacific languages and cultural identity as a taoga and leads this mahi for her Rotuman language and culture as a community leader and Chairperson of the New Zealand Rotuman Fellowship Incorporated Society. She currently serves on the Pacific Business Trust and Pacific Media Network boards.

She is of Rotuman descent, from the villages of Itumuta and Juju, born and raised in Lautoka, Fiji.

How our Workforce Development Council was established  

Extensive consultation with industry and the vocational education sector took place prior to our WDC being stood up on 4 October 2021. 

The establishment of WDCs was led by WDC Interim Establishment Boards (iEBs) that were made up of industry representatives, a number of whom were subsequently appointed to the permanent WDC Council. The main role of iEBs was to oversee the legal establishment of WDCs, which occurred through an Orders in Council (OiC) process.   

Our Order in Council  

The iEB was responsible for consulting with industry and developing an OiC that outlined the name of our WDC, industries represented, governance arrangements and other core aspects of their WDC. More than 200 people and organisations provided feedback on the draft OiCs. This engagement helped ensure our WDC was established in ways that will best meet industry needs.

Once approved by the Minister of Education, OiCs were sent to the Governor-General for signature. On Monday 10 May 2021 Her Excellency the Governor-General, Patsy Reddy, gave Royal Assent, passing in to law, OiCs establishing the six WDCs. The legislation came into effect on 11 June 2021. 

See the Hanga-Aro-Rau Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics OiC.