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New UCOL Council Appointments

By UCOL on Friday, 01 June 2018

A photograph of UCOL's Palmerston North campus

Crown Solicitor Ben Vanderkolk has been appointed Chair of UCOL Council by the Education Minister Hon. Chris Hipkins. 

Mr Vanderkolk is well known for high profile court cases, and as an arbitrator and mediator.  He joined the UCOL Council on May 1, 2013 and was appointed Deputy Chair in 2014. Ben is a strong advocate for education and the community. Through his active and lateral thinking he has become a valued member of the UCOL Council and has made a significant contribution towards the success of UCOL in recent years.    

In becoming Chair, Mr Vanderkolk said he is a strong advocate for tertiary education and committed to high performing governance teams.  “It is a privilege to lead a strong, experienced, balanced and diverse governance team at UCOL.  The combined skills mix around the Council table, for example, directorships, links to the health sector, community groups and trusts, government agencies, local government, international, national and regional businesses, and connections with hapu and iwi make for a very capable team.”  

“I am looking forward to leading UCOL Council during the next three years.  The government has signalled significant change for the education sector during this time.  Our Council team is ready to lead us into the future, with a focus on vocational training that is critical to our growing regional economies.” 

Appointments made by the Minister include Leanne Southey (Wairarapa) being re-appointed to UCOL Council for another term, and appointed Deputy Chair. Pamela Jefferies was also reappointed, reflecting the significant skills and contribution made by both during their terms.  One new member, former Whanganui Mayor, Annette Main ONZM, was appointed to fill the vacancy created by Malcolm Inglis, former Chair, whose term is complete.  

Biographies of all UCOL Council members can be found on  

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