UNIVERSITIES NEW ZEALAND — TE PŌKAI TARA
Chair, Universities NZ
Universities New Zealand - Te Pōkai Taral is the representative body promoting the common
interests of New Zealand's eight universities. It advances university education and research
activities and promotes New Zealand's strong university system through coordinated action across
the sector. It is a statutory body with responsibilities for the quality assurance of university
academic programmes, university entrance and scholarships.
Universities NZ works at the interface between government and the universities. It makes an
informed contribution to policy issues, maintains dialogue between government and the
universities and contributes well-argued, unified responses to developments that may impact on
university autonomy or New Zealand's comparative position with international university systems.
It also maintains key linkages within the international community.
Led by a committee of New Zealand's eight Vice-Chancellors, much of Universities NZ's work is
undertaken through committees and other groups generally comprising a. representative from
each university. Universities NZ's activities are supported by a small Wellington-based team
The Executive Director is responsible for leading and managing Universities NZ activities and the
Universities NZ office to meet the organisation's statutory responsibilities and achieve the
strategic direction established by the Vice-Chancellors.
Universities New Zealand — Te Mai Tara (Universities NZ) is the name used by the New
Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee established under the Education Act 1989.
1.1 Actively promote the contribution that the universities make to economic and social
1.2 Develop the capabilities of Universities NZ in advocacy seeking collective views on issues
and taking a proactive approach to identifying priorities and facilitating discussion on
1.3 Develop strong, unified and well-argued responses to government and other proposals
impacting on the university sector
1.4 Commission research to provide the evidence base for the policies and proposals
advanced on behalf of the university sector
1.5 Represent Universities NZ at meetings, on working groups and on international
2.1 Lead Universities NZ staff and activities by providing clear strategic direction
2.2 Provide effective support to the Chair and Deputy Chair of Universities NZ for their
leadership and representation and deputise for the Chairs of Universities NZ
committees as required
2.3 Ensure that Universities NZ's statutory responsibilities are effectively undertaken and
are not compromised by Universities NZ's advocacy role
2.4 Provide pro-active advice to the Vice-Chancellors and Universities NZ committees on the
impact of government initiatives and other developments affecting the university
3 Relationship management
3.1 Identify, initiate and maintain positive, constructive and effective working relationships
with key stakeholders including government agencies, universities, the professions and
the wider tertiary sector
3.2 Keep in touch with Universities NZ's committees and expert groups, identifying and
analysing future initiatives, priorities and actions to support the university sector's
3.3 Advise the Universities NZ Chair on the implementation of the protocol for the
engagement of Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors in Universities NZ and liaise with the
Chair of the Chancellors Committee as required.
4 Management of Universities NZ office
4.1 Responsible for all aspects of staff management including the recruitment of staff, staff
development, performance reviews and salary reviews
4.2 Ensure that effective and efficient support is provided for Universities NZ committees,
expert groups and other activities
4.3 Manage the Universities NZ budget, approve expenditure within delegated authority and
ensure accountability reporting is effectively completed
4.4 Negotiate contracts for the provision of services to the universities as approved by the Vice-
4.5 Ensure that shared services are provided effectively to the Academic Quality Agency.
5.1 Undertake special projects and assignments as requested by the Chair of Universities NZ.
5.2 Take responsibility for providing support to specific Universities NZ Committees as required
(currently the Human Resources Committee)
5.3 Any other duties as requested by the Chair of Universities NZ.
KEY WORKING RELATIONSHIPS
Chair and Deputy Chair of Universities NZ
Universities NZ staff
Conveners and members of Universities NZ committees and expert groups
CEOs and senior managers in government agencies including MBIE, TEC, the Ministry of
Education, NZQA, Education NZ
CEOs of other key agencies including the Royal Society of NZ, Science NZ and professional
bodies of particular relevance to the universities
Ministers with responsibility for tertiary education and research and science and key staff
in their offices
Senior staff in relevant international bodies including Universities Australia, the
Association of Commonwealth Universities and other bodies with whom Universities NZ
has cooperation agreements
Skills & Experience
Sound understanding of the NZ university system and its international context
Sound understanding of the workings of government and experience in public policy
Demonstrated ability to lead and achieve results in a complex and dynamic environment
Strategic, financial and staff management experience
High-level relationship management experience.
Provides a clear sense of purpose, inspires confidence and
support, demonstrates exemplary leadership qualities and
behaviours, Is well-organised and has good forward planning
skills, maturity and resilience; is politically agile and able to
Builds, maintains and uses effective working relationships,
Internal and external' to the organisation, to facilitate the
successful achievement of projects, assignments and goals.
Outstanding communication skills, conveys information and
ideas effectively both speaking and in writing; well-
developed listening skills in both formal and informal
Establishes credibility with stakeholders, takes a holistic
approach to issues and problem-solving and makes strategic
linkages; critically analyses complex information and makes
Commitment to Excellence
Sets high personal and professional standards for self and
staff, assumes responsibility and accountability for
successfully completing assignments or tasks, organises
tasks to make best use of time and resources, consistently
gives careful attention to all the detailed aspects of the role.
Effectiveness under Pressure
Maintains effective performance when under pressure,
(such as time pressure, shifting/conflicting priorities or job
ambiguity) when facing opposition from others or In
ambiguous environments; acts professionally at all times.
Flexible and co-operative.
Treaty of Waitangi
Demonstrates an understanding of the implications of the
Treaty for today's society and a commitment to ensuring
that the university sector meets its obligations under the