Open Polytechnic employs a wide range of learning and teaching experts who provide academic and learning support to our distance learners.
We also use contractors, mostly off campus, who are subject matter experts in their fields who provide academic support and marking services.
As a specialist provider of open flexible distance learning, we also employ highly skilled courseware design and development, and education technology professionals, administration and customer support staff, as well as library and learning centre staff who are all focused on helping Open Polytechnic learners achieve their educational goals.
Find out more about our workforce by selecting an area below.
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Executive Director Open Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga
Alan joined Open Polytechnic in 2015 as Executive Director Learning Delivery and was appointed to the interim leadership role of the organisation as Executive Director Open Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga in December 2022.
Alan has over 25 years’ experience in Aotearoa New Zealand’s vocational tertiary education sector, including his previous senior management roles at Wellington Institute of Technology and Universal College of Learning.
A focus of Alan’s contribution to the mission of Open Polytechnic has been the design and implementation of the Open Distance Flexible Learning Blueprint in support of the organisation’s transformational change programme. Most recently he has had opportunities to also contribute to the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) in Aotearoa New Zealand, including his participation in the Workforce Development Council Design Group, and Te Pūkenga NZIST’s Mobilising New Worlds Working Group Five, Work Based Learning.
Alan’s earlier involvement in commerce and industry is reflected in the business and management qualifications he holds. He has an MBA from Otago University and a research-based Masters in Management from Massey University. He also holds certification in adult teaching and learning.
Executive Director School Strategy
Alex joined Open Polytechnic in January 2017. He works with schools to leverage Open Polytechnic expertise and technology to pioneer approaches in using analytics as a teaching and planning tool, as well as blended and flipped learning pedagogies. He also works with his team to support teacher training and create innovative new technologies for the classroom.
Alex had previously held the role of principal of Catlins Area School since 2010. He has held several senior teaching roles in Auckland and Nelson, and taught a number of subjects at both primary and secondary levels.
During his time at Catlins Area School, Alex was involved in leading innovation in curriculum design and implementation of a local flexible curriculum that matched courses, both vocational and academic, to the learner. Much of this involved leveraging technology to teach personalised programmes to students in a blended or flipped model. Alex also worked with a variety of tertiary education organisations and industry training organisations to create e-learning resources for students completing Level 2 qualifications.
Alex is a past president of the New Zealand Area School Association and past member of the panel of experts for the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards. He has also sat on a number of Ministry of Education advisory panels. Alex holds a BA and an MA in science from the University of Otago, as well as a Diploma of Teaching and Learning from the University of Otago College of Education.
Executive Director Strategy
As Executive Director Strategy, Alison supports Open Polytechnic’s strategic and business planning processes, which include facilitating strategy development and ensuring Open Polytechnic delivers to this strategy, including the monitoring and managing of achievement against targets. Her team leads the design and development of the data, analytics and reporting functions within the organisation.
Outside of her role at Open Polytechnic, Alison previously worked as a management consultant in Europe for 10 years, leading change management and strategic and business improvement projects across a wide range of public and private sector organisations.
Alison has 30 years’ experience in tertiary education institutions, including roles in applied research and the commercialisation of research technologies in a university spin-off company. She is the author of 11 books and has over 60 academic publications to her name.
Alison holds a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Natal in South Africa and an MBA (with distinction) from Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
Acting Executive Director of Learning Delivery
Andrew is a senior educator and accomplished leader, with more than 15 years’ experience in vocational education and training.
He joined the Open Polytechnic in January 2021 as Manager Learning and Teaching and was appointed to the Acting Executive Director of Learning Delivery role in January 2023.
With a proven track record of delivering innovative and effective learning solutions for diverse communities of ākonga, he is dedicated to providing equitable access to education for historically under-served communities. Andrew believes that distance education has the potential to close the opportunity gap and provide collective resilience across Aotearoa New Zealand.
Andrew holds a Master of Science in Ecological Statistics and a Post Graduate Diploma in Wildlife Management from the University of Otago. Prior to joining the Open Polytechnic, he worked as an independent consultant across Aotearoa New Zealand, leading and supporting education projects in partnership with secondary and tertiary providers, iwi groups, ITOs, and industry/employer groups.
Andrew is dedicated to fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation and is committed to ensuring that the programmes offered by Open Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga are world class and accessible to all.
Executive Director Marketing and Communications
Doug Standring is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most experienced open and distance learning (ODL) professionals. Along with marketing and communications, his specialist expertise includes the international ODL environment, and distance learning strategy, management and business models. Doug’s 30-year career in tertiary education in Aotearoa New Zealand and the United Kingdom spans strategic planning, brand, digital and search marketing, corporate communications, business development and partnerships, product and service innovation, learner journey design, and transnational education. He has also conducted consultancy work for the Commonwealth of Learning.
Doug’s previous roles include managing media and communications at the London School of Economics and Massey University. Along with graduate study in marketing, Doug holds a Master of Arts (First Class) from Massey University and a Graduate Diploma in International Relations (Distinction) from the London School of Economics.
Executive Director Learning Design and Development
Mark joined the Open Polytechnic executive team in 2010, then served for 3 years as Director, Technology Enhanced Learning, with The Open University in the United Kingdom, before returning to New Zealand at the start of 2019.
Mark has a strong background in open, distance and digital education, based on an MA in Open and Distance Education (Distinction) from The Open University and a PhD from the University of Otago in the area of spiritual formation in online education. He was recognised as a flexible learning leader in New Zealand in 2005, and has previously been president of the Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand and a member of the executive committees of Ascilite and the European Distance Education Network. He is currently a member of the International Council for Open and Distance Education executive committee and is on the editorial board of several journals.
Mark’s ongoing research in the area of open, flexible and distance learning most recently included a book, Transforming Universities with Digital Distance Education, published by Routledge in 2020. He also hosts the international podcast Leaders & Legends of Online Learning, which features interviews with the world’s leading theorists and practitioners in the open, distance and flexible education field.
Matiu (Mathew) Anderson
Advisor Te Kura Wānanga - Kaiwhakahaere
Matiu is of Ngāti Maniapoto, Rereahu decent in the heart of the King Country region.
Born and raised in Hamilton, he attended St Stephens’ School in the Bombay Hills South of Auckland - the school which is well known for educating generations of Māori leaders. Following that he attended Waikato University where he majored in economics and also gained a secondary school teaching diploma and a partial completion towards his Masters.
He comes to Open Polytechnic with an impressive background in secondary school education that has spanned across different countries and curriculums.
“I’ve had over 15 years’ experience in senior leadership roles within the secondary sector. This includes managing pastoral care and initiatives for raising academic achievement, especially amongst Māori students.
“During my career I have worked in four different countries with about six different curriculums and various contexts. From a small island nation school in the Cook Islands, to a rural Māori boys boarding school, single sex, large co-educational and international private school settings to name a few.”
Matiu says he is looking forward to following on from the foundational work of Wayne Glen, Matua Turi Ngatai and others.
“I look forward to being able to support the transitional change to Te Pūkenga by acknowledging and working to enhance the learning journey for Māori ākonga in particular. Also working with my many colleagues in their learning journey for Te Reo and Tikanga Māori.
“Te Kura Wānanga‘s focus on equity, partnerships and commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi will be at the forefront of what we implement for positive outcomes as an educational institution.”
In his spare time, Matiu has been involved in coaching rugby and softball to representative honours. “I also cherish time with whānau and serve on a few trusts with iwi and whānau assets,” he says.
Kaiwhakahaere Matua/Te Reo Lead
Papaki tū ana ngā tai ki Mauao
I whakanekenekehia, i whakanukunukuhia
I whiua reretia e Hotu a Wahinerua ki te wai
Ki tai wiwi, ki tai wawa
Ka puta ki te whaiao ki te ao mārama
Tihei mauri ora
Meremaihi Aloua is of Māori and Tongan descent.
She was raised heavily in Te Ao Māori and primarily in full immersion, which included Kōhanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa, Wharekura, and Whare Wānanga, while under the guidance of her kuia koroua and people of Tauranga Moana. She returns to Tauranga Moana regularly and continues to be a part of kaupapa that best serve the future generations of her people.
Prior to taking up her role as Kaiwhakahaere Matua/Te Reo Lead at Open Polytechnic in December 2021, she was a Te Reo Māori lecturer at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and contracted as an external Te Reo Māori subject matter expert for the Te Pōkaitahi Reo programme, Open Polytechnic’s first Te Reo Māori programme which will be soft launched in February 2022. A previous career highlight includes building an iwi wide Māori language, culture and heritage strategy and working as the Māori Language, Culture and Heritage Unit Manager for her tribal authority of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Te Rangi Iwi Trust.
Meremaihi holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Te Reo Māori and Māori Studies, a Masters in Māori Studies graduating with First Class Honours, she is an alumni of Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo (Institute of Excellence in Te Reo Māori and Tikanga) and is currently working towards registering with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo (the Māori Language Commission) as a registered translator and interpreter.
Meremaihi primarily works remotely from West Auckland and can be found on campus once or twice a month. Her role involves managing Te Kura Wānanga (the Māori Office), providing leadership and ongoing advice regarding Te Reo Māori, Kawa and Tikanga Māori, Māori perspectives, Executive member, maintaining and progressing the success of ākonga Māori, reporting on deliverables of the Ōritetanga Plan, Academic Committee, meeting with other Te Pae Tawhiti Champions and oversight of initiatives that meet the strategic priorities of Open Polytechnic specific to Māori.
Meremaihi will be working closely and guided by Mana Whenua, as well being guided by and work with kaimahi Māori through the advisory Te Kuratini Pae Tata in continuing the amazing mahi and highlighting the existing initiatives and approaches that work towards the support and success of ākonga Māori.
Meremaihi is enjoying her role, especially working in the Te Kura Wānanga team and alongside other kaimahi where they complement and maximise each other’s skills, experiences and passions with the common goal of supporting and empowering our ākonga Māori in reaching their full potential for the betterment of themselves and their whānau, hapū and iwi.
Executive Director Financial Services
Murray has over 10 years’ experience in the tertiary sector and has gained an in-depth knowledge of the successful commercial models supporting open and distance learning. He joined Open Polytechnic with management and accounting experience both in New Zealand and overseas.
Murray was previously involved, usually as financial or corporate services leader, in a number of industries and organisations – most recently the health sector (controlling the payments of over $1 billion to health organisations and professionals), information management (the development of a geospatial company), and the financial services industry in New Zealand and London (managing the compliance team for the implementation of financial regulation in the United Kingdom). He is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.
Executive Director Academic Services and Deputy Chief Executive
Prior to joining Open Polytechnic in February 2010, Neil was Deputy CEO Academic Services and Policy at WelTec. He has also held senior roles at the Central Institute of Technology, NZQA, Agriculture ITO and the Association of Polytechnics in New Zealand.
Neil has a comprehensive understanding of the financial, human resource management and academic quality needs of a large polytechnic, having held senior management roles throughout the changes in the tertiary sector over the last 30 years. A Woolf Fisher Scholar in 2005, Neil holds both a BSc (Hons, First Class) and an MSc in biochemistry.
Pule Ma’ata - Pasifika
Malo lava le soifua maua ma le lagi e mama.
Born in Wellington, Rebekah Tuileto’a is Samoan with her father hailing from Vavau, Aleipata in Upolu, and her mother from Foaluga in Savaii.
Holding a Masters in Social Work from Victoria University of Wellington, Rebekah has 20 years’ experience in the tertiary education sector.
Before joining Open Polytechnic, she held a variety of roles at Massey University in Palmerston North including as Academic Advisor, Pasifika Consultant; Acting Director - Student Learning Centre; and Deputy Director - Student Learning Development Services. During her time at Massey University she developed expertise in distance education, leadership, and online support services as well as taking on some teaching responsibilities.
Initially joining Open Polytechnic in 2016 as Pasifika Advocate and later as the Principal Advisor Pasifika in 2019. In 2021 Rebekah was appointed as Pule Ma’ata – Pasifika and joined the Executive Leadership Team (ELT).
Her role involves managing the Pasifika Office, including providing leadership and ongoing advice to ELT and senior managers on issues pertaining to Pasifika; and oversight of the development of programmes and initiatives that meet the strategic objectives of the Open Polytechnic 'Afa Pasifika Strategy.
Enjoying her new role, Rebekah says she is passionate about how online learning and the associated technology can best serve our Pasifika community.
- Academic Staff
- Library & Learning Centre - Te Whare Pukapuka Wāhanga Whakapakari Ako
- Student Journey Centre