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High-Profile Names Join Comet Trust

24 May 2006

High-Profile Names Join Comet Trust

Award-winning journalist Deborah Hill Cone is one of four high-profile people lending their wide-ranging skills to the City of Manukau Education Trust (COMET).

The new trustees are Pacific Business Trust chief executive Paul Muller; Deborah Hill Cone; University of Auckland Faculty of Education lecturer Rachael Tuwhangai; and Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) deputy chief executive Peter Coolbear.

Dr Stuart Middleton, COMET chair, says the new trustees will provide excellent skills and interests to COMET.

“The combination of commercial, education and media skills will add enormous value to the strengths of the governance team as COMET embarks on new initiatives targeting families, communities and education,” Dr Middleton says.

“COMET exists to provide a voice for, and leadership in, the community. We look forward to their contributions in the strategic development of our work.

"Each of the new trustees offer skills and interests that will be a superb complement to the strengths that already exist in the governance team at COMET," says Dr Stuart Middleton, the Chair of COMET. "We are delighted to welcome them, and look forward to their contributions in the strategic development of our work".

Paul Muller is a New Zealand born Tongan with a commercial and legal background. Paul worked as the Chief Executive for an Auckland based PHO (primary health organisation) run by the Tongan Health Society that operates the Langimalie Health Centre. He was a consultant for Maori health and social service providers and ran his own law practice in Tonga for three years. He has been the Chair of the Pacific Island Advisory Committee to Manukau City Council for the past two and a half years; a Trustee of the Otara Community Law Board; and a member of the Police Advisory Group to Counties Manukau Police.

Ms Hill Cone is an award winning journalist and media commentator who was formerly the news and business writer for the National Business Review. Deborah, who currently writes a media column for the Listener, has written and researched stories on many issues including education.

Rachael Tuwhangai is currently Programme Leader of the Graduate Diploma of Education (ICT/Te Reo Maori). She is involved in the facilitation and management of an Auckland based Maori Immersion ICTPD Cluster, and is a member of the Project Development Team for one of the Tertiary Education Commission eLearning Collaborative Development Fund initiatives - Nga Kiwai Kete: The eLearning Toolbox.

Dr Peter Coolbear is responsible for academic and financial oversight of the teaching and HR departments for MIT. Peter has more than 27 years experience in the tertiary sector and has worked as a senior manager and senior lecturer in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. A member of the Agronomy Society and a Woolf Fisher Fellowship recipient in 2003, Peter has written many research papers on seed science and vocation education and presented papers at national and international events.


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