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Appointments to Education New Zealand board

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

21 October 2016
Media Statement

Appointments to Education New Zealand board

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce today announced three appointments to the board of Education New Zealand (ENZ).

Charles Finny has been reappointed at Chair, while Karen Rolleston and Linda Sissons are newly appointed board members.

“Mr Finny has played a significant role in establishing ENZ in 2011, and guiding it through its early stages. The number of international students studying in New Zealand, from primary to tertiary, rose above 124,000 last year. Charles will lead ENZ as it continues to contribute to this growth and embarks on the next stage of its development as an organisation,” says Mr Joyce.

“Karen Rolleston will bring a fresh perspective to ENZ’s work. She is the New Zealand Chief Executive for 3P Learning Ltd. Her commercial, marketing and education skills will be particularly valuable as ENZ focuses on the next stage in its development. Linda Sissons is a highly experienced leader in the tertiary sector and has just been appointed the Chief Executive of the Primary Industry Training Organisation. Her in-depth knowledge of tertiary education will be of significant value to ENZ’s board.”

“Departing board members Dr Neil Barns and Frances Valintine have played an important role in ENZ’s successes to date, contributing highly valued advice and expertise. I want to thank them for their service.”

ENZ is the government agency that promotes New Zealand education to the world. International students participate at every level of our education system, from early childhood centres to universities. This allows young New Zealanders to live and learn alongside peers from other countries.


Charles Finny has served as Chair of the ENZ board since ENZ was established in 2011. Mr Finny is a partner at Saunders Unsworth and a former Chief Executive of the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce. Before that Mr Finny had a wide range of experience in government working for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Department of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He is the longest serving New Zealand Trade and Enterprise board member and has also served seven years on the NZ Film Commission.

Karen Rolleston is the New Zealand Chief Executive for 3P Learning Ltd, a global Australian Stock Exchange online education company specialising in literacy and numeracy programs for schools and students. Before this role she was the managing director of Manzana Ltd, the New Zealand reseller and distributor of 2Touch Technologies and other education brands. Ms Rolleston has held directorship roles with Limestone Risk Management Ltd, 2Touch Technologies and Interactive Whiteboards Australia Pty Ltd.

Dr Linda Sissons CNZM is a highly experienced chief executive in the tertiary education sector. Dr Sissons was recently appointed the Chief Executive of the Primary Industry Training Organisation. Before that she was interim Chief Executive of Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre (2015-2016), Chief Executive of the Wellington Institute of Technology (2001-2015) and of Hutt Valley Polytechnic (1999-2001). Dr Sissons is currently the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth of Learning.


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