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Te Akatea Announces First CEO

Bruce Jepsen (Tūwharetoa, Tainui, Raukawa). Photo supplied.

Te Akatea, New Zealand Māori Principals and Leaders is pleased to announce the appointment of Bruce Jepsen (Tūwharetoa, Tainui, Raukawa) to the position of Chief Executive Officer following an Independent External Review.

The National Executive have recognised that Mr Jepsen has proven to be critical to the success of the organisation and he is someone who has deep institutional knowledge of the kaupapa of Te Akatea and its constituents.

Te Akatea Board Chair, Tracy Fraser in making the announcement today, said “I am delighted that we have someone of Bruce’s calibre to lead Te Akatea Inc. As the CEO designate, Mr Jepsen is considered to be at the forefront of Māori leadership in education. He has engaged in determined relationship building with several hapū and iwi leaders across Aotearoa. I have no doubt he will continue to have a positive impact on Māori education, leadership and the organisation. Bruce embodies the values and whakapapa of Te Akatea whilst being prepared to adapt to the rapidly changing environment that the organisation is successfully operating in.’’

Bruce has taken up the CEO role after holding the position of Manukura of Te Akatea since 2021. During this period there has been a 42% increase in Tumuaki Māori, 117% increase in Māori senior leaders and an overall membership increase of 64%.

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Bruce successfully initiated the establishment of Huia Kaimanawa, First Time Māori Principals and the Māori Emerging Leaders professional learning and development which has been strengthened with a new Research and Development team. The establishment of Kāhui Kaikōtuitui represents a network of Te Akatea regional leaders across Aotearoa who are developing a solution-focused action plan that addresses the challenges that Māori leaders navigate in their communities.

He has resigned from principalship to focus full time in the CEO position.

Bruce’s extensive experience in New Zealand Education includes New Zealand Council of Educational Research Board / Rangahau Mätauranga o Aotearoa, National Peak Bodies, ERO Principals National Advisory, RTLB National Executive, NZEI Principals Council, NZPF Executive, New Zealand Curriculum Leadership group, Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Ohu matua project team, Leading RTLB Tauranga Moana, Localised Curriculum support and development Reference Group, Highest Needs Review Advisory Group, PRAG Advisory, ERO Te Reo Māori in English Medium Advisory, ERO Poutama Reo National Pilot , Pou Arataki – National Covid Advisory, N4L Leadership Advisory, Principals Eligibility Criteria Advisory, Initial Teacher Education Advisory and NELPS Advisory.

‘Ko te piko o te māhuri, tērā te tupu o te rākau’

“The way the sapling is shaped determines how the tree grows’ This whakataukī reflects the critical juncture that Te Akatea is presently at in relation to its future pathway of development. I am honoured and humbled by the Executive’s decision to entrust me with this opportunity to lead Te Akatea as its first CEO”, says Jepsen.

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