Otago Polytechnic

Council members

  Kathy Grant (Chair)

Ministerial Appointment

Kathy Grant was appointed by the Minister of Tertiary Education to chair the Council from 1 May 2010, having previously been a member of the University of Otago Council and chair of the Council of the Dunedin College of Education. Kathy is also a director of Dunedin City Holdings Limited, deputy chair of Sport Otago and a Board member of the Dunedin Sinfonia.  In 2015, the Minister of Health appointed Kathy as Commissioner of Southern District Health Board following the disestablishment of the Board.  Her “day job” is as a solicitor in the legal practice of Gallaway Cook Allan. Kathy is an Otago person, born and bred and has lived in Dunedin since the 1970’s when she was a University student. When not at work, she enjoys the challenge of rural living.

  Jamie Adamson

Council appointment

Jamie is a Partner in Deloitte Private, Dunedin and was appointed to the Council in January 2019. He returned to Deloitte in 2018 after 12 years in various corporate organisations, both in Dunedin and Australia. His strengths lie in his exposure to many different industries and his wide range of practical corporate experience at senior levels. From 2012, Jamie has served in either CFO or COO roles at various Dunedin based businesses, including Silver Fern Farms, the Nichols Group and Willowridge Developments. He has had significant exposure to the audit process, having worked as an auditor with Deloitte from 2001 to 2006.

Born and bred in Dunedin, Jamie is passionate about Otago and the future prospects of both Dunedin and the wider Otago region.

  Dr Peter Coolbear

Council appointment

Peter is co-owner and director of Coolbear Ltd, a tertiary education and records management consulting company. Previously he was the foundation director of the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence. He took up this role in July 2007, having previously been deputy chief executive at Manukau Institute of Technology. Peter has a background as a teacher and researcher in plant science, and has considerable experience working with international students. From the mid-90’s he held a series of management positions in the NZ polytechnic sector and in government. He has previously served on the Council of Otago Polytechnic, the NZCER Board (Chair 2012-2017), the City of Manukau Education Trust, the Board of ITPQ, Tai Poutini Polytechnic Council and was a member of the New Zealand’s national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards selection panel for several years. His outside interests include art, antiques, grandchildren and soccer (not necessarily in that order).  

  Dr Neil Barns

Ministerial Appointment

Dr Neil Barns has extensive experience in the tertiary education sector, currently as Commissioner at Whitireia and WelTec and more recently as Interim Chief Executive of Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology and as the Chief Executive of CPIT and of NMIT. As a consultant, Dr Barns has worked with tertiary institutions and central government agencies on a range of international education projects.

  Megan Potiki

Council Appointment

Megan was appointed to the Otago Polytechnic Council and Komiti Kawanataka in 2017. She has a degree and teaching diploma from Otago University and a Masters in Education from the University of Canterbury. Megan is a lecturer at the University of Otago where her main teaching area is Te Reo M¯aori. Her research interests are K¯ai Tahu language and history with a particular focus on the ¯Ot¯akou area. Megan is enrolled in PhD study. Megan hails from the Ellison whanau of ¯Ot¯akou. She lives at ¯Ot¯akou and is very committed to her community, marae and local school (Portobello).

  Paul Allison

Council Appointment

Paul was appointed to the Otago Polytechnic Council in August 2013. He resides in Central Otago and has widespread governance experience, having served on boards within the health, retail, education, energy, sport and community funding sectors. This includes Sport New Zealand, University Book Shop (Otago), the Halberg Foundation and Winter Games NZ. He also has over 20 years leadership experience as Chief Executive of sector leading organisations – Sport Otago and Central Lakes Trust. He is currently chairman of Waitaki District Health Services Limited, Infinite Energy Limited and the Otago Rugby Union’s board appointments panel.

Paul has an extensive background in communications and the sport sector – with over 30 years involvement with television and radio as a broadcaster – and has been a member of The Lion Foundation South Island grants committee for over six years. He was also a New Zealand marathon representative during the 1980s and 1990s.