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Wairarapa local gets top role

By UCOL on Monday, 06 March 2017

Maria McKenzie, UCOL Wairarapa Campus Manager

UCOL’s Masterton campus is off to a great start this year, with the arrival of students back on campus and the leadership of a new Campus Manager, Maria McKenzie.

Maria is passionate about the training and development of people, and particularly the positive contribution this makes to the local community.  “To be able to influence this in my home town and to see our students grow and succeed as a result of their UCOL experience is a privilege.”

Maria was born in the Wairarapa and comes from six generations of family in the region.  She lives locally and is an experienced manager who has had held national and regional roles, most recently with the Brainwave Trust Aotearoa and overseas positions.  Maria has worked in and around education, supporting teachers and students.  Maria and the six generations of her Wairarapa family are well known to many people.  

“This week it was a delight to welcome our students, both new and those who are returning from last year.  The campus has come alive with their voices and the excitement of what lies ahead.   The powhiri and market day activities were very special, and had a wonderful welcoming feel.  It’s going to be a great year.” 

“I have worked in many places in New Zealand and overseas, and when I was young I needed to go and experience the world.  This has led me back here, appreciating how fortunate we are here in New Zealand and what a wonderful place the Wairarapa is” said Maria.

Maria is looking forward to connecting with people in the community to increase local connections with students and ensure UCOL responds to what is needed.  “My role as Campus Manager is to grow our campus, and this involves building relationships with students, staff, local employers, schools and our iwi Kahangunu and Rangitaane.  I want to thank Kahangunu and Rangitaane for the very special powhiri held for me, and now for the students.   We are fortunate to enjoy the Marae on the campus and the trees and buildings make it a lovely environment for students and staff.”
There are many courses still to start mid-year, such as cookery, construction and foundation skills, and Maria encourages anyone thinking about studying this year to get in touch.