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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

14 mins ago

Fred Koenders, EIT’s Executive Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Technology, (left) was farewelled by EIT’s Chief Executive Chris Collins, (right) when he retired this week after 18 years at the institution.

Fred Koenders, whose name is synonymous with EIT, has this week retired from his role as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Technology after 18 years at the institution.

EIT Chief Executive Chris Collins paid tribute to Fred, saying his professionalism, hard mahi and loyalty to EIT would be missed.

“We are very sorry to lose Fred’s contribution to the institution, which has been extensive across many fronts, but we wish him well as he and his wife Lynne embark on a new phase of activities and adventures together.”

“Fred has made a major contribution in ensuring EIT remains a vital part of the community through strong partnerships both here in NZ and overseas, particularly in China. He has helped lead and oversee many developments.”

For Fred, the plan has always been to retire at this stage of life.  “The goal was always for my wife and me to retire together.  Lynne, who is a teacher, finished her work before Christmas.

Fred says EIT has been a fantastic place to work.

“EIT has got a very positive culture and looks after and cares for its students and staff. The role has allowed me significant scope to innovate and grow the business, which I believe I’ve contributed to in the last 18 years that I’ve been at EIT.”

“During my time, I have been lucky to have had excellent Chief Executives in both Bruce Martin and Chris Collins. EIT is ably led and governed.”

He also paid tribute to colleagues he has worked with through the years.

“I’ve got a very experienced, and high quality faculty management team that has made my job comparatively easy, given the breadth of control and responsibilities that I have had. I very much enjoy working with them.  They really are the engine room of operations management at EIT, and they do a fantastic job.”

Born and bred in Palmerston North to Dutch immigrants and World War Two refugees, Fred completed a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and went on to obtain a Master of Management Studies from Massey University. He has held a number of senior management positions, including at the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, before he was appointed EIT’s Head of School Education and Social Sciences. He impressed with his leadership skills because about two years later he was appointed to his current Dean role. He was Dean of three Schools then, but now has seven Schools under his wing.

He has seen EIT grow tremendously during this time.  He was part of the merger with Tairāwhiti and co-led the development of the EIT Auckland International Graduate Campus.

“When I started EIT had about 95 qualifications just delivering into the Hawke’s Bay region and now it has about 150 qualifications delivering into Hawke’s Bay, Tairāwhiti, Auckland, China, and South Pacific.”

Other highlights for Fred have been the expansion postgraduate portfolio and overseeing the institute becoming the first polytechnic to have a Primary Teaching Degree, a plumbing programme and an Electrical Vehicle Servicing programme, as well as EIT’s establishment of two Joint Education Programmes in China.

Well-known in Hawke’s Bay sporting circles, Fred has been a triathlete for 35 years and has represented New Zealand in his age group at three world championship events and has managed the New Zealand triathlon team internationally. He was also on the board of Sport Hawke’s Bay for 12 years, of which he was Chair for nine.

“The sport of triathlon has been my out-of-work passion, whereas EIT has certainly been my in-work passion. I’ve given them both barrels really. I think I’ve worked hard at EIT, and I certainly work hard at my triathlon sport, too.”

So, rather than sitting back in retirement, the father of three adult children plans to spend more time on his training regime.

“I’ll probably up the training a little bit, if the body copes with it, and just take more time over it.”