Educational leader Dr Areti Metuamate has been appointed as the inaugural Chief Executive of Te Kupenga – Catholic Leadership Institute.
Dr Metuamate is of Ngati Kauwhata, Ngati Raukawa ki te Tonga, Ngati Haua and Cook Islands descent. He was raised in Feilding where he attended Hato Pāora College. He graduated from Victoria University of Wellington and the Australian National University, where his PhD was in Pacific leadership. He has held advisory and leadership roles in both the public and tertiary education sectors, most recently as dean of St Mark's College in Adelaide, Australia.
Currently based in Adelaide, he will return to Wellington next month with his wife, Dr Jessa Rogers-Metuamate, a distinguished Indigenous academic, educator, board director, and artist from Australia’s Wiradjuri peoples whose international research has included working with students of St Joseph's Maori Girls' College in Napier.
Te Kupenga was formed on 1 January by merging Good Shepherd College with The Catholic Institute. It has three operating units – Catholic Theological College (for tertiary courses and qualifications), National Centre for Religious Studies, and the Nathaniel Centre for Catholic Bioethics.
Dr Metuamate says he is honoured to have been appointed and excited to be back home after a decade in Australia.
“My wife and I are expecting a son to be born in March, and being based amongst whanau is important for us. It feels like the right time to return home to bring the learning and experience I have gained after 10 years working in Australian universities and organisations,” said Dr Metuamate.
“The opportunity to play a leadership role in shaping Te Kupenga and ensuring it connects and appeals to more of our people is also a key motivation for me.”
NZ Catholic Bishops Conference president Bishop Patrick Dunn is delighted with the appointment.
“Dr Metuamate has emerged as the best candidate from a rigorous selection process. He is a personable and capable man, with the vision, energy and relationship skills needed to get the new organisation up and running,” said Bishop Dunn.
“Areti’s appointment will help drive visibility and growth for Te Kupenga among Māori, Pasifika, younger people and other important communities within our increasingly diverse Church and society. He will bring a contemporary style and quality of leadership to a new organisation that seeks to engage the Catholic and wider communities in ways that are authentic and resonant for our time.”
- Te Kupenga means “the net” or “the fishing net” and recalls the Gospel image of Jesus fishing for people. Bishop Patrick says the name resonates strongly with Pope Francis’ call to the Church to revive its missionary spirit and purpose – to put out into the deep and cast the net wide.