About us

The role of Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) is to ensure the vocational education system meets industry needs and gives a stronger voice to Māori business and iwi development. We will give our industries and employers greater leadership and influence across vocational education.


Success for us will mean employers - including Māori business owners - are confident that vocational education graduates are ready for work and that the future skills needs of their industry will be addressed by the vocational education system. 

As well as directly benefiting employers, we will improve confidence and outcomes across the sector. Providers can be confident their programmes are relevant to employers and endorsed by industry. Learners can be confident their qualifications will meet employers’ expectations and national industry standards. 

The industries we represent  

Ringa Hora (Services) WDC works with industries including Advisory Services, Aviation, Cleaning Services, Business Services, Contact Centres, Financial Services, Hospitality, Local Government, Real Estate, Retail, Security Services, State sector, and Tourism & Travel. 

What we will do 

We will work with industry and employers to understand the skills that are needed. This information will be passed to education and training providers, who will be expected to create learning programmes that will give people relevant skills to address future workforce needs. 

We will lead the development of industry qualifications, set industry standards and assess training provision against these industry standards. Where appropriate, we will set and help with capstone assessments at the end of a qualification. Industry standards will be consistently applied across the country, and across all modes of learning, whether on the job (such as apprenticeships), on campus or online.

We will also endorse vocational education programmes prior to them being approved by NZQA. 

Who we will work with 

As well as engaging with industry and employers, we will work collaboratively across the vocational education sector. We will engage with Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs), Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) and Providers (Te Pūkenga, Wānanga and Private Training Establishments (PTEs)).

We will also engage with a range of parties to help inform and prioritise their service delivery. These include the Ministry of Education (MoE), Advocacy Groups, Learners, Te Taumata Aronui, Government agencies and schools. 

Our brand name and logo  

After earlier committing to the development of a te reo Māori name for the Council, the interim Establishment Board sought the advice of Renata Hakiwai (co-chair of Hanga Aro Rau WDC) and his uncle, Dr Joseph Te Rito, a distinguished Māori language specialist and academic. The WDC serves the needs of a broad range of industries, including aviation, hospitality, retail, travel, tourism, cleaning and caretaking, security, contact centres, real estate and financial services. The interim board developed a statement about the importance of service and the exchange between customers and suppliers of that service.  

A name that could fully exemplify these qualities was sought. Dr Te Rito suggested ‘ringa hora’ which is a favourite and often quoted aphorism on marae in Ngāti Kahungunu – Hawke’s Bay, in particular the Heretaunga (Hastings) area. Dr Te Rito states ‘ringa’ are ‘hands’, and ‘hora’ means ‘spread out’ and in this case, facing upwards. ‘Ringa hora’, the upturned, outspread hands symbolises ‘manaakitanga’, 'hospitality’, 'service’. This wonderful value is fundamental to and pervades the whole Services industry. 

Dr Te Rito added that te reo Māori is rich in metaphorical language and other metaphors referring to the 'ringa' were plentiful, such as 'ringa rehe' (skilled person), 'ringa wera' (kitchen worker), 'ringa whero' (chief), 'ringa tohu' (director), 'ringa ngaio' (professional).

Council Chair, Hinerangi Edwards added: “We acknowledge Dr Te Rito, Ngāti Kahungunu and all those who exemplify these qualities every day. We will work hard to live up to this name and the concepts behind it. We know that many of our service industries are hurting and need many arms outspread towards them. Our team, led by Kari Scrimshaw, our Chief Executive, will focus on serving businesses, learners and their communities through supporting the development of meaningful qualifications and standards.” 

Our logo is an image of a taura whiri, a plaited rope. The taura whiri, plaited rope has been used as a metaphor by kaiwhaikōrero (orators) to connect whānau groups through a shared ancestor and to acknowledge a leader’s ability to bring people together. It has been applied to various situations where elements come together in unity. The taura/rope is made by plaiting aho (strands) made from rolled muka (scraped flax strands). Creating a stronger taura (rope) than the aho could on their own. 

Our logo colour relates to Māori culture and the connection between people and nature.  Services occur in our human domain. They are based on interactions between people. The chosen colour links to the ochre pigments of our soils that were fashioned by Tane into the first humans in forming Hineahuone, a woman forged of clay, from who all humans descend.

Who we are 

Our Council 

Hinerangi Edwards – Chair

Hinerangi Edwards (Ringa Hora, Chair)  

Hinerangi Edwards, Taranaki, Ngāruahine, Taranaki, Ngāti Ruanui, Te Arawa, Samoan is an executive director and co-owner of AATEA, a Kaupapa Māori professional services consultancy. She was also the co-chair of the interim Establishment Board for the Primary Industries Workforce Development Council, and is a member of the Māori Economic Development Advisory Board, and a director of Korou Digital Agency in Te Wairoa.   

Hinerangi has previously held governance roles with a number of other organisations including as a Māori Language Commissioner, a councillor at Western Institute of Technology (WITT), a board member of Parininihi Ki Waitotara, and a trustee for a range of charitable trusts. She has a background in career planning and employment and was a national moderator for the Public Sector for 10 years.

Des Flynn 

Des Flynn is the Corporate Affairs Partner for The Warehouse Group and has previously held a range of executive roles in the retail sector including as Chief Executive of Warehouse Stationery, Acting Chief Executive for Life Pharmacy, and Chief Executive for Foodtown Supermarkets. 

Des is also the chair of the Board of Directors for Retail New Zealand, the chair of the Industry Advisory Board for the Massey University Business School, a member of the ServiceIQ board, and a member of the interim Establishment Board for the Services Workforce Development Council.

Jill Hatchwell

Jill Hatchwell  

Jill Hatchwell was previously chair of the interim Establishment Board for the Services Workforce Development Council. She sits on a range of boards including ServiceIQ, the Civil Aviation Authority, SMW Group Ltd, Aorere Resources Ltd, and Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd. 

Jill was previously a shareholder and director of Vincent Aviation Ltd, one of New Zealand’s largest, privately owned international airlines and has been a director of Netball NZ, as well as a number of private companies.

Paul Retimanu

Paul Retimanu is the managing director of Manaaki Management Ltd, which operates Karaka Café and Kawakawa Eatery as well as three function centres in Wellington. He is the president of the Wellington branch of Hospitality NZ, a board member of Hospitality NZ, and chair of the Wellington College Board. 

Paul has strong connections with both Māori and Pasifika business and is chair of the Wellington Pacific Business Network, and deputy chair for Te Awe Māori Business Network.

Alastair Carruthers CNZM 

Alastair Carruthers CNZM 

Alastair Carruthers is the co-founder and director of Homeland NZ Enterprises (a restaurant, cooking school and food embassy based in Auckland), and a Trustee of Cornwall Park. He has been Chair of the Allpress Espresso group, Co-Chair of Te Papa Foundation, Chair of the NZ Arts Council and its investment board, and a member of supervision boards for the Transport and Statistics Ministries. He has also participated on a Ministerial policy task force concerning philanthropy and taxation. 

Alastair is a member and former chair of the Services WDC interim Establishment Board and is a former council member and interim CEO of Unitec. He was Commissioner of the official NZ exhibition at the 2017 Venice Biennale of Art, and has over 20 years’ prior experience as the CEO of two leading NZ corporate and commercial law firms.

Hinurewa te Hau

Hinurewa te Hau

Hinurewa te Hau Whakatōhea, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahungungu, Maniapoto, Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Raukawa and Samoan Heritage. Based in Whangarei, Hinurewa is the General Manager of Creative Northland the regional arts development agency for Te Tai Tokerau (Northland). She is an experienced business leader and a consistent champion of effective Tiriti partnership and realisation of Tikanga Māori values across private sector boards, not for profit organisations and government. Hinurewa was a member of the interim Establishment Boards for of the Creative, Cultural, Recreation and Technology (Toi Mai). Her past governance experience includes chairing the Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) Matariki Festival Trust, a Founder and director of Matariki Cultural Foundation and Chairs the World Music Pan Indigenous Network representing over 34 countries. Other board positions are Q Theatre Limited, Otamatea Pioneer and Kauri Museum based in the Kaipara and recently appointed as a Director to Auckland Unlimited Board. She has honed her skills in public policy, cultural tourism, small business management, and local economic development.

Loren Heaphy

Loren Heaphy  

Loren Heaphy Te Atiawa, is the General Manager Destination and Attraction at ChristchurchNZ. She has previously held roles in a number of organisations in the tourism and events sector including ATEED, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Nelson Tasman Tourism, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and World of Wearable Arts (WoW). 

Loren is chair of the New Zealand Event Association and was previously the chair and co-founder of YoungTEC, an association focusing on upskilling and inspiring young people into pursuing tourism as a career path. In addition, she is a board member of Tourism Export Council of New Zealand and an independent director of Medical Kiwi Ltd.

Maxine Gay

Maxine Gay  

Maxine Gay is the General Manager of Pillars Ka Pou Whakahou, a charitable organisation that aims to help create positive futures for the children of people in prison in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Prior to joining Pillars in 2018 she worked in unions for 35 years, holding a variety of leadership roles. Her last role was Retail, Finance & Commerce Secretary for FIRST Union. Ms Gay has represented New Zealand unions at the ILO and was President of the Asia Pacific Women’s Committee for UNI, a global union federation for the skills and services sectors. 

Maxine is currently a member of the Services WDC interim Establishment Board and the WDC Design Reference Group. She is also a director of ServiceIQ, the Industry Training Organisation for the Services Sector, and was previously a director for Retail Institute, the Industry Training Organisation for Retail.

Jamie Williams 

Jamie Williams 

Jamie Williams Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Kahungungu, Ngati Porou, is CEO and founder of Kāpura, a Wellington based hospitality business with 40 venues covering restaurants, events, and catering. Kāpura employs nearly 1,000 people and has been in the top 10 of the Deloitte fast50 “masters of growth” category every year for the past five years. 

Jamie is a committee member of Te Awe Wellington Māori Business Network and operates his business under Māori tikanga principles of Manaakitanga, Kotahitanga and whanaungatanga. He has a focus on giving back to the community and during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, Kāpura’s vulnerable food response delivered over 220,000 meals to Wellingtonians in need.

Our leadership team 

Kari Scrimshaw – Chief Executive

Kari is a globally experienced leader who has spent the last 20 years working with organisations across the breadth of the Services sector to help them deliver critical or complex programmes of work.  In her most recent role as a Director with PwC, she specialised in Establishment, leading the team within the Ministry for the Environment to successfully establish the Climate Change Commission and within TEC/RoVE as the Workforce Development Council Lead.  With a strong background in employee and client experience Kari brings a people centered approach to the delivery of transformations.  Kari started her career in the hospitality and tourism business, where she was responsible for the start-up recruiting, onboarding and training hundreds of employees every year. 

How our Workforce Development Council was established  

Extensive consultation with industry and the vocational education sector took place prior to our WDC being stood up on 4 October 2021. 

The establishment of WDCs was led by WDC Interim Establishment Boards (iEBs) that were made up of industry representatives, a number of whom were subsequently appointed to the permanent WDC Council. The main role of iEBs was to oversee the legal establishment of WDCs, which occurred through an Orders in Council (OiC) process. 

Our Order in Council  

The iEB was responsible for consulting with industry and developing an OiC that outlined the name of our WDC, industries represented, governance arrangements and other core aspects of their WDC. More than 200 people and organisations provided feedback on the draft OiCs. This engagement helped ensure our WDC was established in ways that will best meet industry needs. 

Once approved by the Minister of Education, OiCs were sent to the Governor-General for signature. On Monday 10 May 2021 Her Excellency the Governor-General, Patsy Reddy, gave Royal Assent, passing in to law, OiCs establishing the six WDCs. The legislation came into effect on 11 June 2021. 

See the Services OiC – note our WDC had not selected a Māori name by the time our OiC was submitted, hence the OiC does not refer to us as Ringa Hora.