EIT’s long-serving Chief Executive Chris Collins has been honoured with a building on the Institute’s Hawke’s Bay campus being named after him.
An unveiling ceremony was held on the campus in Taradale yesterday (Monday, 31 October 2022) where the student amenities building was named the Chris Collins Building.
Mr Collins has been Chief Executive of EIT since 2004 and with EIT becoming a business division of Te Pūkenga from today (Tuesday, 1 November 2022), he will become EIT Executive Transitional Lead of the EIT Business Division of Te Pūkenga until next year.
The unveiling was attended by EIT’s outgoing Board of Directors, including Board Chair Hilton Collier; members of the EIT Executive and staff . Three Hawke’s Bay mayors – Kirsten Wise of Napier; Sandra Hazlehurst of Hastings; and Central Hawke’s Bay’s Alex Walker – were also there and paid tribute to Mr Collins for his commitment to and support of the region. Also in attendance were local business leaders and a number of former staff members, including Mr Collins’ predecessor Bruce Martin and former EIT Deputy Chief Executive Mark Oldershaw, who is now Chief Executive of Whitireia and WelTec.
Mr Collier says the Board wanted to recognise the contribution Mr Collins has made to the institution during almost two decades of leadership.
“Chris has been an outstanding leader who ensured EIT met the needs of our learners across one of the largest vocational training footprints in our sector.”
“Chris has also been a strong advocate for ensuring our buildings were fit for purpose for us to deliver our academic services and vocational training. We thought that this building was worthy of bearing his name and we are pleased to make this announcement.”
Mr Collins says he was surprised and humbled by having a building named after him.
“I have enjoyed my time as Chief Executive of EIT and have had very supportive Councils and more recently the Board of Directors. I have also been privileged to work with many talented and hardworking colleagues during my tenure.”
“While I am honoured to be recognised with this building name, I believe that the many successes EIT has had during my time has been a collective effort by the EIT whānau.”
Prior to his appointment to EIT, he previously spent 17 years employed in the University sector, at both Victoria and Massey Universities, before taking up executive roles in the Institute of Technology sector in 2002.
During his time at EIT Mr Collins oversaw the merger of Tairāwhiti Polytechnic and EIT Hawke’s Bay in 2011; the establishment of the Auckland Campus in 2014; and building EIT’s reputation as a research institute; among other things.