Departed Tumuhangarau Garry Johnston was presented with a patu at his farewell which celebrated his impressive contribution to Te Wānanga o Aotearoa over the past two years.
Garry reluctantly left the organisation last week to take up the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Digital Officer roles of Waikato-based information technology company VO2.
Garry built a robust and unified Hangarau team which provides first class IT service to kaimahi and tauira, introduced Zoom technology, Yammer, increased internet speeds across the organisation and much more.
"I want to mihi to Jim and John for your unwavering support and to the Tumu it's been an awesome time, and I feel like that we are not only professional colleagues but more importantly friends for life."
He also paid tribute to the Hangarau team leads who had also grown over the past two years and stepped up to lead their respective teams.
"I want to thank all of you, kaimahi and tauira who have come around to thinking that technology is a core part of what we do."
Te Taituarā John Whaanga said there were many things that Garry had done to earn the respect of Tumu and kaimahi within Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
“There is a commonality that we shared and a passion for the kaupapa of the organisation and its ability to transform lives and to try and make that transformation real," John says.
“The sum total of your time with us Garry is that you made a difference to our organisation, you took our organisation to a better place, you brought skills knowledge, understanding, passion and vision and actually put it into practice."
Garry plans to return as a tauira on one of the Te Ara Reo Māori programmes in the new year.