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Innovation Development Group Diversifies Revenue

Providing mentoring services to Māori and Pasifika secondary school students to assist them to remain engaged in their schooling at NCEA level with Mātātahi Mataora (Youth Services Group) is an example of contract-for-services initiatives the Innovation Development Group (IDG) is growing to increase alternative revenue streams for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. IDG Director Tony Dowling says the recent $382,200 mentoring services contract signed with the Ministry of Education with rights of renewal of up to a further two years representing a total contract value potential of $1,146,600 was one of a number of new initiatives the group currently has on the boil in a bid to diversify the organisation’s income.

Other initiatives currently underway include an in-house pilot programme for Marsh Limited NZ, which aims to provide cultural awareness training for a select group of corporate professionals in their organisation and a targeted international project to take a Te Wānanga o Aotearoa programme into Australia. Tony says these are but a few of the myriad business opportunities he and IDG manager Kingi Wetere are actively pursuing to boost income and reduce the organisation’s dependence on TEC government funding.

IDG Director Tony Dowling focused on securing new funding streams. Our familiar capped ‘business-as-usual’ operation needs to be more strongly augmented by an uncapped ‘business-not-as-usual’ model and that starts with being receptive to change. ‘Often the future shows up before you’re ready for it’, Tony says. ‘So it’s important to anticipate it and respond appropriately to what’s coming so we’re ready to secure and create new opportunities for diversified income growth, otherwise they’ll pass us by.’ Tony joined Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in October last year and brings more than 25 years’ experience from a diverse range of roles, including engineering, project management, operations, business and partner development, sales management, strategic alliances, strategic planning and general management both in New Zealand and overseas. His last role was General Manager of global technology leader Honeywell’s New Zealand operations, which employed 120 people and had a turnover of over $40 million. Tony left Honeywell to join Te Wānanga o Aotearoa because he wanted to make a ‘world’ difference in te ao Māori. He says, ‘At a unit level most of us strive to make a difference within our own family context, but in being a part of the team at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa together we have the means and opportunity to make a ‘world’ of difference for te ao Māori – that’s what it’s all about for me.'

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