Former mayor relishes role

John Robertson is moving on from his defeat in last year?s Papakura mayoral election and is taking up a high-ranking role at the Manukau Institute of Technology.

He takes over as the institute’s new dean of business this week and will be responsible for the future direction of the Faculty of Business.

Mr Robertson was Papakura mayor from 2004 until October last year.

He lost the mayoralty after a savage election campaign in which he was the victim of an anonymous pamphlet campaign spreading malicious information about him and then-deputy mayor Katrina Piggott.

Mr Robertson says he has moved on from losing the mayoralty.

"I really loved that role and thought we were achieving really good things but I’ve moved on and this position is something that I’m going to find equally as challenging. I’m looking forward to it."

Mr Robertson also represented Papakura as an MP for two years and has chaired the boards of several companies including award-winning Sealegs Corporation and online retailer Fishpond.co.nz which his son set up.

From 2000 to 2004 he was the chairman of Infrastructure Auckland, the statutory corporation that controlled Ports of Auckland, owned the America’s Cup Village and developed Auckland’s passenger transport rail business plan.

He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and is an accredited member of the Institute of Directors.

He has served as a trustee of Trust Manukau, the Pacific Events Centre, the Pacific Foundation and South Auckland Hospice.

"I have served both in the public and private sectors so I think I can add value to MIT from those experiences," Mr Robertson says.

"But I’m really keen to lead the business faculty in a way that inspires students to be attracted there and that attracts really good quality staff and connects well with the business community."

Mr Robertson holds a master’s degree of business administration from the University of Washington and a bachelor of business studies with first class honours from Massey University.

"I’m very much a person who believes education is a key to the development of people and communities," he says.

"Having those strong foundations is really important. Those foundations have given me chances in life and given most people chances in life."

Mr Robertson, who has stayed on in Papakura, says he is particularly keen to work with local schools to lift the institute’s profile.

MIT chief executive Peter Brothers says Mr Robertson’s appointment is an exciting one.

"John’s appointment builds on the existing strengths of business education at MIT as well as enhancing our growth and development and market focus.

"His breadth of knowledge, reputation and strategic expertise will be of enormous benefit to MIT and to the Counties Manukau region as we work with schools, business and industry, the professions and local and central government to best meet the educational needs of the region," Mr

Papakura Courier