Executive Leadership Team

Megan Gibbons

Chief Executive
Portfolios: Regional Centre of Expertise Otago

Megan is a successful educator who won the Ako Aotearoa National Award in Excellence in Tertiary Teaching in 2016. Prior to her current role she was the Deputy Chief Executive for People and Performance. Megan has expertise in academic leadership, with strengths in curriculum development and leadership development. She completed the Educational Leadership Programme at Harvard University in 2019. She is a New Zealand Athletics coach, and well recognised within Otago Sport. She is a judge for the annual Otago Sports Awards.

Megan is a member of the following Boards:

  • Athletics Otago
  • Otago Boys High School
  • Wildlife Hospital
  • Open Education Foundation
  • TANZ eCampus


  • Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences), The University of Auckland, 2014
  • GCTLT, Otago Polytechnic, 2009
  • M.Sc. (1st class Hons) (Nutrtitional Science), Massey University, 2003
  • PG.Dip.Diet. (Distinc), The University of Otago, 1996
  • B.App.S (Human Nutrition), The University of Otago, 1994

Philip Cullen

Deputy Chief Executive/Chief Operating Officer
Portfolios: Corporate Services, Campus Services, Te Pā Tauira, Capital Planning, Special Projects, Information Systems and Support, Performance Excellence, Marketing, Sales and Communications

Philip is an experienced leader in financial and business management. Prior to joining Otago Polytechnic Philip worked at The Ministry of Agriculture, the University of Otago and Presbyterian Support. 

Philip is a member of, or advisor to, the following Boards:

  • Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus (OPAIC) 
  • Education Foundation 
  • Open Education Resource universitas (OERu)
  • Future Skills
  • I Am Capable 


  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Otago
  • Bachelor of Commerce, University of Otago

Janine Kapa

Deputy Chief Executive: Māori Development/Kaitohutohu
Portfolios: Māori Student Success. People & Culture

Janine has been passionately involved in Māori education for over 25 years; in the compulsory and tertiary sectors, from the classroom to the board room, both regionally and nationally. With a background also in social research, project management, communications and strategic development, Janine co-founded a bicultural communications consultancy in Wellington in 1999 and from then until 2003 worked in a number of central Government agencies, e.g.: ETSA (now the TEC), the Ministry of Health, Te Puni Kōkiri and NZQA. On returning to Te Waipounamu (the South Island) in 2003, Janine has worked for her iwi as the Ngāi Tahu Education Manager (2003-2005), and more recently, held leadership roles at the University of Otago (2007-2017), firstly as Acting Director then Deputy Director of Māori Development, and more latterly, as the Associate Dean Māori in the Otago Business School.

Janine is a member of the following Boards:

  • Chair – A3 Kaitiaki Ltd 
  • Chair – Kōkiri Training Centre 
  • Otago Youth Wellness Trust
  • KUMA (Southern Māori Business Network)
  • Janine is also the Otago Polytechnic representative on the Grow Dunedin Partnership Steering Group


  • Bachelor of Education, University of Otago, 1993 
  • Diploma in Teaching, Dunedin Teachers’ College, 1992

Laura Warren

Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety
Portfolios: People and culture, safety and wellbeing 

Laura has considerable expertise in Human Resources, particularly in tertiary education environments. She worked in HR management roles at the University of New South Wales in Sydney (2008-2015), and the University of Otago (2016-2019) before joining Otago Polytechnic in 2019 as Director People and Culture. Laura has particular expertise in change and transition management, employment relations, and leadership coaching and support.

Laura is a member of the following Boards and committees:

  • Otago Branch President, Human Resources Institute of New Zealand
  • Intern Director, Delta

Laura has the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Sociology), University of Otago, 2006 
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Management), University of Otago, 2006

Jason Tibble

Deputy Chief Executive – Learner Journey, Manukura Tuarua – Ara Tauira

Jason is responsible for helping ensure learners remain at the fore of our decision-making, overseeing the provision of a positive and supportive learning environment and an outstanding learner experience that contributes to high learner engagement, and successful learner outcomes.  This involves leadership of the Learner Services functions, Academic Registry, Te Punaka Ōwheo and the Internationalisation portfolio, as well as system-level strategic leadership across the wider business.

Jason is a former student of Otago Polytechnic where he gained a certificate in Sports Management.  He then moved into a research scholarship and further study at Otago University where he attained a Bachelor of Commerce Degree with a Major in Management and a Minor in Marketing. 

Jason has spent time in senior leadership roles in New Zealand and Australia in both the private and the public sector.  He has held executive roles in FMCG as well as the Finance industry and prior to joining the Polytechnic he was the Regional Public Service Commissioner for all of Government in Otago and Southland as well as the Regional Commissioner for the Ministry for Social Development.


Jason is a member of the following boards and committees:

  • Chairman of New Zealand Rugby League South Island
  • Director of CODE
  • Director of Grow Dunedin
  • Sport Otago trustee



  • Certificate in Sports Management, Otago Polytechnic
  • Bachelor of Commerce, Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services, University of Otago 2006

Megan Pōtiki

Manukura Tuarua - Mana Taurite/Deputy Chief Executive Partnership and Equity

Tēnei te rūrū te koukou mai nei
Kihai mahitihiti
Kihai marakaraka
Te ūpoko nui o te rūrū
Ko Pukekura te mauka, ko Ōtākou te awa moana, ko Ōtākou hoki te kāika. Ko Taiaroa rāua ko Karetai ōku tūpuna. I ahu mai au i te whānau Ellison. Ko Megan Pōtiki ahau.

I hail from Ōtākou and whakapapa to Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe Waitaha and Te Ātiawa iwi. My parents are Edward and Alison Ellison. I have a brother, Brett Ellison. My husband is Tahu Pōtiki who passed away in 2019. I am mother to three children (Ripeka, Timoti and Tūkitaharaki) and have a large family unit who provide constant support, as the saying goes “it takes a village to raise a family.”

Otago Polytechnic has welcomed Megan Pōtiki to Te Kāhui Manukura, our Executive Leadership Team. Formerly a full-time lecturer in Te Tumu school of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous studies at the University of Otago, Megan is in the process of the final edits of her PhD and her research interests are focused on the loss of te reo Māori at Ōtākou and the written Māori archives of the past that have a particular geographical focus on her tribal region of Kāi Tahu. Megan was a director on the board of Otago Polytechnic 2020-2022.

Megan brings valuable experience to Otago Polytechnic’s Te Kāhui Manukura, having been involved in projects that have required her cultural support, to write narratives and guide tikanga and te reo while instilling values into design, building and development.

In her role of Manukura Tuarua - Mana Taurite/Deputy Chief Executive Partnership and Equity, Megan will work within the Office of the Kaitohutohu to uphold the mana of our partnerships with rūnaka and the local Māori community, and advancing the educational aspirations of iwi, hapū and whanau.



  • Diploma in Teaching, Primary (Otago)
  • Bachelor of Education (Otago)
  • Master of Educations  (Canterbury)

Chris Williamson

Deputy Chief Executive Academic Delivery

Chris has been at Otago Polytechnic for 16 years as a senior lecturer, counsellor, Associate Head of School, Head of School, and Head of College. This has given him a deep understanding of the way Otago Polytechnic operates and changes that have occurred. He is a strong believer in education and the opportunities it brings to students.

After finishing school in Dunedin, he went on to attend Otago University where he attained a Bachelor of Arts, Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Masters of Education endorsed in counselling.

Chris then worked in a variety of counselling roles from children and youth through to forensic work. He recently spent six years on the Executive for the New Zealand Association of Counselling where he was part of the group who developed the Educators Standards for all degree and Masters counselling programs. Chris has been a member of NZAC for 25 years and still provides supervision for leaders within counselling services.

Chris is a member of:

  • New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC).
  • Previously National Executive member for NZAC


  • Otago University. Masters of Education, Endorsed in counselling with credit (1997)
  • Otago University. Post Graduate Diploma in Arts, with credit (1994) (Education)
  • Otago University. Bachelor of Arts (1993) (Major in Education)
  • Otago Polytechnic. Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Learning and Teaching (2011, level 7)
  • Otago Polytechnic. Certificate in Mata a Ao Māori (2012, level 4)

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