Meet our team

Our experienced team can help answer your questions and queries and guide you in the right direction.

The transition coordinators provide a high level of support and pastoral care for students enrolled in the Trades Academy. The TC’s proactively work with the student/whanau/caregivers, schools and MIT departments to enable student success in their secondary tertiary pathway. The transition coordinators individually monitor student progress towards attaining Level 2 and 3 NCEA.

  • Claire Garnier

    Transitions coordinator

    Phone: (09) 976 0695 or 022 568 0010


    Claire was born and raised in the South of France. New Zealand became her home in 2012 after falling in love with the landscape and people. 

    She has a background in community work and loves working with youth to help them identify their professional goals and support them on their journeys. 

    Outside of work she spends a lot of time in the great outdoors, hiking, swimming and camping. She is also passionate about health and wellbeing, natural products, personal development and yoga.

  • Emma Takataka

    Transitions coordinator

    Phone: (09) 968 7791  or 022 012 1582


    Emma was born and raised in Otara.  

    As a transition coordinator, she supports trades academy students while they are studying. She loves seeing students engaged in MIT’s practical learning environment. 

    Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.

  • Feiloaki Takataka

    Pathways and transitions administrator

    Phone: (09) 976 0575 


    Feiloaki is known by many as Aki. She is a proud Tongan who was born and raised in Otara – the home of the brave.

    Aki enjoys her job at MIT and as a transitions coordinator she is very passionate about helping tamariki pathways towards their dream job.

    She feels fortunate to be a part of a supportive team who love what they do and strive for nothing but the best.

    Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching anime and doing a bit of photography.

  • Gaynor Matthews

    Head of secondary tertiary pathways

    Phone: (09) 926 7800


    Gaynor was born and raised in the North of England near Newcastle. She moved to London to teach in secondary schools. 20 years ago, she moved to New Zealand with her two sons and then had her first-generation kiwi, a daughter.

    She taught at Papakura High School for 14 years before coming to MIT as a hospitality lecturer and she is now the pathways manager for trades academy.

    Throughout her own education and teaching, vocational education has always been her passion. She values education that is exciting, relevant and leads to great career opportunities. MIT offers a large range of vocational courses which are hands-on and teach the skills needed in industry.

    She has lived and worked in South Auckland for 20 years now and loves the diversity of cultures and the opportunities to work with priority learners.

    Outside of work she enjoys cooking and spending time with family and friends.

  • Jennifer Cotton

    Pathways administrator

    Phone: (09) 976 0512


    Jennifer, otherwise known as Jenn, is a pathways administrator. In her role Jenn looks after the behind the scenes admin work and she enjoys working with a passionate team. 

    Her favourite thing about working at MIT is hearing about young people who are thriving and achieving their goals. 

    Outside of work she likes to do anything that involves the outdoors, walking, gardening, watching her children play sport and spending time with her family and friends.

  • Josephine Murray-Stowers

    Transitions coordinator

    Phone: (09) 980 9621 or 022 568 0072


    Josephine, also known as Jo or Jojo, is of proud Samoan and Maori descent and was born and raised in South Auckland. 

    She is excited to be a part of the trades academy team as she is passionate about supporting rangatahi to reach their full potential and achieve their career goals. 

    “For the future, your task is not to foresee, but enable it.” 

    – Antoine de Saint Exupery.

    Outside of work she enjoys spending time with family and friends, travelling and staying active.

  • Nynette Voorwinden

    Transitions coordinator

    Phone: (09) 976 0513 or 022 568 0055


    Talofa lava; o lo'u igoa o Nynette Voorwinden. Ou te sau mai inu'u o Tulaele, Atafua, Tufutafoe ma Salelavalu. Nynette Voorwinden. Nynette is from the beautiful paradise that is the Pacific, Samoa. 

    Growing up in a low socioeconomic environment where poverty and accessibility to basic needs are common social issues, drove her to pursue her passion for working with young people and communities. 

    As a transition coordinator, she is grateful to be in her role at Trades Academy, encouraging young people to utilise opportunities as a pathway to boost their career and/or future development.

  • Rae George

    Transition Coordinator

    Phone: (09) 976 0513 or  022 568 0229


    I was born on the beautiful island of Aitutaki in the Cook Islands and migrated to Otara, “Home of the Brave.”

    I am a dynamic and engaging youth leader. Am also highly competent in program implementation and group leadership, compassionate, self-motivated with excellent interpersonal and communication skills that enable youth to easily connect. I have volunteered for numerous youth organizations across Auckland and Sydney. My upbringing enabled me to develop a passion for working with youth and seeing them strive for excellence. To our youth, “Be an encourager, the world has enough critics already”.

    Outside of work, I love Korean BBQ at home, taking photos on my Nikon DSLR, and finding vintage goods at second-hand stores.

  • Rahera Tupaea

    Pathways manager

    Phone: (09) 976 0985

  • Yooko Aoshima

    Transition Coordinator

    Phone: (09) 976 0695 or 022 568 0240


    Born and Raised in Samoa, moved to New Zealand at the age of 15, survived two years at Aorere College, moved to Mt Roskill Grammar in the hopes I will become the next Bill Gates.

    However, my plans changed and decided to take on a career in Aviation. Travelled the world, experienced many cultures, cuisines and met some amazing people from all walks of life as a Flight attendant for Air New Zealand for 10 years. I took this experience to the NZ School of Tourism where I was a Trainer for 4 years.

    I have 6 siblings who look nothing like me, however I do look like the female version of my Dad. Love a good sunset, love food, love music and exploring.