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.

  • Adrienne Belford

    Transitions coordinator

    Phone: (09) 968 7241  or 022 012 2075
    Email: Adrienne.Belford@manukau.ac.nz

    Profile

    Adrienne grew up in windy Wellington but now lives in the heart of South Auckland – Otara. 

    She has been a transition coordinator for the trades academy team since 2017. What she loves about the job is seeing MIT rangatahi fulfil their potential, achieve their goals and pathwaying them on to what will be the start of their career. 

    Outside of work Adrienne is a mum and enjoys watching her son play football every Saturday morning.

  • Claire Garnier

    Transitions coordinator

    Phone: (09) 976 0695 or 022 568 0010
    Email: Claire.Garnier@manukau.ac.nz

    Profile

    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
    Email: Emma.Takataka@manukau.ac.nz

    Profile

    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

    Transitions coordinator

    Phone: (09) 976 0575  or 022 067 5766
    Email: Feiloaki.Takataka@manukau.ac.nz

    Profile

    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

    Pathways manager

    Phone: (09) 926 7800
    Email: Gaynor.Matthews@manukau.ac.nz

    Profile

    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
    Email: Jennifer.Cotton@manukau.ac.nz

    Profile

    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
    Email: Josephine.Murray@manukau.ac.nz

    Profile

    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
    Email: nynette.voorwinden@manukau.ac.nz

    Profile

    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.

  • Rahera Tupaea

    Pathways and transitions administrator

    Phone: (09) 976 0985
    Email: Rahera.Tupaea@manukau.ac.nz