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


    Talofa lava malo le soifua ma le lagi e mama. 

    My name is Adrienne Belford. I grew up in windy Wellington but now live in the heart of South Auckland – Otara. 

    I have been a transition coordinator for the trades academy for three years. What I love about my job is that I get to see our rangatahi fulfil their potential, achieve their goals as well as pathway them to what will be the start of their career. 

    Outside of work I am a mum and enjoy watching my son play football every Saturday morning.

  • Claire Garnier

    Transitions coordinator

    Phone: (09) 976 0695 or 022 568 0010


    Hi, I’m Claire. 

    I was born and raised in the South of France. New Zealand became home over 8 years ago after I fell in love with its landscapes and people. 

    With a background in community work, I love working with youth helping them to identify their professional goals and supporting them in their journey. 

    Outside of work, I spend a lot of time in the great outdoors, hiking, swimming and camping. I am also passionate about health and well-being, natural products, personal development and yoga.

  • Emma Takataka

    Transitions coordinator

    Phone: (09) 968 7791  or 022 012 1582


    Mālō e lelei. My name is Emma Takataka. I was born and raised in Otara.

    As a transition coordinator, I support our MIT trades academy students while they are studying. I love seeing students engaged in our practical learning environment.

    Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with family and friends.

  • Feiloaki Takataka

    Transitions coordinator

    Phone: (09) 976 0575  or 022 067 5766


    Malo e Lelei and Kia Ora. 

    My name is Feiloaki but many know me by Aki. I’m a proud Tongan who was born and raised in Otara – home of the brave. 

    I really enjoy my job here at MIT. As a transitions coordinator, I am very passionate about helping our tamariki pathway towards their dream job. 

    I’m very fortunate to be part of a supportive team who love what we do and strive for nothing but the best. What can I say… I love working where the best makers are made. 

    Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, watching anime and doing a bit of photography.

  • Gaynor Matthews

    Pathways manager

    Phone: (09) 926 7800


    I was born and raised in the North of England near Newcastle. I moved to London to teach in Secondary Schools. 20 years ago, I moved to New Zealand with my two sons and then had our first-generation kiwi, a daughter. 

    I taught at Papakura High School for 14 years before coming to MIT as a hospitality lecturer and I am now the Pathways Manager for the MIT trades academy. 

    Throughout my own education and teaching, vocational education has always been my passion. I value education that is exciting and relevant and leads to great career opportunities. MIT offers a large range of vocational courses which are hands-on and teach the skills you will need in industry. 

    I have lived and worked in South Auckland for 20 years, I love the diversity of cultures and working with our priority learners. Outside of work I enjoy cooking and spending time with family and friends.

  • Jennifer Cotton

    Pathways administrator

    Phone: (09) 976 0512


    My name is Jennifer otherwise known as Jenn.  As a pathways administrator, I do behind the scenes admin work and am lucky enough to work with a passionate team. 

    Working at MIT and hearing about young people who are thriving and achieving their goals gives me great pleasure and a huge amount of satisfaction. 

    Outside of work I like to do anything that involves the outdoors, walking, gardening, watching my children play sports and spending time with my family and friends.

  • Josephine Murray-Stowers

    Transitions coordinator

    Phone: (09) 980 9621 or 022 568 0072


    Talofa Lava and Kia Ora,

    My name is Josephine but you can call me Jo or Jojo. I am proud to be of Samoan and Maori descent and was born and raised in South Auckland.

    I’m excited to be joining the Trades Academy team to support our rangatahi in reaching their full potential to achieve their goals and future careers.

    For the future, your task is not to foresee it, but enable it. 
    – Antoine de Saint Exupery.

    Outside of work I enjoy 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.