Tō Mātou Tīma

Our Team

Our head office is located in Wellington at Massey University’s campus. Contact the head office team to speak with our National Director, Helen Lomax, or to any of our head office staff.

We have people spread across three regional hubs in Auckland, Palmerston North, and Christchurch. They’re available to answer your questions or talk with you about the services offered in your region.

If you need a hand, or would just like to chat with someone, we're happy to help. 

National Office

ako staff profile Helen lomax

Helen Lomax

Tumuaki | Director

E helen.lomax@ako.ac.nz

ako staff profile joe te rito

Dr Joseph Te Rito

Kaihautū Mātauranga Māori (Deputy Director Māori)

P +64 9 212 7137

E joseph.terito@ako.ac.nz

ako staff profile jill-tanner lloyd

Jill Tanner-Lloyd

National communications and marketing manager

P +64 4 979 3431

M +64 21 423 779

E jill.tanner-lloyd@ako.ac.nz

AKO staff Profiles john milne

John Milne

Senior Advisor Professional Learning

P +64 4 979 3125

E john.milne@ako.ac.nz

AKO Staff Profiles Alexia Tuhi

Alexia Tuhi

Kai-hapai/Personal Assistant

P +64 9 212 7138

E alexia.tuhi@ako.ac.nz

ako staff profile Catherine-leech

Catherine Leech

Communications advisor – Digital media

P +64 4 979 3128

E catherine.leech@ako.ac.nz

Ako staff profile Tessa Green

Tessa Green

Web and Technology Manager (Maternity leave)

P +64 4 979 3430

E tessa.green@ako.ac.nz


Corrina Gestro-Best

National Business Manager

P +64 4 979 3129

E corrina.gestro-best@ako.ac.nz

Tai Samaeli Executive Assistant

Tai Samaeli

Executive Assistant

P +64 4 979 3432

E tai.samaeli@ako.ac.nz


Li Qiao

Finance and Contracts Administrator

P +64 4 979 3139

E li.qiao@ako.ac.nz

Ako staff profile Kristen Rive

Kristen Rive

National Office Administrator (Maternity Leave)

P +64 4 979 3429

E kristen.rive@ako.ac.nz

Northern Hub


Ruth Peterson

Sector Services Manager | Northern

P +64 9 212 7135

M +64 21 943 490

E ruth.peterson@ako.ac.nz

AKO Staff Profiles Alexia Tuhi

Alexia Tuhi


P +64 9 212 7138

E northernhub@ako.ac.nz

Central Hub

Ako staff profile Graeme Read

Graeme Read

Sector Services Manager | Central

P +64 6 951 9219

E graeme.read@ako.ac.nz

Christina Crews

Christina Crews

Learning Technologies Assistant Advisor

P +64 6 951 9218

E christina.crews@ako.ac.nz

Southern Hub

Ako staff profile Jennifer Leahy

Jennifer Leahy

Sector Services Manager | Southern

P +64 3 364 2500

M +64 21 748 496

E jennifer.leahy@ako.ac.nz


Kate Vernon


P 03 364 2504

E kate.vernon@ako.ac.nz

Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Cultural Capability (ALNACC)

ako staff profile Mei Winitana

Dr Mei Winitana

Kaiwhakahaere Māori Cultural Capability

E mei.winitana@ako.ac.nz

ako staff profile Pale Sauni

Pale Sauni

Pacific Priorities and Cultural Leader

E pale.sauni@ako.ac.nz

ako staff profile Saylene Ulberg

Saylene Ulberg

Pacific Cultural Advisor

E saylene.ulberg@ako.ac.nz

ako staff profile Damon Whitten

Dr Damon Whitten

Project Lead | ALN Effective Practice Model

E damon.whitten@ako.ac.nz

ako staff profile Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith

Project Co-Lead | Foundation Learning Professional Standards - Tapatoru

E graeme.smith@ako.ac.nz

ako staff profile Annette van Lamoen

Annette van Lamoen

Project Lead | Professional Learning and Development Model

E annette.vanlamoen@ako.ac.nz