CORE's Team

Paula Collins



Certificate in International Organisations (Geneva University)
Master of Communications (Victoria University of Wellington)

Contact details


P: (04) 974 8825

M: 021 518 518

Region: Wellington

Paula Collin YellowTop Full shot

Professional profile

We’re embedding distributed leadership across CORE, and it starts with the three Kaitiaki who are ‘shared CEOs’: Paula Collins, Tuhi Leef, and Lizana Tuake. This model is to bring great ideas to the fore, and decision making to the hands of those who know the subject best. Being at the forefront of new ideas in education is part of our DNA - we want our organisation to be at the leading edge of best business practice as well!

Paula has a background in consulting with expertise in strategy, policy and operations, organisational development, and driving business performance. She is known for bringing new thinking to the table and finding solutions that work for the audiences and customers/consumers.

Paula successfully led the transfer of Careers NZ to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) ensuring best practice, systems and processes from the two organisations could form part of the new combined entity, all while keeping staff engaged in the process. She was responsible for building the TEC’s new careers strategy, products and services, determining how to run the business functions, along with delivering the functional aspects of IT and corporate systems.

Consulting offered Paula roles that were leading edge, sometimes risky, but always stretching her skill set. Paula was on the NZ Inc Story Marketing Reference Group. She was one of the government’s representatives leading Rugby World Cup 2011 activities in New Zealand, including to bring about a showcase pavilion - Waka Māori - on the Auckland Viaduct. Waka Māori was so successful she was invited to head to San Francisco and host business events alongside Team New Zealand and NZ Trade and Enterprise.

Another significant part of Paula’s career has been operating in corporate/adult training, and in the education sector. She currently Chair’s Te Paepae Arahi, a Māori social services provider, was a Chair for the Māori Language Strategy, and a Board member on projects across education, language, and ICT such as Ka Hikitia, Mā Te Reo, the inaugural Māori Internet Society, and the Music Industry Commission.

Strategic and operational development

  • Paula brings system thinking to the table and helps teams to identify where to make improvements with maximum impact, minimum effort.
  • Machinery of government expertise, combined with sound understanding of customer engagement best practices. Paula enables teams to develop solutions that work.
  • Brings together data and insights, and the right people, to create effective policy, products and services.

Business Development and Voice of Customers

  • Using ‘Future Thinking’ to plan effectively and support the education sector to prepare learners well.
  • Building partnerships to bring the best solutions to our customers. 
  • Understanding customer segments (the people) to ensure products and services are addressing what they need. Nothing better than co-design.
  • Combining data and information to gain valuable insights and applying that to what we do.

Marketing and Communications

  • Expertise developing strategic and operational communications activities including marketing to drive brand recognition and engagement.

Organisational Development and Human Resource expertise

  • Takes great pride in growing and supporting leaders.
  • Development of competency frameworks and management frameworks with support mechanisms needed to drive performance change in business.
  • Creating high performing teams that support the work we do.


  • (2003) Fellow, Foundation for Science, Research and Technology (Tūāpapa Pūtaiao)

Personal statement

Ko Ngāti Ruanui, ko Ngā Rauru ōku iwi ā, i tipu ake ai ahau i raro i te korowai aroha o Ngāti Toarangatira. Tēnei te mihi nui ki a koutou katoa.

I am committed to leading positive transformational change for people and I think every person should have a quality life filled with choice and promise. Whaia kia tata, whakamaua kia tīna! I use this as a touch point in my roles on Boards and senior management teams where system change is as important as organisational change. Being kind and inclusive goes a long way in the work place.

I have high expectations and I’m focused on delivering to customers first.... if it doesn’t work for them, we change what we do, and how we do it.