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 collins website

Professional profile

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 lead the transfer of Careers NZ to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) in 2017 using a model of integration, rather than take-over. This ensured 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, and was charged with bringing 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 where NZ Trade and Enterprise had set up Waka Māori for further opportunities.

Her passion for Reo Māori influences Paula’s home and work life. She helped establish an active and large Māori language network in Wellington, which went on to run Matariki events in the city heralding others who now also do the same.

Another significant part of Paula’s career has been operating in corporate/adult training and tertiary sectors. Highlights are:

  • Ka Hikitia Board member (MOE education framework), member of education system senior leadership group, and a speaker at education and leadership conferences 
  • Advisor to Minister’s (Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, and Corrections) about ways to drive better results for learners
  • Developed strategy and operations to improve system performance and outcomes for Māori learners in tertiary
  • Managed 21 Māori radio stations and Māori music development, key initiatives to help grow language learning 
  • A Chair of the Māori Language Strategy, and Board member for Mā Te Reo, a national group with a focus on education and learning in communities
  • Developed the first Māori Language Strategy in Broadcasting which is still in use today
  • Managed the Māori Medium arm of Te Kete Ipurangi, NZ’s educational portal for schooling communities 
  • Inaugural Board member of the Māori Internet Society, and current Chair of a Māori social services provider


Paula’s role is to support CORE to continue delivering outstanding products and services to our customers. To do this, she uses her expertise in the following ways:

Strategic and operational development

  • Taking a system view to drive better results at the organisational level. 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’s insight will enable teams to develop solutions that work in the education system 
  • Developing stakeholder engagement plans to ensure our products and services hit the mark
  • Bringing 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 business partnerships to bring the best solutions to our customers 
  • Using audience/customer segmentation to ensure products and services are addressing what they need, not others’ personal preferences
  • Combining data and information to gain valuable insights and applying that to what we do

Marketing and communications

  • Developing Communications Strategies and Plans to align the organisation’s focus and direction and maximise the opportunities being presented through the business
  • Expertise developing strategic and operational communications activities incl marketing to drive brand recognition and engagement

Organisational Development and Human Resource expertise

  • 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, or the services offered to client



I have presented at a number of conferences over the last ten years covering: strategic development, leadership, pathway planning, and policy development. 


  • (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.  Tīhei mauri ora.

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.