Industry Stakeholder Group welcomes Amanda Wood

The Industry Stakeholder Group (ISG) plays an instrumental role in providing industry voice to Hanga-Aro-Rau Workforce Development Council (WDC).  The ISG is a Hanga-Aro-Rau-specific industry-led group that provides critical guidance and feedback on our strategic direction.  We are proud to welcome Amanda Wood to the ISG where she will lend her wealth of leadership expertise in support of our workforces and a more prosperous Aotearoa.

As Membership Services Manager at Business Central and former Membership Growth Manager at the Motor Trade Association (MTA), Amanda brings a whole-of-industry view to the ISG.  Her people-focused approach to leadership is what attracted her to working with Hanga-Aro-Rau.  “I was inspired to join the ISG because of Hanga-Aro-Rau’s genuine intent to facilitate a conversation with industry and listen to their feedback.  That really resonated with my values.  I love their focus on industry voice and their commitment to getting feedback from as many stakeholders as possible.”

In the past, Amanda took on a similar role, herself, by seeking feedback from MTA members regarding their engagement with the tertiary sector.  “I managed a team of sector experts who actively engaged with members to understand their primary concerns, which predominantly revolved around staffing challenges.  In response, I brought on a Learning and Development Manager to develop a learning strategy, provide guidance on the best available resources, and act as a bridge between the complex tertiary sector and MTA members.”  This process helped Amanda understand how to build more successful workforces, insights that she now brings with her to the ISG.  

Prior to her work with MTA, Amanda spent nearly a decade with Outward Bound New Zealand where, she says, she learned a lot about connecting ideas to create more impactful outcomes.  “I focused on innovation and strategy to ensure our courses remained relevant and met the diverse needs of Aotearoa.  This often required challenging traditional beliefs, such as the idea that impact could only be achieved in certain ways.”  Amanda later brought this expertise to the automotive sector, where she worked in collaboration with Te Pūkenga, Motor Industry Association, Collision Repair Association and New Zealand Media and Entertainment to establish the Women in Automotive Consortium.  “This collaborative effort is dedicated to forging a supportive network and a welcoming space for women within the industry.”

Amanda is a champion for inclusion, having worked on initiatives to support not just women, but also disabled people, Māori and the LGBTQIA+ community.  “I was lucky to work on Aoraki Bound, a 20-day cultural and personal journey developed in collaboration with Ngāi Tahi which included physical, task-oriented components and also cultural components of reo, haka, waiatia, kōrero, pōwhiri, and wāhi tapu. I also managed the Southern Cross course, a 21-day program in partnership between Outward Bound and the Human Rights Commission, which celebrated diversity across race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and ideological beliefs.  I was proud to be part of an organisation that continuously challenged their delivery constraints and adapted programmes to ensure they were accessible to those with intellectual and physical disabilities.”

Throughout her career, Amanda has developed a heightened awareness of the challenges and inequities faced by many New Zealanders.  In her role on the ISG, she is eager to support these groups and all of Aotearoa for a stronger workforce and a more prosperous economic future.  “My most significant achievements have always stemmed from collaborations with organisations, government agencies, communities, schools, and Iwi, working collectively to achieve a common goal.”