Nurturing tomorrow’s World Class New Zealanders

AUT Banner Students AUT 3

Globally partnering successful business people with leading university students is at the heart of a unique mentoring initiative launched today by Kea and AUT.

Fifteen students completing degrees in areas as diverse as hospitality and paramedicine will partner with business professionals who will guide and inspire them, as part of an AUT Mentoring Programme supported by Kea’s Global Network.

Many of the students are second year Woolf Fisher First in Family AUT Scholarship recipients and all have been carefully matched with professionals in their respective areas of study.

Intensive Care Paramedic Haydn Drake from St John New Zealand will be mentoring Bachelor of Health Sciences student Kaycee Bottcher while London-based Sales Director of Orion Health, Belinda Allen will be sharing insights and inspiration with Rebecca Harris, who is completing a Bachelor of Business degree.

Other mentors include a head chef, a youth services advisor, journalists, television presenters, a software developer and a health researcher.

According to AUT Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack, the concept recognises the need to help students qualify with insights into the reality of their chosen career and exposure to their industry, as well as achieving excellent academic results.

“AUT is focused on providing wide-ranging student experiences that complement their academic learning and in turn increase their employability. Our partnership with Kea provides a unique opportunity for our students to grow and learn with help from internationally experienced New Zealanders.”

“This partnership is about paving the way for future Kea and World Class New Zealanders.”

Kea’s World Class New Zealand Network Global Director Ngapera Riley noted that successful mentor relationships provide support, a global viewpoint and inspiration.

“We’re delighted that members of the Kea Global Network have made the commitment to assist AUT students and help them on their journey.”

“Kea’s network embraces hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who live or have lived overseas and we believe their experiences can provide valuable perspective for mentees.”

Mentoring partnerships in the pilot project:


Area of study




Alexandra Newman

Bachelor of Visual Arts

Reina Sutton


Studio One

Amanda Campbell

Business: Marketing Insights

Richard McLean

Regional Executive - Asia

Careers Australia - Workstar

Brendan Allan

Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences

Lamar Ah-Chee

Software Developer


Dana Lawrence

Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences

Greig Cranfield

Co-Founder & Product Manager


Kaycee Bottcher

Bachelor of Health Science

Haydn Drake

Intensive Care Paramedic

St John New Zealand

Mackenzie Bennett

Bachelor of Business, and picking up BA culinary arts 2016

Ben Barton

Head Chef


Martin Yerkovich

Bachelor of Maori Development (but going to change to Comms)

Te Arahi Maipi

Presenter - The After Match

Sky TV

Nikora Price

Bachelor of Communication Studies, plans to major in journalism OR advertising

Peata Melbourne

News Reporter/Presenter


Phoenix Pule-anga

Bachelor of Communications

Ben Birks Ang

National Youth Services Adviser

Odyssey Auckland

Rebecca Harris

Bachelor of Business

Belinda Allen

Sales Director

Orion Health

Roselyn Singh

Bachelor of Health Science

Tania Hall

Interfaith & Community Outreach Specialist

Whaiora Marae

Sarah Bowyer

Bachelor of Arts

Keitha Lally


NZ Police

Shae Miller

Bachelor of Health Science (Physiotherapy)

Erena Wikaire

Maori and Indigenous health researcher

The University of Auckland

Stacey Purdon

Bachelor of Design

Caroline Wells


Young & Shand

Thorne Williams

Bachelor of Communication Studies

Ellen Read

National Business Editor  

Fairfax Media

For any media enquiries or photography, please contact: 

Alison Sykora
Head of Communications, AUT  
M: +64 21 820718