Governance Bio
Mele Wendt
Appoint Professional

Mele Wendt

18 Years
Paid or Unpaid Roles

Interested In:


Private company
Listed company
Government Sector Org
Non Governmental Organisation


Board Member
“I have considerable governance experience on a range of governance bodies, and am a proven and respected leader in the education and not-for-profit sectors. Of Samoan-pakeha heritage, I have a range of skills, knowledge and experiences that add value to any board. I'm looking to expand my current governance responsibilities. ”


Governance Roles

Board Member

Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (The Correspondence School)

June 2017 - Present (3 years)

Appointed by the Minister of Education, I serve on the board that governs the distance education provider for children in early childhood education up to Year 13. Te Kura is NZ's largest school with over 22,000 students.


Pasifika Education Centre

December 2016 - Present (3 years)

Appointed by the Minister for Pacific Peoples as Chairperson and reappointed for another term on the board.

Governance Facilitator

Institute of Directors

August 2016 - Present (3 years)

Under the IOD contract with the Ministry of Social Development, I am in the group of governance facilitators who provide governance training/facilitation to boards of social services providers around New Zealand.

Board Member

Pasifika Education Centre

December 2013 - Present (6 years)

Appointed by the Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, I serve on the board which governs this crown entity, PTE and charitable trust in Auckland that provides Pacific language and culture programmes.

Member, Pacific Think Tank

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE)

June 2013 - Present (7 years)

The Pacific Think Tank provides advice and assistance to MBIE on its Pacific strategy and key activities.

Adviser for the Canada Fund

High Commission of Canada

April 2008 - Present (12 years)

I provide advice to the Canada Fund which supports development projects in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati and Tuvalu.

Board member


February 2016 - May 2017 (1 years)

Appointed under the Future Directors programme, I served on the board which governs this industry training organisation (ITO) covering 11 sectors and 25% of New Zealand’s workforce. ServiceIQ has 120+ staff and a budget of over $12m.


Major Arc Charitable Trust

May 2011 - September 2014 (3 years)

I provided governance of an arts trust which uses media, film and storytelling to advance education on environmental and social issues and to create positive change.


Lottery Grants Board Wellington/ Wairarapa Community Distribution Committee

February 2010 - April 2016 (6 years)

As a Ministerially appointed board member, I served two three-year terms on this committee that distributes $3m per year in grants to create benefits for Wellington/Wairarapa communities.

Council Member

Volunteer Services Abroad Inc (VSA)

February 2007 - February 2009 (2 years)

I was co-opted on to the council of VSA which governed the organisation that enables New Zealand volunteers to share skills/expertise in developing countries.

Board Member and Programme Director

New Zealand Harkness Fellowship Trust Board

January 2005 - September 2014 (9 years)

As a trust board member we provided governance and delivery of the US Harkness Fellowships programme and the New Zealand Harkness Fellowships.

Board member and Programme Director

Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy Trust Inc Board

January 2005 - January 2015 (10 years)

As a trust board member we provided governance and delivery of the New Zealand government-funded public policy fellowship programme.

Member of the Executive Committee

Victoria House Inc

January 1997 - January 2007 (10 years)

The Executive Committee provided the governance of Victoria House, a hall of residence for 200 students at Victoria University of Wellington. I was the staff representative from Victoria University on the Committee.

Executive Roles

Managing Director

Scholarship Services Aotearoa Ltd & Mele Wendt Consulting

January 2015 - Present (5 years)

SSA is a social enterprise that: provides advice and expertise to organisations/individuals to improve existing award programmes or to create new programmes; and manages/administers award programmes on behalf of other organisations. Mele Wendt Consulting offers broader consultancy services in the areas of Pacific development, governance, and organisational capacity building.

Executive Director

Fulbright New Zealand

January 2005 - January 2015 (10 years)

Fulbright New Zealand administers the prestigious American Fulbright exchange programme in New Zealand - over 20 different award programmes and 75 awards per year. As the Executive Director, I managed the entire Fulbright operation, an annual budget of $3 million and a team of nine staff. My responsibilities included strategic planning, working with the Board, implementing annual operational plans, managing financial and human resources and external relationships, overseeing the suite of award programmes (promotion, recruitment, applications, selection, orientation and ongoing pastoral care), alumni engagement, events, communications, fundraising and business development.

Manager, Student Recruitment & Course Advice

Victoria University of Wellington

January 1999 - January 2005 (6 years)

Student Recruitment & Course Advice (SRCA) implements activities to recruit domestic students, including specific recruitment of Maori, Pacific, school-leavers, postgraduate students, and mature students. As the Manager I managed a $0.9m budget, reported directly to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and led a team of ten staff located across three offices in two cities (Wellington and Auckland).


Leadership New Zealand

Leadership Programme (year-long), Leadership

2017 - 2017

Institute of Directors in New Zealand

Certificate in Company Direction, Governance

2016 - 2016

Victoria University of Wellington

Postgraduate Certificate of Management Studies, Management

2002 - 2003

Auckland College of Education

Post Graduate Diploma of Teaching, Secondary Education

1990 - 1990

Victoria University of Wellington

Bachelor of Arts, English major

1986 - 1989