Over thirty years Doug has helped thousands of young New Zealanders get a foothold in the world of employment. 


Doug Reid began with NZ Community Colleges on its very first day of business. Thirty years on the CEO has helped thousands of young New Zealanders get a foothold in the world of employment. 

Community Collegespractical NZQA-based programmes provide people from 16 years of age with hands-on practical training for the confidence and skills for careers in hospitality, sport & recreation, hairdressing, retail, tourism and even equestrian training.

“We believe everyone can learn and overcome any learning barriers to achieve their goals in a supportive learning environment,” Doug says. “Everyone learns differently and we cater for all learning types, particularly with kinaesthetic (hands on and practical) learning.” 

Key to success, Doug says, are ‘softer’ skills - creativity, relationship building, resilience, adaptability and handling uncertainty and ambiguity.

“There can be many reasons for poor academic achievement in the traditional sense, and these need not be a limiting factor when young people enter the real world. With the right support we can produce highly adaptable people for a rapidly changing world.”

Funded largely by the public purse through TEC and Work and Income, checks-and-balances on Community Colleges’ activities are important. When Community Colleges NZ needed a new auditor in 2016, the trail led to Ashton Wheelans principal Mark Tynan.


Doug says the appointment came after a period of significant change in Community College’s accounting function which placed additional demands on Ashton Wheelans in their establishment phase. Another immediate need was to ensure compliance with the new External Reporting Board (XRB) not-for-profit reporting rules.

“Mark showed real affinity for what we’re trying to achieve - it was clearly not just an assignment for Ashton Wheelans but something with much more purpose.”


“In every aspect of the audit process, from preparing returns to NZQA and TEC to prudential cash flow monitoring, they’ve been great to deal with.”

Doug says the ability to see the bigger picture is important from an auditing perspective. 

“The demand for our courses inevitably fluctuates and this affects how we manage revenue and costs. This is all something that needs to be understood by the auditing team, and Ashton Wheelans has a real sense for this.”