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New governance qualification to be launched at Waikato University

7 February 2013

Waikato University is to launch the nation’s only postgraduate qualification aimed at upskilling company directors, trustees, board members and elected government officials.

The University of Waikato’s Management School and Te Piringa - Faculty of Law have worked with the Institute of Directors to deliver the postgraduate governance qualification, which will be officially launched on 15 February at the university’s Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.

Governance and Leadership Programme

The new Governance and Leadership Programme, known as G3, is a Postgraduate Certificate designed to serve the needs of directors, trustees, board members and elected local government officials.

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says university experts have been outspoken about the need for quality training for directors.  

"Governors fill privileged positions that regularly require them to make decisions that affect the lives of all New Zealanders. This qualification will equip participants to govern effectively with a correspondent positive impact on the performance, accountability and innovation of companies and organisations in New Zealand and overseas.”

The nine-month programme will be taught by staff from the Waikato Management School and Te Piringa - Faculty of Law and will cover finance, corporate law, ethics, governance, strategy and leadership.

Participants will also complete a final project on their own organisation, putting their new skills to the test.

Meeting the needs of the region and the nation

Waikato Management School Dean Professor Frank Scrimgeour says the qualification is another example of the university meeting the needs of the region and the nation.

“Good governance is crucial for any private business, NFP or public sector organisation, but often the role of a strategic leader is not well understood, especially by those coming from managerial positions. This qualification will help change that.”

Dean of Law Professor Brad Morse says often board members have considerable practical expertise in the operations of the company or organisation yet do not fully understand their legal and ethical obligations as directors or trustees.

“Tragically, some have breached the law, thereby facing personal financial or criminal liability, by effectively delegating their responsibility to external advisers or employees when they are the ones who must investigate properly and make their own decisions.”

Promoting best practice governance

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has been involved in creating the programme and says the course complements its own director development programme.

“This course will offer participants a thorough overview of the key aspects of governance and director duties,” says IoD Waikato Chair Margaret Devlin. “This collaboration with the University of Waikato represents our continued commitment to promoting best practice governance in New Zealand.”

The first intake takes place on 1 April.

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