Ko te Tangata Leadership Programme:
New and Emerging Leaders


The University of Waikato is committed to the development of staff and leadership. We advocate a distributed leadership model where leadership is encouraged from staff at all levels and in any position within the University.

The Ko te Tangata Leadership Development Programme is designed for new and emerging leaders to develop their capacity and capability for the benefit of the University and to meet the needs of staff (with regard to aspirations, motivation and retention) as identified through PGS conversations, staff survey responses and other media.

The University Coat of Arms features the motto, Ko Te Tangata, which means "For the People" and reflects the University's philosophy that people are central to the institution and are our most valued resource.

The outside red border is a stylised fern frond or pitau that symbolises new birth, growth, vitality, strength and achievement. The open book surrounded by the four stars of the Southern Cross is a symbol of learning. The Coat of Arms design is in the University's colours of black, red and gold.

Target Audience

The Ko te Tangata Programme is designed for new and emergent/aspiring leaders. Other staff are welcome to apply if they believe the programme would be of benefit to their leadership development.

The use of the term ko te tangata, the University's motto, relates to the need for leaders to understand the core values and principles which drive the University and should underpin our leadership practice. It recognises the importance of relationships and concern for people, and highlights partnership with Māori and what this means for leaders within the University.

Staff should, in the first instance, discuss participation with their direct manager and apply with the support of both their manager, and the relevant Director, PVC, DVC, AVC or equivalent most senior manager, asking them to send a letter or email of support to Mike Bell ([email protected]). We particularly encourage women, Māori and Pacific staff to apply.


The programme is comprised of:

  • Four two day modules (described below);
  • Real business problems and case studies (to be worked on as part of a group between the modules);
  • The final module will include presentations from groups to their line managers and other selected University senior managers;
  • Workplace learning and mentoring, it is expected that participants will be encouraged by their line managers to improve their leadership and management capabilities over time and to take more leadership responsibility as appropriate to their roles.

The programme should also be supported and reinforced through effective PGS and personal professional development planning processes.

The programme aims to enhance:

  • retention and motivation
  • career development at the University
  • succession planning to prepare staff to apply for future team leader and management vacancies
  • the capacity of the University by developing a pool of potential future leaders i.e. staff who will able to take up leadership roles as they arise, including such things as overseeing, supervising, coaching, or mentoring other staff; taking up appropriate management responsibilities; or representing the work unit at various fora where appropriate, and
  • honour the University’s commitment to leadership and management development.

On successful completion participants will be presented with a certificate of completion and details will be published in Community and online within the leadership area of the Professional and Organisational Development (POD) website.


2021 Dates

Participants are expected to attend all sessions as follows:

  • Module 1 - 17 & 18 June
  • Module 2 - 15 & 16 July
  • Module 3 - 26 & 27 August
  • Module 4 - 30 September & 1 October

Sessions will be held in B.G.24 and run from 9.00 to 4.00 with a lunch break at 12.00.  Lunch and tea breaks will be catered.

Module 1: Perceptions of Leadership

  • Connecting with the purpose of leadership
  • Distinguishing between professional expertise, management and leadership
  • Developing framing as leadership practice


  • We will explore theories of leadership from Lao Tsu in the 6th Century BC through to 21st Century concepts of leadership.
  • We will consider whether there are differences in the ways that men and women lead and ask what we can learn about leadership from concepts found in Mātauranga Māori.
  • We will seek clarity around the difference between our personal professional expertise, management and leadership activities and practice.
  • We will use this to create a synthesis on which to build a personal leadership platform and consider how we can take our personal leadership to the next level.
  • Finally we will examine the concept of framing as a tool for leadership development and realising our leadership potential.

Module 2: Perceptions of Self

  • Understanding personality and leadership
  • Harnessing personal strengths
  • Engaging in continuous improvement and professional development


  • We will undertake different personality indicators (16Personalities) to help identify personal strengths and areas for growth as leaders.
  • We will examine the power of Goal Setting and how it can be used to ensure personal growth.
  • We will investigate opportunities for growth and development within the University context.

Module 3: Leadership in Context

  • Building robust conversations
  • Engaging productively with conflict and difference
  • Identifying and working across boundaries


  • We will examine communication used by leaders and practise a range of communication skills.
  • We will look at the importance of leadership at all levels within the University context, including a good understanding of core business and our Mission.
  • We will consider the University Strategy and how we can best contribute to the achievement of University goals.
  • We will discuss the importance of mana Māori at the University of Waikato, application of the principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi, and understanding the Māori Advancement Plan 2015-2017.
  • We will look at University structures (including Committees), delegated responsibilities and decision making practices.

Module 4: Sustaining Leadership

  • Leading through change and uncertainty
  • Working with meaning and purpose
  • Sustaining leadership practice


  • This module will include presentation of a proposal around a key business issue (identified at the start of the programme) which participants will have been working on in teams of 3 to 4 over the previous three months.
  • We will develop an understanding of change and some common approaches to change management.
  • We will create personal action plans for participants to think about their future leadership journeys – including how to find a suitable mentor, make best use of processes such as PGS, and looking for opportunities for development and enrichment.


The Professional and Organisational Development Manager will lead the programme with other presenters drawn from senior university leaders and staff in key roles, with an opportunity to share their own personal leadership journey and leadership philosophy.


Staff who are interested in participating should, in the first instance, discuss with their line manager, seek a letter/email of support from the most senior manager (PVC, Dean, HoS, Director, DVC or equivalent) and then advise Mike Bell ([email protected], ext 8894). If there are more expressions of interest than places available participants will be selected in consultation with line managers. Mike can also provide further information and advice as required.

Note: that we require a minimum of 12 participants.

We will identify and nurture emerging leaders and actively pursue continuous improvement and innovation in our research, teaching, service and business activities.

Further Information

If you would like further information about the programme then you may wish to discuss with someone who has already participated; see the lists below. Note that programme content has evolved over time to reflect the changing needs of the University.

You may also be interested in what the Vice-Chancellor had to say about the 2017 programme in his Community column.

2021 Participants

Participants who successfully completed the 2021 Programme were:

  • Belinda Sleight
  • Candra Pullon
  • Cerys Davidson
  • Dakota Sorensen
  • Danielle Botha
  • Elizabeth Copeland
  • Kalleisha Kawerau-Wade
  • Melissa Shirley
  • Natalie Hesqua
  • Peter Higgins
  • Thushanth Chandrakumar
  • Tiruni John

2020 Participants

Participants who successfully completed the 2020 Programme were:

  • Ane Ahio
  • Casey Davies
  • Chris Morcom
  • David Culliford
  • Hayley Ferrier-Kerr
  • Hongwei Di
  • Jeremy Max
  • Karleen Purchase
  • Leni Lolohea
  • Natalie Lulia
  • Olivia Patty
  • Paula Maynard
  • Rachel Fulton
  • Sharon Aitchison
  • Sianiti Bulisala
  • Tawhanga Nopera
  • Tuatahi Nightingale-Pene

2018 Participants

Participants who successfully completed the 2018 Programme were:

  • Asheesh Gautam
  • Bianca Nichol
  • Jessica Howie
  • Jiten Tewani
  • Liesha Mawdsley
  • Michelle Te Amo
  • Nick Read
  • Renae Dixon
  • Rewa Gilbert
  • Tanya Mete
  • Wanda Ieremia-Allan

2017 Participants

Participants who successfully completed the 2017 Programme were:

  • Angela Dickinson
  • Bryony Hawthorn
  • Dale Hills
  • Daniel Bryant
  • Joseph Henderson
  • Karen Harris
  • Krista Henare
  • Michele Mason
  • Paul Cowan
  • Rachael Elliott
  • Sarah Robson
  • Sussi Bell
  • Thomas McDonald
  • Tuti Nikora

2015 Participants

Particpants who successfully completed the 2015 Programme were:

  • Huw Alderman - FMD
  • Jennifer Campion - Library
  • Kathleen Dabell - FSEN
  • Pauline Gray - WMS
  • Nikki Harcourt - Research and Enterprise
  • Andy Howells - CME (Tauranga)
  • Anne-Marie Kell - SASD (Tauranga)
  • Jude Loughnan - WMS
  • Myles McInnes - WMS
  • Cynthia McNabb - CME
  • Charlotte Matheson - FEDU
  • Rachel Prasad - ITS
  • Dean Sandwell - FSEN
  • Angela Scarsbrook - SASD
  • Hayley Scrimgeour - FEDU
  • Hannah Te Puia - FCMS
  • Shannon Mackey

2014 Participants

Particpants who successfully completed the 2014 Programme were:

  • Cassandra Beattie - SASD
  • Heather Lowery-Kappes - SASD
  • Steve Cunningham - FMD
  • Paul Marsh - FMD
  • Melody Downs - MACD
  • Annette Rodgers - FSEN
  • Judith Hall - Library
  • Helen Lynch - Library
  • Fiona McCallum - Library
  • Toni Cornes - FSEN
  • Tracey Morgan - CeTTL
  • Deborah Allen - FSD
  • Kerry Allen - FSEN
  • Bobbie Wisneski - WMS