The Ko te Tangata Programme is being reviewed in 2023 and will be available again in 2024.

Please add your name & details to this list if you're interested in being notified about when nominations for the revised Ko te Tangata programme open for 2024.

Any queries should be directed to Karen Davies ([email protected])

2022 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 ODR 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, with a focus on team leadership. 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. We particularly encourage women, Māori and Pacific staff to apply.


The programme is comprised of:

  • Four one day modules (plus presentations described below);
  • Real business problems and case studies (to be worked on as part of a group between the modules);
  • An additional half day session 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 ODR and personal professional development planning processes.

The programme aims to enhance:

  • retention and motivation
  • career development at the University
  • development of existing team leaders
  • 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 and to te Tiriti.

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


Module 1: Foundations of Leadership 

An introduction to leadership theory, with a focus on relational leadership and the need for a flexible situational leadership approach. We will also look at key elements of team leadership including team dynamics and team development, and we will share a range of practical team leadership tools.

  • Brief overview of leadership theory from 6th century BC to modern evidence-based approaches
  • Discussion of leadership versus management
  • Identifying the specific challenges and nature of team leadership versus strategic leadership
  • Exploration of situational leadership and the need to develop a range of leadership styles and skill sets to suit the needs of individual team members and cohesiveness of the team
  • A range of practical exercises for team development and building your leadership toolkit

Group Project: We will identify three project groups and select topics to work on throughout the programme, culminating in a group presentation to senior leaders on 4 November.

Module 2: My Leadership Journey 

In this module we will look at what we personally bring to leadership, including personal values, strengths and challenges, previous experience and motivators. This will include exploration of personality traits and motivation theory.

  • Introduction to the Five Factor Model (FFM) and its ethical, practical use in a leadership context
  • Exploration of a range of motivation theories and how they can be leveraged for personal leadership development and the development of team members and teams
  • The art of reflection to empower our personal leadership journey

Group Project: Expectations around group presentations and format of a business proposal. Finalising project scope and purposes.

Module 3: Context for Leadership

While the programme focuses on team leadership it is important to recognise that teams operate within a larger strategic organisational context. Team leaders need to be aware of the impacts of the bigger context within which they operate.

  • Exploration of University strategy and plans
  • Examination of the Māori context and impact on leadership
  • Organisational structures and decision making at the University of Waikato

Group Project: Summary of progress and some presentation tips and tricks

Module 4: Sustaining Leadership 

This module looks at principles for leading teams through periods of change and uncertainty, which is rapidly becoming the norm in today’s world of work. We will also look at the importance of coaching and mentoring to develop future leaders.

  • Leading through change and uncertainty
  • Examining how to lead with meaning and purpose
  • Developing coaching and mentorship
  • Sustaining leadership practice

Business Proposals and Presentations 

This half day session will start with 3 x 20 minute group presentations of business proposals to senior managers and other colleagues, followed by a mix and mingle morning tea. This will be followed by a debrief and reflection of the programme.

[Note that participants are expected to attend all modules to successfully complete the programme.]


The Organisational Development Unit 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, complete the application form and send to Karen Davies ([email protected], ext 9930). If there are more expressions of interest than places available participants will be selected in consultation with line managers. Karen can also provide further information and advice as required.

Note: that we require a minimum of 12 participants, with a maximum of 15.

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.

2022 Participants

Participants who undertook the 2022 Programme were:

  • Anna Marie Brennan
  • Ash Cudby
  • Bonnie Lewis
  • Clint Prior
  • Gail Adams
  • Holly Ferguson
  • Karen Davies
  • Kimai Tocker
  • Kirsty Vincent
  • Liz Smyth
  • Naomi Russell
  • Scott Douglas
  • Sharyn Heaton

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