JONATHAN LING On Leadership and Trans-Tasman Differences
IN THIS ISSUE • A Coming of Age for Leadership NZ P6 • Leadership In Action In A Connected Community P18 • Leadership In The Arts: New Zealand – A House Of Many Mirrors P22
ISSUE 5 WINTER 2009 www.leadershipnz.co.nz
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EDITORIAL TEAM Reg Birchfield, Jo Brosnahan, Pauline Herbst, Michelle Jurgens, Alistair Kwum, Toni Myers, Gill Prentice
ISSUE 5 WINTER 2009
SkillsBank Relaunch A Coming Of Age For Leadership Nz In this early winter of gloom; of cold southerlies, recession and swine flu, the
Contents Skillsbank Relaunch A Coming Of Age For Leadership Nz Jo Brosnahan
SkillsBank relaunch was a warm, energetic, and optimistic event. It was a coming of age for Leadership New Zealand, with this event organised by Alumni, for Alumni and the rest of the Leadership NZ family. It was a celebration of the fact that the Alumni now have the critical mass and the capabilities to be able to give back to the community through SkillsBank. They now have the
Jonathan Ling: On Leadership And Trans-Tasman Differences Reg Birchfield
2009 Programme Launch
opportunity to make a real difference in New Zealand, partnering with not for profits, philanthropic organisations and corporates to provide leadership training and development and capacity building in the community. This was also an event of family. It demonstrated that Leadership NZ is an organisation with heart which cares deeply about this nation and the communities in which we live. It is a reminder that what gives a society meaning
Having Their Say: Thoughts From The Class Of 2009
Skillsbank: Leadership In Action In A Connected Community
Jon Mayson: Leadership At All Levels
is shared values and beliefs, a sense of caring and a belief that we can make a difference. John W Gardner, in his book Self-Renewal; the Individual and the Innovative Society talks of how the lives of most individuals will, by their mid 30sâ€™ have narrowed in scope and variety, with a few interests and selected relationships. Our ways will be set and we will have stopped acquiring new skills and new attitudes in most aspects of our lives. Our ability to innovate and to see new perspectives will be limited. Some experiences break the stagnation in thinking; travel and life changes can lead to some degree of self-renewal. There are also other means of ensuring that we continue to develop and grow: ongoing self-development, supported by a society that supports the development of talent, self-knowledge, the courage to fail, the ability to develop friendships and love, and self-motivation. And this ideally needs to occur in an environment of energy and generosity.
Leadership In The Arts: New Zealand â€“ A House Of Many Mirrors Pauline Herbst
I would venture to suggest that the world after the recession and after the health and other challenges facing us now will be a different world. Globalism will remain a fact of life, but the new world is one in which we can live locally, but interact globally. We can work in the world while living in our small communities. But people get their meaning in life from personal interaction; at a community level, where talent development can be encouraged, learning can
Going Bananas: Keeping The Chinese New Zealand Voice Alive Alistair Kwun
be in a safe environment, risks can be taken, friendships can be forged and new personal challenges can be developed. It is here that personal conversation can lead to innovation and new ideas.
Doug GrAham: Pointing The Way
The Living Arts Trail Interview With Rewi Spraggon Pauline Herbst
By engaging in Leadership NZ and the SkillsBank programme, there are ongoing opportunities for self-renewal, with those who participate receiving as much from the programme as those who benefit. It is within the diverse Leadership NZ community that new futures can emerge. A special thanks to the Tindall Foundation which enabled us to resource our new SkillsBank Director, Alumnus Megan Barclay, who breathed new life into the programme; to the ASB Trust and Foodstuffs which have provided support, and to all of the Alumni who participated to make it real. Jo Brosnahan Chairman
On leadership and trans-Tasman differences
Fletcher Building chief executive Jonathan Ling describes his leadership style very simply: “Get the best people around you. Agree what you want to achieve and how you plan to go about it. Then, figure out ways of supporting those people to ensure they succeed and that includes providing the culture in which they can succeed. And that’s it,” he says. He talked to Reg Birchfield.
onathan Ling, the second Australian in succession to occupy the sixth floor corner office of Fletcher House in Auckland’s industrial suburb, Penrose, is precise, pleasant and engaging in his presentation. He is, by his own admission, a storyteller; who that strives to capture the full attention of his audience by using every trick in the effective communication book. In admitting that he tends to “oversimplify things”, Ling believes that when it comes to choosing the best people to surround himself, at least in his commercial environment, he focuses on three key things. “They need to be money makers,” he says unequivocably. “So many people in business today are not money makers. I am unashamed about (expressing) the need to make money. If you make good money you have the ability to undertake community programmes and other things. If you don’t make money, your ability to do things is zip. Making money is foremost.” 2
His senior management recruits must then have strong people skills. He looks for individuals with compatible people philosophies. “They must be able to manage diversity and difficult people in a positive and constructive way. Big people skills are essential.” Finally, they must “fit culturally” with him, as the CEO, and with the organisation. With these three qualities uppermost in his mind, Ling then considers the prevailing situation. During growth periods he looks for entrepreneurs. When the business is consolidating or in a turnaround phase, he looks for individuals with different skills. “When choosing people you need to recognise what part of the business cycle the organisation is in,” he adds. And when the situation changes, he looks for an individual’s willingness to change along with the circumstances. It is, he says, important to recognise the changes taking place and to www.leadershipnz.co.nz
change either skill sets or people in order to deal with the new business environment. And although he concedes that he has not been in his job for quite three years yet, he notes an instinctive New Zealand reluctance to accept and adapt to change. Fletcher Building controls the recruitment and development of its top 250 people centrally. They assess the competencies of key people both internally and externally. They have, in Ling’s words, “terrific” leadership development and training programmes that are also both internally and externally driven and provided. “The objective is to develop and manage the next generation of the company’s leaders,” he adds. “There is a strong emphasis on building our own people. The company likes between two thirds and three quarters of its promotions to be internal. The balance are sourced externally because we also need to refresh the organisation. We think that WINTER 2009
generally speaking, we can grow our own people to a better level [of competency] than what the marketplace can provide, but you also need new blood from time-to-time.” The company, he admits, has the benefit of the Fletcher Education Trust. Through the Fletcher Challenge era, between the family and the company, two trusts were established – one charitable and the other an education trust. “The Education Trust has around $50 million in assets and it pays a good portion of the company’s education requirements. It does a lot of other things as well for families of employees and by making external donations. The beauty of it is that it enables us to maintain a momentum on our leadership education spending – even in more difficult times,” says Ling. “Whoever thought of this was really thinking ahead. “There are, in addition, a number of individual initiatives that the company funds. It is relatively small in the context of 3
ing to Collins – but their ambition is first and foremost for the a large income-generating business like Fletcher Building but, institution, not themselves. we like to maintain this spending at its committed level even “Once you have the right people in place, agreed what you through tough times.” are going to do and how you are going to do it, the chief execuAnd while the talent marketplace is often difficult for many tive and the senior people in the organisation are the servants organisations Fletcher Building, according to Ling, has no probto those in the organisation who have to deliver it,” Ling adds. lem either retaining or recruiting employees at most levels. “I “If those people fail, I fail. If they succeed, I’ll succeed. My job am not sure if this is a cultural thing but it is true of the comis to be the servant to our people and make sure they have the pany in both New Zealand and Australia,” he says thoughtfully. resources and the environment and that I do everything I can “We have lost just one senior manager to a competitor in the to make sure they succeed. I like to think we do not have a last eight years.” top-down organisation.” The company puts considerable effort into its processes for Several people have significantly impacted Jonathan Ling’s determining what it is going to do and how it plans to go about life and career, but two individuals stand out. The first, he it. “We try to look forward three to five years and think in says, is Graham Kraehe, who is now chairman of Australia’s terms of writing our annual report at that point in the future. Brambles Industries and also BlueScope Steel and a member We ask ourselves, from say a 2014 viewpoint, what we have of the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia. “Graham taught achieved. Yes we are a builder and a building materials comme heaps, but there were two key messages,” he says reflecpany but, we also want to be a pioneer,” he explains. “We are, tively. “First, to be a balanced business leader you need to go for instance, a pioneer in green and sustainable buildings. We through the stages from being a general manager in a small are a pioneer in the development of new materials and the business and work your way through. There are no short cuts industrial infrastructure base. to the top. Take a short cut and there will always be a gap in “We generally pick four important things to focus on. At your inventory of experience. the moment these are about “The second, and probably building our network and covthe most profound thing he said erage in Australia; turning our My job is to be the servant to our was if you really want to get to laminates business into a glopeople and make sure they have the top, at some point you need bal niche leader; transforming to learn how to make money. some of our existing commodthe resources and the environment There were, he said, too many ity businesses to fit the next and that I do everything I can to executives at the top of public generation of need and demand make sure they succeed. listed companies who simply did and, finally, there is a defensive not know how to make money. element around strategies to If you don’t make money you protect our New Zealand home will not survive. He then advised me that the best way to learn patch,” he adds. “We then cascade these broad strategies into to make money was to apprentice to someone who was dea series of actions. monstrably very good at it.” “We also care about how we go about doing the things we That someone and the other individual who profoundly commit to. We define our actions in terms of our culture. That impacted Ling’s leadership career was Richard J. Pratt who, we will, for instance, do what we say we are going to do. In a year before he died in 2008, was Australia’s fourth richest addition to honesty and integrity issues, we have a strong team individual and chairman of his privately owned Visy Industries. focus on transparency and a spirit of generosity in tough times. Ling eventually got to work for the controversial MelbourneWe undoubtedly care about getting results but, we also like to based businessman who, he says, was probably “one of the define how we go about getting those results in a cultural and best money makers in Australia and New Zealand. I was lucky behavioural sense.” enough to work for him for six years and boy, did I learn how Ling considers decisions made to part company individuals to make money.” who achieved results in unacceptable ways was an important Perhaps because of the influence of these two successful “step-change” for the organisation. “We care how we get the Australians, Ling has driven his career by acquiring skills and results,” he adds. “I have always believed in this approach and experiences rather than focusing on a specific job or promoso, inherently, has Fletcher Building. Now we have formalised tion. “I have always had a clear view of what skills, experiences it. or achievements I needed to go from one step to the next,” he “Good performance is not just financial. We aspire to excelexplains. lent performance over time. To excel over time you must treat He believes a lack of willingness to do the hard yards impeople well. To get the best out of people you must lead them pacts the credentials of many aspiring leaders. He is not, for and treat them well.” example, all that complimentary about the value of MBAs When it comes to creating the organisational culture, Ling when he reflects on his own experience sitting the degree. “I’d takes a lead from American management guru Jim Collins in say that one third of the individuals in my alumni did well best-selling book, From Good to Great. The inverted pyramid from the experience and the MBA served them well in their approach to what Collins calls ‘Level 5’ leadership appeals. careers,” he says. “It made no difference at all to another third, According to Collins, Level 5 leaders channel their ego needs and the remaining third were probably worse off from having away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a done the MBA programme. It created an expectation that they great company. It is not that these leaders do not have egos or were never able to achieve. It is just a tool. Those who saw it as self interest – “indeed they are incredibly ambitious”, accord4
Creating alignment through good conversation is a fundamental of effective leadership.
a rite of passage were bound to be disappointed.” There are leaders in today’s marketplace that Ling respects, but his view on the impulse to emulate others is clear. “Once you are at this level you must be yourself,” he says with certainty. “You should have a clarity of what you are about. That is not to say other successful leaders don’t, at times, influence what you do or say.” He is, he thinks, more inclined to look inside, rather than outside himself for clarity and answers to specific criticisms, options or problems. “At this level you get a lot of input on how you are performing – from the media, shareholders, the board, employees and direct reports. The trick, as Dick Pratt put it, is to listen to the message rather than the words, particularly when there is criticism. Don’t get offended by what people say. Sit back after the encounter and consider what the critic really meant. Invariably there is an element of truth in criticism. You need a thick enough skin not to let (the words) destroy you emoWINTER 2009
tionally, and the intelligence to take the feedback, reflect on it and then communicate back that you have picked up the message and use the resulting enhanced relationship to best effect.” This process, he says, provides the self assessment and introspection that in turn shows a willingness to change and see other points of view. Developing good conversation skills ranks high on Ling’s agenda of leadership attributes. “Good conversations invariably lead to good ideas, solutions and relationships,” he says. “It may be an old-fashioned skill but, and against as Dick Pratt used to say, great performance invariably comes from great conversations. Poor performance comes about either because you do not have clarity about what it is you are trying to do or, because conflicts are not being resolved and that happens because people are not aligned and are not having the conversations necessary to have everyone rowing in the same direction. 5
“If you have a big organisation like ours with 17,000 all pulling in different directions, or even just 10 members of the senior management team at odds, you’ve got a mess. Creating alignment through good conversation is a fundamental of effective leadership,” he adds. His appointment to the top slot at Fletcher Building is Ling’s debut as a public company CEO. So, for the moment, his commercial leadership role is, he concedes, all-consuming. In prior lives, particularly in Australia, he was involved in “all sorts of things”, particularly in school sport and governance activities. He was, and still is, heavily involved with the Australian not-forprofit Anglican organisation, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, which, according to Google, “fights for an Australia free of poverty, for social change and for a sustainable society”. He was deeply involved in the Victorian recyling and sustained environment movement. He is, he says, passionate about environmental and sustainble community issues. He served on the board of Ecorecycle in Victoria, the State government’s authority on waste management and recyling and the promotion of sustainablity education programmes. He is proud of his involvement with programmes to introduce curbside recycling in Victoria, which now has up to 98 percent of all homes, including houses in country areas, recycling waste. The success of the programme was, he says, in large measure due to the effectiveness of an intensive primary school recycling education programme that taught “kids from five through to 12 about the impact of recycling. The programme was remarkable and those kids are now the 20-year-olds who maintain the momentum to recycle. That is also why the drive for sustainability in Australia is so far ahead of New Zealand. “Sustainability is not just about the environment,” says Ling. “It is about the very efficient use of natural resources and using those resources wisely and sustainably. I believe passionately in that process.” Ling is a shade more constrained about identifying New Zealand’s big issues and commenting on how well our leaders are addressing them. “I’ve only been here three years so I am an outsider, an Australian. I don’t have an intuitive feel for what a New Zealander thinks or what (constitutes) a New Zealand identity.” But, he has some clearly formed opinions. “New Zealand seems confused over what it wants to be,” he says. “On the one hand, most Kiwis see New Zealand as a great place to live, bring up kids and enjoy a pleasant lifestyle. On the other hand there is a complacency about it, or an inability to act that is letting the rest of the world, and Australia in particular, shoot ahead of it. There is so much talk [about what needs to be done] but nothing happens.” It strikes Ling as ironic that in some forums leaders express frustration over this state of immobility. Yet in other forums he sees “exactly the same people responding as the absolute naysayers in anything to do with change. So there lies the paradox,” he adds. “I am not a politician and don’t know how to run a country. But, if I applied my business theories I would advocate getting the right people in place, agreeing what to do and then create the culture and support mechanism to make sure it happens. No one seems to be having a go at that sort of process.” New Zealand must “get its economy into a good state before it can seriously consider doing all the things it would like 6
to do”, he says, drawing on the same business strategies that have served him well so far in his career. “We must ask why Australia’s economy and standard of living is about 30 percent ahead of New Zealand’s,” he says, then draws similar parallels with the relative size of the two stock exchanges and largest enterprises. Ling thinks some of New Zealand’s structural institutions “are stuck” in the 1900s – what he calls “cottage industry cooperatives” are his prime example. He’s unconvinced that cooperatives deliver either the capital or the governance structures necessary to grow some of our most important industries fast enough to compete, either at home or abroad. And there is, he says “a New Zealand mindset” that our public infrastructure assets should be government owned. “Are city councils really the best owners of ports or airports,” he asks. Then he concedes the question is not so much about government ownership per se, but about asking the question “who is the natural owner and best placed to raise capital and turn the enterprise into a business that can become world class. This is what the rest of the world is doing,” he warns. Does he think New Zealand’s leaders have provided a vision for the future? “No. Having said that, I don’t think the new political leaders have had the time to move from an emotive to a factual discussion about what needs to be done,” he adds. “John Key has said he wants to close the income gap between New Zealand and Australia. Whether his fellow politicians and bureaucrats have the wherewithal to deliver on that is yet untested. Key’s statement (about bridging the gap) is a good first step,” but, he says, there is still no well-articulated vision that explains how to go about it. New Zealand must soon start asking the right questions. Policy makers and business leaders need to gather the facts to support the case and strategy for change and progress. “Leaders who ask the right questions soon find people providing answers. Asking the right questions focuses people’s minds.” Ling sheets the differences between New Zealand and Australia back to what he calls the different “cultural DNA”. For example, he found the cultural differences in moving from Australia to New Zealand personally “much larger” than what he encountered when he moved from Australia to Malaysia. New Zealand and Australian psyches are, he says, very different. Australia’s psyche is, he ventures, firmly rooted in its sports-dominated winning culture. “They will do anything to win. Even bowl under arm if necessary,” he quips. “They will do whatever it takes to win and that’s in their DNA. New Zealand, on the other hand, is defined by its relationship culture.” And that, he suggests, may be linked to the smallness of the community and a need to “get along” with others. No one really wants to make an enemy of someone they may need to have dealings with tomorrow. Consequently, community leaders find themselves “walking a fine line” on issues and are often reluctant to take a stand or “rock the boat”. One of the unintended consequences of relationship cultures is that emotive, rather than factual responses, govern thinking. “Facts,” he suggests, “govern things in a winning culture.” In Ling’s experience, this difference accounts for the struggle New Zealand communities have with “fact-based conversations” required to get the outcomes they want. www.leadershipnz.co.nz
Bringing social and community leaders together with business leaders creates better outcomes and more balanced leaders across all society. It provides better overall leaders.
“There is no right or wrong about a winning versus a relationship-based culture,” he says firmly. “But you can see why some of the behaviours in the two countries are quite different.” Whatever Ling’s take on New Zealand’s overall ability to ramp up its economic performance, his company is, he says, firmly on track with its plans for the future. “We are 100 years old this year,” he says, “and we are celebrating our past. And there is a good deal that’s positive, both in our past and our future, to celebrate.” The company is, he says, strongly community focused and always has been. “Corporates are a key part of any community and I have always believed that,” he adds. His attitude toward community involvement is part of the reason Fletcher Building has two participants in this year’s Leadership New Zealand community leadership programme. That, and the fact Ling was a strong supporter of the Williamson Leadership Victoria programme from which Leadership New Zealand took inspiration. “I was always a supporter of Leadership Victoria and had people on their programmes because I love the notion of business leaders getting a wider outlook on life,” he says. “Bringing social and community leaders together with business leaders creates better outcomes and more balanced leaders across all society. It provides better overall leaders.” Ling agrees that an organisation like Leadership New Zealand helps lift the quality of conversations the community at large needs to have to progress. “I come from an engineering background and used to see things in very black and white terms,” he says. “What I have learned is that some of the best outcomes in life come from managing the grey well. And for those who come from the grey area, the social side of life, well they need some black and white introduced into their decision-making because you do need to have outcomes. Sometime you have to take tough decisions.” Despite some of his reservations about New Zealand’s leadership process, Jonathan Ling is optimistic about the future of both his company and the country. And while Fletcher Building does not deliberately set out to build leaders for the nation, he likes to think that many Fletcher people will become “really good community leaders” and will, as a consequence, benefit New Zealand as a whole. Reg Birchfield is a founding trustee of Leadership New Zealand.
2009 PROGRAMME LAUNCH
he launch of the 2009 Leadership Programme was held on the evening of Friday 20 February. The event was held at the beautiful Fables Rug Gallery, in Aucklandâ€™s Parnell. Sina Moore, 2008 alumnus, was MC for the evening. She and fellow alumni, Megan Barclay (2006) and Neville Pulman (2006), spoke of their life-changing experiences with Leadership NZ. Foodstuffs (Auckland) managing director Tony Carter also addressed the group. We would like to thank all the speakers for their support and generosity, as well as Foodstuffs (Auckland) and Farmgate Wines for providing refreshments for the evening.
Having Their Say Thoughts From The Class Of 2009 LYNETTE ADAMS Chief Executive, Sport Waitakere, Waitakere A passion for children and youth sport led me into the sport industry and I continued this on with a desire to improve the fundamental movement skills of our children. I have had an extensive 15-year career in this sector working in both management and delivery roles. I am currently the CEO of Sport Waitakere, and I lead this not-for-profit, community organisation whose purpose is to enrich lives through physical activity and sport. Much of my current focus and drive is on community development as I believe that sport and physical activity is an ideal vehicle to impact positively on both individual lives and on
whole communities improving health, productivity, and social connectedness. I applied for the Leadership New Zealand programme to broaden and challenge my thinking through diverse exposure. I am hoping to gain further understanding on leadership issues and the impact leadership has on New Zealand and to reconcile my place in this. There is an exposure to real issues that shape New Zealand and I am gaining a better understanding of both national and international issues. I have discovered new ways to think and new perspectives to take into account. I am meeting a cross section of leaders and am privileged to participate in discussions that would rarely occur elsewhere. There is the constant challenge of realising my sense of purpose and to be able to convert this into something remarkable.
GRANT BUNTING General Manager, Rural Supplies, PGG Wrightson, Christchurch I am the general manager rural supplies for PGG Wrightson. The Rural Supplies business generates revenues in excess of $500 million and includes over 100 stores and 500 staff. I have also held general management roles in PGG Wrightson’s Irrigation and Agrifeeds business units both
of which offered considerable hands-on operational experience specifically in respect of dairy farming. My wife and I crop approximately 240 hectares of partially irrigated farmland in North Canterbury and have two young children. I have an MBA from the University of Canterbury and enrolled in the Leadership New Zealand programme to gain a wider appreciation, understanding and perspective on leadership outside of my traditional conservative environment.
JACQUI CLELAND Group Manager, Capability, New Zealand Post, Wellington I am the group manager, human resources for the New Zealand Post Group, an iconic organisation that has been part of New Zealand and our communities for well over 150 years. New Zealand Post is a large and diverse group of businesses with around 17,000 people. In my
role I focus on strategic people-related policies, frameworks and programmes across the wider group. Leadership New Zealand is a fantastic opportunity to build my awareness and understanding of the issues, challenges and opportunities facing our country and our communities. The wide range of speakers and the great group of participants on the 2009 programme come from diverse backgrounds, industries and sectors and bring a richness of views and experiences which challenge and broaden us as leaders.
EDWARD COOK Funding and Contracts Coordinator, Te Runanga a Iwi O Ngapuhi, Kaikohe I was reporting on One News as a broadcast journalist before my 21st birthday. Over five years later, the exposure to many different industries and professions has given me a powerful insight into how the economy, politics, private and public sectors operate and the drivers within them.
With a view to taking action on some of the community’s challenges rather than just pointing them out, my fi ancée and I moved north to the Bay of Islands where I am privileged to be one of only a couple of Pakeha employed by the Ngapuhi iwi. My experiences also include a proud history with the World Organisation of the Scout Movement as an advisor to the World Board, an organisation of 28 million young people and a member of the Asia Pacifi c Board. I now serve on the Scout New Zealand board and run the Kerikeri Venturer Unit. I am passionate about youth involvement in decision making and youth advocacy.
BRUCE CULLEN General Manager Central Region, Downer EDI Works NZ, Auckland I am a chartered professional civil engineer having graduated from Auckland University in 1987. I have worked for civil infrastructure contractors and consultancies in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands and I have infrastructure construction and maintenance experience in a wide variety of Government, Local Authority and Private Delivery environments. This experience has included the delivery of major projects in a variety of sectors including transportation, water and
energy. As general manager – central I am responsible for all company business activities, operations, human resources and business development within the central region (Hamilton to Wellington). I live in Auckland with my wife Nanette and 12-year-old daughter Georgia and when time allows still enjoy participating in many sports. As a participant of the Leadership New Zealand programme I am being exposed to aspects of New Zealand and our communities that I have not, and would not otherwise be exposed to. I have become more informed of the social, economic and cultural issues and challenges that New Zealand faces and of the outstanding work that many of our country’s great leaders are undertaking.
JUANITA DE SENNA Sustainable Transport Planner, Auckland Regional Transport Authority, Auckland “He kura kainga e hokia; he kura tangata e kore e hokia – The treasure of the land will persist; human possessions will not.”
Warm Pacific greetings! I work as a workplace travel coordinator at Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) delivering workplace travel plans in the Auckland region. My role contributes to creating safer communities through sustainability, reducing single car occupancy and promoting the use of sustainable modes of walking, cycling and public transport. Prior to travel planning I worked as an injury prevention practitioner in the child safety sector, working regionally within Tamaki makau-rau with a particular focus on working with Maori whanau, hapu, iwi and communities. I am currently the chairperson of the Injury Prevention Network of Aotearoa New Zealand (IPNANZ), a role that I have had for the past two years. I have also been a Maori caucus member for the past three years. I have thoroughly enjoyed the 2009 Leadership New Zealand programme to date and the contribution it has made to my personal and professional growth.
No Te Aupouri, Te Rarawa, Nga Puhi, Waikato, Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu oku iwi No Portugal te whanau toku papa Ko Juanita de Senna taku ingoa No reira tena koutou, katoa. Nga mihi nui ki a koutou
MARK DUNLOP General Manager Training and Development, Foodstuffs (Auckland) Ltd, Auckland I have more than 25 years experience in the public and private sectors in New Zealand and Australia. With an MSc Honours, I initially pursued a technology-based career at Winstones then moved to the Fletcher Challenge Group. I completed a Diploma in Business and Industrial Administration and moved through a variety of business units, management
and executive roles in the group. I then joined the public sector driving a major change initiative for a crown-owned entity, before establishing my own business consultancy where I worked trans-Tasman mainly in the supply chain, finance and apparel industries advising on strategy, performance and leadership. After five years I joined PWC from where I commenced my relationship with Foodstuffs. I am now a member of the senior executive team. My specifi c accountability is driving the people strategy for this iconic New Zealand organisation. My interests include my family, music and most sports, particularly golf and skiing.
CHERYL GALL National Manager, Operational Capability, Accident Compensation Corporation, Wellington As the national manager business improvement at the Accident Compensation Corporation I lead a group of 43 staff who are responsible for ensuring we have well-targeted business improvement approaches to enable the achievement of quality client outcomes and meet the organisation’s agreed key performance indicators including effective management of scheme liability and costs. My team also provide operational policy advice to the operational units, to support streamlined
evidence-based decision-making. ACC works to reduce the overall incidence and impact of injury in New Zealand, through delivery of injury prevention, effective rehabilitation and compensation services. I was very fortunate to be nominated by ACC to attend the Leadership New Zealand programme as part of ACC’s personal development and talent management programme. Leadership New Zealand is providing me with a unique opportunity to meet talented leaders with diverse views, opinions, goals and experiences who I can equally learn from and be challenged by. At each session the invited speakers have added another dimension to my leadership toolbox and enhanced my perspective of the issues facing New Zealand now and in the future.
KAREN GILES Business Services Manager, Manaia Health Primary Health Organisation, Whangarei Although raised in South Auckland, Tai Tokerau is very much home to my whanau, and having my husband, children and mokopuna nearby is something I really treasure. A large number of pets live with us on a small rural block close to Whangarei. My diverse and interesting role as business services manager for Manaia Health Primary Health Organisation includes the financial management of the organisation, management of the
admin/accounts team, contract management and workplace management. I am lucky enough to work with an amazing and inspiring group of individuals. As an adult I have completed considerable study and recently attained Associate Chartered Accountant status. The Leadership New Zealand programme has provided me with the opportunity to learn experientially from a large and diverse group of New Zealand leaders (including my programme colleagues themselves), in an intensive period of one year. It is challenging, but a lot of fun! I am also looking forward to having the opportunity in the future to offer my skills back to the community through the SkillsBank programme.
JASON GREENE Sales Consultant, Rainbow Park Nurseries, Papakura It is a privilege to work for one of the leading companies in the horticultural industries of New Zealand, Rainbow Park Nurseries. My role within the company is sales consultant for two of
their largest enterprises which supply New Zealanders with both house plants and landscape grade specimen trees. I am lucky to have the support of both my workmates and my loving family, my wife Claire Joyce and son Taylor James. I feel that the opportunities that Leadership New Zealand has given me will help build my current knowledge, confidence and skills so that the future changes that I make in this world will make a difference.
EVIE HAWKE Regional Manager Northland and Auckland, Te Wananga O Aotearoa, Auckland I am currently the regional manager for Auckland and Northland at Te Wananga o Aotearoa. Prior to this I was at Unitec as vice president community and Waitakere, and I have spent 20 years in management and leadership roles in tertiary education both at Unitec and at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic. I am passionate about community engagement, education and the cultural, social and economic transformation that occurs
through tertiary education especially for those who have been failed by our compulsory education system. My research interests are womenâ€™s leadership and transformation, Treaty of Waitangi responsiveness community engagement and diversity. It is my honour and privilege to be part of the Leadership New Zealand programme in 2009. I joined this programme to listen, be challenged and learn from leaders from all corners of New Zealand and although it has only been a few months it has more than exceeded my expectations. I have been challenged, humbled and totally inspired by the diversity of stories, experiences and insights of the current participants and by the speakers we have had this year.
SIMON HEPBURN Commercial and Operations Manager, Fletcher EasySteel, Christchurch I was born in Ireland in 1976 and educated at Trinity College Dublin where I studied philosophy and theology. After spending some time working for GMAC in America I returned to Ireland and studied for a finance and accounting degree culminating in my accounting exams. After several roles with an Irish-based multinational working around Europe and the US I moved with my Kiwi wife, Georgie, to New Zealand in April 2006 and now work as a commercial and operations manager for Fletcher Easysteel â€“ a leading steel distributor in New Zealand.
We moved from Auckland to Christchurch late last year and really love the mainland. We have no children but one very spoilt dog! My hobbies include paddling of different sorts, running, and skiing and snowboarding. The programme was brought to my attention by our corporate HR function who wanted to know if I was interested in applying. As a recent immigrant to New Zealand I found I was interested in the programme as a good way to learn and appreciate more about the culture of New Zealand and gain some insight into the current issues, hopes and concerns of this society. Leadership New Zealand offered an open forum with diverse people where constructive debate and challenging subject matter was a central philosophy. Thus far I have had my perspective broadened and, specifically relating to the diversity of New Zealand cultures, developed a more educated and informed position on several issues.
STEVE HOLLANDS Manager, Wellington Contact Centre, Accident Compensation Corporation, Wellington My early career was spent with the Department of Social Welfare where I held various administrative and management positions. As director of the Gisborne branch I led the way in removing the wall (both literally and figuratively) between staff and customers. There followed several years as a sales manager where I further developed my communication and relationship skills which are now so much part of me. Starting with ACC in Hawkes Bay, I soon moved to Wellington to be involved with the privatisation of the Employers Account by
delivering claims services on behalf of ACC to @Work Insurance. With the return of this business back to ACC the benefits of the contact centre structure were recognised and I was actively involved in its development. I was given the responsibility for coordinating ACC’s response to the Bali bombing and the Asian tsunami. In both instances there was an emphasis on liaising with other agencies to best meet the needs of New Zealand citizens injured abroad with particular attention being given to those that did not qualify for ACC entitlements. I am currently seconded to the position of development manager in ACC’s new service delivery model project. I was nominated for this year’s Leadership New Zealand programme by management of ACC who see this as a logical step in my leadership development. I am absolutely delighted that they did.
BETH HOUSTON Manager Commercial Development, Wellington Zoo Trust, Wellington I currently work as the manager commercial development at Wellington Zoo Trust, responsible for all aspects of marketing and sales, public relations and fundraising. Prior to joining the Zoo, I worked in a number of com-
munications roles in Wellington, London and Grahamstown in South Africa, where I went to Rhodes University and earned a Masters in Politics and a BA in Journalism. I was drawn to the Leadership New Zealand programme because I thought it would take me out of my day-to-day work environment – and comfort zone – and give me the space to think about what I want to achieve with my life and for my adopted country, New Zealand. So far, I haven’t been disappointed and I love the programme!
CYRIL HOWARD Grants Advisor, ASB Community Trust, Auckland I have worked for ASB Community Trust (ASBCT) for just over two years and am responsible for assessing funding requests under the marae development, rescue services, and sport and recreation sectors. Prior to ASBCT, I worked for the Department of Internal Affairs for 13 years as a grants assessor with the local government and community branch and as a gaming and censorship compliance officer. My community support career began in the late 1980s as an access training tutor for youth ‘at risk’, which was a training arm of Ngati Whatua. I also spent three years working as a community worker for a branch of the Maori Women’s Welfare League in my local neighbourhood of Mt Roskill. Sport is my passion. I coached one of the best men’s touch
teams in Auckland for seven years, coached for four years at a premier rugby league level for Pt Chevalier Rugby League, and coached the Auckland Maori League to a national title in 2004. I have also been an Auckland and North Harbour Maori Rugby representative, played in the Under 14s New Zealand Softball Team, been a representative for Auckland and New Zealand Maori Rugby League, and a representative for New Zealand Touch. Although I have lived in Auckland most of my life, I am of Ngapuhi descent, and I still call the Hokianga home. I am a solo parent of a 12-year-old boy, having raised him on my own since he was five years old. Hearing from community and business leaders who share their insights and experiences (that the New Zealand Leadership Programme provides) is what’s most valuable to my continued personal and professional development, and an opportunity for which I am most appreciative.
CLIVE JONES General Manager/Dean, Faculty of Humanities & Business, Universal College of Learning, Palmerston North I am the deputy chief executive – strategy at UCOL (an Institute of Technology) in Palmerston North. I have a Bachelor of Technology degree and a Masters in Business Administration from Massey University. I am a keen mountaineer and over the past 15 years have been to Peru, Argentina, Nepal, Tibet, and Pakistan. On the 15th of May 2004, I became the 17th New Zealander to stand on the summit of Mt Everest.
My other notable mountaineering achievements include the first New Zealand ascent of Cho Oyu (8201m) in Tibet in 1994 and an ascent of Gasherbrum II (8035m) in Pakistan in 1999. Even in our modern world full of technology, climbing in the Himalayas remains challenging and highly dangerous and I know plenty about having to deal with failure and tragedy, having had three unsuccessful attempts at climbing Mount Xixabangma (8027m) in Tibet and witnessing the death of other climbers first hand on Everest during my first attempt in 1996. Climbing Mount Everest was the central purpose of my life for more than 15 years and once achieved left me feeling lost in terms of how to move forward with meaning. I applied for the Leadership New Zealand programme to help me identify a new purpose and to help to fi nd my voice again.
IULIA LEILUA Director, Silk Associates, Auckland I was born and bred in Taumarunui and am of Samoan and Maori descent (Ngati Haua, Ngati Hekeawai). I attended St Joseph’s Maori Girls’ College in Napier before graduating
from journalism studies in Rotorua. In 1987 I was a founding member of TVNZ’s Maori department and worked for Tagata Pasifi ka as a reporter. I also worked as a publicist, public relations assistant and foreign news producer. In 2001, I formed award-winning media and PR company Silk Associates, which specialises in Maori, Pacifi c and indigenous issues.
CHRIS MARTIN Business Performance Manager, Transport, Auckland City Council, Auckland I am currently enjoying a challenging role at Auckland City Council where I am the business performance manager for the transport division. Being part of the leadership team gives me the opportunity to influence the direction and performance of transport infrastructure in Auckland. The leadership team have challenged and developed me in areas of leadership, change management and how my team adds value.
Previous roles at Vodafone and the Auckland District Health Board have made me passionate about working in an infrastructure environment. I emigrated from South Africa (Sharks rugby territory!) and spent three years working in London. My wife Vanessa and I have a three-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son. Leadership New Zealand is opening a whole new world to me and I love every minute of it. I had never heard of Leadership New Zealand until five days before the applications closed when my manager approached me to see if I was interested. From then on it was a mad rush of finding out about the course, interviewing people who had completed the course and filling in the most comprehensive application form about my views and ideas.
ANDREW MCKENZIE 4 Square Brand Champion, Foodstuffs (Auckland) Ltd, Auckland I am currently the 4 Square brand champion for Foodstuffs Auckland. The role is to oversee everything from a group/brand perspective that affects 4 Square within the greater Auckland region. There are 106 stores running from Houhora in Northland to Gisborne and Taumarunui. I have been working within the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) industry since completing a Bachelor of Arts at Auckland University in 1995. In that time I have worked with two supermarket companies as well as working on the supplier side of retail. My reason for applying to Leadership New Zealand was be-
cause it came highly recommended by a number of Foodstuffs people. The key points of interest were: • It is too easy to become focused on just your role/industry that you work in. • There can be a number of business decisions that you make throughout your career that can have a wider impact. This is especially the case when it comes to selling food to New Zealand. • You get to interact with a diverse group of leaders whose goal is to learn and openly debate key topics that impact New Zealand, whether on a business or social issue. • The speakers for each session give you a very honest insight into the issues they have faced and how they see/use their leadership skills. At the completion of the course, we need to decide how we will use the learnings from the course. It defi nitely makes you think about what role you wish to play in leadership.
KARAM MEULI Employment Coordinator, Workwise Employment Agency, Auckland I have extensive experience in the NGO sector having spent 15 years working with a range of different services, such as adult mental health, education, and youth at risk. I was one of the founding members of Team Extreme Taranaki, responsible for developing and delivering Life Skills Peer Education programmes throughout the Taranaki region in intermediate and high schools. Originally from Taranaki, I moved to Auckland and con-
tinued working with youth, running a local youth group, youth adventure camps and speaking at different youth events throughout the country. Currently I am an employment coordinator at the Cottage Community Mental Health Centre on a two-year pilot programme. This was initiated by the Counties Manukau District Health Board and is designed to increase access to employment for service users. When I’m not working I enjoy creative arts, fi shing, gardening and spending time with my partner Daniel and my two children Sky and Salem. I applied for Leadership New Zealand wanting to surround myself with people who are also committed to this idea of becoming better leaders. I wanted to be challenged and have the opportunity to see things from others’ perspectives.
CHRISTIAN PENNY Head of Directing, Toi Whakaari; NZ Drama School, Wellington A theatre director and teacher principally, I have worked in a range of fields; new plays, devised works, community theatre projects and most recently opera. My work has toured New Zealand, and festivals in Australia and the UK. I am currently an associate director of Te Kura Toi Whakaari
o Aotearoa New Zealand Drama School. The school has been at the forefront of developing practitioners for the screen and performing arts and next year will celebrate its 40th birthday. For the past seven years I have led the Masters Degree in Direction that the school co-delivers with Victoria University of Wellington. Graduates from the programme are currently directing in the theatre, television and in screen as well as leading artistic companies venues. I am married to the sculptor, Cathryn Monro, and together we have two daughters.
TAMA POTAKA Senior Solicitor, Bell Gully, Auckland My background is heavily influenced by a rural family upbringing in Rangitikei and Ruapehu districts. My formal education was at Te Aute College, Victoria University of Wellington, Columbia University (New York City), Te Wananga o Aotearoa (Te Awamutu) and with my hapu/iwi in Whanganui, Taranaki, Horowhenua and the Central North Island. I have also had the privileged opportunity to learn from leaders and relations throughout my communities of interest. My roles are multi-faceted – I am a father and husband, a senior solicitor at leading law firm Bell Gully, a governor on sev-
eral Maori organisations, an author, and a media commentator on various issues. I have worked in the public sector, as a lawyer in New York and Auckland, and as a professional consultant/adviser. I am committed to advising businesses and organisations around sustainable growth, and positively contributing to nation-building. I applied to Leadership New Zealand to expose my thinking to a wider range of business, social, cultural, and other perspectives. I have been thoroughly inspired and humbled by the speakers and also personal qualities of all the Leadership New Zealand 2009 members. The programme has dramatically expanded my appreciation and understanding of how Aotearoa New Zealand can evolve. It has also highlighted some challenges that Aotearoa New Zealanders need to meet in order to grow more sustainable communities in a global setting.
MICHELLE QUIRK Business Development Manager, First Foundation, Auckland After graduating with degrees in law and politics, I worked as a lawyer in Wellington before heading overseas. A year at global law firm Linklaters, was followed by two years at London Business School. I graduated from LBS with an MBA (Distinction) in 2001 and moved into law firm management, first at Linklaters and then at UK law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, where I helped the firm reinvent itself into one of the rising stars of the London legal market. In mid 2007, after almost 10 years away, my husband and I decided it was time to return home. In February 2008 I joined
First Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that provides a ‘hand up’ to talented young people from low-decile schools to allow them to realise their higher education goals. I applied for the Leadership New Zealand programme because I knew I needed to reconnect to New Zealand – to listen to what New Zealanders in different communities were thinking and to talk about New Zealand’s future and the different challenges and opportunities implied by this future. The programme has far and away exceeded my expectations. The people in our year group are fabulous – diverse, passionate, and fun and I am enjoying having my beliefs and views challenged and having the opportunity to challenge others. The speakers have been wonderful and I am inspired by what is going on (often under the radar) to help make New Zealand a better place – it makes me want to do more. I love it.
GEORGE RILEY Iwi Development Coordinator, Te Runanga a Iwi O Ngapuhi, Kaitaia I was born and bred in Russell, in the Bay of Islands. I have marae affiliations across most of the coastal Bay of Islands. My principal hapu are Ngati Kuta at Te Rawhiti and Ngati Rahiri at Waitangi. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Massey University. My wife Jan is assistant principal at Kaitaia College. We have two children Jenna and Matt. I like reading, music, fi shing and hunting in season. Smoking fi sh is preferable to plucking ducks. I taught maths and science for 12 years then took a more serious role as dad-at-home for Matt. I returned to the paid workforce in 2000 as a Fisheries Surveillance Offi cer. After completing the
training at the Royal Police College in Porirua I was stationed in the Kaitaia offi ce. In 2005 I became the iwi relationship manager for MFISH in Muriwhenua. That role developed a desire to work in my current position. I have really enjoyed the 2009 course. The content, readings, cohort interaction, venues and facilitators are very good. The speakers, however, have been the highlight for me. The personalities have been engaging and informative with all reflective of some aspect of leadership appropriate for their role. This is where the Leadership New Zealand course appeals to me. For my work, and Maori in general, the servant leader concept is essential for success operationally. Any recognition of that leadership paradigm is necessary for a comprehensive approach to leadership. Leadership New Zealand accords that role more recognition and validation than other similarly aspiring groups. Participation is highly recommended. Na reira, tena ra koutou katoa.
SAPNA SAMANT Company Director, Holy Cow Media, Auckland I came to New Zealand in December 2001 and have not left to live anywhere else – yet. Life here is a vast, empty space that I can fill in with whatever colours I want. Ten years ago if anyone had told me I would make a life for myself in New Zealand I would have laughed at the idea. I was a doctor, a GP. I was saving lives, doing noble work. Now I am a media practitioner who makes radio documentaries, films and whose aim is to become a writer. When I get time I do community work, to overcome stereotypes and to help with the integration of migrants in the mainstream. Although Holy Cow Media aims to tell stories through all media platforms, the kaupapa is also to do capacity building in youth so they can take charge of their own stories and space in this country. I would also love to go back to medicine one day. Perhaps as a clinical practi-
tioner, or to help shape health policies and do social marketing. Whatever world-changing activity it is, my approach is holistic because life and this world do not work in compartments.
KARANINA SUMEO Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Tertiary Education Commission, Wellington I came from Samoa at the age of 10 with my grandparents and one sister. I am mother to three children and married to Andrew. I have worked for over 15 years in the social services
sector in roles such as community volunteer, crisis counsellor for women’s refuge, choir teacher, community educator, social worker and project manager on national campaigns against child abuse and neglect. I recently worked as a national engagement manager in the tertiary education sector. During that journey I completed qualifi cations in science, social work, and public policy, and began a PhD at the Auckland University of Technology. I work as a consultant on aid projects in the Pacifi c and other more local initiatives.
TONY TE AU General Manager, Tasman Insulation NZ Ltd, Auckland Born in the deep south – Invercargill, I was educated at the University of Otago. I hold a degree in commence and am a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand. I joined the accounting profession in 1984 and transferred to London in 1987 with Coopers & Lybrand. In 1990 I joined the oil industry and have spent ten years in this
industry, with the last major project being the drilling of six wells in the Falkland Islands. I started at Fletchers in 2000 where I was the commercial manager building products division from March of 2001, following the separation of Fletcher Challenge. I briefly held the role as acting CEO of the steel division of Fletcher Building until an external appointment to that role was made. I joined the Tasman team in July 2008 as the general manager. I am married with two girls, live in Devonport, and my interests include rugby (armchair player), football (active player due to age not skill), cycling, history and rock music (especially the Rolling Stones).
RICHARD VIALOUX Priest in Charge of Albany & Greenhithe, Albany Greenhithe Anglican Mission, Auckland “Dream what you wish to be or do, turn these into goals and make them reality.” I have achieved many things following this simple ideal, including careers in teaching, the po-
lice and now as a priest, and bringing up fi ve boys with my wife Elizabeth. We encourage them to do the same and enjoy watching them be all they wish to be. Leadership to me is all about dreaming. Having the courage, determination and skills to see these through, and to encourage and support others to do the same. Leadership New Zealand will, I hope, give me the skills to help others reach their dreams, to state their goals and get them on the road to making them reality.
Sometimes I don’t know who I am A hippy, a free spirit, a global citizen A woman, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, lover Confused A rebel Mother Nature’s child I chose a diffi cult life A dreamer Humbled by what others do A transculturist. Fitting everywhere yet nowhere. Fringe dweller. Apart from all the above I love to travel, read, I am an avid film buff and I am a student of Vipassana meditation. Peace!
TRACY VOICE General Manager, Postal IT, New Zealand Post, Lower Hutt After returning from an OE trip of seven years, I started my career in the IT industry 17 years ago within New Zealand. I started off as a database developer, and then moved very quickly into operational leadership roles, project and programme management roles in Government and State Owned Enterprises. I am currently the general manager, business enabling of postal services within New Zealand Post and I have the technical challenges and pressures of running New Zealand Post’s critical systems and strategic programmes. I love working with an enthusiastic and committed team of people.
I am passionate about work life balance and in my role as general manager I am able to conduct a four-day week so I can stay in touch with my family and local community. I am a board member of the Wairarapa Trinity Schools Board, former president of the Masterton Toy Library and I currently mentor our young as a cub leader in the Scouting Association. I am extremely passionate about our future generation. I am married to Eric and we have two children, Nathan and Anthony, and own a property management business in Martinborough. I am really keen to understand New Zealand from a broader perspective which is exactly why Leadership New Zealand was the right development programme for me. The networking and listening to humble speakers has been enlightening around understanding the different dynamics of leadership.
MICHELLE WESSING General Manager Corporate Services, Standards New Zealand, Wellington My recent Myers Briggs type indicator profile reported my personality type as ISTJ – introversion, sensing, thinking, and judging. My profile type is typically dependable, realistic and practical. We remember and use facts and prefer things clearly and logically stated. We are not impulsive and provide
stability to projects and persevere in the face of adversity. We are sound and sensible and seem calm and composed, even in a crisis we seldom show our reactions. In summary, you have met Michelle Wessing. The chief thing this programme is giving me is an overall enhancement of my toolkit for life. Specifically I value being exposed to and hearing from a diverse and broad range of New Zealanders who have had amazing life experiences and leadership journeys that are inspiring and make you want to strive to excel, and I also appreciate the opportunity to have conversations, to engage with such varied participants.
ADRIAN WIMMERS Director – Corporate Finance, KPMG, Wellington I am a director in KPMG Corporate Finance and I lead KPMG’s financial advisory services to the public sector. I work at the interface between the public and private sectors and specialise in advising on value for money and smarter methods for delivering pubic services (such as Public
Private Partnerships). I am married to Sonya and I am the proud father of Oskar. Our second child is expected in late August. I am also the deputy chair of Volunteer Wellington, an independent non-profit organisation that connects volunteers to over 300 community-based organisations in the greater Wellington region. I applied to Leadership New Zealand to challenge my existing views, create new networks and learn how our best leaders think.
RACHEL WOTTEN Business Development Manager – Working Well, Mental Health Foundation, Auckland I was born in Cairns, Australia and am the second youngest of four children. We had a tough life growing up with few material belongings or a stable place to call home. I left at 15 determined to make a better life for myself, from grocery checkouts to chef to army sergeant to multinational technology corporate sales executive, my working life provided me
with all the tools needed to realise my dream, that being, to serve humanity through the gift of healing. It is this dream that has led me to constantly consider not what makes a good leader but what makes a great leader whose only drive is to make a positive change to humanity, and not increase an individual’s personal wealth or a company’s financial bottom lines. These are the answers I hope Leadership New Zealand can help me to see through other participants and presenters who both challenge my beliefs but are also prepared to have theirs challenged. The programme to date shows me that open mindedness and self sacrifice for the good of humanity is what makes a great leader.
Leadership In Action In A Connected Community
eadership New Zealand celebrated the relaunch of its SkillsBank Programme on Friday 12 June 2009. The event celebrated the theme of “Leadership in action in a connected community”, which sums up the vision and focus for the SkillsBank programme. The event was generously hosted at the AMI Netball North Harbour Centre in Northcote, with chief executive officer Tim Hamilton and netball director Lyn Gunson providing the facilities of their very comfortable venue, enlisting the help of volunteers from their netball teams to assist with the serving of food and drink, and providing a fabulous display of netball on the adjacent courts. Jenny Woods, Sky News netball commentator, was MC for the evening. Frank Olsson, a Leadership New Zealand Trustee, opened the ceremony with an introduction to Leadership New Zealand and its purpose, and then entertained guests with his tuneful baritones of Louis Armstrong’s, “It’s a Wonderful World”. Alfred Ngaro, of the Tamaki Community Development Trust and Trustee of Inspiring Communities, kindly gave of his time and spoke with great passion on his perspective and experiences of leadership in the community. His inspirational words and stories reinforced how vital it was that the collective knowledge and skills of the SkillsBank group translated to ‘leadership in action’ to enable and empower individuals and communities and to give a hand-up in their quest to grow and succeed. Attendees were offered insights into two SkillsBank projects currently underway under the capable guidance of Mark Baker and Tim Hamilton, Leadership New Zealand Alumni. Hamilton described his SkillsBank project as the desire and intent to enhance community cohesion through leadership development and support in the Far North using netball as the vehicle for the delivery of outcomes. Lyn Gunson shared stories about the impact of the programme: about how young women had participated in a leadership camp from which
numerous benefits and initiatives had come. These included: a networked leadership group being formed; young players stepping up to be volunteer administrators for junior netball programmes; and, increased community involvement and support providing transport, gym membership, homework tutorials and equipment for local teams and games. Baker’s project is with Auckland Somali Women Inc, a community group focused on integrating into their new country. They are working to transfer the individual sewing talents of members into a sustainable commercial operation. Baker took on the SkillsBank challenge in January this year; to mentor the women as an advisor in all facets of establishing a business. Whilst he valued being able to use his skills to assist the group in practical ways, he also spoke about how much he had personally gained from the engagement with these amazing women, and that his life continued to be enriched by the experience. Megan Barclay, SkillsBank Director for Leadership New Zealand, then provided an overview of the SkillsBank Programme. From its inception five years ago, SkillsBank has been an integral part of Leadership New Zealand albeit operating in a fairly low key, ‘below the radar’ way for much of that time. This changed quite dramatically late last year when Jo Brosnahan, Leadership New Zealand’s Executive Chair, decided it was time to appoint someone to actively coordinate and develop the SkillsBank programme further, and to leverage the assistance of the 108 New Zealand leaders who have participated in the Leadership New Zealand programme to date and become Leadership NZ Alumni: the critical mass being there now to renew the focus and really make a difference with SkillsBank. Essentially, SkillsBank builds on the network of leaders who make up the Leadership New Zealand community by leveraging their skills, experience and generosity of spirit to create a volunteer service for the not-for-profit organisations and individuals across New Zealand looking for some leadership support. www.leadershipnz.co.nz
That leadership support comes in a range of shapes and sizes and includes: leadership mentoring; facilitation of strategic planning; guidance with organisational development; support and advice for specific projects; facilitation and speaker roles at workshops or relevant gatherings; and, one-off advice. The SkillsBank programme provides not-for-profit groups access to the collective and diverse skills of volunteers who are in leadership roles and who can support and strengthen the capacity of the not-for-profits and their members. It also gives groups the opportunity to work with people who appreciate the value of cross-sector diversity, the diversity of New Zealand’s communities, and who value a regional, national and global perspective. The Leadership New Zealand SkillsBank volunteers in turn benefit from the opportunity to work with other Alumni and strengthen the connectedness of the Leadership NZ community. They gain access to diverse opportunities for civic contribution, as well as being able to use the SkillsBank network to strengthen their own community projects. A significant proportion of the current 108 Leadership New Zealand Alumni have generously offered their willingness and readiness to volunteer for SkillsBank projects where they can add value. And that is the tip of the iceberg as each year 30 more New Zealand leaders join that volunteer network upon graduating from the Leadership New Zealand Programme. There has been a real focus over the past six months to build a strong foundation for the SkillsBank programme. This has entailed: • Being generously granted funding from the Tindall Foundation to sustain the coordination of the programme over the next few years; • Having a clear understanding of the group’s capacity and collective capability – and this is continuing; WINTER 2009
• Working with like-minded organisations to build partnerships that will not only enhance the service that is offered to not-for-profit benefactors, and build creative models for sustainability, but also ensure there are safe and empowering connections with the community; • Developing an ongoing leadership development programme for Alumni and a wider forum to target areas where voluntary service will be provided, for example, mentoring and board governance. Members of the Leadership New Zealand Alumni have come together as a SkillsBank Advisory Group to provide expert advice, counsel, and guidance to ensure the vision for SkillsBank now and into the future is met. The group members are: Minnie Baragwanath, Irene Durham, Irene Feldges, Tim Hamilton, Karyn McLeod, and Neville Pulman, with great support and guidance from Jo Brosnahan and members of the Leadership NZ Board, as well as assistance from many other members of the Alumni. The focus for SkillsBank over the coming months is to continue to build on its network of volunteer leaders, develop ongoing up-skilling programmes, and to forge partnerships for SkillsBank requests, as well as creating sustainability for the programme. It is vitally important in this current climate of rationalisation and survival mode for many community groups, that SkillsBank is able to continue to connect with its community and take advantage of the connected community that Leadership NZ is to help them sustain their world or to travel the most appropriate path. SkillsBank would like to acknowledge Foodstuffs NZ and Ngatarawa Wines together with Netball North Harbour for their generous sponsorship of the evening by way of venue, food and beverages. 19
JON MAYSON On Leadership At Every Level Leadership across all sectors of New Zealand society needs to be nurtured and encouraged, argues Jon Mayson, in an interview with Reg Birchfield.
ew Zealand’s political leadership is “best described as a curate’s egg”, according to Jon Mayson, former chief executive of Ports of Tauranga. And his general impression of leadership in this country’s other societal sectors is not much better. He concedes, however, that the country’s new Prime Minister, John Key, is “off to a good start” and, where appropriate, is making some attempt to be bi-partisan which is, he says, good for New Zealand. “He doesn’t seem to be tied to ideological positions, which is positive.” He also thinks Labour’s Phil Goff is emerging as a sound Leader of the Opposition. But both major parties “lack depth” in their ranks. “There are some good people there but, unfortunately, not many of them.” According to Mayson, New Zealand “needs to mature” and move to a four-year parliamentary term. “Three years is not long enough for a Government to get established. No sooner are they elected and trying to get things in place than they must face another election campaign. A four-year term might help the decision-making process.” Mayson is equally unhappy with the quality of the country’s financial and business leaders. “We need to take a long, hard look at leadership in the financial sector in particular,” he says. And while he thinks Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard does a “pretty good job given the difficulties”, it concerns him that the Australian owners of the largest trading banks do not act with New Zealand’s national interests at heart. “Our banks may have New Zealand boards but, to be honest, they are there more as window dressing than independent boards.” He cites the ANZ Bank’s recent handling of its ING investment fiasco as an illustration of his point. 20
His disappointment with the quality of business sector leadership is linked to his belief that New Zealand still suffers from a “tall poppy syndrome” which is, he says, “alive and well”. “We simply do not know how to celebrate [business] success,” he adds. He attributes the scarcity of good quality leadership in business, at least in part, to education and teaching policies that effectively discriminate against business as a desirable career option. This lack of depth in commercial leadership results in New Zealand’s generally poor business performance, particularly on the global stage, he says. “We are simply not hard nosed enough when it comes to exporting and trading with other countries. And we are too easily satisfied with a lesser level of personal and commercial achievement. We don’t appear to see that what we are doing is important for the development of New Zealand.” The country “does it well” in sport but it isn’t, he says, part of the “national psyche” to do it equally well in business. New Zealand business must lift its productivity and become more competitive, particularly offshore. And that is a leadership responsibility. Mayson is not, for instance, convinced that New Zealand business leaders put enough effort into developing their potential and emerging leaders and that commitment, he says, is important if the poor performance nexus is to be broken. This lack of attention to developing employees and managers is probably part of our general “reluctance to focus on success or to acknowledge its importance”, he adds. Jon Mayson is also concerned about the poor performance of local government leadership – “particularly in Auckland”. The role of local government in port ownership is obviously dear to his heart and he views the management and governance of Auckland’s port as little short of “scandalous”. He sees what he www.leadershipnz.co.nz
calls the inappropriate ownership of assets like ports, energy facilities and other infrastructure enterprises as problematic for New Zealand and an inhibitor of national growth. Despite his concerns about leadership at key political and business levels, he sees enormous opportunities for New Zealand. “Our companies need to lift their aspirations,” he says. “They must increase productivity and start exporting seriously. It is not about living within your comfort zone. It is about having a national pride and a desire to do well in the world.” And New Zealand needs to boost its population if it wants to compete successfully. “We must encourage high levels of quality immigration,” he adds. “We need to be a bigger country than we are. We must also be focused on the quality of the skills we bring in to grow our potential offshore impact.” Mayson is not convinced that New Zealand’s collective leadership is sufficiently aware of, or commited to solving the “quite serious” problems facing the country in the next 10 to 15 years. “Our leaders are very focused on the now because of the world’s current financial problems. I am not convined there is much focus on a long-term vision for New Zealand,” he says. “I don’t see our leaders talking about what will actually make a major difference to New Zealand. “We need some really bold policy changes to get the quantum leap [in economic performance] that we require. If it means slashing company taxes to 20 cents in the dollar, then so be it. We have got to make some major changes and we have to do it soon.” Mayson is not, however, optimistic that New Zealand’s political leaders have the stomach for major change, particularly not for changes in the taxation and incentives side of business. “It is unlikely that there will be any bi-partisan approach to tackling major issues such as taxation,” he adds. “I concede that topics like introducing a capital gains tax in order to move investment away from property are thorny issues. But they are issues that will not go away until they are addressed. “New Zealand needs to take a truly international approach to doing business.” Because New Zealand’s leaders do not want to take the tough decision, Mayson is concerned about New Zealand’s immediate term future. “We need ballsy politicians who will make the WINTER 2009
decisions that make a difference. We need a paradigm shift in attitude and to embrace a more bi-partisan approach to leading the country.” He accepts that the country needs a serious leadership debate to make things happen. “We do have some great leaders who are capable of leading the discussion,” he says. “We have incredible people, such as those in Kea [the diaspora of successful Kiwis operating offshore] who are willing to give of their time and experience for the benefit of New Zealand. We need to tap these individuals and draw them into the discussion.” He wants decisive leaders, but he also wants them to adhere to the leadership values he sees as important – integrity, honesty, innovation and self-belief. He is not convinced New Zealanders are strong on “self-belief”. He’s not sure why, but accepts that it is “probably part of our national psyche”. “We need to fan a burning desire to do better. If you want evidence of how important that is, just take a look at Australia,” he says. New Zealand needs a clearly articulated and simply worded vision of the future, he says. “Having a vision and plan of the way ahead is an important leadership tool. But the vision needs to be articulated in a way that people are compelled to get on board with it. It is no use talking in terms of GDP growth or some other global index. And we need to avoid words that are partisan or espouse some fixed ideology,” he adds. “We have not had a vision for a long time. Perhaps that is because politicians are, by their very nature, short-term thinkers.” Jon Mayson is supportive of Leadership New Zealand’s approach to developing a leadership discussion across the community. “Leadership is about community and not just business and politics,” he adds. “Leadership across the spectrum of our society needs to be nurtured and encouraged. We need leadership at every level. Leadership should be around clarity of what outcomes you expect. “As a nation we need inspirational leadership. Inspirational leadership becomes aspirational. And effective leadership is selfless.” Reg Birchfield is a trustee of Leadership New Zealand and publisher, RJMedia.co.nz.
Leadership In The Arts New Zealand: A House Of Many Mirrors Flight of the Concords, Whale Rider, Lord of the Rings, Sione’s Wedding: to a large extent audiences believe what they see on screen and these films have helped to shape the world’s view of New Zealand and who leads her. John Barnett, undeniably one of the leaders of New Zealand’s film and television industry, comments. By Pauline Herbst.
nation without a film industry is like a house without a mirror,” says John Barnett, chief executive and co-owner of South Pacific Pictures, New Zealand’s largest film and television production company. “I think that the performance sector in any country gives the citizens who live there a sense of what makes them think and how they respond to things. As it is, the creative sector is more likely to be innovative rather than follow the norms. It holds a mirror up to the world you live in and reflects back what your make-up is.” In terms of New Zealand ‘coming of age’ as a nation, Barnett thinks the arts are pertinent in that they both allow and display diversity. Expanding, he says: “Once upon a time we had a debate about the great New Zealand novel. People now realise you can have a dozen books published in a year, all of which are good, all of which have something to say – it’s our take on them that is different. “That is true of dance, film, photography or theatre. There will be a different way of telling stories. If anything, the arts sector is a much livelier displayer of these things – you don’t see it in the way we run retail. Although you might see it in restaurants, the performing arts generally encourage and display diversity.” It’s the diversity of New Zealand that captures the imagination and draws people in. “Without the ideas, you don’t have anything,” says Barnett and reveals that, “the more specific you are the more relevant you are to all audiences.” Using the example of the Oscar-nominated Whale Rider he says, “It’s not only about Maori, the story is about power. Who has it? Is it inherited or earned? This is a universal story, making it specific heightens these themes.” Suggesting that he has always followed the mantra of “turning dreams into reality” that now guides South Pacific Pictures, “
Barnett leads by example. He was involved in founding the industry magazine, Onfilm as well as the National Business Review, has been actively involved in film, television and video distribution; and contributed to the development of multiplex cinemas in New Zealand. These are only a few of Barnett’s accomplishments since producing New Zealand’s first children’s television serial, The Games Affair, in 1975. In 2002 he received the SPADA/Onfilm Industry Champion award and, in 2003, was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. More recently he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Commerce at Victoria University for his contribution to the New Zealand film and television industry. The arts have developed greatly in New Zealand since Barnett started out, with those who are successful having a more significant voice than they did 20 years ago. “People ask for our opinion,” he says, “and feel that because we say something on New Zealand that informs where we are going.” He attributes this in part to Helen Clark’s endorsement of the arts establishing a legitimacy that it perhaps lacked prior. So what kinds of leaders does this sector give birth to? Barnett explains, “There are two ends of the spectrum. There are those who are enormously individualistic. The sheer weight of their individuality and talent sets them apart. They become leaders and people come to them. “At the other end of the spectrum unfortunately are people who are always dependent on support and who make a noise but who don’t actually have much to say.” Barnett agrees that New Zealand’s small size allows those with opinions to be heard more easily but he is less sure that New Zealand’s blend of cultures allows it to ‘punch above its weight’. He says: “I’m most probably more questioning of that notion because I think that there isn’t anything inherent in www.leadershipnz.co.nz
the New Zealand culture that makes us combine more readily than other people’s cultures.” He does however acknowledge that, “we have had individual successes that are disproportionate. If you look at the extraordinary success of Lord of the Rings, what other country could do this? Not very many, but apart from that and Whale Rider what else? It doesn’t take much in a small country for us to look good. If you’re doing this in the States you’re striking much higher.” According to this industry veteran, secrets to success include planning, teamwork and great leadership. “A film crew is like a well oiled military or sports machine,” he says. “Like rugby, you know someone’s going to pick it up and run with it. You expect people to be prepared and ready; collaboration is important. Good leadership is important in bringing that together.” He’s not exaggerating when he references the military. The detailed planning list for each shoot sounds like a battalion should be on call at all times: people know what they’re shooting, when, and how; there is a report that you start the day with and another that you end the day with. Nothing happens that hasn’t been planned and reasons for deviation go into the report at the end of the day. However, he explains: “At the same time you have this creative thing going on. That requires you to juggle these two things [planned and unplanned activity]. Leadership is the difference. You look at the projects that worked, the audiences that went WINTER 2009
there, those that are critically acclaimed, and you know that somebody got the best performance from everyone on the day. “In an odd way none of the outcomes of the arts are planned,” says Barnett. “I doubt if there is a painter who says: ‘The next thing I do will be the next big New Zealand thing.’ The reality about art is that nothing any of us do will make a change. What makes the change is making something that captures the imagination of people – so they make that change for themselves.” The film sector is embattled however, and heavily dependent on government support. “The fact is that the product we make in film and literature has a very tiny domestic market and yet the cost is not much different from the cost of making them internationally. I hope the government support doesn’t disappear. “If you open up 500 BurgerFuels or supermarkets you’d dominate the market. In the arts, someone can make something singular and personal and that becomes the new benchmark. In some ways that’s the most capitalist thing there is. You create something and the audience tells you if it’s good. Having got to that point your profile is raised and their willingness to listen to you in the future is bolstered.” Unfortunately that recognition doesn’t always equate to a dollar value unless you’re a smart businessperson like Barnett. “Leaders in the arts are making statements on the worlds they operate in, they don’t have to talk about politics and the economy – they are already making statements”. 23
Going Bananas Keeping The Chinese New Zealand Voice Alive
eading New Zealand Chinese into the future: it is a mantra that permeates all facets of Kai Luey’s life and one he passionately communicates to young and old alike. Chairman of the New Zealand Chinese Association Auckland Inc (www.nzchinese-akld.org.nz) since 2000, he has introduced fresh thinking, innovation and creativity into the organisation and challenged its membership to consider its core purpose and value in society. How would you define leadership? Leadership is about having the courage to stand up for what is important to you. This requires us to take risks in disrupting the status quo. Change is not something to fear, but to embrace. Kai Luey Without innovation it is not possible to view things afresh and capture new ideas and opportunities. What drives you as a leader? My deepest passion is creating platforms for Chinese New Zealanders to share their journeys, stories and identities with all New Zealanders. I am fully immersed in community leadership initiatives and knowing that I can drive change through these channels is what gets me up in the morning. It gives me a strong sense of purpose to tackle all that life throws before me. What is New Zealand’s biggest challenge at present and in the future? Our biggest challenge revolves around cultural relations: how do we find a connection with those who don’t sit within our regular realm of interaction? The answer is not simple. One approach is to locate commonalities that allow us to celebrate those touchpoints better. It can be as simple as a conversation about family or sport. As New Zealand matures, current and future leaders will be tasked with identifying those unique and special dialogues that can harness the diverse perspectives which exist in New Zealand and around the world. NZCA is committed to leading New Zealand Chinese into the future. In what ways are you undertaking that? For the Chinese New Zealand voice to stay alive, our Association must develop bonding and bridging strategies that enhance 24
our members’ internal and external relations. Intracultural and cross-sector partnerships are one path we are taking to create value and sustainability for our current and future membership base. We are committed to working with those who share our vision and values. Over the past three years, the Association’s engagement with New Zealanders of Chinese descent between the ages of 18 and 30 has intensified. The key initiative in this area is our annual Leadership and Development Conference (LDC) – a five-day event which focuses on exploring culture, leadership and communication with the aim of nurturing delegates to be leaders that change the future. We are witnessing the face of New Zealand change dramatically. The conversation around ‘multiple identities’ has deepened and weaved itself into our storytelling – with our children, grandchildren and peers. Storytelling is in fact the cornerstone of our existence as a community organisation. We continue to challenge ourselves to find creative ways to share our stories with the widest audience possible. Stories provide us with a means to connect with each other and explore the complexities around who we are. What is Going Bananas? Going Bananas (www.goingbananas. org.nz) is a cultural storytelling event which the New Zealand Chinese Association Auckland has created to challenge perceptions of what it means to be Chinese – at home in New Zealand and abroad. The theme for this year’s conference is Rising Dragons, Soaring Bananas, and it is the fourth event in the Going Bananas cycle. Since 2005, we have wanted to create a fun and lively way to tackle the complexities around the multiple identities which Chinese New Zealanders carry. The event itself is open to everyone with an interest in Chinese lives and experiences. We throw a spotlight on stories of those who have overcome personal and professional challenges on the road to success. Going Bananas brings to life talented voices of Chinese descent making an impact in New Zealand and on the global stage. Interview by Alistair Kwun – Communications Director, Bananaworks and a participant in the 2006 Leadership New Zealand programme.
2008 LEADERSHIP NEW ZEALAND GRADUATION CEREMONY
Pointing the Way A précis of Sir Douglas Graham’s address to the graduating class of 2008.
he Rt Hon Sir Douglas Graham addressed the class of 2008 at their graduation ceremony late last year. He began by congratulating Leadership New Zealand for its efforts to ensure New Zealand benefits from good leadership and paid tribute to the graduands for completRt Hon Sir Douglas Graham. ing what was clearly a challenging course. He then described some of the outstanding leaders he had met during his time as Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations. settlement, Maori have been able to increase their interests to Early in his term he had travelled to Waskaganish in James over 50 percent. Bay, Northern Canada to meet with Cree Indian leader Billy It has therefore proved to have been a wise decision to acDiamond. Canada’s Federal and Provincial Governments were cept the Crown’s final offer and evidenced an ability in the developing a major hydro-electric project in James Bay which negotiators to see into the future and the opportunities the would have impacted on the rights of the Cree. Sir Douglas settlement would present. Sir Douglas acknowledged the outacknowledged the great leadership of Billy Diamond and his standing leadership of the negotiators. courage in standing up to the political pressure. Using that as an example, Sir Douglas expressed the view He read the following extract from a biography of Billy that good leaders are those who can perceive opportunities, Diamond in which Diamond and also risks, which most explained his philosophy: others fail to appreciate. Good leaders are those who can “Great obstacles make great He referred to Winston perceive opportunities, and also risks, leaders. When the James Bay Churchill’s warning to the which most others fail to appreciate. Project was announced, peoBritish people of the rise of ple said ‘Billy – you’re crazy to Nazi Germany in the 1930s fight it. You can’t fight a Province. You can’t fight a Federal and the refusal of so many, especially those in Germany, to do Government. You’re going to fail’. I used to tell them ‘No failanything about it. ure is as bad as the failure to try.’ That obstacle wasn’t going to And then he quoted from Martin Niemoller, a prominent make me a loser. You must be willing to risk failure. Leadership German anti-Nazi theologian, who wrote: requires that you have strong personal convictions, that you “First they came for the Jews: I didn’t speak out because I can convert people to your cause, that you can challenge peowas not a Jew. Then they came for the communists: I did not ple to do their best, and that you know when to cut the cord speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came and let them lead on their own. You know what leadership is? for the trade unionists: I did not speak out because I was not Leadership is stretching your creativity. It isn’t in the title. If a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics: I was a you let your imagination work you can do great things. That’s Protestant and did not speak out. Then they came for me: by it – you just have to let your imagination work.” that time there was no one to speak out.” Sir Douglas then went on to describe the negotiations over Sir Douglas then said he thought that, in addition to creaMaori commercial fishing claims under the Treaty of Waitangi, tivity and perspicacity, leadership also required the four Hs and how the Maori negotiators had the burden of making ma– Honesty, Humour, Humility and Humanity. jor decisions which they knew would be criticised. The talks And he said, it is not always the person who shouts ‘Follow were intense and exhausting, he said, with many tears being me!’ who is the leader, for as Henry Miller, the American novshed as the enormity of the decision became apparent. elist wrote, “The real leader has no need to lead – he is content The Crown offer would have vested about 24 percent of the to point the way.” fishing quota in Maori, but one of the negotiators initially was Sir Douglas concluded his address by again congratulating the not prepared to accept less than 50 percent. In fact, since the graduands and wishing them well in their chosen careers. WINTER 2009
Our Sincere Thanks To… Key Partners
• The Michael O’Dea Scholarships, gifted by the O’Dea family
Reg Birchfield for his significant contribution to the magazine
Tim Hamilton, Lyn Gunson and CJ Dooney and the young women
Oramahoe Marae, who hosted the visit to Tai Tokerau Teresa Te Pania Ashton, George Riley and the team from
of Netball North for hosting the SkillsBank launch
Ngapuhi who organised the Tai Tokerau visit
Jenny Woods for being the MC at the SkillsBank launch
KPMG, who provided the Wellington venue
Alfred Ngaro for being the key note speaker at the SkillsBank
Dairy NZ, who provided the Hamilton venue
Graeme Nahkies of Boardworks International for providing the
Craig Richardson, Jadeworld, SkillsBank speaker to Christ’s College
Alumni seminar on governance
Lindsay and Brian Corban for their ongoing generosity in hosting
and supporting LNZ events and activities Organisation Partners •
PricewaterhouseCoopers (Cameron Ford and Nuala Baker) who undertook the Audit of the Annual Accounts
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Terry Simonsen and Steve Purton of Birkenhead New World and Foodstuffs, for providing food and beverages for the SkillsBank launch
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team for assistance with the magazine
Organisation Director and Jonathan Ling, Managing Director
QED Services Ltd (Jean de Bruyn) for assistance with staff
of Fletcher Building Ltd for gifting their time to the Leadership
development Other Assistance •
Mark Otten from The Warehouse for overseeing the finances
All invited contributors and those who were interviewed for the magazine
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DY Consulting (Nic Dalton) for facilitating our strategic planning process
Week Dinner •
Keith Stewart for providing copies of his book, ‘Kauri’
Members of the Leadership NZ Alumni who give their time and energy to various events and SkillsBank projects
All of our Trustees, Advisory Trustees and Funding Partners for their ongoing support and invaluable advice
The Living Arts Trail The 2009 Matariki Festival celebrating the Maori New Year has just kicked off as Pauline Herbst talks to Rewi Spraggon and he’s busy – not that you’d know it by his relaxed demeanour. This dynamic individual is inspiring a new generation of young Maori leaders to follow their roots.
ewi Spraggon, the Kaiwhakarite Maori manager at Waitakere City Council gives new meaning to the catchphrase ‘portfolio career’, having taken leadership roles in a broad range of activities: Maori consultant and cultural advisor, chef, master carver, curator, musician, event manager, radio broadcaster, television and film production, presenter, librarian, coach and mentor. Not bad for someone who hasn’t yet breached the four decade mark. So what drives Leadership New Zealand’s first (although soon to be retired) alumni representative on the Board of Trustees? Spraggon says: “I’ve always been a busy person with a lot of projects. If anything, I’ve learnt a lot about time management. That’s one of the biggest issues I originally had, but I’m getting better at trying to keep a balance. It’s more about knowing how many balls you have in the air when you’re juggling them, giving 100 percent to the ones in the air and dropping the ones you don’t need. That gives you the biggest benefit.” The celebration Spraggon is helping to coordinate combines many of the elements he seeks in many of his projects. On the Tai Tokerau Maori and Cultural Tourism Association website, Matariki is a time for the “coming together of family and friends… to share with each other skills, achievements and history through storytelling, song and dance, carving and weaving, ancient ceremonies and passing on of knowledge and history”. If Matariki is about conservation, sustainability, preparing the land, food, hospitality and the education of children, then Spraggon is one of its stars. He was selected as the inaugural Leadership New Zealand alumni representative to sit on the trust’s board in 2006 although he admits that he hadn’t expected this. “I was surprised that I was selected out of the 22 alumni that year. I accepted it and went onto the board. At the same time I was setting up the inaugural alumni committee and SkillsBank so it was a big task for a small number of us. “It was amazing to be on a board at that level with experienced businesspeople around the table like Michael Barnett, Tony Nowell and David McGregor. That experience alone has been amazing.” Learning from these and others, Spraggon has transferred the skills he has picked up into running Maori event management and experiences company Te Aratoi, launched in conjunction with fellow entrepreneurs Riki Bennett and Renae Pocklington. Te Aratoi translates into ‘the Arts Pathway’ or ‘the Living Arts Trail’, a name which is also used for the band Spraggon and Bennett play traditional Maori instruments in. WINTER 2009
Rewi Spraggon presenting Maara Kai.
For the past eight months, the duo have also lent their respective chef and ranger skills to Maori Television, presenting a series entitled Maara Kai – from garden to plate. Aimed at educating viewers about indigenous cuisine, traditional Maori medicine and the cost-effectiveness of being self-sufficient, the show also featured Te Aratoi’s music. Spraggon, crowned World Indigenous BBQ Champion 2005 (awarded in Hawaii) is modest about his cooking prowess, saying: “Everyone has to eat. It’s a good skill to get around with; you’ll get a job anywhere if you’re a chef.” With pragmatic advice like this, Spraggon is a popular mentor for at-risk youth although he is currently focused on up and coming young leaders. He explains, “I still help out with a few ‘at risk’ programmes where I can, but if you put more effort into up and coming leaders and young youth showing potential you’ve got a better start in life. If as a youth I had known what I do now, I’d have been miles ahead. It’s about going back to the basics of it. I’ve worked in both areas [at risk youth and emerging leaders] and you get a lot more mileage that way.” The latest experience Spraggon has added to his life’s journey is storytelling. As one of only three or four Maori storytellers in New Zealand, Spraggon is using his cultural knowledge to educate everyone from children to corporate executives through the stories of Maui and other legendary figures. This is one young leader with roots anchoring his soul firmly to New Zealand, through indigenous music, stories, carving and the indigenous plants he cooks with. One suspects the next chapter in ‘the life of Rewi’ will be equally exciting as those before. 27
2009 Programme Speakers FEBRUARY – Exploring Leadership Parnells on the Rose Gardens, Auckland The different faces of leadership; leadership and the community; characteristics of leadership; toolkit day. Wendy Rowe Tim Miles
Chief Executive, PGG Wrightson
Author, Entrepreneur, Social Commentator
Mayor, Waitakere City and Leadership New Zealand Advisory Trustee
MARCH – A Civil Society Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple, Auckland Elements of a civil society; ethics; community development; social entrepreneurism; poverty; human rights; diversity; refugee resettlement; family. Jenny Gill
Chief Executive, ASB Community Trust and Leadership New Zealand Advisory Trust
CEO/City Missioner, Auckland City Mission
Chief Executive, Starship Foundation
Dr John Hinchcliff
Leadership New Zealand Advisory Trustee
National Manager, Client Services, RMS Refugee Resettlement
Manager with Refugee Quota Branch, Immigration New Zealand
Executive, Refugees As Survivors New Zealand
Chief Executive, Foodstuffs New Zealand
Executive Chair, Leadership New Zealand
APRIL/MAY – Our People Omarohe Marae, Northland Our people – past, present and future challenges; the face of poverty in NZ; leadership journeys and lessons; tribes and cultures. Chris Farelly
Chief Executive, Manaia Health PHO
Chief Executive, Northable
General Manager Operations, Te Runanga a-Iwi o Ngapuhi
Executive Director, Amokura
Senior Lecturer in Te Ara Poutama: Faculty of Maori Development at AUT
Debbie & Ngahau Davis
Joint General Managers, He Iwi Kotahi tatou Trust
Chief Executive, Far North District Council
JUNE – Session 1 – 21st Century Governance KPMG, Wellington The changing role of the state; global trends of government; participation in decision making; and the citizen’s role in a democracy. Lesley McTurk
Chief Executive, Housing New Zealand Corporation
Managing Director, Hay Group
The Hon. Lockwood Smith
Speaker of the House
Chief Executive, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
Partner, Chen Palmer, NZ Public Law Specialists
Chief Executive and Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Political Journalist and Analyst
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