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We hold events for our alumni, friends, and the general public for people to connect with the important conversations in leadership.

Subject matter experts and prominent New Zealand leaders share their knowledge and engage with the audience, sparking new ideas and innovation as minds from different backgrounds converge and focus their energy on a salient issue or theme.

Session Seven: Governance in the 21st Century

Written by Vivek Rajendran, Manager, Commercial Performance – Aeronautical Operations at Auckland Airport

An unusually still day flying into Wellington, potentially the calm before the storm as we prepared to take on the topic of Governance in the 21st Century.

We passed through the high levels of security entering the Parliament buildings and made our way through the Grand Hall to arrive at the Legislative Chamber. There was a sense of responsibility which seemed to weigh on our shoulders just by being present in these powerful buildings.

As the Leadership NZ 2015 whanau gathered together you could feel the momentum of the group. We were about to embark on a journey together. Louise quite aptly quoted the great Aristotle:

 “Where your talents and the needs of the world collide therein lies your purpose.”

It was to no one’s surprise that we dived straight into the big topic of power. It was time to reclaim and reframe this word.

Some captivating framing by David and Mark defining governance as doing the right things versus doing things right.

Before we knew it we were privileged to have, Rt Hon David Carter (Speaker of the House of Representatives) and Andrew Kibblewhite (Chief Executive of Department of the Prime Minister) who arrived ready to share some powerful leadership insights. Describing their roles in their own words, highlighting the most exciting and challenging parts of their jobs, these truly were candid encounters with some of NZ’s most senior leaders.

It was then up the road to the vibrant and safety focussed headquarters of the ACC. 

A dynamic Powhiri welcoming from ACC with a beautiful challenge to stand tall, be proud and have the courage to be yourself. As if the energy hadn’t already been lifted enough, Morehu took to the guitar and serenaded the room over lunch.

The afternoon sessions commenced with a welcome from ACC’s Chief Customer Officer and some insights into leadership and governance. The key to successful leadership was said to be about energy, passion and creating commitment.

This was followed by a panel discussion, including Berlinda Chin, Kaye-Maree Dunn, Dr Lee Mathias and our very own Sina. What a diverse range of views on leadership and some very challenging conversation. A rich discussion covering progress, perspective, respect, privilege, values, opportunity, the importance of listening and the power of silence.

Before long, we were whisked away to a hangar near Wellington Airport to experience Strike Percussion. What an amazing group of people whose passion and love for music shone through in their performance and inspired all of us to give our 100% to the task at hand.

Day 2 was based at Toi Whaakari, New Zealand’s largest training provider for professionals in the screen and performing arts. Another powerful welcoming followed by an emotional and extremely well-choreographed introduction from Toi Whaakari Director Christian Penny. The discussion was open and honest and through this, it was obvious to see that the Toi Whaakari whanau shared incredible trust.

Jim Bolger was next to inspire. A clearly articulated message communicated with heart and humour. 

The afternoon concluded with a discussion on power and some much needed time with our triads to reflect on and digest all of the insights from the last two days.

We have been given so much to consider on leadership, authority, power and governance in New Zealand. How do we nourish our own power without stealing others? Is true power love, mana and wisdom? How do we embrace the unique opportunities that New Zealand presents us with? What an inspirational and energising experience that we will all carry with us as we continue on our leadership journeys.