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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.

A word from the CEO


Talofa Lava, Tena Koe,

2015 has been a significant year for the human race, and the future of our planet and species.

This year at Leadership NZ we embraced fearless leadership across our programmes, events and work with New Zealand leaders.  When I look at leadership on the global stage – the willingness of our world leaders to have courageous and challenging conversations; to move beyond the safety of entrenched positions; to be fearless and really embrace a collective vision to work to save the planet has led to some critical and significant commitments.

Sustainable Development Goals & Helen Clark

This year we were honoured to have Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme join us to present the Sir Paul Reeves Memorial Lecture (Transcript / Video).

Helen shared with us her thoughts on the current global challenges and how the new development agenda is addressing them. The state of the world today presents us both opportunities and challenges and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 17 Steps to changing the world) will require strong leadership, across the globe, to ensure that they become a reality.

Helen shared some of her vision for ensuring the SDGs become a reality by 2030, and challenged us.

“Radical adjustments are needed in the way we live, work, produce, consume, generate our energy, transport ourselves, and design our cities. There is capacity to be built. Governance to improve. Sweeping policy, legislative, and regulatory changes are needed. A commitment to lasting peace and stability based on peaceful and inclusive societies is essential.   Leadership - fearless leadership - is needed to realize the better world envisioned in the SDGs.”

Paris Climate Change Agreement

SDG #13 states Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.  

In the last few days, we have seen 196 nations agree the Paris Climate Change Agreement – an event being described as a “monumental triumph” and "the world's greatest diplomatic success."  In the aftermath of the Paris bombings and the ongoing threat of terrorism, the largest gathering of world leaders, has "given the world new hope in the possibilities of pragmatic diplomacy." It is the only global forum where every country has equal voice, and the small island states and developing nations have influenced an agenda in which developed rich nations have had to face up to their role in creating the dire situation the world is facing, and making significant commitments to change.

What about us in AotearoaNZ?

It gives me hope to think that if our global leaders can transcend political, nationalistic biases, diverse ethnic and cultural world views, agendas, power and position, to work for the greater good of humanity - imagine what is possible in AotearoaNZ if we work in a more collaborative, inclusive way, crossing boundaries of difference to solve some the complex problems and issues we face, and to create a peaceful, just and equitable society?

Our 2015 Leadership Programme group considered this in shaping their Visions for New Zealand. They explored how as a diverse group of leaders from across our society, they can work together to create a society that positively impacts everyone – a bi-lingual, environmentally sustainable Aotearoa, in which communities are connected in a meaningful authentic way that enables them to co-create the change needed. The beautiful Waiata “Tuku Mihi” they created and gifted to Leadership New Zealand speaks to the kind of leadership they bring to that kaupapa.

Last week, we held an Envisioning 2040 session with a diverse, intergenerational group of New Zealand leaders from across our leadership network in which we creatively and fearlessly explored what we believe leadership in 25 years will need to look like to meet the future state of our planet and people.

Both sets of conversation highlight that leadership, at its very core, is about humanity and our ability to relate to each other in an authentic human level; to embrace, celebrate and leverage the differences and our sameness, to be fearless in challenging the current state, to put aside ego and self, power, dominance and control and work in a more collaborative, inclusive way. Leadership that is able to adapt, learn, disrupt and respond to huge change, to innovate, and create new ways of being; to think about the future state and future generations and live in a way today that ensures our legacy is a positive one for our descendants.

Leadership is about “love, authenticity, respect, and adventure!” (Nikki Burns, Alumna 2015).

Our 2015 leadership cohort joins our diverse Alumni of 335 New Zealand leaders, and thousands of others across our leadership network who are able to have courageous and challenging conversations; to move beyond the safety of their place/position; to be fearless and really embrace a collective vision to work together for a better New Zealand, a better world.

As we close a magnificent year of fearless leadership, our Leadership NZ team thanks you for your generous support of our work, and for the tremendous leadership contributions you have made to your organisations and communities. We wish you and your fanau a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year; a joyful, relaxed summer. We hope you are able to replenish your energy, feed your soul, and enjoy the bountiful goodness that this wonderful land provides.

Arohanui, Alofa tele atu