Te Rau ō te Huia - The Skills Organisations Inaugural Māori and Pasifika Leadership Participants Graduate
On the 27th November 2018, Skills held its inaugural Te Rau ō te Huia - Māori and Pasifika Leadership graduation ceremony. Celebrating the achievements of six emerging leaders who represent iwi in NZ, Niue, Samoa and the Cook Islands, the graduation ceremony is a proud moment for Garry Fissenden, Skills CEO. “We are a south Auckland Corporate with no Māori or Pasifika staff in the senior leadership team and that is not right. It is important to me that the management at Skills reflect our community. This year we started to fix this through the development of a new leadership programme,“ says Mr Fissenden.
The Te Rau ō te Huia programme was purpose built to help participants:
- Define and refine their leadership style
- Progress their careers
- Gain exposure to senior leader
- With professional development planning and goal setting
All six participants who entered the programme, successfully completed it and were present for the graduation. Theresa Rongonui, the Workforce Development Lead at Skills who headed up the programme, states, “I’m thrilled with the outcome of the programme and all the hard work participants put into their training and projects. For me this programme emphasises the importance of learning how to blend leadership skills in both work and cultural lives.”
The programme ran for six months and was built to fit participants’ needs. There were six, two-day wānanga where a variety of guest speakers, leadership styles and challenges were put to the participants.
The Te Rau ō te Huia programme also involved participants being provided with:
- Senior leadership sponsored challenges
- Monthly sessions with Leadership experts
- Monthly project team sessions
- Attending the Skills Board Lunch
- Monthly meetings with the CEO
- Initiating ongoing professional development
- Exploring external leadership opportunities
Despite being a brand-new programme that had never been run before, Te Rau ō te Huia was a success. Everyone who took part in the programme reported that there were additional leadership opportunities within their teams. Better yet out of the six participants, four had accepted internal promotions by the time the six-month programme had come to an end.
Te Rau ō te Huia means the feather belonging to the Huia, a now extinct bird, but one whose influence continues. In traditional times, the wearing of the Huia feather was a signal of a chief or leader within their whānau, hapū or iwi. The programme was named in honour of this significance and the future success participants would look forward to upon completing the programme.
The ceremony was attended by the participants, their friends, whānau, managers and the Skills’ senior leadership team.