Leadership training for young Māori employees

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

A corporate development programme founded in Māori and Pacific values is equipping young Māori employees with leadership skills.  

Facilitator, Mike Moka says the Fletcher Building initiative has shown positive results and is now being extended to all employees.

“They want servant leadership, a community type of leadership...our indigenous or Māori values have these at the core,” says Moka.

19-year-old Dekota Simpson is graduating from the Connect programme with confidence.  Simpson admits that before he started six months ago, he was unsure of himself.

“They really encourage you to be bold aye,” says Simpson.

“They always put challenges, they always challenge you- they come to you individually.  The activities that help us navigate weak areas in our life, we come up with solutions.”

15 other employees are graduating in the only corporate programme of its kind this year, in which the aim is to develop a broader use of leadership tools for all.

“We teach them how to bring their whole selves into every day, so what are the values that we need and how do we look after ourselves so that inevitably we can look after our whānau, our hapū and our iwi,” says Moka.

Now there's no limit for Simpson in his career aspirations.

“I want to be in a leader position role.  I want to have an unshaken confidence, be an influential speaker,” he says.

“What we want to do is make sure that say in 20 years time they're not in the same positions, that they're promoted, that they're in management,” says Moka.

A fourth cohort will be graduate next month and all graduates will be followed up on next year.