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Our Patron

With his Nepalese Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, Sir Edmund Hillary became the first man to climb Mt Everest in May 1953. 

He has been an inspiration to us all, not only because of what he achieved on the mountain, but because of his commitment to growth and development spanning a much longer period. For him, the summit triumph was the start of a journey. Over his last 50 years he devoted himself to environmental and humanitarian efforts that have had a huge impact on Nepalese and New Zealand people and communities.

His leadership has left a great legacy.

A tribute

We are honoured to have had Sir Edmund Hillary's support for our Institute as our founding patron - in perpetuity - and to have his name on our flagship leadership programme - the Hillary Leadership Programme.

To have had the support of one of New Zealand's most respected and authentic leaders has helped us to quickly gather momentum in our mission to enhance the understanding of leadership in New Zealand and take action to develop leaders. As more and more leaders of all ages leave our programmes, I know that they will, in their own way, continue Sir Edmund's leadership legacy through selfless commitment to others and our country. We will, of course, continue to honour his memory as our patron by continuing to strive for excellence and reminding ourselves of his values of aspiration, determination and integrity.

Dr Lester Levy | NZLI Chief Executive