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Previous Events

We have enjoyed the opportunity to engage with diverse audiences and topics through our previous public events.  Below we offer a taste of our activitiy from the past 5-6 years. 

Learning the real leadership lessons from rugby in New Zealand.


The sporting world continues to provide a compelling context from which early notions of leadership are forged.  For many in the New Zealand context, rugby, most notably the All Blacks, acts as the primary indicator of the general state of the nation's leadership.


To what extent is this tendency progressive or regressive in developing the leadership capacity that is needed for this country to find its place in the world? What might be done to make it more constructive? Are the real leadership lessons being learned? These and other questions were tackled by British-Canadian rugby enthusiast and Co-Director of NZLI, Professor Brad Jackson, who became an overnight "Kiwi" the first time he saw the All Blacks contest the Bledisloe Cup.


Chaired by Dr Margot Edwards, Massey University Albany and former Black Sticks player, this was part of a series of lectures about our nation's most popular game as a precursor to 2011's Rugby World Cup.

Following on from their success during 2009's Leadership Week, World Cafes were held in both Auckland and Hamilton, hosted by Future Leaders from the New Zealand Leadership Institute and members of the Asia NZ Foundation Young Leaders Network.


The World Cafe is an innovative yet simple method for hosting conversations about questions that matter. These conversations link and build on each other as people move between groups, cross-pollinate ideas, and discover new insights into the questions or issues that are most important in their life, work or community. 


Attendees were challenged to think differently about the kind of leadership that is required to make positive shifts in our society. What could we learn from places that we wouldn't think to look? What happens if we look to the animal kingdom to think about our leadership differently?


'Leadership Week' is a collaborative endeavour by organisations, networks and communities throughout New Zealand. NZLI has been involved from the outset with this initiative, which seeks to celebrate leadership achievements and highlight the questions, challenges and opportunities that we as a country need to engage with in order to create dynamic leadership for the future.

Hosted by the University of Auckland Centre for Educational Leadership and facilitated by a team from NZLI, this one day seminar set out to debunk some of the myths of leadership to make way for the real day-to-day work of leadership in an educational context.


Almost 50 senior leaders from a wide range of schools and educational institutions attended this workshop.  Drawing on some of the latest research, participants were guided to explore new frontiers in leadership thinking, stregthen their leadership practice and consider the possibilities for educational leadership in the future.

In the face of a challenging and rapidly changing environment, New Zealand charities and businesses are constantly seeking new ways of working to deliver the vision and purpose of their organisations. Charities particularly rely on community engagement and volunteerism to ensure their success; with exceptional leadership ability and focus being key prerequisites.


During Leadership Week 2008, NZLI hosted a Leadership Workshop for the CEOs of some of New Zealand's key charity organisations with fantastic insights and results.


NZLI Co-Director Lester Levy was amongst the day's speakers, proposing ways to enhance effective inter-agency collaboration in the future, and encouraging organisations to find new ways of diversifying their income streams. "We wanted to ensure there was a very strong emphasis on practical application throughout the day. I believe we achieved a positive result, where the leadership ideas uncovered will have real impact on leadership in the sector".


Many agreed that creating a culture of transparency around current challenges, particularly with their management teams, is vital. It was recognised that these challenges faced by charities are not exclusive to this sector and that the ability to be adaptive in all business environments is at the central core of leadership.

Celebrity debate during New Zealand Leadership Week


Are tall poppies really mown down with rapacious glee or does the media sustain and promote good leadership and reserve its vitriol for those examples of bad leadership that truly deserve all they receive?


NZLI held a feisty debate with journalist and commentator Deborah Hill Cone and Sunday Star Times Editor Cate Brett defending the media's treatment of New Zealand leaders while former New Zealand Herald Editor Gavin Ellis and NZLI's own Dr. Lester Levy argued that our leaders are being unfairly attacked by the media.


The debate was chaired by Professor Duncan Petrie, Head of Department of Film, Television & Media Studies at The University of Auckland.

In 2006, NZLI joined together with the Sir Peter Blake Trust, Leadership New Zealand and the New Zealand Institute of Management to initiate the inaugural ‘New Zealand Leadership Week’ to highlight the strategic relevance and value of leadership for New Zealand. 

In this guided debate on contemporary issues in leadership, our three professors offered their unique and individual viewpoints on how leadership can provide the missing link between NZ aspiration and achievement.


Dr Lester Levy

Dr Levy is Co-Director at NZLI and Adjunct Professor of Leadership at The University of Auckland Business School.


Dr Brad Jackson

Dr. Jackson is Co-Director at NZLI and the Fletcher Building Education Trust Professor of Leadership at The University of Auckland Business School. 


Dr Allan Lind 

Dr. Lind is a Professor of Business Administration at The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University in the U.S., and was a Visiting Professor of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour at The University of Auckland Business School.