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The first cohort of the recently formed Māori associate directorship programme, He Tukutuku Koiora, has been welcomed by Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust.
More than 100 candidates from different professional sectors applied to take part in the programme, with only eight successful candidates brought into it as amonuku (associate directors) at its launch last month.
The two-and-a-half-year programme, which was created in response to the growing demand for tikanga-led leadership, aims to give aspiring Māori directors the knowledge and skills they need to be resilient leaders in frequently unsettling spaces.
"Having spent the last 12 years in the finance industry, I acknowledge that a lot of the decisions that impact our organisation and our industry sit at the board level," says amonuku, Teahooterangi (Teaho) Pihama (Te Ātiawa, Ngā Māhanga-a-Tairi, Waikato, Ngāti Maru).
"We know that what is good for Māori, is good for all of Aotearoa, so I would like to represent a Māori lens in supporting our larger entities across Aotearoa to really anchor the strengths of te ao Māori into the way that they operate their organisations."
The programme has brought mentors from Māori governance and leadership sectors together to help present a number of sessions, both in-person and online.
"We all come from different paths, but we all realise that being a part of this kaupapa is more about giving back to the communities that we are involved in," Amonuku Emma Winiata (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngaruahine) says.
For more information on the programme, or to find out more about the cohort, visit its website here.