National | Leadership

Next generation of Māori leaders sought for Icehouse scholarship

Lennon Wilshire. Photo / Supplied

The Icehouse and Te Puni Kōkiri Leadership Development Cadetships are looking for 25 more kaimahi future Māori leaders for this year’s programme.

The Icehouse-Te Puni Kokiri started in 2021 and the cadetships are to nurture the development of kaimahi and, in turn, promote thriving and resilient whānau, communities and pakihi.

The Icehouse chief executive Liz Wotherspoon said the programme is about treating people with mana so they can reach their highest potential for themselves and their whānau.

“By upskilling kaimahi leaders, we’re supporting them to develop skills and confidence to take on more senior roles and extend their career paths,” she said.

“We were proud of the outcomes the programme generated for the last cadetship intake. This year we want to amplify this impact for kaimahi, their businesses and their whānau.”

The Icehouse chief executive Liz Wotherspoon. Photo / Supplied

The Icehouse is seeking kaimahi across all ages, career stages and industries to complete one of their approved programmes. These include the Owner Manager Programme, Leadership Development Programme, Taking Your Business Forward Programme and one-to-one coaching.

Civil Project Solutions general manager Lennon Wiltshire took part in the cadetship last year and completed The Icehouse’s Owner Manager Programme, which he called super informative and enlightening.

“You realise there’s lots of people in your position tackling the same problems as you are. That’s somewhat comforting.”

Wiltshire said he enjoyed how practical the course was and how it tackled real world thinking and problems. He believes the course has helped his business deal with the issues that arise when a business experiences fast growth.

“It’s given us a bit more of a sure footing going forward. It’s allowed us to reset the foundations.” Bruce Larsen, general manager of Northpine, put forward one of his team members, Ed Wilson, sawmill manager at Northpine, for a cadetship in 2022. Ed completed the Leadership Development Programme that same year.

“The programme opened Ed’s eyes up to practical and higher level of leadership concepts and management ideas, which has given him confidence to engage in wider business discussions and show leadership at a management level,” said Larsen.

Te Puni Kōkiri created the Cadetships programme in 2010 to support kaitono to develop, mentor and train their permanent Māori staff at all career stages into higher-skilled roles.

As an impact player for Aotearoa midsize business leaders, The Icehouse began its partnership with Te Puni Kōkiri in 2021 to expand impact for businesses and kaimahi.

Since 2001, The Icehouse has worked with more than 3000 midsize business leaders to impact individuals, businesses and whānau. Richard Krebs, owner of Hyspecs, says: “The Owner Manager Programme was literally life-changing. I was on the brink of throwing in the towel. The key thing the programme gave me was confidence.”

Tahu Huntly, RSE manager at Hortus, adds: “When I looked across the table and heard some of the other experiences of other workers [on LDP], I clicked, I’ve been through similar stuff, and you sort of bounce off each other. I clicked more that actually I can make more of a career of my life and myself and grow a lot more than I had currently up to that point.”

To apply for the Leadership Development Cadetship, visit