News

New Leadership Development Manager appointed

DrSue WatsonWe are delighted to announce Dr Sue Watson has been appointed Leadership Development Manager at NZLI. She will oversee our programme portfolio and lead the facilitation team while also being involved at the coalface of programme design and delivery.

Sue was previously Global CEO of the expat organisation Kea, as well as chief executive of the Asia Pacific enterprise of the Commonwealth Education Trust. She brings strong business networks and a proven track record in strategy and business development as well as developing and facilitating leadership development workshops.

After earning a Doctorate in education, Sue accepted an academic post and gained experience in research and lecturing at the tertiary level in both New Zealand and the United States, specifically the Consortium for Policy Research in Education at The University of Pennsylvania. Her previous education experience also includes being co-founder of an export educational publishing company and consultancy.

Out of the office, Sue has also served in several directorships and is currently Chair of CORT Community Housing, a large social housing trust, as well as Judge of the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards.

Dr Watson says, ‘I am delighted to be joining the team at NZLI to support the development and delivery of leadership programmes to grow leadership capability throughout New Zealand. After a career as an academic and then in business and not for profit leadership I’m committed to bringing the best of applied leadership research and practice together.”

Vicki Watson, NZLI Director, says "Sue’s national and international experience will be invaluable to building a strong facilitation team delivering relevant and impactful leadership development programmes. This combined with her knowledge of CEO and executive roles as well as those of governance will also enable her to identify with our clients’ needs. We’re really looking forward to Sue starting with us."

Sue will officially take up the role in January 2018.


 NZLI merger will strengthen and enhance New Zealand leadership

Jayne VickiAfter a close relationship spanning 14 years, we are excited to announce that NZLI is merging with the University of Auckland Business School, a founding partner of the Institute since 2003.

NZLI already has its physical home within the Business School and the merger will create a much stronger foundation of resources and services, and enable closer working relationships with other UABS departments and centres.

“The merger formalises and strengthens our existing relationship,” says Business School Dean Professor Jayne Godfrey. “It will allow us to capitalise on synergies by drawing on the great work conducted within both NZLI and the Business School, itself a thought-leader in this field.”

NZLI works at the forefront of leadership research and development. NZLI Director, Vicki Watson says the institute will continue to run its open and customised leadership development offerings, including its flagship Leadership Mindset and Executive Leadership Mindset programmes.

“The merger will, however, enable us to develop new programmes for University students and staff, add to our portfolio of programmes for business as well as enter exciting new sector projects such as those in the not-for-profit, governance, and youth worlds,” she says.

“NZLI’s mission is to see New Zealand’s business and communities thriving under effective, courageous leadership. That is reflected directly in what the Business School is wanting too in cultivating enterprising and enlightened leaders.”

The merger is effective from August 14, 2017.


 2017 University of Auckland Alumni Leadership Fellow announced

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Congratulations to Nicky Smith, the 2017 recipient of the NZLI and University of Auckland Alumni Leadership Fellowship. Nicky was selected from a talented pool of applicants and receives a fully-funded place on NZLI’s Leadership Mindset Programme. 

Nicky is a Chartered Professional Engineer who has been working in the road construction and maintenance sector for over 20 years. For the past three years, she has held the role of Maintenance Operations Manager for HEB Construction. In this national role, Nicky oversees the delivery of HEB’s road maintenance business, which takes her to a range of communities across New Zealand, from the busy inner Auckland suburbs to the remote rural areas of Marlborough.

Nicky completed a Diploma in Engineering in the early 1990’s, and after 8 years managing a range of construction projects she moved into consulting work, during which time she also completed a Masters of Engineering Studies in Transportation through the University of Auckland. She returned to the construction industry 5 years ago and is passionate about recruiting and advancing more women through the industry. This motivated her to start her PhD through the University of Auckland, with a focus on the retention of women in engineering.

After spending all of her career in technical roles, Nicky is delighted to have the opportunity to develop her leadership capability. “I am so grateful to the University of Auckland Alumni Relations and the New Zealand Leadership Institute for providing this opportunity to focus on building a leadership mindset. My role increasingly requires me to take a more strategic view and I am really excited about embarking on this programme to develop new thinking and practices that will support me in this work”.