Kāhu kōrako Cadetship programme


The kāhu kōrako cadetship programme began in December 2019 with 25 participants, 13 selected across the organisation nationally and 12 from the Tai Tokerau region.

The participant’s job roles covered the full spectrum of positions available in the organisation from front line swim school instructors and lifeguards to facility and business unit managers. Surveying of cadets and interviews with managers (where applicable) were completed as well as personal development plans created for each cadet. Collectively, the feedback received from cadets on the support they required to assist their leadership aspirations was to get more understanding and confidence in their own standing as Māori first and foremost.

A series of wānanga were delivered throughout the year as well as online te reo and tikanga classes to support this outcome. Additionally, individual training and support was provided as per the cadets and managers feedback which, for some, included industry training.

A key component of the cadetship programme was wānanga, for some this was their first exposure to wānanga and noho, and it proved very successful in driving some of the outcomes the cadets had indicated would support their leadership aspirations as well as developing connections to support ongoing excellence in the organisation.

The cadets were broken up into two rōpū for the wānanga, a national rōpū and a Tai Tokerau based rōpū, with the national rōpū travelling the motu, and the Tai Tokerau rōpū travelling the local rohe.

The Final kaupapa for this wānanga was to bring the two rōpū together, celebrate the successes of the year, set the intentions as leaders in the organisation moving forward, and bring the companies directors along to see the progress of their employees. The wānanga was held where it all began in Tai Tokerau and included; whakawhanaungatanga at Tutukākā, raranga and portrait shots, a day chilling at Waipu Cove, and an awards evening.

Feedback from participants 

“For me the experience has been life changing. I always knew I was Māori but was never given the opportunity to explore this before. I feel I was fortunate to get the most out of the programme as I was starting new. I feel privileged now to have had this experience and learn about our whakapapa. I will continue to work on my te reo and past on the mana with my children.”

“Every wananga brought an amazing experience and a positive connection for me. The programme allowed for me to connect with like minded people which inspired me to do better and to not be whakama in being Māori. This programme has given me the strength to have a lot more self confidence in being proud to be Maori both within my work and whanau life. I am now making a conscious effort everyday to continue the great work I have learnt throughout this journey.”

“POSITIVE IMPACT! I now am proud to be Māori, I speak this at my work daily such as name tag, emails, te reo email signature, answering phone, greeting when they arrive and leave. This has been a very good thing for myself, my family and work so it doesnt just benefit my self but also others around me. for example i now play maori music in my car and my kids aged 10 and 2 sing along to all the maori songs. Personal benefit: Self confidence Work place benefit: A better leader towards my team”

“I feel better on the inside (cant explain what it is) more focused on what i want to do and being more open about discussing experiences made new connections and new friends for life. from these new friendships formed a support group that i know i can call on when ever i need help.”

“Unforgettable journey!!! I have truly met some awesome people who I consider as whanau for life. So grateful for the opportunity to be apart of it. Please continue with this kaupapa as we need more of it!!!”

“The main thing that I have gained from Kāhu Korako has been that it is okay to be Māori!!!!”

“Gaining a higher level of education has had a huge impact. It has been a life changing experience”.

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