A fantastic opportunity to learn more about principalship

During the October term break, over 200 beginning principals gathered in Auckland with the Evaluation Associates leadership team and invited keynote speakers for the 2017 Beginning Principals National Hui.


The hui organising committee was led by Geoff Childs with the support of six Leadership Advisors from around New Zealand. This core team developed the programme during a number of planning meetings throughout 2017.

The beginning principals came from all parts of New Zealand and many different contexts for a three day programme incorporating keynote speakers, workshops, small group activities and networking opportunities.


"The opportunity to network in our sector groups talking to principals means that we are not alone when times get tough. Other principals do have the same challenges we do."

Gareth Cunliffe, Ngakuru School

Amongst the featured presenters were: 

  • Viviane Robinson (Reduce Change to Increase Improvement)
  • Michael Absolum (Being Strategic)
  • Hoana Pearson and Dr Ann Milne (Culturally Competent Leadership)
  • Dr Phil Riley (Principal Health and Wellbeing)
  • Cathy Wylie (School Practices Tool)
  • Derek Wenmoth (Leading for the Future).

Additional learning experiences included workshops exploring ERO Leadership Indicators, sector group networking and a principals' panel featuring innovative and inspiring principals sharing their leadership philosophies.

BP_National_hui_Reflection_timeThere were a variety of social and networking opportunities to enable principals to build new networks and deepen existing ones. These included meeting in focus groups with principals from similar sized schools so that common challenges of practice and leadership could be unpacked and debated.

“A fantastic opportunity for new principals to network, share experiences, problem solve and learn more about the complex role principalship has become. Nga mihi, Evaluation Associates”.

Hinei Taute, Whakarewarewa School

The feedback from hui participants was overwhelmingly positive with the combination of speakers, networking and new learning equipping the attending beginning principals with strategies to be successful in their work.

BP_National_Hui_singingSince the hui I have spoken with a number of attendees who all found the conference to be an excellent opportunity to strengthen their own leadership capacity and network. The opportunity for new professional learning, support and reflection on practice was powerful and it is encouraging to visit principals in their schools and see the impact of this hui on their leadership practices. Each principal noted different speakers and experiences as being personally impactful, however all took particular note and interest in the keynotes on “Reducing Change to Increase Improvement” and “Principal Health and Wellbeing” as hui highlights.

Planning is already underway for the 2018 conference! Further information and resources from the 2017 hui are available through the Evaluation Associates website. You can find them here.

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Tags: leadership beginning principals national hui

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