Navigating Collaborative Leadership

Where: Unison Room 3
When: 3pm on Monday and 10.15am on Tuesday

Draft definition for discussion

The NZEI Te Riu Roa National Executive Sector Leadership Work group has been working on developing a vision for leadership within the education sector to inform our ongoing work related to developing, supporting and recognising leadership.  This has included engaging members through processes at our Annual Conference as well as considering academic writing and reflecting on our own experiences and observations.

Through this process some key principles have emerged that will inform ongoing work:

  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the foundation of our nation as such the relationship it establishes must be the foundation of leadership thinking and practice
  • Quality education is centred around the strong moral purpose of supporting all tamariki to achieve their fullest potential and to experience success on their own terms within a broad and holistic curriculum.
  • All adults involved in education have both the right and the responsibility to participate in mahi to achieve this moral purpose
  • Collaborative leadership is therefore the process of working together towards achieving this moral purpose.  As such all adults involved in education are in a leadership role as their mahi will influence the achievement of moral purpose either positively or negatively.
  • Collaborative leadership can be seen through both formal roles or specific allocation of responsibility as well is through the contribution and work of people not appointed to formal roles or allocated responsibilities.  All people within the education sector have a responsibility to contribute to the collective achievement of the moral purpose.
  • All adults involved in education have a moral responsibility to advocate for quality education-either for individual children, or in terms of policy, practice and resourcing
  • Effective education is a collaborative process that incorporates the actions of individuals

Our thinking about how leadership is developed, supported and recognised needs to change to reflect these principles and to incorporate the contribution of all involved in the moral purpose of educating our tamariki. This means focussing on both formal leadership roles and positions as well as people who are not in these roles and positions.

Reflective Questions

  • what is one challenge with a strong moral purpose that you are involved with, or want to be involved, in your mahi?
  • think of a time you have coped with similar challenges before?
  • what was different on those occasions?
  • who noticed first that things were different?
  • what did they notice?
  • how would they notice you were managing this new challenge in that way?
  • what do you currently have internally or as part of a collective that you can contribute to resolving your challenge?
  • what will you do tomorrow to help you achieve your moral purpose and support you to overcome your challenge?


Selekman, M. D. (2010). Collaborative Brief Therapy with Children. New York: The Guildford Press.

Group discussions

During the workshop, we'll split into groups and discuss one of the following four scenarios. Tap or click the heading for the scenario you're discussing to expand the scenario.