New Master of Māori and Indigenous Leadership

21 November 2016

An applied professional programme dedicated to supporting the advancement of Māori and Indigenous self-determination.

  • Maori carving face culture

This new qualification is designed for people wanting to strengthen their ability to step in to management and governance leadership roles with responsibilities for delivering on Māori aspirations within Iwi, Māori, government, community and private sector organisations.

The co-ordinator for the MMIL programme is Sacha McMeeking (Ngāi Tahu). Sacha is the Head of School of Aotahi and Co-Director of the Māui Lab. Sacha brings a serial entrepreneur’s approach to working with and for Iwi Māori. From instigating United Nations proceedings to architecting a Māori social enterprise fund and leading commercial negotiations, she is known for solution-building that meets Iwi Māori aspirations. Before coming to UC, Sacha was the director of a boutique consultancy working with Iwi Māori in strategy development, kaupapa Māori asset management and innovation and the General Manager Strategy and Influence with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, responsible for government relations on behalf of the Iwi. Recognised as an emerging New Zealand leader, Sacha won the inaugural Fulbright Harkness Fellowship in 2010. Sacha is a change agent and compliments her varied background with a desire to support and grow the next generation of Māori scholars. Initiatives like the Māui lab are a product of that intent and just one of the many innovations that Sacha intends to bring through Aotahi in the years to come.

Sacha is researching in the areas of:

  • Māori and Indigenous self-determination
  • Iwi Māori development, innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Iwi Māori futures, social and cultural capital
  • Comparative approaches to Indigenous peoples
  • Public policy The MMIL papers will be taught by a team of academics and practitioners, including a number of guest lecturers from established and prominent Māori leaders.

The Master of Māori and Indigenous Leadership (MMIL) is founded on the belief that the most significant contribution to advancing our tino rangatiratanga at this time is people with courage, vision and culturally embedded leadership skills, who can imagine and realise practical solutions that achieve intergenerational aspirations. The MMIL is an applied, professional and flexible multi-disciplinary taught Masters programme that is designed to accelerate the career progression of mid-career Māori across all sectors with the ultimate aim of growing inspired leaders capable of materially advancing tino rangatiratanga in the service of their people. The MMIL can be completed while in full time employment over an 18 month period. Each cohort will comprise approximately 12-20 people. The wānanga format will enable students from outside Canterbury to enter the programme. Part-time students are welcome and can take up to three and a half years to complete the degree. The programme is open to students who do not have an undergraduate degree, providing they can demonstrate service to the Māori sector. It is open to people currently working in Iwi, Māori, government, community and private organisations with responsibilities for engaging with Māori interests, values and aspirations. For 2017, there are a limited number of scholarships available.

The MMIL has been designed to:

  • Make a significant contribution to the Māori sector by preparing emerging leaders to envision, implement and execute on the aspirations of our communities;
  • Equip emerging leaders with knowledge and skills, including the ability to:
  • Analyse, critique and create models of Indigenous development, drawing upon comparative approaches, practical knowledge and soft skills to create pioneering models that uphold intergenerational aspirations and tikanga Māori;
  • Develop advanced leadership skills and attributes to enable graduates to lead and implement change initiatives within Māori contexts;
  • Develop the breadth and applied skills necessary to excel in a strategic leadership role; and
  • Deepen disciplinary expertise at an advanced level relevant to the personal affinities of each student.
  • Create a national cohort of next generation Māori leaders, from across Iwi, Māori and government sectors; and
  • Foster international Indigenous relationships around a cohort of Māori leaders.

The Masters in Māori and Indigenous Leadership programme involves:

  • 10 monthly weekend wānanga to be held at marae that will involve deep work on (1) leadership in the Māori sector that will develop strategic thinking, knowledge of functional management and personal leadership skills and (2) comparative Indigenous models and theories of development. These wānanga will involve presentations from established leaders in the Māori sector;
  • Four week hikoi to North America to connect with First Nations peoples and develop practical understanding of comparative Indigenous approaches to development and self-determination;
  • One elective paper that can be drawn from any discipline to enable students to gain depth in existing area of expertise or broaden their expertise into a new field. Notably, this elective paper can be completed at any tertiary provider in New Zealand, enabling those from outside the Canterbury region to complete this course at a convenient location and to select the content they consider most relevant to their future aspirations;
  • One practical project that will require students to design and implement an innovative initiative within their community or organisation. This project will synthesise the learning gained from across the programme as a whole; and
  • Research paper in an area relevant to the personal affinities of the student.

View the ‌MMIL brochure here (PDF)

For more information contact:

Sacha McMeeking
Head of School

Aotahi, School of Māori and Indigenous Studies
Phone: 0276722426