Waikato-Tainui College

Yvonne O'Brien

Iwi affiliations: Ngaati Ranginui, Ngaati Awa, Ngaati Pikiao, Ngaati Maniapoto

Other Qualifications: Dip ATE, BEd

Yvonne O’Brien has always wanted to complete business leadership post graduate studies so the Waikato MBA at the Waikato-Tainui College was the perfect course for her.

Being a mother and still working full-time as Associate Kaihautu Delivery at Te Waananga o Aotearoa (TWOA), she often felt it was difficult to maintain a balance between her commitments and the MBA.

"The MBA journey has equally been about intelligence as it has been about strength of character and resilience. It has been hugely challenging while still working full-time but it has also been immensely rewarding” says Yvonne.

Her major research paper looked at Maaori leadership, focusing with an appreciative lens on leadership at TWOA. What she found has been amongst her biggest learnings.

Yvonnes research affirmed her belief that both extraordinary and transformative leadership exists in our Maaori world, has done so for a very long time and occurs in Maaori organisations and communities right here in front of us.

"I have had the opportunity to meet inspiring people and have also had the space to deeply reflect on my practice as a leader and manager” says Yvonne.