On Thursday, December 7th, Deloitte Auckland hosted the inaugural 3 Kapu Kawhe™ graduation ceremony, where over 80 guests gathered to tautoko and acknowledge the achievements of our 2023 cohort of mentors, mentees, and student mentees.
3 Kapu Kawhe™ is a short-term mentoring programme that connects young leaders with experienced executives and directors for three meaningful conversations. Each mentee then pays it forward by having three coffee hui with a promising student leader, creating a ripple effect to support the development of young, diverse leaders across generations.
This year’s programme was generously sponsored by Deloitte New Zealand, who graciously hosted the graduation ceremony on the 17th floor of their Queen Street office.
Mike Horne, CEO of Deloitte New Zealand and an inaugural mentor of the programme, set the tone as the first speaker of the night. He emphasised the importance of investing in the country’s leadership pipeline and highlighted the benefits of intergenerational and cross-cultural mentorship. These, he noted, are crucial for addressing the major challenges of the present day and the inevitable challenges of tomorrow, including the impacts of AI on society and the workforce.
Student Mentee, Esther Sovincet, delivered her award-winning speech from the 2023 Race Unity Speech Awards, where she earned the title of Supreme Winner in the national finals. She emphasised the importance of “changing the words” we use to end racism in Aotearoa: “The way you fertilise a tree determines how it will grow. Change the fertiliser and change the words to end racism in Aotearoa.”
Felicia Iten, one of our 2023 Mentees, reflected on her experience, highlighting the meaningful relationships developed with her mentor, Andrew Poole, CEO at MinterEllisonRuddWatts, and her student mentee, Mira Arif. She spoke to the various programme objectives and outcomes, illustrating how they were met and delivered over the past six months.
The evening concluded with a closing speech from Michelle Huang, Chair and GM at Multiethnic Young Leaders NZ. Michelle emphasised the importance of fostering connections and nurturing relationships: “Through our relationships, we find support, comfort, and understanding. We learn to empathise, see the world from other perspectives, and discover our common humanity through the eyes of another.” She extended gratitude to the inaugural mentors for their service and acknowledged the careful process taken to ensure mentors invited to participate in the programme were leaders “we could proudly endorse,” with a proven track record of showing up and demonstrating “not only outstanding leadership in their respective fields but also compassion, kindness, integrity, and authenticity.”
Congratulations to all 36 mentors, mentees, and student mentees from the inaugural cohort of the programme (below). For more information about the programme, visit here.
Stay tuned for photos from the evening, coming soon.