ECE Leadership in our times

Nuhisifa Seve–Williams New Zealand Tertiary College

Editorial: Vol 5, No 1 - May 2017

It is timely that the first edition of He Kupu for 2017 follows the theme of leadership as New Zealand Tertiary College celebrates 35 years as leaders in early childhood education. The theme follows on from the 2016 NZTC Symposium that brought members of the early childhood sector together to engage in meaningful conversations on the topic of ECE Leadership in Our Times.This edition of He Kupu extends those conversations providing guidance for practitioners to develop and reflect on their leadership and management skills. A highlight of the symposium was international keynote speaker Luis Hernandez’s presentation where he spoke of five key qualities of leadership – curiosity, confidence, team, communication and fearlessness. The papers in this edition reflect these five key qualities.

In the Practitioner Researcher section practitioners discuss their views and practices of leadership in their work environment. The section commences with a contribution from Robyn Chaffey who writes a reflective piece on how her personal and professional philosophy guides her leadership journey as an early childhood teacher. This is followed by Tania van Niekerk’s contribution where she discusses how her values and beliefs influence her development of leadership skills and practices. The section ends with a paper by Nicolette Mackwood that looks at how her practices of leadership were enhanced by her values.

Moving into the Special Theme section of the issue, Rose Rees-Owenspresents a short commentary on Luis Hernandez’s leadership journey in early childhood education. The commentary sets the tone for this edition.

Lee-Anne Turton and Helen Wrightson’s article draws on their symposium presentation where they explored ways positional leadership limits opportunities for members of the community of practice to contribute leading practices. They advocate opportunities to develop mutually supporting and complimentary shared practices of leading, between all members of the community of practice; and transformation from individualistic leadership to a more collectivist style, promoting skills and attributes individuals could contribute. In the article that follows by Jacqui Brouwer, Gail Pierce, Julie Treweek and Tristan Wallace they explore mentoring concepts from their organisation’s self-review of mentoring practice. Their paper raises the problematic nature of hierarchical, positional leadership approach to mentoring, suggesting a need to shift to a consultative and collaborative heterarchy leadership style.

Marjolein Whyte and Barbara Scanlan’s contribution draws on their respective master’s theses research and discusses how children, parents/caregivers and their families can be empowered to become active contributors for learning. Culturally relevant pedagogy for Pasifika children is the topic of Jacoba Matapo’s paper. In her paper, Matapo advocates for the need for further research within Pasifika early childhood settings to understand how leadership influences and engages Pasifika children within culturally relevant pedagogy. Likewise, Anita Croft’s paper examines how early childhood teachers can become leaders for sustainability. In her paper she presents a pedagogical approach that sustainability leaders can use to enable children to become active citizens who enact change for a more sustainable community.

This section ends with Manutai Leaupepe’s paper where she presents ideas associated with authentic leadership and introduces the concept of the third space. Leaupepe discusses how the third space is employed to demonstrate ways in which relationships and communication are enacted in a Pasifika early childhood specialisation programme.

This issue of He Kupu concludes with three book reviews: Julia Holdom has reviewed Learning from the bumps in the road: Insights from early childhood leaders (2013) by Holly Elissa Bruno, Janet Gonzalez-Mena, Luis A. Hernandez and Debra Ren-Etta Sullivan; Oriel Kelly provides a review of Practice leadership in the early years. Becoming, being and developing as a leader (2015) by Mark Hadfield, Michael Jopling and Martin Needham; and lastly Maxine Dyer reviews Leading anti-bias early childhood programs: A guide for change (2015) by Louise Derman-Sparks, Debbie LeeKeenan and John Nimmo.

I hope that you will find the articles featured in this edition will encourage you to engage in meaningful conversations on the topic of ECE Leadership in Our Times and in doing so you are able to reflect on your practices of leadership.

Please note that we invite submissions for our upcoming special edition on Bicultural Development to be submitted by 7 July 2017.

To subscribe or to contribute to He Kupu email the editor at

How to cite this article

Claudia Orange and Ormond Wilson. 'Taiwhanga, Rawiri', first published in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, vol. 1, 1990. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed )