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Pouhāpai Ahurea (People-Centred Operational Leader)

Job details

Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School
6 Dec 2022
Work type
Full time employment
Work classification
Education & Development, Management & Admin


Location              Te Whaea: National Dance & Drama Centre

Address              11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown, Wellington

Type                    Full time permanent

Position Title      Pouhāpai Ahurea (People-Centred Operational Leader)

Department         Member of Tira Mana Kōkiri, a three-person co-leadership rōpū led by our Tumuaki (Director).

Salary Range       $95,000 - $105,000 per annum.

Te Kura Toi Whakaari o Aotearoa: NZ Drama School is recruiting for this newly created role. It is one of three new co-leadership roles, designed to consolidate and transform this exciting organisation.

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou katoa. E mihi ana ki te mana whenua o tēnei takiwā, Te Āti Awa Taranaki whānui, tēnā koutou. Ki te whare whakaruruhau o Te Whaea e manaaki nei i ngā tauira, kaimahi, waihoki ngā kaitoi o Aotearoa, tēnā koe. Ka mihi ake ki a tātou katoa e hapāi nei i ngā mahi a te rēhia, tēnā tātou katoa!

Our Organisation
Toi Whakaari is the foremost provider of tertiary training in the performing arts in Aotearoa, nurturing performers and arts practitioners since 1970. The kura is the leading educator of stage, screen and event professionals in the country and offers training in acting, costume construction, set and props construction, performing arts management and design for stage and screen. The kura aspires to be one of the great performing arts schools of the world while developing a teaching practice that is grounded in tīkanga Māori.

As we move into the next 50 years, the school is undergoing a period of consolidation and significant transformation in response to significant change. Key to this is our new approach to collective strategic and operational co-leadership. Toi Whakaari staff and students make up a diverse team of thinkers and practitioners in their fields. Together we work in the ever-challenging environment that is arts education and sector opportunities for students. Whether it is the challenge of the impact of external trends, funding, time or a combination of all three, a strategic approach to how we plan and work collectively has never been more important. 

Our Purpose        Hei whakanui I o tatou ao   -   We reveal and connect Aotearoa story makers


The Role

Toi Whakaari are now seeking a Pouhāpai Ahurea for full time permanent employment.

The Pouhāpai Ahurea is one of the three Toi Whakaari co-leadership roles, collectively forming Tira Mana Kōkiri, the leadership rōpū. Working with the Tumuaki/Director (who also holds the role of Poutūhono) and Pou Kōkiri Mātauranga you will ensure the school’s purpose, strategic and annual plan frameworks are at the centre of all strategic and operational leadership, with a focus on ensuring a high functioning and viable operation.

The focus of this role is to lead the ongoing development and delivery of learning programmes – to ensure Toi Whakaari is responsive to the evolving needs, values and expectations of prospective students, students, employers. This will require a high degree of collaboration with the other members of Tira Mana Kōkiri and staff, with a shared focus on ensuring an increasingly viable and relevant model. A high functioning values-based culture is a key responsibility, as is working with others to ensure cultural safety and wellbeing.

The Pouhāpai Ahurea will:

  • Lead and work with others to develop and contribute to effective culture supported by appropriate organisation and operational approaches

  • Oversee:

    • The budget and financial reporting to the Tumuaki and board

    • Student registration and welfare

    • HR

    • Fully compliant facilities and processes

    • Ensure ‘no surprises’ reporting to the Tumuaki if and as any issues arise, with all relevant matters managed effectively using Toi Whakaari processes and policies


To Be Successful in the Role:


  • Experience of working at a strategic level - to prioritise, operationalise and ensure the success of projects and initiatives.

  • Excellent people and communication skills

  • Awareness of the principles of best practice human and facilities management

  • Demonstrated financial acumen and ability to set and manage budgets

  • Experience in relevant level of working in at least one of the key functional roles outlined

  • Well-developed written and oral communication skills

  • Experience of working with Māori in a relevant context


  • A tertiary qualification in a relevant discipline
  • Ability to work within a shared leadership team culture and lead effective decision-making in that context

  • Experience in a tertiary education/education setting

  • A working knowledge of NZQA requirements and the Tertiary Education Commission

  • An ability to foresee and proactively mitigate human dynamics issues

What we can offer:

  • 5 weeks annual leave

  • Professional leadership development

  • Flexible working arrangements

  • Free parking on site


How to apply

To apply, please email your curriculum vitae and cover letter expressing your interest in the role to Ash at before 11pm on Tuesday 6 December.

A shortlist will be selected to interview. Interviews will take place on Tuesday 13 December, Wednesday 14 December and Thursday 15 December 2022.

Applicants for this position are required to have NZ residency or a valid NZ work visa.
For any questions contact us at

Written by

Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School

21 Nov 2022

Toi Whakaari was New Zealand’s first drama school and is the leading educator of stage, screen and event professionals in the country. The kura aspires to be one of the great performing arts schools of the world while developing a teaching practice that is uniquely New Zealand.