He Waka Unua | Coaching and mentoring

Making meaningful change in professional and personal life through coaching and mentoring

Coaching and mentoring for educators to make meaningful change 


Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau,
haumi e, hui e tāiki e.

I draw energy from above, I draw energy from below,
the energies entwine, our presence is acknowledged.


Whether you want to grow your own capabilities or lead others, He Waka Unua can support you to make meaningful and sustainable changes in your work and life.


Enquire about He Waka Unua | Coaching and mentoring


CORE kaiārahi are experienced coaches and mentors that will listen and provide support, championing and challenging you to be the best you can be. Using a non-directive approach and a repertoire of skills and frameworks, we enable you to identify goals within your own context and take steps towards fulfilling them. 

He Waka Unua | coaching and mentoring service is of benefit to any individual educator or learning community wishing to develop an improved way forward. Past participants have included tumuaki/principals, senior and middle leaders (across and within school leads), kaiako, team leaders, managers, RLTB, centre managers, head teachers, and learning support coordinators.

"Sarah's mentoring has had a huge impact on my wellbeing. Her ability to draw out areas that need some attention or 'work' and then guide you through analysis and on to action is exceptional. She has had an impact on my team also and enabled us to put into practise some systems that allowed us to bring our best selves for the benefit of our tamariki." He Waka Unua participant


Support is available

CORE offers professional assistance in a variety of development areas such as:

  • The process of change
  • Organisational culture  
  • Team unity
  • Leadership development
  • Career mapping and transitions
  • Skill acquisition 
  • Behavioural coaching
  • Professional review/appraisal
  • Conflict management
  • Work-life balance

Our values

Our kaiārahi are committed to realising a person’s potential by following these values:

  • Kōrero Tahi: being an effective listener and communicator who remains curious.
  • Whanaungatanga: building relational connections and a sense of belonging.
  • Manaakitanga: caring for each other and showing compassion.
  • Whakamana: having hope, positive intent, and a realistic world view.
  • Hūmarietanga: being supportive and coming to the relationship with humility. 
  • Rangatiratanga: taking personal responsibility. 
  • Kaitiakitanga: nurturing and protecting growth, guided by a code of ethics.
  • Wairuatanga: forming a wairua together and providing a safe space for reflection.

Kaupapa | Philosophy

Tātai ki runga, tātai ki raro, tātai aho rau,
haumi e, hui e tāiki e.

I draw energy from above, I draw energy from below,
the energies entwine, our presence is acknowledged.

He Waka Unua

waka hourua is a double-hulled canoe. Unua is a term used to describe the lashings that join two or more hulls of a waka or canoe together.

The process of joining one hull to another or, in the case of He Waka Unua, the joining of kaiārahi (mentor/coach) with mentee/coachee, is to give strength and guidance. It is to assist with purpose, bring together, and encourage achievement of common goals.

He Waka Unua supports both kaiārahi and the mentee/coachee to navigate pathways together. The interconnections of the people in the waka are important for successful navigation. Their collaborative effort will result in benefits for everyone involved.

Each waka retains its own integrity and the two hulls supporting them offer space between. Traditionally this space between was for food. In He Waka Unua, the metaphorical space between kaiārahi and mentee/coachee is kept for new learnings. Using these learnings, each can move forward on an active journey with hope and optimism, navigating rough seas together. On this journey, we have opportunities to reframe our own stories.

How does it work and how much does it cost?

We can work with both individuals and groups.

  • Individuals

    Individuals Individuals

    We offer two standard packages:

    • 6 x 1 hour sessions for $1300 plus GST
    • 12 x 1 hour sessions for $1900 plus GST

    Both include the preparation and follow up that each kaiārahi does in between sessions.


  • Groups

    Groups Groups

    For groups (2-5 people working together), we offer two standard packages:

    • 6 x 1 hour sessions for $1900 plus GST
    • 12 x 1 hour sessions for $3200 plus GST

    Alternatively, we can put together a personalised package to suit your needs and budget. For this, we work on a per-hour charge-out rate.

    We have a range of payment options available too. Contact us as below to find out more.

Meet the kaiārahi

Our kaiārahi (coaches and mentors) have a range of experience. Meet them below to find out who could be the best match for you.


  • Amira Aman

    Amira Aman Amira Aman
  • Anne Kenneally

    Anne Kenneally Anne Kenneally
  • Gae Thawley

    Gae Thawley Gae Thawley
  • Glenda Albon

    Glenda Albon Glenda Albon
  • Greg Carroll

    Greg Carroll Greg Carroll

    Greg Carroll has worked in a range of mentoring and coaching contexts over recent years. He has nearly 30 years experience as a principal and leader of high performing teams in school settings, and as a leader of large PLD programmes. This means he brings a depth of knowledge and understanding of change and leadership to his mahi as a coach and mentor.

    He uses 'Learning Talk' (Dalton and Anderson) and other models and processes in his work with individuals and teams. He likes to bring different perspectives to his mahi and build on the strengths of others. He says that one of the most rewarding parts of being a coach and mentor is building on the strengths people already have and seeing them fly in ways they never thought they could.

    Greg has experience successfully supporting improvement initiatives with leadership teams, Kāhui Ako, and individuals. Recently he has also worked with the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning programme alongside Michael Fullan and his team and this has enabled him to bring expertise in this approach to his mahi for schools who are part of the NPDL programme.

  • Jamie Taylor

    Jamie Taylor Jamie Taylor
  • Rebbecca Sweeney

    Rebbecca Sweeney Rebbecca Sweeney

    Rebbecca Sweeney has been a mentor and coach for the past seven years at CORE. She has mentored individuals and teams at CORE and externally online and face-to-face. Her experiences range from mentoring groups of team leaders and middle/senior leaders to develop their team, and their own leadership capability, to mentoring individual business owners or leaders in understanding and developing their leadership style using research, tools and resources as well as the mentee’s own knowledge and experience.

    Whether it be leadership, communication, teamwork, managing your workload or setting and achieving personal and professional goals, Rebbecca supports you to navigate your own way through using reflective questions, tools and resources that are selected specifically for your needs. She uses warm and supportive ways to help you to be the best you can be. Rebbecca thrives on being able to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

    Her clients describe her as being non-judgmental, challenging (in a good way!) and someone who can help you to make sense of all the balls you may be juggling so that you feel in control of your work and life.

  • Suzi Gould

    Suzi Gould Suzi Gould

    Suzi Gould has supported clients with a variety of learning styles, cultures and needs from a range of contexts. Suzi shows deep respect for her clients and where they come from.

    She provides a supportive and safe environment where you or your team are able to:

    • articulate thinking and talk your way to meaning
    • think a little harder as she asks you reflective questions
    • reflect on how you see yourself and explore multiple perspectives
    • help you step outside yourself and test assumptions
    • understand your values and set meaningful goals
    • be yourself and laugh a little.

    Suzi utilises a range of highly tuned listening and questioning skills that supports you to:

    • identify and refine goals,
    • learn to work more cohesively
    • de-clutter and deepen thinking
    • simplify processes to achieve goals.

    One of Suzi’s areas of expertise is working with leadership teams, as a critical friend using a strength-based approach, she encourages shifts in thinking and practise and helps to identify and celebrate successes.

    Suzi has been coaching and mentoring for many years, both within education and business contexts, where her clients describe her as non-judgmental, motivating, genuine, caring and kind. She is known for helping people to not just think about the what, but the how and why of things - moving from lists of jobs and to-do lists into considering how your actions can align to your values - really walking the talk.

Enquire about He Waka Unua | Coaching and mentoring

'Ingoa tuatahi | First name' is required
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Do you lead PLD planning in your organisation? *
'Do you lead PLD planning in your organisation?' is required
'Do you lead PLD planning in your organisation?' is required
'Do you lead PLD planning in your organisation?' is required