He Waka Unua | Coaching and mentoring

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

Coaching and mentoring 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


Tātai Aho Rau 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.

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.


  • Amanda Campbell

    Amanda Campbell Amanda Campbell


    Amanda joined the He Waka Unua team after 32 years of experience in the primary sector. She has a long and successful track record of working with leaders and kaiako to improve equitable learning outcomes for all students, and empowering, strengthening and building education capacity. In her role as a kaiārahi (mentor/coach) within Tātai Aho Rau’s He Waka Unua coaching and mentoring programme, Amanda has successfully supported lead principals and ASL’s in a Kāhui Ako, as well as coached and mentored middle school leaders and kaiako at individual schools. She works in a way that builds positive relationships and seeks out the strengths in her kaiwhakauru. Helping others to be the best they can be in their role is what drives Amanda. She believes that humour is vital for working in this sector as you step back and reflect on all you have faced and achieved.

  • Amira Aman

    Amira Aman Amira Aman


    Amira brings many years of experience with coaching and mentoring both in schools and as a kaiārahi for He Waka Unua. Amira specialised in coaching and mentoring as a part of her M.Ed. She often works with leaders and aspiring leaders as they navigate advancing their career. Clients will bring ‘conundrums of practice’ to Amira as she works with Kāhui Ako lead principals, Across School Leads, Senior, Middle and aspiring Leaders. Amira also works with kaiako who want to make a change in their context. She enjoys working alongside someone and supporting them in what they are focusing on. She supports leaders to set clear goals and work towards them or listen through what's on top now.

  • Amy-Lee Wells

    Amy-Lee Wells Amy-Lee Wells

    Amy-Lee’s experience in coaching and mentoring sits mainly in the secondary schooling sector. She spent several years as specialist classroom teacher, mentoring beginning teachers and coaching teachers through ICT implementation projects.

    She believes that coaching and mentoring is an essential element to supporting wellbeing and mental health in every sector. Amy-Lee likes a strengths-based approach to coaching and mentoring, supporting her kaiwhakauru to explore the strengths they bring to any situation and unpack opportunities for growth.

  • Angela Vermeulen

    Angela Vermeulen Angela Vermeulen

    Angela is an experienced facilitator who is committed to cultural capability. She has extensive specialist expertise in leading change in Kāhui Ako and schools; leadership, team development, and culture change; learning community engagement; and Spirals of Inquiry. She has considerable experience in supporting Kāhui Ako and schools to re-vision and develop collaborative teaching and learning pedagogies and practices.

    Angela is an accredited facilitator with the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience which has partnered with Tātai Aho Rau Core Education to deliver Wellbeing in Schools. She has worked in Kāhui Ako to support wellbeing literacies and develop strategies to embed whole-school wellbeing and resilience.

  • Anne Kenneally

    Anne Kenneally Anne Kenneally


    Anne came to mentoring through her own positive experience with being mentored. She works with individuals, groups, teams across Kāhui Ako and kura. Anne brings her passion for wellbeing and deep learning for ākonga to her work with kaiwhakauru. She often works with middle leaders wanting to make a changes in their practice. Anne uses a strengths based model to support educators to set and achieve manageable but aspirational goals. Her approach begins with getting to know who she is working with to build a strong professional relationship. Her kaiwhakauru find her caring and nurturing but will also present a challenge when it’s needed.

  • Gae Thawley

    Gae Thawley Gae Thawley


    Gae has been an early years educator for over 30 years , she brings extensive experience to her role as kaiārahi for He Waka Unua. She has worked extensively with early years leaders, emerging leaders and kaiako . Gae’s approach is based in cultural responsiveness, diversity, social justice and inclusion for learners and educators. She has a very relational approach based in whanaungatanga and manaakitanga: getting to know you where you are at. Once a positive professional relationship is established, she will support her kaiwhakauru by prompting with reflective questions to encourage along each individual journey. Gae is known for the warmth and care she brings to all her work, her ability to connect with her clients and being a catalyst for change.

  • Glenda Albon

    Glenda Albon Glenda Albon


    Glenda’s journey in coaching and mentoring began when she was a parent in the playcentre movement as she learnt to support others. Glenda then trained as a Early Childhood teacher and her coaching and mentoring skills came to the fore in her role working alongside other kaiako and students. Glenda's approach to He Waka Unua is grounded in authentically supporting emotional wellbeing. She enjoys taking time to get to know others and hearing their story as they find a sense of belonging in their setting. Through a supportive and relationship approach Glenda brings a sense of calmness and empathy as she listens to her kaiwhakauru and supports them to identify and strengthen their own capabilities.

  • 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.

  • Hoana Te Aika

    Hoana Te Aika Hoana Te Aika

    Hoana brings 20 years of teaching experience in Rumaki within Waikato and Te Tai Tokerau to her role at Tātai Aho Rau Core Education. Over the last six years Hoana was actively involved in establishing a Charter school which later transitioned to become a Special Character School.

    Hoana developed a Kura Rumaki co-constructing special character curriculum and implemented a learning culture within the community. A passionate driver of systemic change to ensure equitable outcomes for all, Hoana is driven by a desire to see and achieve success as a learner. Hoana has facilitated and worked collaboratively with staff and whānau to create a culture and wānanga space that is inclusive and allows Māori to be successful as Māori

  • Jacky Young

    Jacky Young Jacky Young

    As part of Tātai Aho Rau Jacky co-creates tailored professional learning opportunities in a wide range of areas, working collaboratively with senior leaders, team/faculty leaders and staff in both primary and secondary schools. Her work has also connected her with clients from outside the educational area.

    She is able to support people in their leadership and management of change. She designs and co-constructs learning opportunities that are responsive to school needs for the whole staff, smaller groups and individual staff members. She facilitates strategic development and implementation of that change, extending staff competencies and capabilities, and pedagogical strategies designed to deepen student engagement, learning and achievement. While underpinned by proven research theories and frameworks, her work always contains practical elements of what can be used within the context of a classroom to transform learning for students.

  • Jamie Taylor

    Jamie Taylor Jamie Taylor


    Jamie’s experience as a kaiārahi started as a Mum first, as a kaiako in schools and as a whānau member within kōhanga reo and other communities that she is a part of. The areas of coaching and mentoring that she specialises in are leadership, Te Ao Māori and as a kaitiaki. Being a kaitiaki in He Waka Unua is about wellbeing and contributing back to the whānau, hapū and iwi. Her approach to mentoring and coaching is about walking alongside people and using an approach from within Te Ao Maori called wānanga, so that whatever needs to be brought to the space and the mauri of the kōrero that comes through, helps with establishing the next steps.

  • Jo Barr

    Jo Barr Jo Barr

    Jo supports a wide range of schools and Kāhui Ako to address equitable outcomes for ākonga and kaiako. Prior to joining Tātai Aho Rau Core Education, Jo spent over 20 years teaching in primary and secondary settings from Year 1 to Year 9 classes.

    She held senior leadership roles for over 15 years. Jo has extensive experience engaging ākonga in their learning and in leading teams to ensure that all learning is central to the students' needs and wellbeing.

    During her teaching career, Jo held many curriculum responsibilities including literacy and mathematics. She spent several years teaching school-wide to accelerate learning in maths for ākonga working below expected achievement trajectories. This involved postgraduate study in mathematics education, productive inquiry into programme design, development and teaching, with knowledge building on intervention strategies. This learning flowed into the wider school setting with Jo facilitating schoolwide development in teacher pedagogy and practice through an inquiry process. More recently, Jo completed structured literacy practitioner qualification to teach and lead schools to implement a structured approach to literacy.

  • Kathe Tawhiwhirangi

    Kathe Tawhiwhirangi Kathe Tawhiwhirangi

    Kathe’s career has been focused on improving learning outcomes for all students and empowering, strengthening and building the capacity of all teachers. Kathe develops and models collaborative and inclusive protocols while being cognisant of supporting culturally responsive practice.

    Prior to working for Tātai Aho Rau, Kathe was one of two deputy principals at Te Ara Whānui Kura Kaupapa Māori o ngā Kohanga Reo o Te Awakairangi, in Lower Hutt – a newly built kura. Her portfolios were performance management, curriculum design, sport and physical education, and e-learning.

  • Nikki Grazier

    Nikki Grazier Nikki Grazier

    Nikki works with leaders and kaiako in varied early childhood settings, facilitating and challenging teachers' pedagogical thinking and beliefs to enable them to make transformative change in their practice. This is work that she is passionate about, and in which she can use her varied skills, knowledge and expertise. Her core value is to awhi and tautoko kaiako to strengthen practice and lead to excellence for tamariki.

    Nikki is a creative and clear communicator, who likes to weave story-telling into her mahi. She is a powerful role-model of life-long learning, she is driven by strong values and the desire to make a positive difference. She brings professionalism, respect, creativity, advocacy, integrity, energy, and heart to her work.

  • Suzi Gould

    Suzi Gould Suzi Gould


    Suzi has been coaching and mentoring for many years in many different contexts. She quickly establishes mentees values and the strengths base that they are working from. Suzi loves to work with her kaiwhakauru to work out what resources and nurturing support they need to shine as leaders. Her approach in He Waka Unua is to connect, be curious and listen. Suzi’s clients describe her as being authentic, growth focused and charismatic in her role as kaiārahi.

  • Te Mako Orzecki

    Te Mako Orzecki Te Mako Orzecki

    Te Mako Orzecki – of Ngāti Wehi Wehi, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, and Polish descent – is a content editor and developer of Māori medium resources. He works as an online/offline facilitator in the areas of te reo Māori, Aotearoa New Zealand's histories, cultural capability, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi and brings all of these areas of expertise to his coaching and mentoring.

"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


Professional mentoring and coaching

Tātai Aho Rau 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.

The narrative behind the name '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 individuals or groups.

  • Individuals

    Individuals Individuals

    We offer two standard packages:

    • 6 x 1 hour sessions for $1600 plus GST
    • 10 x 1 hour sessions for $2600 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 $2200 plus GST
    • 10 x 1 hour sessions for $3600 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.

Enquire about He Waka Unua | Coaching and mentoring

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