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Mā te huruhuru, ka rere te manu
Adorn the bird with feathers so it can fly

Are you a kōhine (young woman) aged between 19 - 25 years?

Are you interested in the connection between physical activity and wellbeing?

Do you want to grow your leadership confidence and abilities?

Have you had limited opportunity to learn about leadership in the past?


If you answered YES to these questions then we are looking for YOU!

Applications are open for Whanake o te kōpara - The rise of the female bellbird, a new leadership development programme that will amplify your strengths and enable you to uplift others. This programme is being led by The Shift Foundation (Shift) and Women in Sport Aotearoa (WISPA). Both organisations advocate for equity in the physical activity space (sport, exercise, recreation, fitness, play) for women and girls, but also for other groups who may be missing out on the benefits of movement!


If you want to grow your leadership skills and contribute to this kaupapa then read on!

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There's nothing worse than starting an application without knowing the questions!


Answer the questions in the Google Form and hit submit! Applications close

Monday 1st March 2021.

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Please email us if you have any questions about the programme or need assistance applying. 


We welcome applications from any young women aged 19-25 who are passionate about the role physical activity can play in supporting wellbeing, however we are really keen to support young women who are currently not in leadership positions and/or who don’t get access to these types of opportunities. It may be that you are currently unemployed, studying or working in a job that doesn’t align with your passion in the physical activity space, or maybe you live in a rural or remote area? Whatever the case, if you are excited by this then apply!

We intend to select 15-20 participants in 2021 from all corners of the motu (especially looking for those outside the main centres, where there are often less programmes on offer).

Dates and timing

Applications close Monday 1st March 2021, and we will be back in touch with you shortly after. The programme begins online in late March, followed by three kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) weekend wānanga in April, June and August (based in Wellington), and interspersed with digital hui. The programme culminates in October with the Sport NZ Women + Girls Annual Summit.

First online hui - Late March (likely 2.5 hours evening or weekend)

Noho Marae - Friday 9th - Sunday 11 April 2021, Orongomai Marae, Upper Hutt.

Second and third online hui - May (allow 5 hours in the month)

Wānanga 2 - Friday 11th - 13th June 2021, Wāihōanga River Lodge, Kāpiti.

Fourth and fifth online hui - July (allow 5 hours in the month)

Wānanga 3 - Friday 20th - 22nd August 2021, Wāihōanga River Lodge, Kāpiti.

Sixth online hui - September (allow 2.5 hours in the month)

Sport NZ Women + Girls Summit - October (details TBC)


If you are successful, you will be expected to attend all the online and kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) wānanga. Obviously we understand that things crop up but please only apply if you believe, at this stage, you will be available to attend all of the programme.

Programme overview

Shift and WISPA deeply believe in the power and importance of co-design, therefore the following list is an indication of the type of topics and content that may be covered as part of the programme. Successful applicants will be asked for feedback and thoughts as the course is designed and delivered over the eight months.


  • Ko wai au? Who am I? - Values, whakapapa, strengths and passions

  • Understanding systems change/systems thinking (eco-systems)

  • Empowerment - What is it? How do you experience it?

  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi

  • Human Centered Design

  • Courageous conversations

  • Allies/Building relationships

  • AKO - opportunity for participants to share skills and learn from one another

  • Reflective practice

  • Bringing Te Aō Māori to life

  • Frameworks for understanding wellbeing/hauora

  • Creative problem solving

  • Effective questioning

  • Impact storytelling

  • Developing an action plan


You will also be expected to develop an ‘Action Plan’ and pilot it as a key part of your participation in this programme. You will be given a frame to work from and support to develop your plan (in an area or on an idea that is meaningful to you!). In true action learning style you will plan, deliver, reflect, iterate and pilot this plan during the programme. With full implementation post programme. Don’t panic - it can be as big or small as your heart desires - the key element here is to put your learning into practise and be part of changing the system to work better for the groups/communities you are passionate about supporting!



We understand that cost is a barrier for many people to participate in professional and personal development programmes, therefore we have created a ‘social ticketing’ model. You can select from the following options when you complete your application form (this will be kept completely confidential)


  • I currently cannot contribute financially to this programme

  • This is currently a challenge for me/the organisation I work for, but I would like to contribute a koha of $X

  • I, or the organisation I work for, can be invoiced for $1,500 as a contribution towards the cost of the programme.