Principle 5

Transparent and Open Leadership

Kaitiakitanga

Good boards are trusted by the communities they serve, their staff and volunteers, and their funders.

Why Kaitiakitanga and Transparent and Open Leadership matters

Good boards build strong foundations for future growth. They know they are looking after a kaupapa on behalf of their communities and seek to maintain the kaupapa through transparency and engagement. They ensure their values and purposes align with their strategies and service delivery. 

What Kaitiakitanga looks like in practice
p community

Community

Build relationships with community and iwi leaders and learn about long-term plans for communities and iwi. Good boards seek the voices of their communities and iwi as well as the views of other key stakeholders to guide their major decisions.

p goals

Goals

Invest time in identifying long-term goals. Evaluate their current work programmes against how much impact they will have today and how much impact they will make in the future.

p respect

Respect

Respect the critical role of management or operational staff and seek their input to board discussions.

p meetings

Meetings

Ensure their meetings and decisions are open and transparent. When appropriate, they hold their meetings in public and share their plans, budgets, and decisions (acknowledging that some information will be kept confidential).

p feedback

Feedback

Develop effective mechanisms for receiving community feedback and complaints, anonymously when needed.

p relationships

Relationships

Seek open, relationships with their staff and volunteers, recognising that these relationships are two-way. Good boards respect the critical role of the Chief Executive or General Manager and seek their input to board discussions.

p reporting

Reporting

Find appropriate ways of reporting to their communities, funders and stakeholders. Good boards ensure their reporting is well documented and easily understood so they can engage effectively with their communities. They share information about their financial and operational performance, the impact they make and how they have upheld their values. This could include transparency around their environmental impacts.

Actions boards can take

Make a map of your key stakeholders. Work out who is most important to you to work with to achieve your goals and focus on building strong relationships with them. 

Seek meaningful input from community and iwi leaders on your strategic planning processes. Co-design and strategy workshops with community members and iwi leaders can be an authentic way of engaging with your community. 

Take time to work out who is best to engage with iwi, hapū, or Māori organisations in a mana enhancing way. Seek partnerships with Māori organisations and trusts. 

Be prepared to pay people with skills in te ao Māori just as it would if you were sourcing other specialist advice. 

Be visible and accountable to the communities you serve by creating meaningful opportunities to talk and listen. Review how your board is perceived by stakeholders and your community. 

Prepare annual reports and regular updates for your community, stakeholders, and funders. Reports should reflect your current financial position and stories of your organisation’s impact and achievements. 

Regularly engage with community members so you understand their issues and concerns, especially leading up t o major decisions. 

At the end of each board meeting, decide who needs to be informed and share the responsibility for communicating with your community, staff, stakeholders, and funders. 

Seek feedback from management on how the board can be more effective and supportive. 

Explore the six principles of our Good Governance Code

Principle 1
Impactful, Purposeful Leadership
Rangatiratanga
About this principle
Principle 1
Impactful, Purposeful Leadership
Rangatiratanga
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Good boards are leaders.

They are clear about the purposes of their organisations, and their leadership is focused on ensuring the organisations deliver maximum impact. Good boards provide strong foundations for their organisations and the communities they serve.

Why Rangatiratanga and Impactful, Purposeful Leadership matters

Good boards collectively come together (like a woven mat) to focus on serving their kaupapa. They focus on making the most impact for their communities with the resources they have. They seek members with the right skills and relevant experience.

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Principle 2
Connected Leadership
Whanaungatanga / Whakawhanaungatanga
About this principle
Principle 2
Connected Leadership
Whanaungatanga / Whakawhanaungatanga
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Good boards understand the importance of relationships and connections.

Board members unite to fulfil the purposes of their organisations, building strong relationships with each other and those they serve.

Why Whanaungatanga / Whakawhanaungatanga and Connected Leadership matters

Good boards identify and acknowledge the mana of all. They seek to build positive, strong relationships among board members and with the communities they serve. They come together to focus on common purposes and value the contribution of each board member.

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Principle 3
Diverse and Inclusive Leadership
Tuakiritanga
About this principle
Principle 3
Diverse and Inclusive Leadership
Tuakiritanga
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Great boards are diverse as the communities they serve.

They draw on the experiences of all board members and seek to enhance the integrity and leadership of all individuals who are members of the boards. They understand the importance of people and identity.

Why Tuakiritanga and Diverse and Inclusive Leadership matters

Good boards know that communities are made up of people with different aspirations and needs. To serve their communities well and make good decisions, boards need insight into their communities. They should aim to be connected and trusted by those they serve.

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Principle 4
Integrity and Accountability
Manaakitanga
About this principle
Principle 4
Integrity and Accountability
Manaakitanga
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Good boards understand their accountability to each other, to those who support and fund their kaupapa, and  to those they serve.

They seek and gain trust by always working with care, integrity, reciprocity, and respect.

Why Manaakitanga and Integrity and Accountability matters

Good boards understand their responsibility to uphold the highest standards of governance. Their positive reputation attracts committed board members. They care deeply for their members, the Kaupapa of the organisation, and as a result, energy and impact are sustained over time.

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Principle 5
Transparent and Open Leadership
Kaitiakitanga
About this principle
Principle 5
Transparent and Open Leadership
Kaitiakitanga
View full article

Good boards are trusted by the communities they serve, their staff and volunteers, and their funders.

They seek to ensure their kaupapa is sustainable over time. They are open and accountable for their impact and use of resources. They seek genuine feedback and are willing to adapt and learn to best serve their communities.

Why Kaitiakitanga and Transparent and Open Leadership matters

Good boards build strong foundations for future growth. They know they are looking after a kaupapa on behalf of their communities and seek to maintain the kaupapa through transparency and engagement. They ensure their values and purposes align with their strategies and service delivery.

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Principle 6
Effective Governance Processes
Pono
About this principle
Principle 6
Effective Governance Processes
Pono
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Great boards do things right.

They have good internal governance processes and policies in place so that they operate legally, ethically, and effectively. Having streamlined processes means boards can focus on strategy and impact.

Why Pono and Effective Governance Processes matters

Having the right processes in place matters. It means the board is well-run and board members’ time is used efficiently and effectively. Good processes will also help build the trust and confidence of staff and funders. Good board processes assist the board to operate their organisation legally and ethically.

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