Hell yeahhh NZ!

What’s one of the most talked about Aus/Kiwi interactions besides the rugby and who can claim rights to pavlova and Pharlap??… Did I hear someone shout RANGATIRA!! Well 10 points to you sir, that is correct!! (And pavlova’s totally ours btw)

Last week Rotorua NZ was shaken up with loud music, wild dancing, Hawaiian shirts, and unrivalled enthusiasm! Can I get a HELL YEAHHHH for what was an energising, reigniting, fire burning 3 days!


And to add a cherry to what’s already an excessively humungous cake (like picture one of those tiered cakes that’s so high its starting to teeter at the top and there’s a whole lot of icing oozing from the layers and there’s no way you’re going to be able to cut that bad boy and distribute it in nice even segments, but it’s glorious).. umm where was I, oh yeah, something EXTRA special to Rangatira 2016 was celebrating it’s


(See, that definitely deserves the massive cake I was just describing).

It’s incredible to think that the idea of 3 young men on Day 3 Brainstorming at Brisbane ASLC 2012 has turned into something so remarkable, impacting so many students. With the help of the yLead staff and the NZ schools, magic is able to be made each year, with many more to come in the future! It goes to show that if you have an idea you can achieve some amazing things!!

(Cheers for the quality FB scrolling to get to that pic Shaq)

Liam Hae Hae is known amongst the yTeam for his humour, his heart, and for this picture… (you’re welcome world)


And since he’s been involved in all 5 Rangatira conferences, Liam’s sharing 5 lessons he’s learnt over those years…

1- It took a single spark to ignite a raging blaze. The Rangatira conference was built off an idea three young men had. Once we lit that fire it grew and grew from there.

2- Talk is cheap. Going away from conference you can have every idea to change the world but all of that is meaningless unless you back it up with action.

3- Let your passion drive you. Find the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning and never let it go. Let it be the guiding light on your journey to happiness.

4- Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s through this failure that we learn the greatest lesson of all and that is that we are not perfect. You will fail but you have a decision to make either you do the same thing or you learn from that mistake and GROW.

5- Love yourself. Be confident in yourself. Wake up every morning and love that person in the mirror cause they are unique. You are special and only you can change the world in your own unique way. So don’t follow the crowd. Be that 0.06% that is different.

And now we’re throwing the spotlight over to the Rangatira Team of 2016. What was their highlights from the past few days???



I’m so grateful to have been apart of Rangatira 2016. I still can’t quite sum it up in words how special the experience was. My biggest highlight would have to have been the closing ceremony. I couldn’t have been more proud of what each of the mentors achieved with their squads. The student’s appreciation and gratitude for us as a team moved me to tears and I’m ridiculously proud of what we achieved as a team on conference!


My highlight of conference was seeing how we as a New Zealand yTeam have grown so much since 2012. We now have a solid team of leaders and gurus who are able to run an amazing conference.


Besides seeing the legendary Liam Hae Hae dressed as a beautiful African woman for our ad, an outstanding highlight was witnessing my group members growth to be the best ‘them’ that they can be. Just like yLead encouraged me to be.


The highlight for me was how the team really involved themselves in the conference. There was no sitting at the back or standing to the side, even during the workbook activities. The entire team took part in the conference as leaders, and as participants, and it really made a difference.


The best part about my Rangatira experience was watching all the participants grow as people over a period of 3 short days!


During one of our last team meetings I was simply walking around the room with a huge grin on my face. Our team had combined to create something truly wonderful. It’s a simple moment that I will never forget.


I believe that watching the growth of confidence, and strength when the participants were pushed outside their comfort zones was the best part.


Amazing to see Liam and Matt achieve 5 years and was a highlight to share my gratitude and thanks to them.


Rangatira was my first ever conference, and it was an overwhelming experience both in terms of learning about myself as a leader and renewing my drive and passion, and also of the people who have fast become family.


My highlight of Rangatira 2016 would be seeing how much Team Taco came out of their comfort zones to perform such a great skit at the closing ceremony.


My favourite part of conference was sitting with some of the boys and singing Waiata (Maori songs) with them. It gave me a platform to connect with them throughout the rest of conference.


I was mindblown by the talents and open nature each and every participant had. The life-long connections I made with people expanded and grew within the span of 3 days.


A highlight would have to be the girls haka. It was the end of day 3, Matt had just finished his goodbye speech and the Napier Girls clan started an amazing haka. I’ve seen that haka performed many times, I’ve even lead it myself, and I can safely say that was the strongest, most passionate performance I have ever witnessed.


From left: Elise, Isobel, Seamus, Ollie, Liam, Tegan, Te Ohorere, Eliot, Arapeta, Taryn, Jack, Angelique, Jordyn

Shout out to the absolutely PHENOMENAL team for an incredible conference.

  • First time fierce mentors: Isobel, Arapeta, Taryn, Jack, Jordyn
  • Second time in the dark blue, first time at Rangatira: Te Ohorere & Elise
  • Second time superstar mentor: Tegan
  • Guru greatness: Liam, Eliot, Seamus, Ollie
  • First time legendary Leader’s Leader: Angelique
  • Freaking fantastic Facilitators: Matt & Bel

Matt & Bel – Thank YOU for sharing your wisdom, passion, energy and love with all the students and mentors!

And to the yLead staff for all the behind the scenes prep too! Your efforts do not go unnoticed!!

(hell) Yeah!














(That spells yLead Rangatira with words from the team in case you were wondering what all those random letters are…)

And to finish us off, I thought these words from Ollie summed it up nicely…

“yLead is an organisation that, instead of changing lives, opens people up to who they really are inside; it enables and frees young leaders. I am so proud of this team for showing an extraordinary group of human beings that we all have a unique greatness within us. If you know who you are, your mission in life and how you are going to get there, then you will change the world.” – Ollie Penno

Much love to all you world changers, A-Par xx


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