May 9, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

World first Waikato MBA wins international award

2 min read

A new academic partnership between the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development and the University of Waikato has won an international award for an innovative MBA programme they launched less than 12-months ago.

The Waikato MBA programme at Hopuhopu – offered in collaboration with the Waikato Management School – was named winner of the inaugural MBA Innovation Award, at a gala dinner hosted in London on October 19, by the London-based Association of MBAs (AMBA).

Its incredibly rewarding; an accolade of this nature is a major achievement for the College and University, says Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai, Academic Director of the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development.

Our MBA programme was designed for Maaori leaders and takes a progressive approach to business education by fostering Maaori values and indigenous ways of doing business. This award is a credit to the quality of the curriculum and the calibre of teaching it offers.

AMBA is one of three international management education accreditation bodies whose combined accreditations form the prestigious Triple Crown held by a select group of business schools around the world. Waikato Management School is one of only three Australasian business schools to have achieved Triple Crown accreditation.

The award endorses our commitment to develop future M?ori leaders, says Professor Frank Scrimgeour, Dean of Waikato Management School.

It shows that our MBA programme is world class, relevant, and at the forefront of management thinking. And it is recognition that Waikato Management School is held in high esteem by our international peers.

Launched in April this year, the programme was one of four finalists selected for AMBAs innovation award which included MBA programmes offered in Portugal, France/Singapore and the Netherlands.

The high profile judging panel was made up of Sir Paul Judge, President of the Association of MBAs; Peter Lacy, Managing Director Accenture Sustainability Services EALA and Emeritus Professor Andrew Lock, University of Leeds.

If we are to advance Maaori business leaders, then it is imperative we build and develop international relationships. This award is an opportunity to demonstrate to the global business community the uniqueness of our MBA programme, says Dr Tiakiwai.

The Waikato MBA programme at Hopuhopu is delivered in a waananga environment and promotes collaborative learning with guest speakers and mentoring support from Maaori leaders, including Waikato MBA Maaori graduates.

There are currently 24 students enrolled in the two-year programme. Applications to enrol for the next intake of the Waikato MBA programme at Hopuhopu are now available. For more information visit

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