Toyota New Zealand has appointed a Chief Operating Officer

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Toyota New Zealand has, as of 1st July 2019, appointed Neeraj Lala to Chief Operating Officer from his previous role of General Manager New Vehicles and Product Planning.

In his new role, Mr Lala will have overall responsibility for new and used vehicle sales, the parts and accessories business, service, logistics, franchise development, and product planning.

The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Alistair Davis said he was delighted to be announcing the appointment of Neeraj Lala to COO. “Neeraj has made an excellent contribution to the success of Toyota New Zealand. He has driven key initiatives to support Toyota’s strategic objectives of being a leader in vehicle safety and the future of mobility.”

Mr Lala has had a variety of senior management positions with Toyota New Zealand, which he joined as a Commerce graduate from Victoria University in 1998.

“Over the past two decades I have had the privilege of amazing opportunities within this great company,” Neeraj said. “It has been an honour and I am looking forward to continuing to grow with Toyota as we seek new levels of excellence in everything we do.”

He has worked in most areas of the Toyota business including Marketing, New Vehicles, Product Planning, IT and Used Vehicles. In 2014, he completed an Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) with Distinction from Massey University.

Mr Lala was seconded to the United States to undertake a three-year Executive Leadership programme with Toyota Motor Sales. He returned to Toyota New Zealand’s Palmerston North headquarters in 2018 and was appointed to the Board of Toyota New Zealand the same year as an Executive Director.


UC Business School among 1% global elite with Triple Crown accreditation

Photo info: The UC Business School Trading Room simulates a real-world financial trading environment, providing business and finance students with experiential learning and skills in fund management.  Photo credit: University of Canterbury

Photo info: The UC Business School Trading Room simulates a real-world financial trading environment, providing business and finance students with experiential learning and skills in fund management.
Photo credit: University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury (UC) Business School has achieved EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) accreditation.

EQUIS accreditation benchmarks against ten international standards; governance, programmes, students, faculty, research, internationalisation, ethics, responsibility, and sustainability, as well as engagement with the world of practice.

“The UC Business School has used the framework of EQUIS accreditation to strengthen its international focus, to build meaningful connections with business and community organisations, and to embed ethics and sustainability throughout its operations,” says Professor Sonia Mazey, Pro-Vice-Chancellor College of Business and Law.

This transformation has seen the School move from a regional focus to an internationally recognised Business School, producing high calibre graduates who are prepared for success within a global workforce, she says.

UC Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey said the University was delighted with the result.

“Achieving EQUIS accreditation, and subsequently the Triple Crown of business school accreditation, acknowledges the international calibre of our teaching and research as well as the high quality of our staff and students,” she says. 

UC joins an elite group of international business schools with Triple Crown accreditation, placing it in the top 1% of business schools in the world. Triple Crown accreditation follows rigorous quality assessment processes by three accreditation systems: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) based in the United States, the Association of MBAs (AMBA) based in the United Kingdom, which accredits the flagship MBA programme, and now EQUIS based in Europe. 

The Triple Crown accreditation follows years of focused work to ensure the School is achieving the highest standards.

The recognition is a milestone for the Business School, which is the only Triple Crown accredited university in the South Island, and one of only a handful in Australasia says Professor Paul Ballantine, Head of the UC Business School. 

“Accreditation is acknowledged worldwide and provides a seal of excellence for the whole Business School. More than ever, UC graduates can be confident that the qualifications they earn at UC are recognised by local employers and internationally and will open doors for them around the world.”

EQUIS accreditation is the most comprehensive institutional accreditation system for business and management schools. It is acknowledged worldwide by potential students, faculty, employers, corporate clients and the media.

-University of Canterbury

Growing leaders for change

The potential of young people in Aotearoa New Zealand is limitless. Access to opportunity is not. Nor is it evenly distributed.

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The aim of Teach First NZ’s work is to help all children to fulfil their potential by disrupting the inequities that exist in education and in society. Through our flagship programme, we contribute to achieving this vision by attracting more great people into the education sector who are committed to the same vision as us; supporting them to grow as teachers and leaders who can make a difference, and fostering their collective impact in the long-term as Kairapu to make an increasing difference for our young people.

We believe it is possible for all young people in Aotearoa to realise their full potential.

But we have a problem.

Aotearoa New Zealand has one of the highest rates of educational inequality in the developed world, ranking 33rd out of 38 countries.

This inequality is the result of multiple factors. To help fight the war against it, we bring together outstanding individuals and support them to become highly effective teachers and inspirational leaders to serve the amazing young people in our lowest-income communities.

We hold the space for these outstanding individuals to develop as teachers and leaders to work alongside their colleagues in schools serving low-income communities across the country.

In this way, we contribute to affecting the systemic change that is needed to achieve the vision of equality. 

The Teach First NZ teaching and education leadership programme is employment-based and provides carefully selected participants with the opportunity to teach in a secondary school serving a low-income community, whilst completing a Masters qualification over two years.

Eligibility Criteria

Our participants do not start out as teachers - in fact, they come from a range of academic disciplines and backgrounds.

To meet our eligibility criteria you must:

  • Hold New Zealand Citizenship or a Permanent Residency Visa;

  • Have completed a minimum of a Bachelors Degree;

  • Be eligible to teach one of our nine subject areas*:

  • Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, General Science)

  • Mathematics

  • English

  • Technology

  • Digital Technology

  • Te Reo Māori

  • Pacific Languages (Tongan, Samoan)

Find out if you are eligible?

We believe that great teachers and leaders demonstrate some key dispositions, and a range of skills, abilities and understandings and have used these to form our Ngā Āheitanga (Key Competencies).

Throughout the recruitment process, candidates are assessed for evidence of the following:

  • Interpersonal relationships

  • Cultural competence

  • Humility, self-awareness and openness to learning

  • Empathy and respect

  • Leadership and service

  • Adaptability and flexibility

  • Organisation and planning

  • Commitment and resilience

  • Achievement

  • Commitment to the Ako Mātātupu: Teach First NZ mission and vision

To apply for the Teach First NZ Programme you will first need to complete our online application form.

If your online application is successful, you will be invited for a interview where you will have another opportunity to discuss your background and demonstrate key competencies.

Success here will lead you to a Teach First NZ Assessment Centre, incorporating interviews, a group exercise, a sample teaching lesson and self-reflection exercises.

If you are successful at our Assessment Centre – congratulations! You will be made an offer to start your leadership journey with Ako Mātātupu.

UC academic first woman elected international music society president

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University of Canterbury (UC) Associate Professor Glenda Keam has been elected the first female President of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM).

Head of UC’s School of Music, Associate Professor Keam became the first woman and first New Zealander elected as ISCM President at this year’s general assembly in Estonia.

“In this new role I have the opportunity to meet a huge range of music leaders and performers,” she says.

“The connections raise the profile of the University and Aotearoa New Zealand, as both become better known by all member organisations. It puts us on the map of contemporary music practices and facilitates connections with composer organisations as well as other universities in such places as Texas and Beijing. It also enables access to expertise and opportunities for New Zealanders and for our students,” says Associate Professor Keam.

The ISCM was established in Austria in 1922, it has 50 member organisations and is “virtually a United Nations of the new music world”. Its annual festivals present music from its members performed by local musicians, and feature the music of the host country.

“It’s marvellous to be engaged in the music networks participating in the Society and it’s very healthy for Aotearoa New Zealand to be engaged with this organisation. Together we can share similar challenges, compare local issues, and explore ideas across different cultures,” she says.

Associate Professor Keam will be directing the ISCM’s World Music Day 2020 festival, to be held in both Auckland and Christchurch in April next year. The Christchurch dates overlap with the Asian Composers League festival, and the final concert of new music will feature the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in the Christchurch Town hall.

“Contemporary art music is music of ‘now’ and is fresh and exploratory – not yet tried and true. The musical world has changed so much over the past 25 years with the digital revolution. Communication and sharing of music is virtually instantaneous now, so the commercial model for composers has changed, but live music is still the most powerful way to experience it.”

“I’m looking forward to leading the ISCM towards its centenary celebrations in three years, possibly to be held in South Africa. It’s an honour to help the ISCM membership evolve, and move into its next century with more global reach,” she says.

Associate Professor Keam’s compositions have been performed in New Zealand, United States and United Kingdom, and her PhD analytically examined New Zealand music. She was President of the Composers Association of New Zealand from 2007–2017 and earlier served four years as treasurer of the New Zealand Society for Music Education. She has been an enthusiastic chorister and enjoys performing as a piano improviser. At UC she is Head of Music, and lectures in analysis, composition, New Zealand music and music education.

-University of Canterbury

Building a winning resume

After working in the recruitment and talent management industries for over 25 years I am often asked by people ‘what makes a winning resume’. So here is my 2 cents worth…

The world has changed so fast especially over the last decade and seems to be moving at breakneck speed. There are so many many options and things to think about when looking for a job and they all need attention. Long resumes (CVs) are gone. 1-2 pages of great content is needed.

Remember short does not mean sloppy, your resume is the tool you have to really show that you are professional.

There are really 6 key components to a resume and each one needs to be taken seriously.

  1. The Header Information

  2. Summary / Personal Statement

  3. Your skills Summary

  4. Your Work History

  5. Education

  6. References

The Header Information

Your header information should include the following

  1. Your Name

  2. A Professional email address (not Try to get a good Gmail account or maybe even setup your name on a service like Zoho or

  3. Your Contact Phone number (Mobile is fine)

  4. Then your social media account links (Icons work). Yes employers these days are going to check you out make it easy for them to find you and be very aware that this will happen.

Summary / Personal Statement

Keep it professional describe your experience to date and what you love doing most. This is your ‘90 second pitch’ to that perfect employer or client (If you are a contractor). Your work histroy will also contain some hints into what you are all about.

Your skills Summary

Here you can list the things you are great at and like doing i.e. dont list skills you no longer wish to use.

Your Work History

Be a little more detailed here and list your last five - ten years work experience. If you are just starting out on your career I strongly suggest you ‘volunteer’ as there are plenty of organisations who will give you this experience.

NB: Always include name of organisation, what your job was (title if you had one) and what months/years your worked for this employer.


If you do not have a University degree no need to panic. List your industry related education. Have no industry related training? then best you think about getting some.


If you can list 3-4 work related references. If you are a student looking for work you can also use a tutor but it would also be good to have references from volunteer or work experience employers.

Example CV - Tony Cutting

Need Help?

I like to help 2-3 people a month get their career started so if you need help reach out and contact me. I am happy to accept a koha to guide those who have not yet landed their first job

Tony Cutting
Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist