The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
Waikato Management School
Executive Education

Waikato MBA at Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development

Since 2011, the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development (the College) has delivered its innovative Waikato MBA programme in a distinctive living and learning environment which fosters Maaori values and indigenous ways of doing business. In this short time it has won an international MBA Innovation Award from the London-based Association of MBAs. This award is testament to the quality of the Waikato MBA programme and the uniqueness of its curriculum.

Established by the late Sir Robert Mahuta in 2000, the College is a tribal academic and research institution built to develop a national and international community of leading indigenous scholars. Unlike other MBAs, our MBA has been contextualised with an indigenous focus within a supportive kaupapa Maaori environment. It allows you to explore real world, real life business challenges including case studies of organisations involved in and relevant to indigenous business and industry. In part two of the programme you will have the opportunity to travel on an international study tour that provides global insights into doing business offshore within an indigenous context.

Our faculty members are complemented by prominent guest speakers who provide further insights and examples to the Maaori and indigenous context. You are supported by a strong network of MBA alumni, who have experience across high powered indigenous, corporate and government agencies and business enterprise industry, further enhancing your networks and reinforcing the distinctive Maaori and indigenous perspective.

Who is it for?

The Waikato MBA at the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development is for current and future Maaori and non-Maaori leaders that work within or have an interest in business from both the western and Maaori or Indigenous world views, to grapple with the issues and challenges of business within a local, national and international context. We draw on leading experts who work alongside indigenous communities to teach and guest speak on the programme.

These experts have included:

  • Shelley Campbell (Sir Peter Blake Trust) 
  • Professor Linda Smith (University of Waikato) 
  • Emeritus Professor Sir Mason Durie (Massey University) 
  • Lain Jager (Zespri International Limited) 
  • Liz Te Amo (New Zealand Trade and Enterprise) 
  • Sir Mark Solomon (Ngāi Tahu) 
  • Professor Stephen Cornell (University of Arizona) 
  • Dr. Claire McGowan (SODA Inc.) 
  • Sir Tipene O’Regan (Ngāi Tahu) 
  • Traci Houpapa (Federation of Māori Authorities).


A unique feature of this programme is in the delivery mode. It is delivered in a 'waananga' or residential mode, encompassed in a rich cultural environment that provides a holistic and collaborative atmosphere for participants. You are taught and accommodated at the College’s serene facilities at Hopuhopu, Ngaaruawaahia. With classes held on a fortnightly basis, the rich cultural environment complements the delivery style of the senior academics teaching on the programme.

Nestled in the heart and rural backdrop of the Waikato, the College is situated in Ngaaruawaahia less than an hour’s drive from the Auckland and Hamilton Airports. Surrounded by significant landmarks of Waikato-Tainui including the majestic views of the Waikato River and the breath-taking sights of the Haakarimata Ranges and Taupiri Maunga, the Colleges accommodation and teaching facility provides a holistic atmosphere and rich cultural environment. With 48 private ensuite studio rooms and fully-catered hosting facilities, the scenic surroundings and tranquility of the College make it the perfect place for learning, and our friendly staff ensures your stay is both comfortable and memorable.




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