Meet David Hughes National Manager New Zealand

03 Sep 2021

HG is delighted to announce the appointment of David Hughes, our inaugural National Manager for New Zealand. David is a senior leader who has worked extensively across the public, private and non-profit sectors in New Zealand and the UK.

HG’s Chief Executive Paul Ingle said “David’s appointment marks the beginning of a new chapter for HG including the formal establishment of HG New Zealand as a legal entity in its own right. It is something we have worked hard for and been made possible by loyal clients who have put their faith in us over successive years. David’s appointment lifts our kiwi team to five and that’s an exciting place for us to be”.

“David will continue building on our increasingly strong profile as a respected partner to government, the health sector in its changing form and the wider public service and specifically take a lead in building our profile with the private and non-profit sectors”.

David Hughes Bio.

We asked David 5 questions about his career and leadership style; this is what he told us:

What was the pull factor that saw you leave the UK and come back to New Zealand to take up a leadership role with the Wise Group?

My plan was always to return to New Zealand and put roots down in Wellington, my partner is a Wellingtonian and we both love living and working in NZ – that was the major pull. On my return I wasn’t sure exactly what I would end up doing, but I’d had such a positive experience working at the Wise Group in terms of feeling connected to the organisational purpose and its people, that when the opportunity to return came up, it was an easy decision.

What are some of the most important skills you have gained during your career?

A deeper appreciation of my own strengths and weaknesses and the power of effective teamwork. The ability to create work and team environments where people collaborate and really pull together in pursuit of a shared purpose and a realisation that it’s vital to understand how you best learn, and what you need to do professionally and personally to be at your best, as there are always new challenges to face.

Over the years I’ve become a better active listener and this skill has been critical in assisting me, and my teams, to understand issues and get it right, faster. The ability to implement strategy and deliver results is also something I have honed. John Doerr’s work really resonates with me and as he so wisely said ‘Ideas are easy. Execution is everything’

What are some of the most important attributes of successful leaders today as you see it?

I’ve always valued working with leaders who enjoy their work and truly care about what they are trying to achieve and the people they work with. Leaders who are proactive, curious, impactful and focused on how to be even better.

People who can build and maintain effective relationships with others. Being insightful, understanding your capability, knowing when to seek advice and being flexible with a willingness to changing your approach.

How does that translate then to your leadership?

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata – It is people, it is people, it is people. That well know Māori proverb has real resonance for me.

For me it’s about a leadership style which supports people speaking up, sharing ideas and that ensures people aren’t afraid of asking ‘silly’ questions or asking for help. Valuing the power of teamwork, collaboration and what’s possible.

Creating clarity about where we are heading, how we will get there, and empowering people to take action. It’s also about staying focused on what we are really here for and supporting teams to deliver a service that genuinely meets client/customer expectations.

What two values are part of your DNA?

Being authentic and in the context of the roles I have held over the years, delivering results for our clients that actually make a difference.