Next Level

The confidence and skills to lead


You are a change-maker.

You’re here to make a positive difference for the people, communities and land that you love.

It’s time to step-up, lead the change and reach your next level with us.



Next Level is a six-month leadership and governance development programme empowering you to make positive impact in New Zealand's food and fibre sector and rural communities.

It’s about understanding your ‘why’, building the mindset and skills to lead and setting the direction towards your goals.   

Next Level is designed for change-makers and aspiring leaders across the sector, from farmers and growers, to women in support & service industries, community-builders and executives.

The programme combines individual learning and support from professional facilitators and coaches, with the power of a cohort-for-life – a group of like-minded women who grow to trust and support each other for the journey ahead.

2024 Locations and dates


Location Module 1 Module 2 & Graduation
Christchurch Tue 19 - Thu 21 Mar Tue 10 - Thu 12 Sep
Hawkes Bay Tue 21 - Thu 23 May Tue 12 - Thu 14 Nov
Hamilton Tue 17 - Thu 19 Sep Tue 11 - Thu 13 Mar 2025
Dunedin Tue 24 - Thu 26 Sep Tue 18 - Thu 20 Mar 2025

Fees and funding

The Next Level programme fee is $4,500+ GST excluding travel and accommodation expenses.  At the time of registration a minimum deposit of $500+GST is required to secure your place. If you require an invoice for this instead please email  Funding may be available to you through the NZTE Business Capability Voucher scheme. If you would like to discuss fees and funding feel free to call us in the office on 06 370 2568.  View our refund policy here.

Register for Next Level 2024

  • Kate Stewart - The confidence to create my career
  • Karen McDonald
  • Jaimee Coult
  • Amy Francis
  • Kate Stewart - The confidence to create my career

    Next Level graduate Kate Stewart on taking charge of her future in agriculture, following the AWDT leadership and governance development programme. 

    "I have a checklist now to vet any new opportunities that come my way. Its called the ‘is this what Kate wants and is good at’ checklist."

    For Kate Stewart, Next Level was about taking ownership of her new career. At 24-years old, the Palmerston North local and Dairy NZ regional consulting officer was considering new leadership opportunities, but unsure of where to turn next.

    Click here to read more.

  • Karen McDonald

  • Jaimee Coult

  • Amy Francis

Programme aims

  • Break-through internal barriers to find confidence and courage
  • Develop a leader's mindset  
  • Find new ways to motivate and lead
  • Understand and develop greater influencing ability
  • Own communication skills that don't wilt under pressure
  • Connect with a tribe of like-minded, supportive women
  • Create a personalised plan of action, including a governance CV


Programme details

Modules & pre/inter-module learning
Expert facilitators work with your group over 2 or 3 modules covering core development areas. Pre-module tasks support meaningful learning and stimulate thinking, while inter-module work cements learning, taking classroom theory to practical application. Self-directed online modules and 2 additional group Zoom meetings support your development across eight topics.

Developing networks
Several opportunities throughout the year to meet, learn from and influence industry leaders and professionals.

Your cohort-for-life
Each programme is limited to 14 women for in-person and 10 for online to learn and grow together. 

Coaching support
Your personal executive coach supports your leadership journey across the programme, helping to overcome barriers and seize opportunities.


What the Next Level Alumni have to say

"I thought I was on a mission to find my "why". Actually I had that all along, it was my "how" that needed clarity. I now see myself as a leader and endeavour to always act as a leader, using a positive voice to advocate for and influence within our industry and community.”

“Next Level has refocused me - made me consider further education, broadening my networks and being part of governance roles outside of my business.”

“Next Level affirmed the skills I have and gave me the confidence in my abilities to put myself out there.”

“I now listen to hear, not listen to reply. I take time to understand where someone is coming from and how best to approach the subject.”


Strategic Partners

Programme Partners