19 Josh Wharehinga full 19 Josh Wharehinga thumb
25 Foundation Grantees

Josh Wharehinga

Leadership Network

Josh Wharehinga has a policy for the Foundation’s Leadership Network: “The answer is always yes”.

“Whenever I get an email from the Asia New Zealand Foundation, I always try to find a way to give a yes to the kaupapa, whether it’s turning up to an event, being asked to speak at something, helping facilitate something, or applying to go on a local, national or international hui.”

Josh has been involved in about 10 Foundation events since joining in 2016, including co-creating a Te Ao Māori hui in Waitangi and a leadership development hui in Gisborne this year.

A highlight for the Gisborne District councillor and father-of-six has been going to Korea with the network in 2017.


“My grandfather was a Korean veteran, so personally that visit was amazing. He meant the world to me, so to be where he was meant the world to me too. It’s the kind of thing that will resonate inside of me for the rest of my life.”

Josh says he wasn’t sure how he’d fit in with the Leadership Network when he first joined, but it’s impacted him in ways he couldn’t have anticipated.

“I came into the network as someone who had already established his leadership journey; I was well on my way. But on my network journey, I’ve learnt cultural nuances to better engage with parts of Asia and its people, cultures and infrastructure.”

But the biggest gain, says Josh, has been in meeting other network members.

“I’m very big on developing meaningful friends, relationships and connections. I’ve stayed with people I met through the Network while being away and I've offered my place to friends of mine in the Network too.

“I prize fatherhood highly and the network has allowed for space for my teenagers to be included, so as a result my teens have connected with the Foundation, too.”