A bit about us

We believe that good leadership requires more than an impressive resume and a strong personality; there must be something in you that can justify the loyalty and commitment of those who follow.  The philosophy of Aspiring Leaders’ Forum on faith and values is that serving others is the best foundation for meaningful lives, healthy communities and leadership. The Forum aims to explore the personal character foundations of integrity, humility, commitment, courage and aroha – all of which enable us to live for something greater than self-interest.


The Aspiring Leaders’ Forum (ALF) was established in 2006 with a vision shared by political, business, and community leaders who sought to take a proactive approach to cultivating the next generation of leaders. The initiative is supported by a large community of volunteers from across Aotearoa New Zealand who work closely with the part-time office staff based in Auckland. The Board of The New Zealand Leaders’ Trust oversees the governance of the Forum.


ALF embodies a commitment to fostering leadership development across various fields. One approach to achieving this objective involves seeking out new learning opportunities and challenging oneself to try new things. Additionally, taking time to reflect on one’s strengths and weaknesses can help identify areas for improvement and set goals for personal and professional growth. Through patience and a willingness to celebrate successes along the way, individuals can enhance their skills and abilities.


Aspiring Leaders’ Forum is a catalytic event that brings together a hundred-plus young people each year. However, the conversations, friendships and call to action do not stop with the end of the Forum event. The ever-growing alumni community is invited to stay engaged with other projects organised by the New Zealand Leaders’ Trust and by fellow alumni.


  • To challenge and inspire young leaders to think proactively about leadership.
  • To encourage aspiring leaders to examine the faith and values that inform their approach to leadership.
  • To invest in young leaders by offering them life-changing experiences and mentoring.
  • To help establish relationships between Aotearoa New Zealand’s current and future leaders.
  • To provide opportunities for meaningful cross-cultural interaction.
  • To see an increase in active community service across Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • “One of the best experiences of my life. I will remember my group and group leaders forever.”

    John Kelly // Delegate
  • “It is so easy to forget the heart and values of leadership, but this Forum changes 100+ people every year for the rest of their life.”

    Jason Sebastian // Small Group Facilitator
  • One of my highlights was hearing Rt Hon Jim Bolger speak and being inspired by his experiences as a former Prime Minister. After his talk, I felt empowered, realising that I am already equipped to be a catalyst for change. I can have an impact and bring restoration.

    Kandarp Dalal // Delegate
  • This forum has taught me the importance of knowing and standing firm in my identity, which is formed by my faith and values. Only once I know who I truly am will I be able to lead others around me authentically and genuinely. Leadership isn’t always easy, and there may be times when challenges are thrown at me; however, it is heartening to know that I also have a family of other leaders in different parts of New Zealand who are here supporting me.

    Francesca Long Testimonial
    Francesca Long Testimonial // Delegate

Aspiring Leaders’ Forum is endorsed by the following Members of Parliament:

Dr Carlos Cheung

Dana Kirkpatrick

Ryan Hamilton

Dan Bidois

Greg Fleming

Hon Todd McClay

Ingrid Leary

Nancy Lu

Carl Bates

Hon Melissa Lee

Barbara Edmonds

Hon Rachel Brooking

Rachel Boyack

Hon Jenny Salesa

Paulo Garcia

Hon Simeon Brown

Arena Williams

Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke

Glen Bennett

Wing Commander Tim Costley, MP

Suze Redmayne

Hon Carmel Sepuloni

Tom Rutherford

Hon Nicola Willis

Reuben Davidson

Helen White

Hūhana Lyndon

Tanya Unkovich

Tangi Utikere