Starting out or moving on : job hunting resources at WCL

Is 2023 the year you step onto the career ladder?

Are you returning to work after a break?

Maybe you’ve had time to reflect over the summer break and feel it’s time to move on and are looking for a new job?

Let Wellington City Libraries and our extensive job-hunting resources assist you.  We have many, and varied, resources that may help you.

If you are new to job hunting you might find this blog piece aimed at Job seekers helpful.

There’s plenty of other resources too, regardless of what stage you are at in your career or job-hunt.

If you’re starting out;
Looking for a job;
Assessing your skills;
Getting your cv (resume) prepared;
Brushing up on some work skills;
Gaining confidence for an interview;

Read on to learn more.

Assess your skill set
If you are a school or university leaver, not certain about your skill set, or maybe someone thinking of changing careers, a good starting site is Careers New Zealand.  Here you will find tools that can assist you figure out what roles your skills and experience may be a good match for.  There is also guidance on cv preparation and other useful information.

Find a vacancy
To apply for a job you need to first know what companies are seeking workers and what roles are being advertised.

If you know what you are looking for and already have a cv prepared you can create a profile and upload your documentation to Seek or Trademe jobs.  Both these sites allow you to create alerts so that you are emailed a listing whenever a job in your area of interest is advertised.

For an experienced worker, looking to change roles or companies, there are a variety of recruitment agents in the Wellington CBD.  Some specialise in certain roles such as labour, IT, professional or executive recruitment.  Others have a more general approach.  Link here for a brief alphabetical Recruitment agents listing

Don’t forget the power of networking.  See our blog listing networking groups in the Wellington region or the one about using Linkedin for effective networking.

Prepare your CV/resume
Your cv and covering letter are what will attract a prospective employer to you.  Or not.  So how do you get noticed in among all the other applications?  Like everything, there are trends to how to present your cv and this article outlines some of the resume trends you should be aware of while this one suggests some things that should be on your cv.  If you are uncertain about some information, ask a trusted friend or colleague to check it over.  There are also professional companies that will work with you to produce a standout cv.

Acquiring or brushing up on skills
If, as you read through a job description, you feel you need some new or additional skills to be appropriately qualified for a role then there are many courses available to help you upskill.  Our blog on Professional development looks at some of the online options including Linkedin Learning courses available free with your library registration.

In person courses are offered throughout the year from Wellington High School‘s Community Education Centre or Victoria University‘s short course options.

Acing interviews
You’ve done all the above, and now you have an interview.  What next?  If, like many people you get nervous when faced with a panel of interviewers asking you questions then preparation is the key.  Look for the company website and brush up on your knowledge of their structure and people.  For a senior role, check to see if the company Annual Report is available and have a read.  Sometimes you may be questioned on how much you know about an organisation, for example, how it may be funded.  This is when your research will pay off.  There’s also the chance of an “awkward” question.  Have a look at the advice offered in this HBR article  How to Answer “Tell Me About a Time You Failed” in a Job Interview.

On the Wellington City Libraries website enter “Employment interviewing” in the catalogue search box to find resources that can help you prepare answers for those sticky questions.  And don’t be afraid to go into an interview with a list of questions you want to know about the company.

So that’s some of the many ways we can help your job search succeed.  You’ll also find more resources listed on our Aramahi/Careers Information page.

Within our broader library collection we also have resources like those listed below, that library users are welcome to borrow.  Or contact your friendly and helpful library staff for further suggestions.

The new rules for job hunting : changing jobs in a changing world / O’Neil, Tom
“The rules have changed! With economic uncertainty after COVID 19, as well as redundancies and unemployment on the rise, it has never been more important in New Zealand to secure strong and long-lasting employment. You may already have (or maybe think you have) the skills to gain a new career or win a dream job but if you are unable to sell yourself to a prospective employer. In reality, that potential is unrealised with most people. With sections on resumes, social media, preparing and sending impactful covering letters, the do’s and don’ts in an interview, interviewing tips (both ZOOM and traditional), networking, direct marketing, salary negotiation and career goal-setting, this book is packed with information. The book also includes up-to-date tips and information about social networking, online resources and long-term career planning. Discover how you can stand out from the competition and receive more job opportunities and better value job offers than ever before. ‘THE NEW RULES FOR JOB HUNTING’ will help you to discover and identify personal key career highlights and assist in marketing your skills to potential employers. New Zealander Tom O’Neil has been a professional recruitment and human resources consultant for over twenty years. He is sought after for Interviews for television and radio commentary regarding employment and has articles about career development printed in a wide range of magazines and newspapers. He is a significant contributor to the bestselling career guide ‘What Color Is Your Parachute?’ which has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Tom has also been the author of the bestselling book ‘You’re Hired’, (published by New Holland) and is in demand globally for his workshops and public speaking. Gaynor O’Neil is a senior recruiter and works with Tom in their international personal development and resume writing businesses”–Publisher’s website.” (Catalogue)

What color is your parachute? : your guide to a lifetime of meaningful work and career success / Bolles, Richard Nelson
“In today’s challenging job-market, as recent grads face a shifting economic landscape and seek work that pays and inspires, as workers are laid off mid-career, and as people search for an inspiring work-life change, the time-tested advice of What Color Is Your Parachute? is needed more than ever. This completely updated edition features the latest resources, strategies, and perspectives on today’s job market, revealing surprising advice on what works–and what doesn’t–so you can focus your efforts on tactics that yield results.”– Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)  Available as EBook Overdrive

Love + work : how to find what you love, love what you do, and do it for the rest of your life / Buckingham, Marcus
“We’re in the middle of an epidemic of stress and anxiety. A global pandemic has wreaked havoc on our lives. Average life expectancy in the United States is down. At work, less than 16 percent of us are fully engaged. In many high-stress jobs, such as distribution centers, emergency room nursing, and teaching, incidences of PTSD are higher than for soldiers returning from war zones. We’re getting something terribly wrong. We’ve designed the love out of our workplaces, and our schools too, so that they fail utterly to provide for or capitalize on one of our most basic human needs: our need for love. As Marcus Buckingham shows in this eye-opening, uplifting book, love is an energy, and like all forms of energy, it must flow. It demands expression-and that expression is “work.” Whether in our professional accomplishments, our relationships, or our response to all the many slings and arrows of life, we know that none of this work will be our best unless it is made with love. There’s no learning without love, no innovation, no service, no sustainable growth. Love and work are inextricable. Buckingham first starkly highlights the contours of our loveless work lives and explains how we got here. Next, he relates how we all develop best in response to other human beings. What does a great work relationship look like when the other person is cued to your loves? What does a great team look like when each member is primed to be a mirror, an amplifier, of the loves of another? Finally, he shows how you can weave love back into the world of work as a force for good, how you can use your daily life routines to pinpoint your specific loves, and how you can make this a discipline for the rest of your life. Today, too often, love comes last at work, and we are living the painful consequences of this. Love + Work powerfully shows why love must come first-and how we can make this happen”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Career remix / Brown, Damon
“An author, two-time start-up founder and four-time TED speaker offers testimonials, plans of action, and road-tested insight to encourage job seekers to use their existing skills and resources to change careers, manage transitions, and thrive in the current job market.” (Catalogue)



Coming back : how to win the job you want when you’ve lost the job you need / Germer, Fawn
“A street smart, inspiring, practical and utterly honest book for renewing or resuming your career. Millions of mid- and late-career professionals are wondering why our careers are dying. We’ve been fired, downsized, job-eliminated, or we’ve left work voluntarily to raise children, care for loved ones, or go to school. Our unemployment rate is more than three times the national average. It takes twice as long to get hired, usually for far less money than we were making. Is it age discrimination? Maybe. But it’s not that simple. So many of us have lagged on skills and technology, shrugged off social media, or ignored the rate of change and let younger people become the face of our profession’s future. Our “track record” really doesn’t matter. We want to come back, but we aren’t ready. Coming Back offers clear advice, including: -Make yourself visible and relevant by sharing articles and information on your field with colleagues and on social media. -Use LinkedIn to build your network in your industry and identify decision makers. -Tell interviewers about what you will do-don’t rely on what you have done. -Stop grousing about “those millennials” and start working with them. -Volunteer strategically to build leadership skills and networks. Coming Back shows how you can save a career if still employed or get one back if cast out. Fawn Germer, one of the nation’s most popular leadership experts and global motivational speakers, has personally interviewed more than 300 CEOs, senior executives, professors, lawyers, organizational experts, industry leaders and professionals. The result is a tactical, tough-love call to action: to learn, re-tool, connect, grow, and get ready to work again”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

HBR guide to changing your career
“You’re well into your career and yet you’re not where you want to be. Perhaps you’ve done everything you need to do to be named a partner, but your firm has encountered a crisis that’s put all promotions on hold. Maybe a hobby or sidegig has helped unearth a new passion you’d love to pursue full-time. Perhaps you’ve come to realize that your current role is no longer meaningful. Or maybe you’ve exceeded all of the goals you set for your current career and you’re ready for a new challenge. How do you envision possible new professional selves, explore your options, and embark on a dramatic career makeover when you have a mortgage to pay, kids to support, college and retirement funds to feed–and a full life and full-time job? Can you really set aside the years you’ve invested in your education and current industry? How can you make a radical change when there are so many demands on you? Whether you know what you want your second act to be or you have no clue–only that what you’re doing isn’t a match, this guide will help you chart a course and make the switch. You’ll discover how to: – Break free of what your career is now to consider what it could be – Get an accurate picture of the skills and abilities you bring to the table – Create experiments that won’t sabotage your current job – Assess the financial implications of making a change – Develop a compelling way to tell your story–tying even seemingly unrelated jobs into a cohesive narrative – Build expertise in a new field – Land a new role– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Rethink your career : in your 40s, 50s and 60s / Maxwell, Joanna
“Have you accumulated plenty of wisdom and experience, but others think you’re all washed up? Perhaps you’re bored with your current work but not sure what’s next. Don’t panic! Work reinvention expert Joanna Maxwell shows you how to refresh a current career, pursue a new direction or leverage your experience to start your own business. The practical exercises and inspirational real-life stories in “Rethink Your Career: will help you: – clarify your strengths, talents and skills – find creative new ways to think about your work future – take stock of your finances and deal with your fears – make your best decision and put your new plans into action.” (Catalogue)

Ultimate job search : master the art of finding your ideal job, getting an interview and networking / Williams, Lynn
“A one-stop shop for all job hunters, this fifth edition of Ultimate Job Search takes the stress out of job hunting and provides advice on every stage of the process including: preparing a poweful CV that will get you noticed ; sample cover letters and emails that are really persuasive ; making a great impression at interviews ; dealing with offers and rejections in a positive manner.”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)

How to write an impressive CV & cover letter : a comprehensive guide for jobseekers / Whitmore, Tracey
“Your CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile are your first communication with a prospective employer. As the job market is more competitive than ever, grabbing an employer’s attention and making the right first impression has never been more important. If you compromise on the quality of your CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile, you reduce your chances of winning an interview. This book, which will appeal to anyone from entry level to board level, is a step-by-step guide on how to approach job hunting and achieve a killer competitive advantage by producing an impressive CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile. Invaluable views and advice from senior HR and industry professionals, who are often the first point of entry, are provided throughout the book. How to Write an Impressive CV and Cover Letter will support jobseekers through the entire job-hunting process. It offers access to practical, real-life examples of CVs and cover letters that have secured interviews and helped individuals win their dream job. Readers will gain access to these documents, together with valuable templates, as part of the book.” (Catalogue)

Get that job : interviews : how to keep your head and land your ideal job
“The ultimate guide to preparing for the interview process, maintaining focus, handling difficult questions, and maximizing your chances of landing that dream job.”Whether you’re a school leaver, a recent graduate, an established professional on the move, or someone looking to return to the job market, any research and preparation will be critical in improving your performance in an interview setting – from being aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, through to knowing the questions to ask that will ensure you are remembered after the interview is over. Whether it is in person, on the telephone or via a video conference, Get That Job: Interviews will prepare you for even the toughest interview – including tips on preparation and pre-interview research, strategies for different types of interview, advice on staying calm under pressure, and ways to cope with the questions from hell.” —” (Catalogue)

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Planning, goal setting and forming new habits

The beginning of a new year is a time for many of us to start mapping out our short and long term personal and professional goals.

What do you want to achieve this year?  It might be gaining new customers, aiming for and achieving a new role or maybe working towards more work-life balance.  
So how are you going to get there?

This short article shares some weekly planning tips from entrepreneurs.

A recent study suggests that by using paper, rather than a digital tool makes your planning more effective.  Paper users “developed higher quality plans and fulfilled them at a higher success rate than their counterparts who used mobile phones.”

But should you make a plan or set goals?  This article looks at the difference between plans, goals and resolutions and the pros and cons of each.

Current thinking is focusing on changing behaviour patterns and developing new (and breaking old) habits.

In his book Atomic Habits, author James Clear explains why bad habits are so difficult to break. 

(Clear’s book is in high demand from the Wellington City Libraries collection but it is available in a number of formats).  

A recent NZ Listener article Up and Atom is based on Clear’s work and includes input from Sir John Kirwan.  The advice is that to achieve big results you must first make little changes to your work/life patterns and embed these in your day to day thinking.

Whatever route you chose we have resources to help you set those goals, develop your planning and adopt some new habits to get you on your way.

Atomic habits : tiny changes, remarkable results : an easy & proven way to build good habits & break bad ones / Clear, James
“Atomic habit, noun. Definition: A small habit with big results. People say when you want to change your life, you need to think big: swap job, move house, change partner. But they’re wrong. World-renowned life coach James Clear has discovered a completely different way to revolutionise your behaviour. He knows that lasting change comes from hundreds of tiny decisions – doing two push-ups a day, waking up five minutes early, or holding a single short phone call. He calls these atomic habits. Clear delves deep into cutting-edge psychology to explain why your brain is able to amplify such small changes into such big outcomes. He uncovers a handful of simple life hacks (the forgotten art of Habit Stacking, or the unexpected power of the Two-Minute Rule), to show how you too can grow tiny shifts into life-transforming changes in behaviour. And he reveals a simple four-stage method that will let you build atomic habits into your day-to-day life, starting now. These nuclear changes will have an explosive effect on your career, your relationships and your life.”–Publisher.” (Catalogue)  Also available in Hindi and on EBook BorrowboxEBook OverdriveEAudiobook Overdrive

Gearing up : leading your Kiwi business into the future / Kolb, Darl
“Published a decade ago and reprinted multiple times, the authors’ Changing Gears: How to Take Your Kiwi Business from the Kitchen Table to the Board Room was the first book that enabled Kiwi-sized firms to integrate business-school wisdom into their thinking. Gearing Up: Leading Your Kiwi Business into the Future is a completely revised and updated primer for owner-manager New Zealand businesses. The book introduces the business basics that haven’t changed (business models and financial drivers, leadership, team building, strategy and planning), while exploring how globalisation and digital transformations are challenging what we know about doing business. Throughout, the authors focus – through real examples – on the opportunities and challenges faced by the Kiwi men and women running our owner-operated businesses.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an ebook

Planning to win : a guide to business planning & financial modelling / Pender, Gordon
“There are many books on business planning, and many more on management and entrepreneurship. They tell you what their authors think should be included in a plan. Planning to Win is different: it explains exactly how to prepare a business plan it illustrates the elements of a good plan and how they fit together to produce a professional and compelling document. It also includes practical examples: stories from the authors clients that show what happens in the real world. You may need to raise equity capital and/or a bank loan. You may be planning a new venture (if you are very brave). You may want to win a competitive government grant (if you are very patient). You may be planning a joint venture or a new export business. Perhaps you need to show your parents you can take over the family empire and succeed. Or you may want to write the best business plan in your management course or business planning competition. Whatever your situation, one thing is certain: you will understand your business much better if you plan it well. Ultimately, your prosperity is at stake. You are risking your valuable time, your job, perhaps your whole business. Professional business planning will help safeguard your own interests first. If you want to prepare the best business plan and succeed, Planning to Win is for you.” (Catalogue)

Rethinking strategy : how to anticipate the future, slow down change and improve decision making / Tighe, Steve
“Business leaders are desperate for help to position their companies for future success in a climate where business has never been more competitive, volatile or uncertain. Corporate techniques for navigating this complexity have not adjusted to this new dynamic and organisations have suffered an upsurge in strategic surprises proving disruptive to previously successful business models. This book provides an innovative end-to-end process designed to reframe strategy as a resource, and strategic development as the organisation’s principal creative and learning activity, while recognising that strategic creativity is fundamental to successful business transformation.” (Catalogue)

Burn the business plan : what great entrepreneurs really do / Schramm, Carl J
“Carl Schramm, the man described by The Economist as ‘the evangelist of Entrepreneurship’, has written a myth-busting guide packed with tools and techniques to help you get your big idea off the ground. Carl believes that entrepreneurship has been completely misrepresented by the media, business books, University programmes and MBA courses. He believes that the perception of what it takes to start a business no longer matches the reality – which is bad news for everyone because it stops great ideas coming to life. Burn the Business Plan punctures the myth of the cool, tech-savvy 20-something entrepreneur with nothing to lose and venture capital to burn, showing that most people who start businesses are juggling careers and mortgages just like you. Burn the Business Plan is written to encourage you to get started. It demystifies the entrepreneurial process portrayed on television shows like Dragon’s Den. It doesn’t rely on largely irrelevant stories of overvalued tech startups, nor does it build on the largely mistaken narrative of a linear path from cold start to great success that is the essence of business planning, as taught in universities. This is the guide to starting and running a business that will actually work for the rest of us. Burn the Business Plan is for regular people who just want practical, real-world advice on how to start and run a successful business. It shows you how to avoid the common mistakes and what you need to do to put your enterprise on track for success.”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Do it for a day : how to make or break any habit in 30 days / Batterson, Mark
“The New York Times bestselling author of Win the Day challenges you to adopt seven powerful habits for thirty days and start your journey toward reaching your God-sized dreams”– Provided by publisher.Destiny is daily habits: our lives our built on our patterns of behavior, both constructive and counterproductive. Batterson believe you are only one habit away from a totally different life! Here he helps you identify changes that are “3M”: measurable, meaningful, and maintainable, and coaches readers step-by-step to change their lives. — adapted from back cover” (Catalogue)

The power of habit : why we do what we do and how to change / Duhigg, Charles
“Charles Duhigg takes us to the edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, he brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.” (Catalogue)


Good habits, bad habits : the science of making positive changes that stick / Wood, Wendy
“Wood draws on three decades of original research to explain the fascinating science of how we form habits, and offers the key to unlocking our habitual mind in order to make the changes we seek.” (Catalogue)  Also available on EBook Overdrive and EAudiobook Borrowbox


If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Let’s talk about trust – by guest author Brenda James

The blog piece below has been republished with kind permission of  author Brenda James.  Brenda is a Leadership and Career Development Specialist with 20 years’ experience in recruitment, coaching and HR.

Chapter on Trust in Brenda James’ book Believe.

With all of us facing a tidal wave of change right now and the requirement to be more agile than ever, trust is high on the list of competencies needed in our leaders. It is the one thing that changes everything. Trust is like a rising tide; it lifts every boat. It makes every other thing we are trying to do better.

It doesn’t matter how capable or talented your people are, they may never reach their full potential if trust isn’t present. But with trust, teams can accomplish everything they set out to do… and more.


In its 2016 global CEO survey, PwC reported that 55% of CEOs think that a lack of trust is a threat to their organisation’s growth. But many have done little to increase trust, mainly because they aren’t sure where to start.

Stephen Covey, author of The Speed of Trust says, “trust is the new currency”. He is talking about trust in teams and being trusted as a leader. We are often reminding leaders that to be trusted, one must be trustworthy.

As Harold Macmillan said, “A man who trusts nobody is apt to be the kind of man nobody trusts.”


The absence of trust occurs when team members are reluctant to be vulnerable with one another, and are often unwilling to admit their mistakes, acknowledge their weaknesses or ask for help. Trust is critical because without it, teams are unlikely to engage in unfiltered, passionate debate about key issues.

In our work with leaders in the architectural industry, we see avoidance of healthy conflict within teams frequently, yet it’s been proven that innovation and creativity flourishes when there is a collision of differences in an environment of trust. We won’t innovate when we are not willing to take a risk. Where there is high trust, it encourages high risk taking and trust is the agent that makes synergy happen.

So, how can you be the catalyst to bring an upward spiral of trust in your team?


If you want to build trust within your team, then lead by example and show your people that you trust others. This means trusting your team, your colleagues, and your boss. Never forget that your team members are always watching and taking cues from you – take the opportunity to show them what trust in others really looks like.


When people work together, honest mistakes and disappointments happen, and it’s easy to outwardly place blame. However, when everyone starts pointing fingers, an unpleasant atmosphere can quickly develop. This lowers morale, undermines trust, and is ultimately unproductive.

Instead, encourage everyone in your team to think about the mistake in a constructive way. What can you all do to fix what happened, and move forward together? And how can you make sure that this mistake doesn’t happen again? Focus on lessons learned, not who to blame.


One fast way to build trust is to encourage your team members to see their colleagues as people. Think about creating situations that help them to share personal stories and to bond. It is amazing how little some team members know about one another, and how just a small amount of information begins to break down barriers.

Here is an exercise we have teams do, found in Patrick Lencioni’s book, The AdvantageNote: Use your own best judgment when asking team members or colleagues personal questions – don’t invade their privacy.

Personal History Exercise

This low-risk exercise requires nothing more than going around the table during a meeting and having team members answer a short list of questions about themselves.


Where were you born?

How many siblings do you have?

What is one challenging event from your childhood?

Alternatively, you could ask about

Favourite hobbies

First job

Worst job

By describing these relatively innocent attributes or experiences, team members begin to relate to one another on a more personal basis and see one another as human beings with life stories and interesting backgrounds.

This encourages greater empathy and understanding and discourages unfair and inaccurate behavioural attributions.


Trust changes everything, not in small incremental ways, but in profound ways, so it is worth every piece of energy you invest into developing trust within your team.

As a leader, it’s important that you set an example. Show your team members how critical trust is to you by demonstrating your trust in them, as well as in your colleagues.

It is well worth your time investment to pause, check-in, and think about what you are doing to build trust within your own team. It is the one thing that changes everything.

Believe : how new leaders step up and into their full potential / James, Brenda
“Why should others believe in your leadership if you don’t believe in yourself? No matter where or when you start to experience a dent in your self-belief, once it is triggered and activated, your outlook changes. You see everything through blurred lenses. You constantly look for evidence that you are not quick enough, deserving enough or smart enough. And, of course, you always find it. But what happens if your uncertainty is so high that it’s impacting your performance? Or your team’s culture and output? Or worse, your relationship with yourself? Believing in yourself is the remedy. But how do you tangibly develop this? Ask yourself: Is now your time to move from a place of insignificance and struggle? Is now your time to thrive and fulfil your potential? Is now your time to make an impact? In Believe, author Brenda James guides you to take a deep but safe dive inward. Chapter by chapter, through a method of introspection, you are encouraged to take simple action steps and embrace tools to help illuminate all the reasons why you should believe in yourself as a leader. Embrace the process and let its wisdom equip you with one of the key fundamentals of leadership – self-belief. Come on an inspiring journey that will fill your heart with possibility. Immediately – and forever.” – back cover” (Catalogue)

Other resources on the subject of Trust and leadership within the Wellington City Libraries collection include :

The trusted leader : bringing out the best in your people and your company / Galford, Robert M.
“Based on highly specific research and experience that covers a wide spectrum of managers and organizations, The Trusted Leader identifies the three critical types of trust that leaders need to master: strategic trust, organizational trust, and personal trust. It introduces a practical and effective formula for building organizational confidence, and provides a unique analysis of the obstacles to trust and the sources of resistance to the building of trust inside organizations. Through a series of interactive exercises, executives will learn how to determine where trust is missing and how it can be supplemented in people, departments, and even whole companies. Perhaps most timely are the book’s series of diagnostic tools and skills that help executives rebuild trust that has been broken or betrayed.”–BOOK JACKET.” (Catalogue)

The agile culture : leading through trust and ownership / Pixton, Pollyanna
“Many books talk about the importance of culture to agile success. The Agile Culture shows the reader how to make the specific culture changes needed for agile success. The authors provide proven tools and models for moving from “date-driven, internally-focused” cultures to “value-driven, customer-focused” cultures where agile can thrive and flourish. They offer clear rationales for using each tool, demonstrate it at work, present relevant case studies and examples, define expected outcomes, and show how to measure success. Using these techniques, students will learn to achieve the results promised by agile: a culture of continuous innovation, transparency, and trust.” (Catalogue)

Breaking the trust barrier : how leaders close the gaps for high performance / Venable, JV
“For former US Airforce Thunderbirds’ commander and demonstration leader JV Venable, inspiring teamwork was literally a matter of life and death. On maneuvers the distance between jets was just 18 inches. Closing the gaps to sustain that kind of separation requires the highest levels of trust. On the ground or in the air, from line supervisor to CEO, we all face the same challenge. Our job is to entice those we lead to close the gaps that slow the whole team down – gaps in commitment, loyalty, and trust. Every bit of closure requires your people to let go of biases and mental safeguards that hold them back. The process the Thunderbirds use to break that barrier and craft the highest levels of trust on a team with an annual turnover of 50% is nothing short of phenomenal. That process is packaged in this book with tips and compelling stories that will help you build the team of a lifetime.” (Catalogue)

Simple truths of leadership : 52 ways to be a servant leader and build trust / Blanchard, Kenneth H
“Leadership legend Ken Blanchard teams up with Randy Conley to share the most essential lessons on servant leadership and building trust from the heart of his leadership model. Effective leadership comes down to implementing everyday, commonsense practices to help organizations thrive-and yet so many leaders are still missing these fundamental principles from their personal and professional lives. Renowned business experts Ken Blanchard and Randy Conley disclose the simple truths about leadership they have gathered over their long and distinguished careers to help bring common sense into common practice. Featuring two sections -servant leadership and building trust -this book is a collection of Blanchard’s greatest hits. It is chock-full of profound and memorable (and in some cases counterintuitive) leadership wisdom, such as: Create autonomy through boundaries; People who plan the battle rarely battle the plan; A relationship with no trust is like a cell phone with no internet;. All you can do is play games; The most important part of leadership is what happens when you’re not there. This book will help readers incorporate these integral practices into their leadership style, build trust through servant leadership, and make a difference in their own life and the lives of those they influence”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Skin deep – talking about tattooing in Wellington (Part 2)

Regulation of the industry / health and hygiene

Tattoo parlours have traditionally had a slightly seedy reputation. These days professional commercial premises lean towards a welcoming, brightly lit vibe and – importantly – high levels of cleanliness.

If you are thinking about getting a tattoo, advice from those within the industry is to think very carefully about who you get to do it and where.

A reputable studio often has a range of tattooists to choose from, portfolios on offer showcasing the work of each artist, and many businesses emphasise comfort and adherence to industry safety and hygiene guidelines as well as artist experience and areas of particular expertise or tattooing styles.

However at a national level the tattooing industry in New Zealand remains unregulated.  Anyone can purchase a tattooing gun and inks via the internet and start tattooing.  As tattooing involves piercing the skin, it is important that certain health and safety guidelines are followed.  Infection and blood borne diseases, if equipment is not hygienically prepared, are very real, and unpleasant, risks.

In 1998 the Ministry of Health published Guidelines for the Safe Piercing of Skin.

It is expected that they [the guidelines] will be used widely by operators who offer
body piercing and tattooing services in order to provide a framework
of minimum standards with respect to infection control in the industry.

These guidelines have not been updated although in 2010 the Ministry issued the  Customary Tattooing Guidelines for Operators.

Throughout New Zealand some councils have introduced their own bylaws to regulate tattooing and associated businesses.  Auckland has the most comprehensive and readily accessible set of guidelines.

In 2019, Wellington City Council planned to introduce a brand new beauty industry bylaw and sought responses about regulation of the beauty sector, following a Regional Public Health survey about infection-control procedures in nail salons in the Wellington region.  Feedback was received from a wide range of operators in the beauty industry including tattooists.

Due to the emergence of Covid in early 2020 changes were put on the back burner for now meaning that in Wellington commercial tattoo businesses continue to be self regulating.  However reputable artists and studios work to a code of ethics set out by the Tattoo Artists Association of New Zealand (TAANZ).

As with health services clients to a reputable tattoo studio are expected to sign a consent form.  The consent, waiver and release form at Buttercat studio lists nine points regarding health disclosures and acknowledgement of understanding of the tattooing process the client must sign prior to work being undertaken.  A further three points are initialled post work accepting satisfaction with the process and the care taken.

Kat from Sinatras Tattoos emphasized that complete honesty about any underlying health issues is important in both the tattooing and tattoo removal process and includes full disclosure about any medications that may increase bleeding risks.


Remember in Part 1 there were unsuccessful moves in 1969 to introduce legislation preventing tattooing on anyone under the age of 18 years?  New Zealand continues to have no legal age restrictions on getting a tattoo.  It is generally accepted that if you are over the age of 16 years and capable of giving consent, then you can be tattooed.

Members of TAANZ, who follow the industry code of practice, will not tattoo anyone under the age of 18 without the written consent of a parent or guardian.  It was with parental consent that Amy (our library colleague featured in Part 1) was able to get her first tattoo at the age of 15.

In 2018 an Auckland tattooist became the first to be prosecuted under the local Health and Hygiene Bylaw 2013 for tattooing an underage youth without parental consent.

Consumer rights


Readers may recall an advertisement that ran on television a while back in which a man shrugs off his shirt to reveal a giant tattoo of his partner’s image, complete with the mis-spelled phrase No regerts.

Unless the man in question specifically intended that spelling the tattoo artist could be held responsible under the Consumer Guarantees Act.  As with any service, a tattoo from a reputable studio requires them to ensure all care is taken to deliver a product the customer is happy with.  If, for legitimate reasons, the customer is unhappy with the quality of the work or feels a mistake has been made, the studio is obliged to either fix the mistake or refund you the cost as per the Act.

Read more about your rights around getting a tattoo in Risks and regrets : what to consider before getting a tattooConsumer (2022) issue 614 April/May.  pp 56-60

Tattoos and copyright


In 2020 an Australian IP expert asked the question : Who owns the rights to your tattoo?  While primarily Australian in content the article noted :

In New Zealand, more restrictive rules around commissioned art and copyright mean a paying client can be the first copyright owner of a custom tattoo, regardless of whether they actively contributed to the design process.

A similar piece from two years earlier, by the NZ Law Society also asked But who owns that tattoo and found that :
To prevent any copyright issues in New Zealand, a reversal of the copyright law needs to be acknowledged and agreed to by both parties to be enforced and, while the artist could retain the rights to their design after its been purchased, they can’t retain the rights to the canvas the design is on – skin. Which opens a whole new bag of worms.

Whether you are providing your artist with your own design or whether the artist is designing one for you it pays to be aware of copyright considerations and raise the subject with your tattooist.

In recent years there has also been a growing awareness of cultural appropriation amongst tattooists particularly around the etching of indigenous designs on non-indigenous people.  A reputable artist may refuse to do such work if asked and is within their right to do so.

Tattoos in the workplace

In Wellington bars and cafes it’s almost de rigueur to have at least some ink, if not a lot, on display.
And it’s not just here.  In a recent attempt to attract staff a Nelson cafe offered up a $500 tattoo voucher to the successful applicants who stayed for six months.

Owner, Kymberly said, in response to our enquiries that “…, over the last couple of years many of our staff have opted to get matching whisky glass tattoos (Glencairns) and tattoos to celebrate various distilleries and whisky festivals, this was written about recently in an article in the New York Times about one of our most loved distilleries Ardbeg where it was noted that hardcore fans have tattoos as an ode to Ardbeg”

However not all employers or workplaces are open to visible tattoos and depending on the tattoo and its placement an employer is within their rights to request that it be covered. Employsure offers advice in this piece on physical appearance in the workplace

In 2019 both the New Zealand Police and Air New Zealand moved to permit visible tattoos within prescribed limits.

As part of a recruitment campaign the Police went as far as highlighting frontline staff with tattoos and the varied stories behind the skin art.

Both organisations have similar wording for new recruits.

From the NZ Police recruitment site :
Apart from Ta Moko or equivalent, you shouldn’t have tattoos in prominent places such as the hands or face. If you do these will need to be assessed.

Tattoos which are offensive, rude, or incite hatred are totally against our values are an absolute “no”. No exceptions. [sic]

Air New Zealand allows all staff  “… to have Tā Moko and non-offensive tattoos visible when wearing our uniform or normal business attire …  We ask employees to treat tattoos like they treat speech – you can’t swear, make hateful comments or lewd jokes in the workplace, neither can your tattoos.

 The armed forces have long had a tradition of tattoos and for those serving in any branches of the Defence Forces  Tattoos, including large and highly visible cultural tattoos are acceptable provided they are appropriate for a military environment and are complementary to the NZDF’s values and image.

Learn more in this op-ed piece by employment lawyer Susan Hornsby-Geluk: Can your boss ban your tattoo?

That signs off our two part blog looking at the tattooing industry in Wellington.  If you have any comments or feedback please feel free to get in touch.

Library resources
Along with the resources we listed at the end of Part one of this blog here’s some of the other items we have consulted or have available through Wellington City Library collections

The state of the industry: From tattooing fisherman and scaffolders to anyone and everyone.  
Looks at the development of the tattooing industry in New Plymouth and includes interviews with several artists and an overview of training.  (  Feb 07, 2020)

The inked trail: How women are shaping tattoo culture in New Zealand
Profiles two female tattoo artists – Lura Nehren-Smith and Taryn Beri, a moko kauae specialist. (  08 September 2019)

History of tattooing
This Wikipedia entry has a concise overview of tattooing history as well as an extensive reference list.

Flash tattoo portraits / Karena, Kia Maia
“Fantasy tattoo templates.” (Catalogue)

“Inked magazine covers pop culture and music for people that enjoy Tattoo art or have Tattoo designs on their bodies. Each issue has interviews with popular celebrities and the tattoo artists who decorate their bodies. There are tons of photos to inspire your next work of body art.” (Catalogue)

On Kanopy (library registration required to access)
Tattoo uprising
From antiquity to the present, TATTOO UPRISING reveals the artistic and historical roots of today’s tattoo explosion. This sweeping overview explores how tattoos were used in early Christian practices, how they were discovered halfway around the world during the voyages of Captain James Cook, and how they exploded in popularity in America beginning with artists like Ed Hardy.

Tattoo Uprising features some of the most extraordinary people of the tattoo world including Ed Hardy, Stoney St. Clair, Cynthia Witkin, Anne de Hey! and others, as well as unforgettable appearances by filmmakers Les Blank and Werner Herzog, who allows a rare glimpse at his Ed Hardy tattoo.

Tattoo Nation
For years people saw tattoos as a sign of rebellion. A middle finger salute to the rest of the world. Outlaw bikers got tattoos. Sailors on leave in Singapore got tattoos. Lifers in the joint got tattoos. But now in the United States one out of every three adults under forty has a tattoo! So what happened? How did tattoo go from something that was put on you to an expression that comes from within you? TATTOO NATION tells the story of a few people who helped transform the world of tattoo, and the way we think about tattoos, forever. This is the true story of the ink revolution

On Libby(library registration required to access)

Tattoo Style

The World’s most incredible tattoos

Tā moko : Māori markings / Howarth, Crispin
“The practice of tā moko, and the wearing of moko, was considered an art form of a bygone day for the most part of the twentieth century, as casualty of Aotearoa New Zealand’s colonial past. However, this unique Pacific art is enjoying a revival. Its embers fanned back to life by modern practitioners in the 1980s, it has once again become a powerful form of Māori cultural expression, identity and unity. In a first for Australia, ‘Māori markings: tā moko’ looks at not only the history of this living, breathing art of our region but also shares stories of today’s proud moko wearers and practitioners”–Foreword.” (Catalogue)

Mokorua : Nga korero mo toku moko kauae – My story of moko kauae / Tikao, Ariana

One woman’s journey to her moko kauae as an expression of her Kai Tahu identity.



Pakeha ta moko : a history of the Europeans traditionally tattooed by Māori / Bentley, Trevor
“Explore the hidden history of European men and women traditionally tattooed by Maori. In Pakeha Ta Moko, Trevor Bentley examines the extent and significance of Maori and Pakeha tattoo exchange both on ship and shore between the 1790s and 1840s. He uncovers the tattooing methods as well as the purpose and significance of the designs. Bentley examines why and how some captive Pakeha males were forced to receive facial tattoos while others voluntarily crossed cultures and submitted themselves to the ta moko ritual. Through in-depth research and interviews, Bentley explores this important part of early New Zealand history.” (Catalogue)

Patterns of the past : tattoo revival in the Cook Islands / Mangos, Therese
“Patterns of the Past traces the history and practice of tattooing (tātatau) through the ancient oral traditions of the Cook Island people, as well as from reports of early Western visitors and rich archival material. The book looks at the current practices of contemporary Cook Island tattooists, what the tattoos mean and what techniques and instruments are traditionally used. More than 250 colour and black and white images included.” (Catalogue)

Tatau : Samoan tattoo, New Zealand art, global culture / Adams, Mark
“Samoan tattoing, or tatau is an ancient Polynesian art tradition and rite of passage that reaches its most powerful expression in the full body male tattoo, the pe’a. Building on the internationally touring exhibition Tatau, this extraordinary series of images by leading photographer Mark Adams documents the story of tatau in the Pacific and its remarkable globalisation.” (Catalogue)

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Skin deep – talking about tattooing in Wellington (Part 1)

“Show me a man with a tattoo and I’ll show you a man with an interesting past”
– Jack London

The art of tattooing has a long history.  Tattooing was common in Celtic cultures, indigenous communities of the Americas, throughout Asia and of course the peoples of the Pacific.

In this two part blog we look at the history of commercial tattooing in Wellington, modern day tattooing businesses, regulatory standards and legislation relating to the industry and rights associated with employment.  This blog does not cover traditional or cultural tattooing practices however resources relating to this will be referenced in our resource list at the end of the blog.

More than 100 years ago tattooists were offering their services from premises throughout the Wellington business area.  The electric tattoo machine was patented in the early 1890s and within 20 years tattooing via machine was being advertised to Wellingtonians.

Read this Brief history of commercial tattooing in Wellington to learn more.

Tattooing went rock ‘n’ roll in the late 1960s and early 70s, a time also marked by the counterculture and protests against the Vietnam war.  In Britain legislation was passed in 1969 making it
… an offence to tattoo a person under the age of eighteen except when the tattoo is performed for medical reasons by a duly qualified medical practitioner … Attempts to introduce similar legislation in New Zealand were unsuccessful.

Reporting at the time noted there were no regulations governing the operation of professional tattooists in New Zealand, they required no licence, nor did the methods or materials come under any health regulations.  It further noted there were only two professional tattooists in NZ at the time.

Today there are at least 14 tattoo businesses clustered in the vicinity of Cuba-Willis-Vivian Street.  Rogers Tattoo Art in Cuba Street is Wellington’s longest running tattoo business in operation since 1977.
At a recent tattoo expo held in New Plymouth over 250 tattooists from throughout the country along with international guests, showcased their artistry.

As we move into more modern times keep this social history in mind as we will return to some aspects of it further on.

We’re now going to meet Amy.

Amy is one of numerous Wellington City Libraries staff sporting tattoos (visible or otherwise).

“Believe it or not, some of us have piercings and tattoos and dye our hair because we think it looks pretty, not for any deep sociological reason”

– Alex Bell, The Ninth Circle

Amy got her first tattoo at 15, with parental consent (a point we will return to in Part 2 of this blog).

She has since gathered other designs signifying different life stages or just because “they looked good”.

Presently Amy is getting a series of fantastical creatures inked on her right forearm.

Based on illustrations from medieval themed manuscripts Amy intends to eventually have a sleeve of designs.  She’s done her research using art books from the library as well as internet design sites. For her the art works are personal for herself and this is the first piece that has been prominently on display.

Whether Amy realises it or not she is one of a young tattooed demographic.

A much quoted survey conducted around 2009 found one in five New Zealanders have a tattoo and for those under 30 years of age, the statistics become 1:3.  This should be no surprise to anyone who frequents any of the city’s cafes and bars.

Amy chose Rose Hu at Buttercat studios in Cuba Street’s Left Bank after seeing examples of her work online and following her social media for a while.  An owl design among Rose’s flash (ready to tattoo designs) drew Amy’s attention and she booked a consultation.  That was the beginning of an ongoing piece.

As an artist Rose’s work focuses on the cute and colourful. Her belief is that tattoos are an ultimate expression of agency and empowerment and aims to create a tattoo experience centred around these ideas.  You can see more of Rose’s work on Instagram.

Rose has been a qualified tattoo artist for a number of years and says everyone’s motivation to get a tattoo is different.  On finding a design, Amy emails it through to Rose who then draws it up, a layout is decided on consultation, photographed and then, over subsequent sessions the designs are etched onto Amy’s arm.

Of all Amy’s tattoos she is disappointed with one of her early ones as she feels the quality is not up to the standards she now expects.  She is considering her options regarding altering and reworking of this piece.

Kat from Sinatra’s tattoos specialises in laser removal of tattoos and is believed to be the only laser removal specialist operating from a local studio.

She has been doing laser removal for six years after first starting out doing cosmetic tattooing.  When a colleague who had previously done the laser removal work moved on he trained Kat to take over.

The four main reasons people consult Kat seeking tattoo removal are (in no particular order) :

Fashion changes
Visible placement
To remedy or remove poor workmanship
Partner changes

Not everyone wishes to have all traces of a tattoo removed.  Some use the laser process to alter an existing tattoo in order to have it reworked and care is needed to prepare the skin (or canvas) so it is suitable for tattooing again, a process Amy is considering.

The process can be a long, slow, and sometimes painful one with work usually done in 30 minute sessions.  Depending on the complexity anywhere between 3-4 (cover up) and ten or more (removal) sessions may be required.

Kat’s advice is to carefully consider the consequences of the design and placement.

Although name removals are regularly requested, Kat does a lot of facial work “… I see a lot of people who have left prison and are now wanting a fresh start.  I’m helping them remove [their tattoos] and change their lives.  It’s something I enjoy the most about my job”.

Even in the short time Kat has been doing removal work she has seen changes.  More younger people are requesting removal of fresh tattoos, something she finds sad.

“If I could do anything in the tattooing world it would be … to advise you to do your homework. Do your homework on the artist …. [and] think carefully about the meaning of the tattoo … and really think about placement”

[Part 2 next week]

Wellington City Libraries tattoo resources

Wearing ink : the art of tattoo in New Zealand / Johansson, Dean
“Through the work of 20 of New Zealand’s best tattoo artists and photography, this book presents some of the best examples of tattoo art in New Zealand, including traditional Maori and Polynesian designs.” (Catalogue)



The art of the New Zealand tattoo / Nicholas, Anne
“”New Zealanders are the most tattooed people in the world. The popularity of this art form has inevitably led to sophistication. With the strong Polynesian influences and the renaissance of Maori culture in New Zealand the tattoo has developed in a way unmatched anywhere else in the world.” “Photographer Anne Nicholas has spent many months travelling through New Zealand tracking down the leading tattoo artists and through them the most tattooed people in this most tattooed country. The result of her research is a magnificent collection of photographs of some of the finest tattoo art. A wide range of tattoo is presented from full face Moko and Samoan traditional to modern fantasy, floral and pictorial images.”–BOOK JACKET. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

New Zealand tattoo : in the home of the tattooist’s art / Hoult, Chris
“New Zealand Tattoo is a celebration of tattooing here in its three rich traditions: Ta Moko (Maori tattoo), Tatau (Pacific Islands tattoo) and Tattoo (European and Asian forms).” (Catalogue)

“From Edo-era Japan to contemporary biker culture, Tattoo combines aesthetic and anthropological approaches The practice of tattooing has an extensive primitive history in Asian and African countries, where it had social, religious and mystical roles. In 3000 BC, Ötzi (whose mummy was famously discovered in the 1990s) covered his body in 57 tattoos. In the West, meanwhile, tattoos have long been signifiers of infamy and criminality, before becoming a badge of identity for various urban tribes. Tattoo examines the artistic nature of the practice and celebrates its many cultural expressions from ancient times to the present. Among the topics explored are Native North American tattoos; American tattooing from the Revolution through the 1980s; Russian criminal tattooing; European sideshow culture; Japan’s tattoo boom during the Edo period; tattooing in the Marquesas Islands, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand; and newly emerging Latino, Chicano and Chinese tattoo cultures. Alongside accounts of older tattoo practices (presented through rare artifacts, paintings and archival photographs) and contemporary cultural trends in tattooing, the book pays tribute to the pioneers of the modern era, those responsible for its transformation into the mainstream. In addition, it includes two “workshop” sections in which contemporary tattoo artists demonstrate their craft. The artists featured are internationally renowned, and many have created a style that has evolved into its own school. The book closes with a series of photos assessing the most recent currents in modern tattooing.” (Catalogue)

Tattoo : bodies, art, and exchange in the Pacific and the West
“Although Robbie Williams’s Maori-inspired tattoo, acquired recently when he toured New Zealand, may seem unusual and ground-breaking, it is in fact a revival of a practice begun in the late eighteenth century, when Westerners first made contact with the native peoples of the Pacific. Tattoo is both a fascinating book about these early Oceanic-European exchanges, that also documents developments up to the present day, and the first to look at the history of tattooing in Oceania itself.” (Catalogue)

Juxtapoz : tattoo
“The second book in a series from the seminal West Coast art and culture magazine, Juxtapoz Tattoo focuses on a subject very dear to the inked hearts of its readers. Most of the featured artists came up at the beginning of Tattoo’s modern renaissance in the mid 1990’s, hungry for a new approach, but steeped nonetheless in the traditions of their craft. Whether these gifted tattooists are creating a modern twist on a classic archetype, or pushing the boundaries of the future primitives aesthetic, innovation is the common goal.” (Catalogue)

The tattoo encyclopedia : a guide to choosing your tattoo / Green, Terisa
“This one-of-a-kind illustrated reference to the origins and meanings of nearly 1,000 tattoo symbols from around the world, is at once an unmatched guide for choosing a personal image and a fascinating look at the tattoo as a work of art.” (Catalogue)


Art on skin : tattoos, style, and the human canvas / Hajeski, Nancy J.
“Using visuals, this book showcases the beauty of the art of tattooing and aids in the choosing of a style, with detailed descriptions of the many different styles of tattoos, including fine art, cartoon characters, wildlife and more.” (Catalogue)


Customizing the body : the art and culture of tattooing / Sanders, Clinton
“”After looking at the sizeable collection of tattoo memorabilia, I entered the tattoo studio adjacent to the museum and, like many first-time visitors to tattoo establishments, impulsively decided to join the ranks of the tattooed. After choosing a small scarab design from the wall ‘flash,’ I submitted to the unexpectedly painful tattoo experience.” So began sociologist Clinton Sanders’ seven-year involvement in the world of tattoo culture.Customizing the Bodydiscusses tattooing as a highly social act-as a manipulation of self-image, as a symbolically meaningful form of body alteration in contemporary society. A tattoo changes “how the person experiences his or her self and, in turn, how he or she will be defined and treated by others.” Tattoos continue to be a mark of alienation from the mainstream, but they also have an affiliative effect, identifying one as a member of a select group. Common wisdom associates tattoos with life-long regret, but Sanders introduces passionate collectors-those who cannot resist the desire to “get more ink”-and tattooees who are very content with modest coverage. “(In the future) when I’m sitting around and bored with my life and I wonder if I was ever young once and did exciting things, I can look at the tattoo and remember.” Sanders’ immersion in this hidden social world-his years of hanging out in tattoo parlors and participating in conventions of enthusiasts-enable him to draw compelling portraits of tattoo collectors and artists. His interviews and observations reveal the ways in which artists are drawn into the work, their concerns in building their careers, and the nature of commercial exchange in tattoo studios. He juxtaposes an institutional view of art with the work done by highly skilled tattoo artists who are dedicated to erasing the negative stereotypes of their production and earning recognition for this marginally accepted form of body decoration. Author note:Clinton R. Sandersis Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut.” (Catalogue)’s Tattoo-pedia : choose from over 1,000 of the hottest tattoo designs for your new ink
“Bigger. Badder. And more hardcore than ever. Following up the best-selling Tattoo Sourcebook, the editors of return with a brand-new compendium of over 1,000 lush tattoo designs. Featuring classic tattoo designs, such as tribal, Celtic, and dragon, plus new categories, such as ‘geek’, this is a one-stop shop for tat newbies and ink pros alike. Tattoo-pedia not only helps you select the right style of tattoo, it also instructs you on how to create your own custom tattoo – perfectly unique to you. Complete with the latest information on tattoo removal, choosing the right studio, realistic pain and procedure information, and the latest advances in tattoo technology like tattoo ‘spas,’ this book has everything you need to get inked! Featuring artists like Friday Jones (who inked Angelina Jolie and Janeane Garofalo), Lyle Tuttle (who inked Cher and Jane Fonda), Edward Lee, Shane Hart, Brian Burkey, Rand Johnson, and more!” (Catalogue)

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Employee literacy is your business

Employee literacy and numeracy skills impact many factors in the workplace. Recession, Covid-19, productivity, innovation, customer service, competition all mean your employees need the literacy and numeracy skills to help lift your business and deal with new challenges, work practices and technologies.

Confidence and skill with language and numbers underpins many other skills that are vital in life and in the workplace. Employees with difficulties can struggle to adapt to new systems, can stumble over paperwork and reporting including avoiding H&S compliance, can be harder to train, avoid new challenges and new opportunities, can become isolated or argumentative, often enjoy work less and generally have poorer job retention.

Supporting basic skills development in staff can lead to a much more adaptable, happy and proactive workforce. A person with the skills to participate in life more fully will bring more value to their job role.

One or a few staff may have quite low literacy or numeracy and may be hiding this. Helping these people may be life changing. But there may also be many staff who have less difficulties but are still considered as having low literacy and are eligible for funded training. Skills considered vital and funded include reading, writing, spelling, language and workplace communication, plus confidence with numbers – and they also extend into digital training, financial skills and self-care skills.

Government – in response to concerns from business about the low levels of literacy of new staff – funds literacy and numeracy education for working adults. You may not know that a problem exists for some staff – Literacy Aotearoa can make a difference.

Improved employee performance:
• Improved reading skills mean employees can follow instructions and procedures, leading to a safer workplace with fewer errors or returned products.
• Better speaking and listening skills mean improved communication, more useful feedback and better teamwork.
• Improved writing skills mean more accurate orders and more useful reporting.
• Improved numeracy skills mean accurate deliveries and better record keeping.
• More confidence, greater staff loyalty and improved retention.
• Greater employee safety and health.
• Better problem solving and fewer mistakes.
• Gaining new skills to support innovation and improve productivity.

Funded and Tailored Workplace Programmes.
Literacy Aotearoa is funded by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) to develop and deliver tailored literacy, language and numeracy programmes throughout Aotearoa.
We develop programmes that are customised to fit the real and actual needs of your workplace, your staff and their particular job roles and tasks.
Our mission is to develop, promote and deliver accessible, quality literacy services to ensure the peoples of Aotearoa are critically literate and able to realise their full social, cultural and economic potential. We recognise that low literacy is an impediment to many vulnerable people’s lives but we also know that literacy and numeracy are trainable skills.

We design and deliver targeted programmes that addresses general workplace issues and also individual staff needs. By delivering a programme aimed at lifting the skills of a staff group we can support those with the greatest literacy needs while also helping those with lesser issues. Because these programmes are directly related to your employees’ daily activities, they are more relevant, effective, easily remembered and readily put to use.

How we work with you
Literacy Aotearoa works closely with a business to develop and deliver quality programmes that will address business priorities and meet employees’ individual literacy, language and numeracy needs.

• meet with your key personnel for a site visit
• identify issues and conduct a needs analysis
• develop a customised group programme to suit the business need and staff
• develop individual programmes for each employee
• deliver tuition on-site or at our premises, generally in small groups, at times
that best suit you and your employees.

Taking up this funded support allows a business to provide educational support for staff – that will help them in their daily and work life and that will directly address some of the business issues that low literacy brings. Literacy Aotearoa programmes encourages staff to think about learning and improving their skills while providing the support they need to succeed.

This blog was contributed by Literacy Aotearoa.  Check their website to find more about their work and how they can support employers with literacy programmes.

The future of work: Why we’re setting ourselves up to fail by guest author Alicia McKay

“The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.”
William Gibson

When ATMs came on the scene, economists, politicians and the media panicked. With people no longer required to give the correct change and stamp deposit slips, we were experiencing the early stages of the robot revolution. Automation was to rob bank tellers of their jobs!

The reality, however, was far more nuanced. In fact, there are more bank tellers now than ever. Rather than widespread job loss, the automation of routine tasks has allowed tellers to shift their focus to higher value tasks like customer and relationship management, financial services and sales.

The world has changed
Examples like this are playing out across all industries and organisations. As the nature of work changes, new technology is introduced and social norms evolve, we need a different set of skills from our people and leaders. The pandemic abruptly accelerated this process, as we sprang into action learning to work remotely, manage business interruption and adapt to virtual environment.

The challenge for ambitious professionals and learning and development managers is working out what to focus to equip our leaders for all this change. What skills should we be teaching and learning? How do we make sure we aren’t being left behind?

The answer lies in reframing the question.

Asking better questions
For decades, we’ve followed a classic trajectory for leadership development: we teach people to be operational experts, then we give them some management training and, if they’re lucky, some personal development stuff to work out their Myers-Briggs or what bird they are.

But it’s not working anymore. The half-life of a skill has dropped to less than five years – which means that while your typing skills may have served you for life 20 years ago, that new coding skillset will be out of date in little more time than it takes to do a degree.

A 2019 World Economic Forum report revealed that less than half of chief HR officers were confident that their workforce strategy prepared them for the future. Deloitte’s Readiness Report, from the same year, revealed that only one in four business leaders were highly confident their workforce has the skill sets needed for the future – and this was all before we’d heard the word ‘coronavirus’.

Our development pathways are lagging behind, resulting in leadership teams full of experts in their field, who know how to balance a budget but are battling with the stuff people really need from them. Things like… how to respond well to change when things are uncertain and volatile. How to make good decisions in a complex environment. How to create smarter systems for complicated organisations, and how to maximise performance when people are overwhelmed. How to connect meaningfully and get people on board with change, when the way forward is unclear and their jobs feel under threat.

Strategy is the future of work
All of these skills are strategic skills.

Rather than trying to predict the technical and operational capabilities we need the most, we should be thinking about how to tackle our strategic capabilities, so that we’re OK even when our operational demands change.

The strategic capacity of our leaders is the most important determinant of personal and organisational success. When we prioritise quality thinking, big-picture perspective and insightful questions, we create a culture that bends and flexes to uncertainty, we build powerful organisations and equip people with what they need to succeed regardless of what’s happening around us.

The five untaught skills of a strategic leader
Strategic leadership is all about context. Strategic leaders ask questions like: “what’s going on?” “what does that mean?” “what should we be thinking differently about?” and “what are we not seeing?”.

Strategic leaders have mastered five critical skills.
1. Flexibility
To lead through complexity, we need to be OK with change. Flexible leaders know that leadership isn’t about getting things done in spite of their environment, but because of it. They have the awareness, agency and resilience to withstand pandemics, natural disasters and technological disruption, because they stay flexible to the world around them.

2. Decisions
Making good decisions is a learned skill. Decisive leaders know it’s not what they think, but how they think that matters, focusing on providing direction that drives action. They know that no cost-benefit analysis will save them, without the skills to capture diverse input and build in tolerance for change.

3. Systems
Strategic leaders think in systems, because they know that suc¬cessful organisations dismantle siloes and work out how things fit together. Systems leaders don’t settle for what’s in front of them, focusing instead on the messy stuff – context, relationships and dependencies. They stop finger-pointing and problem-solving, to pull levers and dis¬solve issues before they take hold.

4. Performance
True performance isn’t operational excellence or time management – it’s focus. Strategic leaders understand that their most valuable resource is their attention, optimising their environments and teams to invest in the factors that make a real difference. They know that once they eliminate distraction and insist on value, quality and accountability, there’s nowhere left to hide.

5. Influence
Influential leaders know that political savvy isn’t slimy; it’s non-negotiable for impact at scale. They know that their integrity, reputation and relationships are what makes the difference. As our environment continues to shift, it will be the leaders who can bring others with them whose ideas will take hold.

Lessons that count

In the knowledge economy, we’ve got access to all the technical information and instruction in the world at the touch of a button. If you need finance knowledge, watch a video and get your head around it in 15 minutes. If you need marketing expertise, Google for a freelancer and book the job in online.

But if you need to understand how best to adapt to your environment, how to make quality decisions that capture the big picture, how to drive focus and how to take people along on the journey… well, it’s time for strategic leadership. Let’s shift the dial.

Alicia McKay, author of ‘You Don’t Need An MBA: Leadership Lessons that Cut Through the Crap is a Wellington strategic leadership expert and founder of the NaMBA programme – a game-changing alternative to traditional leadership education. Alicia works with leaders and teams to spark strategic shifts in the way they think, work and lead. For more information about how Alicia can help your team visit

 Copies of Alicia’s books are available in different formats in Wellington City Libraries’ collection.  If you want to know more check out these :

You don’t need an MBA : leadership lessons that cut through the crap / McKay, Alicia
“The 21 lessons in You Don’t Need an MBA are practical rather than academic. They are meant for the fast-paced, new world of leadership and for leaders who are looking for practical solutions to everyday challenges. Alicia McKay’s writing is engaging and direct. Readers immediately have confidence that her approach works – no further post-grad studies required. Leadership expert, Alicia McKay believes that leaders are made, not born. But they are not made in the lecture halls and seminar rooms; you don’t need an MBA to be an effective leader. The ability of next-generation leaders to cope with constant change has never been more important or more poorly understood. The world keeps throwing curveballs, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It’s not that we don’t know we need to change. The gap isn’t knowing, it’s doing. The leaders of tomorrow need to change today. They need to get smart, be strategic about the next step and expand their range, to face a complex and uncertain future. They need paradox: clear values and open minds, high performance and meaningful space, dedication to detail and big picture perspective. They need to ask different questions, design different options and most of all, they need to do that with others on the same journey. You Don’t Need an MBA demystifies the skills leaders of the future need and epitomises the brave new world of leadership; united leadership that focuses on real outcomes, not quick-fixes. Alicia McKay draws on the latest global thinking on leadership and outlines a way forward, in plain English and with actionable steps.” (Catalogue)
Also available as an e-book

From strategy to action : a guide to getting shit done in the public sector / McKay, Alicia
“Lack of clarity on purpose, vision and priorities plague all levels of the public sector, with short-termism and reactive management crowding out opportunities to develop genuine strategic capability.Operating in this environment without pushback is no longer enough, for public managers tired of late, unfinished and failed initiatives. Nor is it enough for a jaded public, who rightfully expect value from their contribution to the social contract. From Strategy to Action provides a framework to shift the needle and make progress on the big picture. Using the tools and advice compiled in this book, public managers who are ready to seize agency and do things differently will be pleasantly surprised at the impact they can have on their teams, organisations and communities”–” (Catalogue)

Privacy is the foundation of trust

Privacy Week 2022 is 9 – 14 May 2022. This year, the theme is Privacy: The Foundation of Trust.
In the blog below, Jared Nicoll from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner outlines the steps small businesses should be taking to ensure information they collect is kept safe.

If you hold personal information, you must protect the privacy and mana of those who have entrusted it to you. As well as meeting your legal obligations, taking care of New Zealanders’ personal information helps ensure people maintain trust and confidence in your organisation.

The Privacy Act applies to any person, organisation, or business that collects and holds personal information about other people. Knowing how to safely manage people’s personal information is a cornerstone for building strong relationships and good business.

For Privacy Week 2022, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner has focused on events and activities to help agencies understand and improve their privacy practices, The theme for this year’s Privacy Week is Privacy: The Foundation of Trust. OPC has collaborated with others across the privacy community to put on a week of webinars and workshops across a broad range of privacy-related topics from 9 to 14 May.

Topics include a panel discussion on Tikanga Māori and Privacy: reflections from the High Court review of decisions about Māori Covid-19 vaccination data; a workshop on cyber-incident response best practice; plus specialist privacy expertise for those working in specific industries including healthcare and education. Visit for further details.

To support this year’s Privacy Week events, here is some more information to help those in businesses understand their obligations.

All businesses must have someone familiar with privacy obligations who fulfils the role of a privacy officer. In smaller organisations, the manager is normally responsible for all legal compliance, including privacy.

Only collect information you need

 Only collect personal information that’s necessary for a clear lawful purpose. Your purpose is what you’re trying to achieve by collecting the information. For example, it could be to deliver a product or service, or find the right person to employ.

Think carefully about why you are collecting it. Don’t collect people’s identifiers such as name, phone number, etc unless it’s necessary for your collection purpose. If the personal information you are asking for isn’t necessary to achieve something closely linked to your organisation’s activities, you shouldn’t collect it.

Always try to get it directly from the person when possible, and ensure they understand what you will do with it. If your lawful purpose changes or you want to use the personal information you have collected for an unrelated purpose, you are likely to need the agreement of the people you collected it from.

Store personal information securely

Make sure that you take reasonable steps to store and use personal information securely. You may need a locked cabinet for physical documents, or password protection for electronic files. Do you use portable storage devices such as USBs? Are they encrypted?

Make sure only appropriate people can access the information. Depending on the sensitivity of the information, it may be necessary to set up systems that limit or keep track of who accesses it.

People have the right to access the personal information you hold about them, and to correct anything when necessary.

Don’t keep personal information for longer than you need

Businesses shouldn’t keep information for longer than they need it. Holding more information means a greater risk of a privacy breach. However, retaining key information can be helpful, for example if a customer returns to your service. Remember, ensure people understand what you will do with their information from the start.

Once it is no longer required, dispose of personal information securely so that no-one can retrieve it. For example:

  • remove names, addresses and birthdates from documents before you dispose of them
  • use shredders and secure destruction services
  • wipe hard drives from machines – including photocopiers – before you sell or decommission them
  • delete back-up files as well as originals.

Human error and the need for good email hygiene

More than 60 per cent of privacy breaches last year were due to ‘human error’.  Businesses are responsible for ensuring their systems are fit for purpose and that the personal information they hold is protected by reasonable security safeguards.

Poor email hygiene is a common cause of privacy breaches.

One example we were made aware of involved an email containing detailed health information about a group of patients, which was intended to be sent internally to the staff of a medical provider. A typing error in the ‘TO’ field resulted in a member of the public receiving these patients’ medical records. Having their sensitive personal information exposed in this way caused considerable emotional harm to a number of these patients.

Respect the people whose information you’re sending by double-checking who you’re sending it to. Go a step further and use a delayed send option on your email to avoid any hasty mistakes. Always use the BCC field when emailing groups of recipients.  If you are emailing sensitive material, encrypt the material. If you do this, the password (phrase or code) should be sent by some method other than email so that the wrong person doesn’t receive both.

When things go wrong

If your business has a privacy breach that is likely to cause anyone serious harm, you are legally required to notify the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and any affected persons as soon as you are practicably able to.

Our expectation is that a breach notification should be made to our Office no later than 72 hours after agencies are aware of a notifiable privacy breach.

All privacy breaches should be appropriately noted so changes can be made to help ensure they don’t happen again.

Further information

 Please visit for further information about your rights and responsibilities under the Privacy Act.

Business magazines on Libby

Libby formats

Digital platform Libby offers library users over 2000 eMagazine titles for reading — across all genres.
This includes 106 titles in a range of languages in the Business and Finance section plus 89 titles in News and Politics.

Within these sections you can find magazines such as :
Fast Company,
NZ Property Investor,
NZ Marketing,
NZ Business and management
(Business and Finance)
NZ Listener,
Guardian weekly,
New Yorker (News and Politics)

The menu at the bottom of screen helps you locate and navigate around the content.

Using the Refine option at the top right corner you can select language, subject and availability.
Once you’ve made a selection to access it, click on your selected title and then Borrow and at the prompts enter your library card details.  Open your selected magazine and start reading!

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.


Business in New Zealand’s colonial history

Early Business Books

New Zealand has a long history of entrepreneurial spirit.

Many of these stories are only just beginning to be capture in print.

If you are interested in learning more about business enterprises in colonial New Zealand then check out the story of Dudley Sinclair who established a number of businesses including Wellington’s first brickworks.  There’s also the story of Wellington man, Sir Harold Beauchamp, who played a leading role in commerce and finance.  Further south, in Otago, Choie Sew Hoy was a respected and visionary businessman. Women too ran a variety of business enterprises, with many becoming notably successful.

Whichever one you choose to read, you will be fascinated and entertained by the resilience, ingenuity and determination all applied to their businesses.

A promising start : Dudley Sinclair and New Zealand’s first settlers / Holmes, Hazel
“Dudley arrived as a member of the New Zealand Company on one of the first five ships bringing settlers to New Zealand. While other New Zealand Company men became immortalised in New Zealand history, Sinclair has been overlooked by historians. Holmes skilfully interweaves his story with the challenges endured by settlers during the early years of colonisation. As an entrepreneur, Dudley started the first brickmaking business in Wellington, a newspaper and steam mill in Auckland, was a shipowner and merchant, with copper mines on Waiheke and Kawau Islands, and was the first New Zealander to sail to China and Manila. Shortly before his death he had been challenged to a duel and horsewhipped. Someone was out to get him, he told the High Sheriff of Auckland. The next morning he was found dead with his throat cut. It was assumed he had committed suicide, but this could be the oldest cold case in New Zealand history”–Page 4 of cover.” (Catalogue)

From the colonies to Katherine Mansfield / Boon, Kevin
“In this comprehensive and probing story of the life of Sir Harold Beauchamp, Kevin Boon traces the path of a remarkable self-made man who rose from humble beginnings to become a leading figure in the development of banking, commerce and the arts in New Zealand. From his origins as an immigrant to an undeveloped colony Beauchamp’s life runs parallel to that of an emerging nation during a defining period in New Zealand’s history. His reputation as energetic, reliable and trustworthy is affirmed by an astonishing volume and variety of commercial and administrative interests and responsibilities over a long career marked by immense character and resourcefulness. Father to the hugely successful author Katherine Mansfield, his influence on her writing and vital role in her widespread literary success is significant and lasting, as is his legacy as one of the most prominent nation-builders of his time.” (Catalogue)

Merchant, miner, Mandarin : the life and times of the remarkable Choie Sew Hoy / Agnew, Jenny
“In 1869, a businessman from China’s Guangdong Province first set foot on New Zealand soil at Port Chalmers. It was the beginning of an illustrious career that would change the shape of commerce and industry in Otago and Southland. ‘Merchant, Miner, Mandarin’ depicts the fascinating life of Choie Sew Hoy – from his early days in China before emigrating to Australia and then New Zealand, to his death in 1901 as one of Dunedin’s most prominent entrepreneurs. The store Choie Sew Hoy established in Dunedin’s Stafford Street was a huge success, while his revolutionary gold-dredging technology improved the fortunes of the gold-mining industry in Otago and Southland. He backed dredging, quartz crushing and hydraulic sluicing ventures in the goldfields of Ophir, Macetown, Skippers, Nokomai and the Shotover. Sharp as a razor, Sew Hoy was a visionary, able to spot opportunities no one else could, whether sending vast amounts of unwanted scrap metal from New Zealand back to China, or joining famous Taranaki businessman Chew Chong’s fungus export trade. Sew Hoy was also a local character, always elegantly dressed and with legendary success in horse racing. His self-assurance and charm gained him entry to the Chamber of Commerce, the Jockey Club, the Masons and even the Caledonian Society. A benefactor to many social causes, he supported hospitals and benevolent associations to help his fellow Chinese immigrants. When the success of the Chinese in New Zealand aroused hostility, he fought the prevalent racism and unfair government legislation of the day. A man of two worlds, Choie Sew Hoy was a success in both”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)

Women mean business : colonial businesswomen in New Zealand / Bishop, Catherine
“From Kaitaia in Northland to Oban on Stewart Island, New Zealand’s nineteenth-century towns were full of entrepreneurial women. Contrary to what we might expect, colonial women were not only wives and mothers or domestic servants. A surprising number ran their own businesses, supporting themselves and their families, sometimes in productive partnership with husbands, but in other cases compensating for a spouse’s incompetence, intemperance, absence – or all three. The pages of this book overflow with the stories of hard-working milliners and dressmakers, teachers, boarding-house keepers and laundresses, colourful publicans, brothelkeepers and travelling performers, along with the odd taxidermist, bootmaker and butcher – and Australasia’s first woman chemist. Then, as now, there was no ‘typical’ businesswoman. They were middle and working class; young and old; Māori and Pākeha ; single, married, widowed and sometimes bigamists. Their businesses could be wild successes or dismal failures, lasting just a few months or a lifetime. In this fascinating and entertaining book, award-winning historian Dr Catherine Bishop showcases many of the individual businesswomen whose efforts, collectively, contributed so much to the making of urban life in New Zealand.” (Catalogue)  Also available as an ebook

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.