Matthew Pickering

Matt's story of overcoming adversity not once but four times makes compelling listening

Matthew has had more than his share of challenges. His recipe for success is not complex – a forward focused positive attitude and a lot of determination.

Matthew fractured his neck while playing rugby for Lincoln University. After seven weeks in hospital and 12 weeks propped up with plaster and neck braces, his rugby career was over. Yet, while contact sports were out of the question, Matthew turned to surf lifesaving determined not to be defeated by his injury. “You’ve got to look on the positive side and get on with life”

Having grown up in the Waikato, Matthew attended Lincoln University where he graduated with an agricultural degree. This launched him into a career as a Rural Manager with the Rural Bank in Gisborne and then Taranaki. Later years saw him as Branch Manager in Morrinsville and for 9 years as the Northern Regional Manager responsible for the National Bank’s rural business from Taranaki to Kaitaia. His leadership was influential in growing the business to a dominant 40% market share.

Despite further life traumas, Matthew maintains a full involvement in growing and developing others through sports and coaching. He is also sought after for his strategic and business planning facilitation that has assisted so many rural and community organisations. Blend this with saving lives on New Zealand beaches, running his own business, a multitude of community work, clear goals and disciplined action and you arrive at that elusive space of Work:Life Balance.

Matthew has always been a keen sportsman, excelling at local and national levels in rugby, swimming, triathlons, out-rigger paddling, ocean swimming, coaching water polo and surf lifesaving. His sustained passion for and commitment to surf lifesaving saw him receive the 1994 NZ Surf Lifeguard of the Year Award. He continues to be involved as President and Life Member of the Papamoa Surf Lifesaving Club.

At the 2007 EEO Trust Work & Life Awards, Matthew was the recipient of a Walk the Talk Award for modelling and demonstrating a commitment to Work:Life Balance for himself and his 110 staff.

In-depth community and sporting involvements, corporate excellence, business ownership and his four life-threatening incidents have broadened Matthew’s understanding around values, humility, resilience, self-awareness and excellence. Since 2008 he has applied his focus to New Zealand’s rural families and their communities by leading a New Zealand wide team that provides succession planning facilitation, leadership development and the skills in creating cohesive team cultures.

Matthew’s leadership and modelling are founded on core life principles, the same foundation that supports repeatable team cultures. He gets cut-through change so others can better lead. 


• Inspiration
• Team work
• Time Management
• Personal Development Plan
• Self Leadership
• Leading through Change
• Coaching and mentoring
• Implementing strategy: making it happen
• Work/Life Balance


"Spoke very honestly and from the heart.  Connected with our themes and the brief perfectly".  Karen Kelly, Endeavour Consumer Health