Welcome to Kaizen Institute New Zealand

Kaizen Institute car

We don't simply sell "Lean tools" training. We offer comprehensive consulting and coaching to support our clients to transform themselves to achieve a true and lasting KAIZEN Culture.

Our Auckland-based office was established in 1988 when KAIZEN Institute founder Masaaki Imai visited New Zealand with Toyota's Taiichi Ohno. Today we are part of a global team of 400+ professionals and more than 30 offices operating in over 40 countries.

New to the lean journey, excited by the possibilities but unsure where to start?

Already on your lean journey, at a performance plateau, facing new obstacles, or not sustaining your improvement gains?

Advanced on your lean journey?

Our decades of lean implementation experience equips us to challenge and support you to transform your organisation and your team to achieve daily KAIZEN - better every day, everywhere, by everyone.


Preparing busy executives to lead their lean transformation

When discussing the reasons for the high failure rate of Lean implementations, the lack of top management support and commitment is usually at the top of the list. In most cases senior managers feel they cannot free up time to attend lengthy training courses. We're offering the Leading Lean course to help bridge that gap. This practical course is specifically designed for the busy executive or manager who is considering how to best initiate and prepare for Lean transformation. It will also be a great help to senior managers who have already made a start. 

The course will zoom in on what is required to prepare for, launch and lead a successful Lean transformation. Key topics will include:

  • Breaking down the often confusing Lean lanscape to better understand the different approaches and jargon
  • Pitfalls to know about and how to avoid it
  • What does better look like? Relevant KPI's and how, when and where to measure progress and success?
  • 12 Lean Leadership paradigms
  • The power of effective gemba walking
  • Leader standard work.

 Register soon to make sure you are prepared to lead a successful Lean transformation.


25-31 October (TPS and KAIZEN Culture) and 6-12 December (Healthcare) - Nagoya, Tokyo

Join participants from around the world on a remarkable tour to experience world-class Japanese companies up close. Various site visits to Toyota suppliers and other carefully chosen sites will enhance your learning on TPS and KAIZEN™ culture. Benefit from lectures including the key elements of TPS and how it can be most effectively applied to your organizations, how to transform your organization successfully as well as discussions and learning with Mike Wroblewski, KAIZEN™ Expert and Shingo prize winning Author.

The KAIZEN™ Insight Healthcare Tour will include visits to hospitals, manufacturing, as well as service company visits. There will be various lectures, training sessions and interactive discussions with healthcare specialist and the tour will be supported by the internationally-recognised leader in Lean Healthcare, Mark Graban.

For further information please contact Danie Vermeulen.


We are glad to release the 2016 training schedule for our public Kaizen College courses.

The Kaizen Practitioner certification programme has been expanded and improved over the last two years to meet the needs of our clients from varied organisational types. The subsequent feedback has been extremely positive. These practical classes are mainly conducted at our training facility in the Botany Town Centre in Auckland that also acts as an example of how Lean is applied in a business. However, these courses have been run in other cities throughout New Zealand in the past.

We are excited to announce a new Kaizen Leader certification program that follows after the completion of KAIZEN Practitioner certification. This hands-on training promotes rapid improvement in the way teams and departments are being managed and supervised through better habits. Participants will learn how to create, sustain and improve Kaizen behavioural patterns to ultimately reach their organisational objectives. Consequently, attendees will experience both the technical, as well as the soft skills required to be a Kaizen leader.

This course will be open to current Kaizen Practitioners who have already been assessed by the Kaizen Institute New Zealand team. Please contact Danie for more information or to determine if you qualify to attend this course.

We've recently delivered our 3-day KAIZEN Lean Flow Essentials course that ties together all the other KAIZEN Practitioner training content in a practical workshop format. One of the ultimate objectives of Lean is to achieve continuous and efficient flow of material, information, people and cash, etc. 

We've had a great group from different industries who attended from all over New Zealand to to gain a better understanding of how this fundamental aspect of the Toyota Production System can assist in manufacturing as well as in service organisations. The course included a couple of hands-on simulations to allow participants to learn by doing and we've seen several of the usual "aha-moments".

Some of the feedback included:

"The delivery of this workshop was appropriately pitched and a good balance of theory and practical examples, problem solving with facilitation as required. I have done a similar workshop in the past but the learnings from this one were far superior."
"A very, very good course - all the Kaizen courses have been very valuable learning experiences."
"Very practical and insightful."

For many of the participants this was the final classroom training to fulfill the criteria of our globally sought-after Kaizen Practitioner certification. The final step is an assessment of the application of the Kaizen approach in their own workplace. The ultimate objective is for everyone to continue to sustain their efforts so that they can be registered in our Practicing KAIZEN Practitioner register. We wish them the very best with their continuous improvement efforts. 



Congratulations to the PACCAR Australia Team Leader Group Leader Class of 2015 members who have successfully completed their 90 day practical implementation. Mike Wroblewski, Peet and Danie delivered the intensive two week practical leadership training on-site at the Melbourne Kenworth truck factory earlier this year. Danie followed up with monthly on-the-job coaching.

The group included leaders from Production, Quality, Materials Handling, Procurement, Finance, IT, HR, Dealerships, as well as a couple of suppliers.

Another successful candidate completes her Kaizen Practitioner certification

Andrea Rowe, a lead clinical supervisor at Supervision Works NZ in the Waikato region, was certified as a Kaizen Practitioner during July 2015. Her personal values and work ethic aligns strongly with the Kaizen philosophy.

She contributed greatly during our public training courses. She is continuously applying the Kaizen approach to her workplace and even her personal life. This is her experience of our training:

"Kaizen gave me a framework for continuous improvement that is logical, comprehensive and complete. At first I was confronted with how inefficient and wasteful everyday practices I had carried out forever were in the workplace and alternatively how effective kaizen principles and practices could transform environments. As the training progressed, I embraced Kaizen, and it embraced me. I see it as a deeply respectful and proven culture that has influenced many successful organizations worldwide. Kaizen resonates with my core values in respecting and supporting people to do the best in whatever their work is, in the best way possible."

My thanks to Peet and Danie who made the learning experience awesome."

As a person who embraced the Kaizen philosophy and methodology, we wish Andrea all the best with her endeavours to make the workplace better.



By Danie Vermeulen

Late July the KAIZEN Institute family gathered at our Germany office in Bad Homburg, near Frankfurt for our annual conference and awards event. This year we are also celebrating our 30th anniversary.

It was great to reconnect with all our friends and colleagues from around the globe and to meet a few new ones. It is also an opportunity to identify our own KAIZEN Institute improvement opportunities and to callibrate our approach and services globally.

We've learned about exciting developments in our KAIZEN Institute methodology and products and I will share more about these later. 

I was especially proud of KAIZEN Institute NZ's two awards. We've received one award for our high level of consultant utilisation and the other for our website and social media presence. 

The Kaizen approach is just as applicable to healthcare as it is to a production line

Our latest Kaizen Practitioners are from Te Korowai Hauora O Hauraki based in the historical town of Thames, the gateway to the unspoilt Coromandel peninsula.

Gwendol Welburn (General Manager) and Lynnie Tipene (Manager of Home-based services) received their certificates during a celebration event in their beautiful hometown.

Some major improvements in the daily running of their teams have been made during the last year. Hard work and discpline has been involved to make this a better workplace. It is great to hear that they are keen to to sustain these improvement and to take it to a higher level.

This is what Gwendol said about going through the Kaizen Practitioner training:

"Myself and two colleagues were very fortunate to recently attend comprehensive Kaizen training, to the stage that we have been able to become practitioners.

We had wondered if this was the right training for us, as we thought Kaizen only worked best in manufacturing type industries – unlike ours in health and service. We soon realised how wrong these assumptions were, and Kaizen was exactly the skills and tools we needed to attain to make real changes in our environment. We all found the training incredibly valuable, and have no doubt that the ‘savings’ we will make by implementing our learnings will cover the course costs in no time.

Peet was a fabulous teacher – incredibly knowledgeable, patient and practical – and the training venue is a working model of Kaizen so we could all see it in practice – not just in a text book!  We are very excited to now move into the next phase, which is having the Kaizen Institute support us back in our own setting.”

The team at KINZ wish them both (as well as the other members within their teams) the best with their continuous improvements at Te Korowai Hauora O Hauraki. It has been an absolute pleasure to deal with them and we look forward to the journey ahead.


Lean certification to achieve real culture change

Hayden RossHayden Ross from Advanced Aerospace Limited was issued with our sought-after Kaizen Practitioner certificate on 18 May 2015 after Danie Vermeulen and Peet Wiid visited his gemba. Hayden is the Quality Manager at the aforesaid company in Auckland and tasked with implementing Lean in their business.

He has been steadily working with the various teams during the last three years on improving the company. He has done an exceptional job due to his unwavering commitment and "can-do" attitude, showing Lean leadership during this time. We saw some very good examples of 5S, standardisation and visual mangement, achieved through disciplined hard work.

Hayden is a true student of Kaizen and is continuously upskilling himself; not only by attending our public Kaizen Lean courses, but also through continuously reading about Lean in his spare time. Kaizen Institute New Zealand is continuously developing people like Hayden to create an improvement culture within their workplace.

We wish Hayden a successful Kaizen journey and may his growing Lean expertise be an inspiration to others at Advanced Aerospace Limited. We look forward to our next visit.

Danie, Mike, Peet

Peet and I recently led a very interesting Lean Leadership Development training and coaching program in Melbourne with Mike Wroblewski from Kaizen Institute USA.

We’re delivering this proven format for a number of our KAIZEN Institute global clients. The intensive practical 2-week program is designed for Managers and Team Leaders to make the transition from Traditional Leadership to Lean Leadership.

Some of the traditional leadership paradigms that shifted for the participants included understanding that standards DO NOT limit creativity but that standards enable contiuous improvement (KAIZEN). Participants also shifted their behaviour to no longer hiding problems, to making problems visible and recognising it as opportunities to improve.

The course challenged ten other traditional leadership paradigms and it was great to see the many "lightbulb-moments".


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KAIZEN Institute New Zealand

Level 1, Fashion Pavilion, Botany Town Centre
Corner of Te Irirangi and Ti Rakau Drives
PO Box 64066,
Botany, Auckland, 2163
Tel +64 (0)9 274 0829

CEO - Danie Vermeulen

Mobile: 0274 366 664

email: dvermeulen@kaizen.com

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