16 September 2022

Tēnā koutou katoa,  

It is my absolute pleasure to be able to announce the winners for the fourth annual Te Hāpai Hapori | Spirit of Service Awards.  

The Awards recognise outstanding public servants from across Aotearoa New Zealand, and it was fantastic to come together last night to recognise the work of the Public Service.  

This year’s Te Tohu a te Pirimia | The Prime Minister’s Award, was awarded for the Care in the Community welfare joint agency response to COVID-19. This is an outstanding example of agencies working together as one team.  

Congratulations to the many agencies involved: Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Ministry of Health, Department of Internal Affairs, Ministry for Pacific PeoplesMinistry of EducationTe Arawhiti, Ministry of Business, Innovation & EmploymentMinistry for Ethnic Communities, Te Puni Kōkiri and Kāinga Ora.  

All of them worked together to ensure people were supported when isolating from COVID-19 at home. This exercise required an absolute and total understanding of the needs of these individuals, their families and their communities. It required a commitment to partnership with communities and local providers who needed a range of support during a really challenging period.  

This is the spirit of service in action.  

Each year the judging panel says that it is an absolute privilege to see the impact that public servants have on communities in our country.  

This year we also recognised and celebrated Hei Tūtohu i te Hiranga o te Mahi Kaupapa Here | Special Commendation for Policy Excellence. 

This was awarded to the Strategy and Policy COVID-19 Group at Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. At the heart of the Government’s COVID-19 response was sound policy advice. This outstanding work had an impact on all New Zealanders.  

It was fantastic to see the many inspiring Young Leaders who were entered for the Awards this year. Congratulations to Mary Soonaoso Tiumalu of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples who is our Young Leader of the Year. Mary is committed to ensuring that Pacific languages thrive in Aotearoa New Zealand. Mary is a dedicated and inspiring leader, who incorporates her values of tautua (service) into everything she does.  

I am also pleased to announce that Peter Lorimer is the Lifetime Achievement Award winner this year. Peter is a career public servant who truly embodies the spirit of service. Peter’s knowledge and leadership has been pivotal in the development of significant fiscal reform over the past three decades.  

Peter is a humble and respected leader. His work with The Treasury and his work as a strong advocate for financial stewardship has supported New Zealanders, most recently through the Canterbury Earthquakes and COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Spirit of Service Awards recognise exemplary mahi that shows how the Public Service makes a positive impact for Aotearoa New Zealand.  

Ka mau te wehi! Congratulations to all the winners and the finalists for this year’s Awards.

You can find more information and a full list of the awards on our website.

Written by Peter Hughes