Ko tā kounga ko angitū | Quality equals success

It’s time to share your achievements. We want to hear your story.

Timeline for 2021

  • 29 March - entries open
  • 31 May - entries close
  • Mid-June - shortlisting completed
  • Late July early August - finalists present to a judging panel
  • 16 September - Winners are announced at the 2021 Spirit of Service Awards event at Te Papa, Wellington.

Who can enter Te Hāpai Hāpori | Spirit of Service Awards?

Entries are invited from:

  • Public Service departments, departmental agencies and non-public service departments
  • Crown entities, excluding Crown entity subsidiaries, and school boards of trustees
  • Public Finance Act Schedule 4 organisations
  • Offices of Parliament
  • State-owned enterprises, excluding mixed ownership model companies
  • Tertiary education institutions in the state sector (universities, polytechnics, wānanga)
  • Local government organisations, excluding council-controlled organisations.

How to enter

Te Hāpai Hāpori l Spirit of Service Awards are free to enter.

As part of your entry, you will need to tell us what you set out to achieve, what you did, and what difference your work is making for New Zealanders.

Just complete the entry form, and submit your entry by 12 noon, Monday 31 May by email. We will confirm receipt of your entry.

If you have any questions, please email us at awards@publicservice.govt.nz.

Award categories

There are five judged awards:

  • Te Tohu mō ngā Hua E Pai Ake Ana | Better Outcomes Award
  • Te Tohu mō te Ratonga Whakahirahira | Service Excellence Award
  • Te Tohu mō te Tūhonotanga a Ngāi Māori me te Karauna | Māori Crown RelationshipsAward
  • Te Tohu mō te Kaiārahi Mahi Whakahaere | Leadership in Governance Award
  • Te Tohu mō te Kaiārahi Rangatahi o te Tau | Young Leader of the Year

Entries for the Better Outcomes, Service Excellence and Māori Crown Relationships Awards will be accepted from single agencies or collaborative initiatives, which may include partners outside the public sector. Entries for the Leadership in Governance Award will be accepted from public sector boards or cross agency governance groups. These award categories are not for individuals.

The Young Leader of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Awards recognise individuals.

You may enter more than one award category, but not for the same initiative. Finalists in all award categories will be asked to present to a panel of judges. If possible, judging will take place at Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission, Wellington. Presentations will be videoed and excerpts may be shown at the awards event. Finalists will be announced on the awards webpages and recognised in social media posts.

Te Tohu mō te Kaiārahi Rangatahi o te Tau | Young Leader of the Year Award


To be considered for Te Tohu mō te Kaiārahi Rangatahi o te Tau | Young Leader of the Year Award nominees must:

  • be aged 35 years or under as at 31 December 2021
  • agree to be nominated
  • be willing to present to a judging panel if selected as a finalist
  • consent to the personal information in this entry form being provided to Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission and
    the external judging panel
  • agree to the use of this information for publicity purposes
  • consent to their nominating employer undertaking an integrity check, including of their current HR file and, if appropriate, the findings of that check being shared with Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission and the external judging panel
  • consent to Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission undertaking additional checks as required.

The purpose of the integrity check is to confirm there is nothing that the employer is aware of that could bring the Public Service into disrepute should the nomination be successful.

Presentations to the judges will be videoed and excerpts may be shown at the awards event. Finalists will be announced on the awards webpages and recognised in social media posts prior to the awards event.

Self-nominations are not accepted for this award.

Te Tohu Oranga Angitū | Lifetime Achievement Award

This special award honours an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to New Zealand or their community and who exemplifies a spirit of service.

The recipient is selected by the Public Service Commissioner.

We welcome recommendations for the Commissioner’s consideration. Please contact us with your suggestions at awards@publicservice.govt.nz

Te Tohu a te Pirimia | Prime Minister’s Award

This award will be selected from the winners of the Better Outcomes, Service Excellence, Māori Crown Relationships and the Leadership in Governance Awards.

Judging process

Judging will take place in two stages.

At the first stage, a subcommittee of the judges will evaluate each entry and choose a small number of finalists for each award category.

When shortlisting is completed, we will advise all applicants whether they have been chosen as a finalist.

Finalists will be given full details and advice on how to prepare in advance of the judging days in late July/early August.

Finalists must be available to present to a judging panel.

Judges’ decisions will be final. All winners will be announced at an evening event at the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, on 16 September.

Privacy Statement

We collect information about your work and achievements to support the judging panel to evaluate your entry. Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission may collect personal information about the motivation to service and integrity of individuals involved in your initiative, board or governance group.

Besides our staff, we share this information with the external judging panel to support them to evaluate entries and to ensure the integrity of applicants.

You have the right to ask for a copy of any personal information we hold about you, and to ask for it to be corrected if you think it is wrong. If you would like to ask for a copy of your information, or to have it corrected, please contact us at awards@publicservice.govt.nz.

Information collected in relation to this entry will be held securely and used for the purposes for which it has been collected.

This information will be managed in line with Te Kawa Mataaho’s Disposal Schedule.

Sharing your great work

Your entry form will be provided to shortlisting judges and the judging panel for the relevant award category and used by them to consider your entry.

Finalists will be announced on the awards webpages and recognised in social media posts prior to the awards event. If you are selected as a finalist, your entry form will be used to prepare a brief description of your work and achievements. We will work with finalists to arrange photographs and ensure the information we publish is accurate.

Presentations to the judging panels will be videoed so that the winners’ stories can be shared during and after the awards event.

If you are selected as a finalist, we will require the consent of everyone involved in your presentation to agree to the presentation being videoed and shared during the awards event, on social media, with Public Service agencies and potentially shared at other Public Service events.

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