26 February 2024

The Ria McBride Public Service Award is sponsored by Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission and is administered by the Leadership Development Centre (LDC). 

The recipient of the 2024 Ria McBride Award will receive funding up to $15,000 for study purposes to use over a five-year period. 

Key dates 

Applications open 2 April 2024 and close on 31 May 2024. Late applications or supporting documents will not be accepted. The recipient of the 2024 Award will be advised in June 2024. 

About the award 

The aim of the award is to help women currently working in the New Zealand Public Service to progress their career aspirations through tertiary academic study. The spirit of the award is to support women who demonstrate personal fortitude and leadership potential, and who generally haven’t had the opportunity or means to pursue or complete tertiary study. This lack of formal qualifications may have prevented such applicants from progressing their leadership contribution to the Public Service. 

Award funding 

The funds are be used to pursue study which supports the recipient’s potential to progress professionally and make a leadership contribution within the Public Service. The recipient is expected to pursue study leading to a recognized and reputable qualification, as appropriate to their circumstances. 

The recipient may use the award for either a brief period of intensive study, or over an extended period provided she remains employed by a core NZ Government department or departmental agency (as listed on our website 

The funds may be used for study fees and to cover study-related expenses such as: 

  • transport costs
  • costs associated with disabilities
  • childcare
  • experiential

Who can apply?

The Ria McBride Award is open to women who are current employees of a core New Zealand Government department or departmental agency (as listed on the Te Kawa Mataaho website)

An applicant must be a woman, a citizen of Aotearoa New Zealand and be currently living in New Zealand.

  • Māori and Pacific women and women with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
  • Women pursuing a second chance at completing formal education are encouraged to apply.

Previous winners of a Ria McBride Award are not eligible to apply.

How to apply

Interested applicants who meet all of the eligibility criteria for the award should download and complete an application form, which will be available on the LDC website from 2 April 2024 to 31 May 2024.

The application form and more information is available on the Leadership Development Centre website 

Ria McBride Public Service Award (Leadership Development Centre  

About Ria McBride

The Ria McBride Public Service Award honours the first woman appointed Chief Clerk of the Public Service Commission. Ria McBride worked for the Public Service Commission from 1946 to 1960 overcoming prejudice and obstacles as a woman in a then male domain. She was the first non-Māori to be appointed to the Māori Welfare Division of the Māori Affairs Department, serving as Administration Officer from 1960 to 1967, when she became head of the Housing Division.

Upon her ‘retirement’ in 1970, Ria McBride pursued equal employment opportunities for women, as a founder member of the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women. In this role she helped set up the Accident Compensation Commission. From 1978 to 1980 she was one of the first full-time Human Rights Commissioners.