Since 2019, Te Hāpai Hapori | the Spirit of Service Awards has been recognising public servants and initiatives that exemplify the spirit of service and demonstrate an outstanding commitment to New Zealand.

The Awards winners were announced at the Spirit of Service Awards event at Te Papa Tongarewa | Museum of New Zealand, Wellington, on 15 September 2022.

Te Tohu mō te Ratonga WhakahirahiraService Excellence Award

Joint winners

Two finalists have been chosen as joint winners of the Service Excellence Award. They have both demonstrated outstanding dedication and commitment to the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.

National Bowel Screening Programme 

  • Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health - National Screening Unit

The National Bowel Screening Programme is a service that continually adapts technology and outreach to ensure equitable health outcomes for all communities.

Aotearoa New Zealand has one of the highest bowel cancer rates in the world. The National Screening Unit worked tirelessly to establish this programme in 2017 to address this.

The screening programme is now accessible to over 835,000 New Zealanders. The team has created at home test kits, a nationwide register, and have ensured all health regions in Aotearoa New Zealand are well equipped to provide quality care to those impacted by Bowel Cancer.

This innovative programme saves lives and has a strong focus on increasing accessibility, early prevention, and detection.

Care in the Community Welfare Response 

  • Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development 
  • Hīkina Whakatutuki | Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment 
  • Kāinga Ora | Homes and Communities  
  • Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health 
  • Te Arawhiti | The Office for Māori Crown Relations 
  • Te Manatū mō ngā Iwi ō te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa | Ministry for Pacific Peoples 
  • Te Puni Kōkiri | Ministry of Māori Development 
  • Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education 
  • Te Tari Mātāwaka | Ministry for Ethnic Communities 
  • Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs 
  • Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga | Ministry of Housing and Urban Development 

The Care in the Community Welfare joint agency response (CiC) was a unified response across the Public Service to keep communities safe while isolating from COVID-19. CiC supported New Zealanders with food, essential welfare, and health support.

Partnerships with suppliers and providers were established, and processes were set up to ensure they reflected the needs of the communities they served. This helped to identify potential barriers to isolating.

This collaboration demonstrated a locally led, nationally supported model that serves as an exemplar for future service delivery approaches.

Finalists

  • Care in the Community Welfare Response

Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development

A unified and agile response to support the health and welfare of individuals and whānau self-isolating due to COVID-19.

  • Living Smokefree Service for equitable outcomes for Māori and Pacific populations within Counties Manukau

Counties Manukau DHB

Achieving equitable smokefree outcomes for Māori and Pacific peoples by providing holistic, client, and whānau-led approaches.

  • National Bowel Screening Programme

Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health - National Screening Unit

A new cancer screening programme that utilises innovative information technology, ensuring early detection and prevention of bowel cancer in Aotearoa New Zealand. Home testing kits have increased accessibility and improved service delivery and health services across all health regions in Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • New Zealand Traveller Declaration

Te Mana Ārai o Aotearoa | NZ Customs Service, Hīkina Whakatutuki | Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health

An agile, cross-agency response to COVID-19 border safety, creating a digital platform to individually assess COVID-19 health and risk level of those entering Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • The Translation Service

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs and Te Tari o te Pirimia me te Komiti Matua | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Improving translation services to ensure linguistically diverse communities receive reliable and high-quality communications, especially in times such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Judging panel

  • Lil Anderson (co-chair), Tumu Whakarae, Te Arawhiti - Office for Māori Crown Relations
  • Hannah Cameron (co-chair), Kaikōmihana Tuarua, Te Tohutohu Rautaki me te Kaupapa Here | Deputy Commissioner, Strategy & Policy, Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission
  • Isabel Evans - Hautū - Te Mahau | Te Tai Raro, Deputy Secretary, Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education
  • John Henderson, Principal Advisor Regional Development, Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development

Proudly sponsored by Westpac

Te Tohu mō ngā Hua E Pai Ake AnaBetter Outcomes Award

Winner

Afghanistan Resettlement Response

  • Hīkina Whakatutuki | Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment 
  • Manatū Aorere | Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade 
  • Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development 
  • Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga | Ministry of Housing and Urban Development 
  • Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health 
  • Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education 
  • Te Tari Mātāwaka | Ministry for Ethnic Communities 
  • Ngā Pirihimana o Aotearoa | New Zealand Police 
  • Oranga Tamariki | Ministry for Children 
  • Kāinga Ora | Homes and Communities 
  • Te Tai Ōhanga | The Treasury 
  • Rīpeka Whero Aotearoa | New Zealand Red Cross 
  • Waikato Refugee Forum 
  • Christchurch Resettlement Services 
  • New Settlers Family and Community Trust 
  • Manawatu Multicultural Council 
  • ChangeMakers Resettlement Forum

The Afghanistan Resettlement Response exemplifies adaptability, agility, and collaboration across the Public Service. This response was delivered at pace to ensure the safe arrival of over 1700 evacuees to Aotearoa New Zealand. Agencies and groups worked around the clock to provide on the ground support and unprecedented resettlement services. 

This effort was informed by the voices of the communities impacted by this crisis. Through ambiguity and the challenges of COVID-19, this joint agency team provided critical support for families in need.

Finalists

  • Afghanistan Resettlement Response

Hīkina Whakatutuki | Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment

Manatū Aorere | Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development

Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga | Ministry of Housing and Urban Development

Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health

Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education

Te Tari Mātāwaka | Ministry of Ethnic Communities

Nga Pirihimana o Aotearoa | New Zealand Police

Oranga Tamariki | Ministry for Children

Kāinga Ora | Homes and Communities

Te Tai Ōhanga | The Treasury

Rīpeka Whero Aotearoa | New Zealand Red Cross

Waikato Refugee Forum

Christchurch Resettlement Services

New Settlers Family and Community Trust (NFACT)

Manawatu Multi-cultural Council

ChangeMakers Resettlement

A cross government response to the Afghanistan humanitarian crisis, ensuring the safe arrival of over 1700 people and providing unprecedented settlement support in their new homeland, Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • Formal Government Apology for the Dawn Raids

Te Manatū mō ngā iwi ō te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa | Ministry for Pacific People

Providing robust advice to the Government to ensure the Dawn Raids Apology was meaningful to Pacific communities and embedded the rich diversity of Te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa cultures.

  • House Relocation and Waste Minimisation Programme

Kāinga Ora | Homes and Communities

Improving housing solutions and access to ownership for whānau and communities through reducing waste going to landfill and relocating homes from redevelopment sites.

  • MSD Employment Outcomes

Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development

Adapting and scaling up employment services during a time of global and local uncertainty. Helping over 200,000 people transition to work through assistance with job readiness, job searching, training and connection to employers.

  • Operation H - International operation into online child sexual abuse material

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Aotearoa’s largest and most significant online child exploitation investigation safeguarding vulnerable children and identifying offenders globally.

Judging panel

  • Lil Anderson (co-chair), Tumu Whakarae, Te Arawhiti - Office for Māori Crown Relations
  • Hannah Cameron (co-chair), Kaikōmihana Tuarua, Te Tohutohu Rautaki me te Kaupapa Here | Deputy Commissioner, Strategy & Policy, Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission
  • Isabel Evans - Hautū - Te Mahau | Te Tai Raro, Deputy Secretary, Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education
  • John Henderson, Principal Advisor Regional Development, Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development

Proudly sponsored by Deloitte

Te Tohu mō te Kaiārahi Mahi WhakahaereLeadership in Governance Award

Winner

Establishing a partnership: the Taumata Arowai Board and Te Puna 

  • Taumata Arowai

Taumata Arowai is a new Crown Entity that demonstrates a commitment to upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi through partnership with Te Puna, the Māori Advisory Group. This partnership serves as an exemplar of strategic, practical, and successful governance.  

At the foundation of this partnership is collaboration, ensuring each decision and process is done in a transparent and open manner. Together, Taumata Arowai and Te Puna work towards their vision of ‘Safe water every day for everyone – Tiakina te wai, hei oranga te katoa.’

Finalists

  • Establishing a partnership: the Taumata Arowai Board and Te Puna

Taumata Arowai

Taumata Arowai demonstrates its commitment to upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi through its partnership between the Board and Te Puna (the Māori Advisory Group). The governance arrangement is modelling how a strategic partnership can be effectively built into decision making processes.

  • Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa, New Zealand Infrastructure Strategy 2022-2052

Te Waihanga | The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission

Te Waihanga placed infrastructure as a foundation of wellbeing while developing Aotearoa’s first Infrastructure Strategy in response to the deep and intergenerational challenges we face.

  • Te Pūkenga Interim Learner Advisory Committee

Te Pūkenga | New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology

Te Pūkenga Interim Learner Advisory Committee is an example of learner leadership and of doing governance differently, with the diverse and inclusive nature of what has been built by learners leading to a safe and productive space and governance culture.

Judging panel

  • Lil Anderson (co-chair), Tumu Whakarae, Te Arawhiti - Office for Māori Crown Relations
  • Hannah Cameron (co-chair), Kaikōmihana Tuarua, Te Tohutohu Rautaki me te Kaupapa Here | Deputy Commissioner, Strategy & Policy, Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission
  • Professor Gregor Coster CNZM
  • Kirsten Patterson, Chief Executive, Institute of Directors

Proudly sponsored by DXC Technology

Te Tohu mō te Tūhonotanga a Ngāi Māori me te KaraunaMāori Crown Relationships Award

Winner

Te Kāhui o Matariki – a Māori Crown journey from creating to celebrating a new public holiday

  • Te Arawhiti | The Office for Māori Crown Relations  
  • Hīkina Whakatutuki | Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment 
  • Manatū Taonga | Ministry for Culture and Heritage 

Te Kāhui o Matariki – a Māori Crown journey from creating to celebrating a new public holiday, is an example of strengthening Māori Crown relationships in a way that empowers mātauranga Māori. This is an exemplar for Māori led, Crown supported legislation that centres the voices of tangata whenua and considers facets of regional and Māori cultural differences. 

Through collaboration, this legislation outlines the importance of Matariki to Māori and the guiding principles and values that shape its celebration. Matariki is a taonga that strengthens Aotearoa’s nationhood and builds a deeper sense of appreciation for our history, tikanga Māori and te ao Māori.

Finalists

  • Jobs for Nature Uwhi Trial

Toitū Te Whenua | Land Information New Zealand and Te Arawa Lakes Trust

The Uwhi Trial is a collaboration that enabled the deployment of Mātauranga based solutions delivered by Te Arawa scientists, weavers, and hunga tiaki of the Lakes. This initiative supported environmental and employment outcomes during COVID-19.

  • New Zealand Police, Te Kahu O Taonui, Tai Tokerau Border Control

Nga Pirihimana O Aotearoa | New Zealand Police, Tai Tokerau Border Control and Te Kahu o Taonui

Creating true partnerships and co-design to implement border control, engagement, and protection models within Tai Tokerau to keep communities safe.

  • Te Aho o Te Kahu

Te Aho o Te Kahu | Cancer Control Agency

Embedding Māori perspectives into the structure, values and purpose of Te Aho o Te Kahu to prioritise equitable health outcomes for Māori communities.

  • Te Kāhui o Matariki – a Māori Crown journey from creating to celebrating a new public holiday

Te Arawhiti | The Office for Māori Crown Relations, Hīkina Whakatutuki | Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and Manatū Taonga | Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Ensuring a public holiday derived from mātauranga Māori safeguards and actively promotes mātauranga Māori.

  • Tū Māia

Te Tauihu o Ngā Wānanga and Oranga Tamariki | Ministry for Children

Tū Māia is a training programme that was designed and delivered by Te Tauihu o Ngā Wānanga to support the development of Oranga Tamariki staff in Te Ao Māori knowledge and capability. It is underpinned by a distinct partnership founded in principles of whanaungatanga, kotahitanga and tautoko.

Judging panel

  • Lil Anderson (co-chair), Tumu Whakarae, Te Arawhiti - Office for Māori Crown Relations
  • Hannah Cameron (co-chair), Kaikōmihana Tuarua, Te Tohutohu Rautaki me te Kaupapa Here | Deputy Commissioner, Strategy & Policy, Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission
  • Eru Lyndon, Regional Commissioner, and Regional Public Service Lead, Northland - Te Arawhiti | The Office for Māori Crown Relations
  • Ezra Schuster, Director of Education and Regional Public Service Lead, Bay of Plenty-Waiariki - Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health (secondment)
  • Grace Smit, Ngāti Rakaipaaka, Ngāti Matangirau - Deputy Secretary Organisational Support, Te Puni Kōkiri

Proudly sponsored by ANZSOG

Te Tohu mō te Kaiārahi Rangatahi o te TauYoung Leader of the Year Award

Winner

Mary Soonaoso Tiumalu (she/her)

  • Te Manatū mō ngā Iwi ō te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa | Ministry for Pacific Peoples

Mary is a selfless leader who works to create real and long-lasting change for Pacific communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. Mary led the development of the first ever Pacific Languages Strategy, a landmark policy that paves the way for future generations.

She has overseen the Leo Moana o Aotearoa Project to provide essential insight for effective and efficient language planning efforts. Her spirit of service is underpinned by the values of Alofa (compassion for others), Fa’aaloalo (building trust and respect), and Tauata’i (exemplary leadership). Mary is always willing to share her knowledge and advocate for other young leaders.

Finalists

  • Gayathiri Ganeshan (she/her)

Hīkina Whakatutuki | Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Principal Policy Advisor, Workplace Relations and Safety Policy

Gayathiri drew on her leadership and influencing skills to lead significant cross-government policy work through the pandemic. She is collaborative, constructive and is motivated to make the world a better place.

  • Kiriana Haze (she/her)

Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Makino, Te Arawa

Te Manatū Taonga | Ministry for Culture & Heritage

Pou Tohu Matua | Senior Adviser, Te Pae Māpuna - Heritage & Taonga

Kiriana has successfully led Manatū Taonga to create new frameworks for the reconnection of iwi and hapū to their taonga tūturu. She works with grit, creativity, and integrity, placing the mana and aspirations of iwi and hapū at the centre of all she does.

  • Mana Williams-Eade (he/him)

Ngati Rarua, Ngati Toa Rangatira ki Wairau, Ngāpuhi

Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development

DCE Advisor, Office of the DCE, Service Delivery

Mana demonstrates a fierce determination to improving the lives of others. He is humble and inspiring, continuously advocating and supporting young people who have lived experience in state care.

  • Mary Soonaoso Tiumalu (she/her)

Te Manatū mō ngā iwi ō te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa | Ministry for Pacific Peoples

Manager, Pacific Languages

Mary is a proud New Zealand Samoan who is creating real, long-lasting change for Pacific communities in Aotearoa. She uses her leadership skills, humility, and passion to create spaces for her community to thrive.

  • Tim Searle (he/him)

Hīkina Whakatutuki | Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Senior Policy Advisor

Tim has had a transformational impact on the success of Aotearoa’s space sector. He is generous with his knowledge and is driven by a belief in the capability of the sector to deliver economic, environmental, and social benefits for the whole country.

  • Toni Grimshaw (she/her)

Tāhū o te Ture | Ministry of Justice

Manager, People Operations

Toni is a calm, people-centric leader who has a deep desire for everyone to feel safe and supported at work. In addition to her work at Justice, Toni worked with Aotearoa’s judiciary to set a world-first policy aimed at enabling everyone to thrive in a positive and supportive workplace.

Judging panel

  • Lil Anderson (co-chair), Tumu Whakarae, Te Arawhiti - Office for Māori Crown Relations
  • Hannah Cameron (co-chair), Kaikōmihana Tuarua, Te Tohutohu Rautaki me te Kaupapa Here | Deputy Commissioner, Strategy & Policy, Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission
  • Isaiah Apiata, Governmental Relationships Manager – Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi-Ō-Ngāpuhi - Oranga Tamariki | Ministry of Children
  • April Kwak, Policy Analyst - Te Mana Ārai o Aotearoa| New Zealand Customs Service

Pou Tikanga | Cultural advisors

  • Piriwiritua Rurawhe, Te Iwi Morehu, Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa, Ngai Tahu me Ngā Puhi - Kaihautū Māori, Office of the Chief Executive, Hīkina Whakatutuki | Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
  • Trevor J Moeke, Horouta Takitimu Mataatua Waka Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Kahungunu - Poutiaki – Director Te Ao Maori Strategy and Performance, Te Tai Ōhanga | The Treasury
  • Steve Haami, Te Āti Haunui-ā-Pāpārangi - Pouārahi, Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development

Proudly sponsored by Victoria University of Wellington

Te Tohu Oranga AngitūLifetime Achievement Award

Peter Lorimer ONZM

Peter is a career public servant who truly embodies the spirit of service. His service has been dedicated to strengthening the institutions of constitutional and democratic government and working for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

At the heart of all Peter does is a desire to create a Public Service that delivers for all New Zealanders. His expertise is widely recognised and sought out within the Treasury, across the public service, and beyond. Peter demonstrates humility through the dedication of his time, and he lives the public service principles of political neutrality and free and frank advice every day. He has supported successive generations of officials to instill the intent of the financial management system.

Peter’s knowledge and leadership has been pivotal in the development of significant fiscal reform over more than three decades. He has been a guardian of public financial management, ensuring it remains relevant and supports New Zealand’s wellbeing, most recently, through the Canterbury Earthquakes and COVID-19 pandemic.

Peter is a strong advocate for financial stewardship, accountability, and the important role the public service plays in supporting Ministers and Parliament for the benefit of New Zealanders. His intellectual curiosity, personal integrity, and desire to help others exemplify the ethos of the public service. He is a worthy recipient of the Spirit of Service Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hei Tūtohu i te Hiranga o te Mahi Kaupapa HereSpecial Commendation for Policy Excellence

This commendation celebrates agile, comprehensive, and collaborative policy development that has contributed to the wellbeing of New Zealanders.

Strategy and Policy COVID-19 Group

  • Te Tari o te Pirimia me te Komiti Matua | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

The Strategy and Policy COVID-19 Group have shown unwavering commitment to New Zealanders by consistently providing robust system-level advice and delivering policy into legislation at pace. This group developed and advanced key strategic responses such as the Alert Level framework, COVID-19 Protection Framework, and the post-winter 2022 Strategy.

They have drafted over 250 briefings and Cabinet papers and 73 Legal Orders and Amendments.This agile response has made significant contributions to the economic, social, and fiscal outcomes for Aotearoa New Zealand, all achieved during a time of unprecedented challenges and rapidly changing circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.