11 July 2024

We welcome and celebrate the richness diversity brings to the workplace and our mahi.

People are the key to the success of the Public Service, and we make every effort to better reflect the communities we serve, welcoming people who bring different experiences, capabilities and knowledge.

Meet some of the public servants working hard to make a difference for New Zealand and New Zealanders.

Chloe Graham-Stewart

Te Tāhū o te Ture | Ministry of Justice

“My life experiences add nuance and broad perspective to my career priorities within the Ministry of Justice and I look forward to the day when I am in a position that enables me to have strategic impact in the delivery of public sector services.”

Chloe Graham-Stewart, Judge's Personal Assistant at Ministry of Justice in Te Tai Tokerau Northland, has received the 2024 Ria McBride Award to pursue a law degree. Chloe is committed to improving the justice system, particularly the experiences for women and children. Her own experiences of this system have given her unique insights that have strengthened her resolve to gain a law degree and make a difference.

Read more about Chloe and the award here


Jess Mallalieu

Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development

“Helping our people to get jobs or access health, housing and basic financial support is life changing mahi, for the people we serve and also for their whānau and extended whānau. I never underestimate the profound effect our services and mahi have on our communities.”

As Manager Client Service Delivery at the Taihape Service Centre, Jess Mallalieu and her team walk alongside whānau to support them to a brighter future.

Read more about Jess's work here


Anahera Morehu

Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga Archives NZ

“It is lovely to be able to give back to whānau and community where I can, and this role is one of many that I am able to do this.”

As Poumanaaki Chief Archivist, Anahera Morehu's role is to oversee guardianship of government and public records as well as some of our most important national documents, taonga that include He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni 1835 Declaration of Independence, Te Tiriti o Waitangi Treaty of Waitangi, and Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine Women’s Suffrage Petition. 

Read more about Anahera's work here


Bill Bean

Ara Poutama Aotearoa | Department of Corrections

“In helping them towards becoming rehabilitated, we are helping everyone their lives touch. I help ensure the men are professionally trained and supported to discover new methods of cultivating. They gain qualifications and produce kai for themselves and their communities."

Bill Bean has found his 'dream job' as the Horticulture Instructor at Auckland Prison where he helps people become rehabilitated and gain qualifications.

Read more about Bill's work here


Jesney Te Puke

Te Puni Kōkiri | Ministry of Māori Development

“Regardless of your background, know that you are enough. What you bring to the expansive space that is the public sector, no one else can bring because no one else is you and no one else has walked your journey. 

As Kaitohutohu Advisor at Te Puni Kōkiri, Jesney Te Puke's (Tainui) mahi is to tautoko the papakāinga kaupapa in Ikaroa-Rāwhiti. She works with whānau who have aspirations to provide healthy homes in te ao Māori on their whānau whenua. 

Read more about Jesney’s work here 


Tom Parima

Ara Poutama Aotearoa | Department of Corrections

"One of the most cherished aspects of my mahi as a Dog Handler at the Department of Corrections is the privilege of having a furry friend by my side every day. There's something truly special about the unwavering loyalty, enthusiasm, and trust that Detector Dog Sammy brings to our mahi together."

Corrections Dog Handler Tom Parima and Detector Dog Sammy work together to enhance security, deter threats, and maintain a safe and secure prison environment.

Read more about Tom’s work here


Bhupinder D Singh

Te Tāhū o te Ture | Ministry of Justice

“I put time into good decision making on where the judges are sitting across the Manukau, Papakura, and Pukekohe courts, so we can be timely with cases. I believe this contributes to the betterment of society and the development of a strong community.”

Bhupinder D Singh’s lifelong Public Service career is driven by a desire to make a difference in the lives of those in need. Through his work as Judicial Resources Manager at the Chief District Court Judges’ Chambers, Bhupinder helps the courts to run more smoothly.

Read more about Bhupinder’s work here

Tayla Yandall

Ara Poutama Aotearoa | Department of Corrections

“In my role, I strive to create a space that changes the experience for our staff, and the people whose lives are affected by coming here to Auckland Women’s. By changing the environment, we hope to create better pathways and job satisfaction.”

Tayla Yandall is the Prison Director of Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility in South Auckland. Her focus is on keeping communities safe as well as helping people in prison find the support they need.

Read more about Tayla’s work here


Stephanie Voight

Regional Public Service Commissioner for Otago and Southland

“You have to put in the hard mahi. It's not just about showing up and saying ‘kia ora’ and then leaving, because that gets noticed. If you think for a second that as a leader there aren't eyes on you when you're out and about, then you're kidding yourself. You have to put in the time, do the work, and you have to do the right thing.” 

Based in Ōtepoti Dunedin, Steph Voight is Regional Public Service Commissioner (RPSC) for Otago and Southland, and one of 12 working across 15 regions on behalf of the Public Service. 

Read more about Steph's work here 


Robyn Andrews

Ara Poutama Aotearoa | Department of Corrections

“My mahi allows tāne and wāhine to contribute to forging their own pathway forward toward oranga. It’s my role to grab a paddle, jump on their waka, and provide support where it is needed. It’s always incredibly rewarding to see the change in people’s lives.”

Robyn Andrews works as a Probation Officer in the Māori Pathway Team for Te Tai Tokerau and a court officer for the Department of Corrections. One of her driving motivations is to help create a seamless transition for people as they move through the justice system.

Read more about Robyn’s work here


Tim Searle

New Zealand Space Agency (part Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment)

“Essentially, I accelerate the development of New Zealand’s space sector linking people, ideas, and technologies. Space is the hardest place to develop technology for. People don't realise that some advances in non-intuitive areas like clothing technology came about because it was being designed for use in space.” 

Tim Searle is Principal Policy Advisor at the New Zealand Space Agency. The Agency is the lead government agency for space policy, regulation and business development relating to outer space and high-altitude activities from New Zealand. 

Read more about Tim’s work here


Noa Samasoni

Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities

“Noa consistently places the needs of others above her own and has a genuine concern for the wellbeing of her team, peers, customers and community.”

When flooding devastated Auckland homes in early 2023, Saunoa Samasoni stepped up to help the recovery. As Senior Project Manager at Kāinga Ora, Noa leads the team responsible for managing the major works required on the 657 flood-impacted Kāinga Ora properties.

Read more about Noa’s work here


Jacob McGregor

Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health

“I grew up in a church, my mum was a pastor, and she would talk about the concept of servant-leadership, of being humble, and putting the needs of others before your own. To do that, you have to understand what those needs are."

Jacob McGregor’s career in the Public Service started in 2017 as an intern at Te Puni Kōkiri after finishing his BA in politics and international relationsHe's now Principal Engagement Advisor at Ministry of Health working on projects such as Ao Mai te Rā: the Anti-Racism Kaupapa and developing Pae Tū: Hauora Māori Strategy. 

Read more about Jacob’s work here


Chetna Pancha

Hīkina Whakatutuki | Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)

“We do excellent work behind the scenes, and sometimes it’s a shame that we only end up getting attention when there’s a breach.”

Chetna Pancha is Cyber Security Assurance Manager at Hīkina Whakatutuki Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) where she leads a team of cyber security professionals whose job is to keep MBIEs’ data safe and secure.

Read more about Chetna's work here


Ezra Schuster

Regional Public Service Commissioner for Bay of Plenty

“I see the role as a chief connector, chief coordinator, or chief enabler to support communities. Ultimately, it’s about getting the right people at the right table at the right time.”

Ezra Schuster is the Regional Public Service Commissioner (RPSC) for Waiariki Bay of Plenty, and one of 12 working across 15 regions on behalf of the Public Service. 

Read more about Ezra’s work here


Kiriana Haze

Manatū Taonga | Ministry for Culture and Heritage

"I always start with, 'what can I do to make sure my family, and my iwi and hapū are proud of me?’ and ‘do my decisions sit well with me, in my belly?'" 

Kiriana Haze (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Mākino, Te Arawa) works with taonga tūturu, protected objects that whakapapa to te ao Māori and embody mana, tapu, and mauri. They can take many forms, from 800-year-old waka to early twentieth-century weaving. 

Read more about Kiriana’s work here


Geoff Simmonds

Te Tāhū o te Ture | Ministry of Justice

“My role is unique. There can be social, financial, and cultural barriers that make navigating the Family Court hard. Our role was established to help people. We provide individuals and families with the right information so they can make decisions that work for them.” 

As Kaiārahi o te Kooti a Whānau – Family Court Navigator at Ministry of Justice, Geoff Simmonds works with people who are often at their most vulnerable. He connects them with community providers and helps them navigate the Family Court by providing information, guidance, and support. 

Read more about Geoff’s work here


Darlene Rastrick

Regional Public Service Commissioner for Manawatu–Whanganui

“If you keep the communities at the centre of everything, and you see the results that they can get, then it absolutely makes it worth it. Our mandate is to bring the Public Service and the community together instead of working in silos, as has happened in the past.” 

Based in Palmerston North, Darlene Rastrick (Te Āti Haunui a Pāpārangi me Ngati Tane, Ngati Varu, me Ngati Manaune ki Mangaia o ngā Kuki Airani ngā iwi) is Regional Public Service Commissioner (RPSC) for Manawatu–Whanganui. 

Read more about Darlene’s work here


Gayathiri Ganeshan

Hīkina Whakatutuki | Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

“When I tell people what I do, I say I work for New Zealand's employment regulator, and that our job is about making the employment system as successful as possible – for both employers and employees. By doing that, we can make a positive difference in people's working lives.” 

Gayathiri Ganeshan is Director of Strategic Initiatives in the Employment Services branch at MBIE. She says Employment Services exists to support good employment relationships, meaning both employers and employees benefit in a number of ways. 

Read more about Gayathiri's work here


Jacs Bell

Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities

“Our team works to house the most vulnerable whānau and individuals from the Ministry of Social Development’s housing register, and to find more suitable homes for current Kāinga Ora customers where their circumstances have changed or where we are redeveloping land to enable more housing for future customers.”  

Jacs Bell (Ngāti Maniapoto and Irish descent) is a Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Manager who started her Public Service career as a Passport Officer at the Department of Internal Affairs. 

Read more about Jac’s work here 


April Kwak

Manatū Aorere | New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade

April Kwak’s career – much like her life – has a very international focus. Born in South Korea, April speaks three languages, has been abroad on language exchanges, studied overseas, visited more than 20 countries, completed international internships, plus her current role is about connecting Aotearoa New Zealand with the rest of the world. 

April is a Foreign Policy Officer at Manatū Aorere New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade. Her work includes providing research, policy advice and support to the Government on a wide-range of foreign policy issues affecting New Zealand and the world. 

Read more about April's work here 


Craig Churchill

Regional Public Service Commissioner for Marlborough, Nelson-Tasman, West Coast

“If we all believe that this is important, then how do we come together to make it happen? If I’ve got a bit of money here, and you’ve got a bit of money there, can we put it together to get a better result faster.” 

Based in Nelson, Craig Churchill is Regional Public Service Commissioner (RPSC) for three regions: Marlborough, Nelson-Tasman, and the West Coast. He is one of 12 RPSCs working across 15 regions on behalf of the Public Service. 

Read more about Craig's work here 


Mary Soonaoso Tiumalu

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

“People often forget that New Zealand is part of the Pacific. We're all part of this vast moana, this amazing region, a truly unique part of the world. We all can draw collective strength from that.” 

Mary Soonaoso Tiumalu, Language Strategy and Development Manager at Ministry for Pacific Peoples, is passionate about her culture and heritage, and about the power and benefits that come from connecting with your language. 

Read more about Mary's work here 


Karen Bartlett 

Regional Public Service Commissioner for Hawke’s Bay

“There is a lot to do, and you just have to get on and do it. And that's what we're doing. 

Karen Bartlett is the Regional Public Service Commissioner (RPSC) for Hawke's Bay. Her role has been focused on recovery since Cyclone Gabrielle ripped through parts of the country in February, causing widespread damage and 11 deaths. 

She says the response in Hawke’s Bay has been collaborative across agency, iwi, hapu, councils and communities from Wairoa to Central Hawke’s Bay - “and this will stand us in good stead as the recovery moves forward”.

Read more about Karen’s work here 


Cat Simpson

Public Trust

“The work is incredibly rewarding, but it’s also incredibly challenging at times. Most people don’t want to talk about 3 things: money, death, and the future.”

Cat works at Public Trust, New Zealand’s largest provider of wills and estate administration services. On any given day, her team will be writing wills and enduring powers of attorney to protect the things that matter most, setting up or managing people’s trusts, or be out and about visiting customers to make sure their affairs are being looked after in the way they wish. 

Read more about Cat’s work here