This 10-month emerging leadership programme grounded in te ao Māori supports early in career Māori with the skills and confidence to step into leadership and governance roles of the future.

This kaupapa, previously known as the Māori emerging leadership programme, was gifted its new name by the first alumni of rangatahi graduates from 2022. The new name, Te ara ki Matangireia, means the pathway to Matangireia. Matangireia has many different meanings in te ao Māori. One interpretation is that it is the uppermost heaven where Tāne/Tāwhaki gathered ngā kete o te wānanga (the three baskets of knowledge). It is also the name given to the former Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament. 

The use of Matangireia was an opportunity to recognise the learnings and knowledge rangatahi public servants gain through the kaupapa, as well as acknowledge that part of Parliament where many tūpuna Māori have gathered to wānanga in a place where the biggest decisions impacting on our people and country are made.  

Te Kawa Mataaho and Tukaha Global Consulting Ltd, an organisation known for its work in developing rangatahi Māori leadership, have partnered together in the delivery of Te ara ki Matangireia.

This kaupapa is grounded in whakaaro Māori and te reo me ōna tikanga to ensure the mauri of the kaupapa and its participants are protected and enhanced.  

The kaupapa includes:

  • four 3-day wānanga hosted by different iwi (planned for March, June, September and November 2024. Specific dates will be confirmed by November 2023.)
  • one on one mentoring with a senior leader in the Public Service.
  • personal reflective practice
  • regular check-ins with individuals and small groups
  • delivery of a service project.

Participants will increasingly step up to lead different parts of the programme as they explore “mai i te kore, ki te pō, ki te whaiao, ki te ao mārama – from nothing to the night, from the night to the world of life and light”. This creation narrative frames the 4 wānanga. It serves as a development process for participants as they grow their understanding of the context within which they work and the significant role they can play as Māori in the future of our country.   

Participants will have the opportunity deepen their understanding of being Māori in the Public Service through experiences and reflections of former and senior Māori public servants.  Through this engagement, participants will also be exposed to a range of tools and techniques used to navigate and manage the complexities of the dual role.  

Expressions of interest for cohort 3 rangatahi participants closed on 5pm, 24 November 2023. However, we are still accepting expressions of interest from mentors. 


The 10-month programme costs $5200 (excl GST) per participant.  It is expected that participation costs, travel and any other associated costs will be covered by agencies. Participants should be fully supported to attend mentoring sessions and quarterly wānanga.

For rangatahi, the kaupapa will:

  • build their confidence and skills to lead and to serve in their communities and the Public Service
  • equip them to navigate their development and career in the Public Service
  • provide access to ongoing support through a network of Māori across the public sector.

Senior Public Service mentors will gain insights and an understanding of the challenges, work and opportunities for early in career Māori public servants, and how they can better support Māori aspirations in their organisations.

The next cohort of Te ara ki Matangireia starts in March 2024 and will be made up of about 30 emerging Māori leaders.


Expressions of interest closed 5pm, 24 November 2023.

All expressions of interest require manager approval. Some agencies may run internal processes to identify and coordinate potential participants who submit an EoI so check with your agency first.


Participants must meet all of the following eligibility criteria at the kaupapa start date of March 2024:

  • identify as Māori and work in a Public Service department, departmental agency or agency part of the Public Service Leadership Team (ACC, Kāinga Ora, NZTE, NZ Police, New Zealand Defence Force and Waka Kotahi - NZTA)
  • are early in career (have 2-5 years’ experience in the Public Service)
  • aged 23-30 years old
  • want to develop their leadership skills ground in te ao Māori
  • aspire to lead and/or serve within the Public Service and their communities.

If you do not meet all of the eligibility criteria, you may like to look at our other programmes or talk to your agency about development opportunities

We encourage nominations from those who whakapapa Māori and understand emerging Māori leaders may be at various stages in their te ao Māori and te reo journey. You will be able to engage fully regardless of te reo Māori and tikanga proficiency.

All successful applicants must be able to commit to attending all 4 wānanga which includes overnight communal sleeping arrangements on a Marae. We are planning to hold these in March, June, September and December 2024 and in some instances will be across the weekend (specific dates will be confirmed by November 2023).  Additional travel time may also be required for those who live outside the main centres. 

If you have any questions around eligibility email


We will continue to accept expressions of interest for mentors until the end of the year. 

Te ara ki Matangireia Expression of interest form - Mentor [DOCX, 27 KB]

We’re looking for mentors that:

  • are senior leaders within the Public Service (tier 1-2), or senior Māori leaders within Te Pae Turuki, Public Service Leaders Group. 
  • are excited to transfer skills, knowledge and expertise, and gain fresh perspectives
  • can commit to a minimum of 5 mentoring sessions over the course of the programme as well as an initial briefing session. We also welcome some attendance at touchpoints across the different wānanga.

Email with any questions or queries.