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Theresse Ioaba – 2019 Ria McBride Public Service Management Award Winner

Theresse Ioaba

The Ria McBride Public Service Management Award, sponsored by the State Services Commission, is to support women develop in leadership roles within the Public Service and prioritises women who have generally not had the opportunity to pursue tertiary study, yet demonstrate personal fortitude and leadership potential.

This year’s recipient of the Award is Theresse Ioaba, Team Lead, Significant Enterprises at Inland Revenue, Auckland. Theresse began her career at Inland Revenue in 2012 in the social policy arena and progressed while balancing family priorities as a mother of young children and support person to extended family.

Theresse, who identifies herself as a New Zealand born Cook Island Māori, is passionate about public-interest advocacy and policies that affect child poverty, lowered living standards and environmental issues. She has a strong desire to influence decisions and implement positive change in the social and economic well-being of her community.

Theresse has always highly valued her education and was the first of her family to attend university. After completing a BA in 2010, Theresse put on hold her ambitions to complete further studies – a Bachelor of Laws and Masters in Indigenous Studies. She sees these further qualifications as a pathway to develop as a public sector leader and community influencer. Theresse is motivated to succeed as a Pasifika women leader and be a role model for other young women and future generations.

Theresse says her leadership journey is inspired by the Māori whatatauki (proverb) ‘Ko te pae tawhiti whāia tata, Ko to pae tata whakamaua kia tīna’ – seek to bring distant horizons closer and sustain and maintain those that have arrived at. As Team Lead she focuses on supporting and developing individuals in devolved decision-making.

The judges were impressed by Theresse’s incredible resilience and determination to achieve as a mother, family member and team leader at work. She has big aspirations, which the panel believes she can achieve. As the winner of the Award, Theresse receives up to $15,000 for development and plans to use the award to complete her qualifications and open a world of opportunities.

Find out more about the Ria McBride Public Service Management Award.