Leadership Development Centre (LDC) Fellowships are annually selected research and study awards for senior leaders. The Fellowships aim to help senior leaders build on their leadership capability and reflect topic areas that contribute to the wider system.

2021 round of LDC Fellowships

Applications for our 2021 round of LDC Fellowships have now closed.

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About the Fellowships

LDC Fellowships support mid to senior leaders across the Public Service to identify system leadership challenges and opportunities, and undertake research and study to address these.

We target our Fellowships to both develop the individual recipient and build on the shared leadership knowledge of the system.

The Fellowship may include formal and/or practical experience, and/or research and study on leadership development.

Who can apply?

Fellowships are sponsored by contributing public sector agencies.

Individual mid to senior leaders from sponsoring agencies are eligible to apply.

We also strongly encourage joint applications from multiple agencies to demonstrate the cross-system collaborative approach to public sector leadership.

All applications require chief executive approval, and supporting reports from two referees.


David Hammond, Treasury

"I want the public service to use disability as a vehicle for real innovation and release our untapped potential.”

David will look at recruitment processes used overseas that enable neuro-diverse individuals to have greater representation in the state sector. He will explore work environments that are neuro-diverse friendly, and will test if these are scalable and can be used in New Zealand.

David will also explore the leadership needed to go beyond enablement and see neurodiversity as a competitive advantage that can be targeted for the benefit of the state sector.

Serena Curtis-Lemuelu, Ministry of Social Development

“I want to grow my understanding of system change, including indigenous models, how culture plays a role in system change and implementation, and the importance of leadership in system change.”

Serena will explore how social inequality has been addressed internationally and what challenges and success factors have an impact. She will look at the type of leadership required to successfully bring about system change, how cultural considerations can be taken into account, and how this can be applied in the New Zealand context for Pacific and Māori communities.


Denise Hing and Richard Foy

Denise Hing is Group Manager, Strategic Business Development, NZ Customs Service. Richard Foy is Chief Archivist, Department of Internal Affairs.

Enabling Asian leaders to flourish in the NZ Public Service

2019 Fellows Denise Hing and Richard FoyIn this joint-Fellowship, Denise and Richard will explore how Asian leaders can grow and flourish in the New Zealand Public Service while nurturing their cultural identity and maximising their leadership contribution.

The lack of ethnic diversity in management has been recognised as a key challenge in the SSC Public Service Workforce Data 2018. Asian (and Māori and Pacific) ethnicities are still under-represented in the top three tiers of Public Service management. Denise and Richard’s research will help inform how to address this challenge. They will:

  • take a 360 view of leaders and uncover global insights
  • learn directly from leaders and experts in the field in New Zealand and overseas, and
  • explore the developments, successes and lessons learnt other jurisdictions.

Rose Jamieson

Rose is Acting Deputy Secretary, Parent Information and Community Intelligence, Ministry of Education.

Dynamic public sector leadership in an age of complexity and rapid change

Rose JamiesonRose’s Fellowship aims to create a strong picture of what dynamic leadership for the New Zealand public sector needs to look like.

Rose will investigate the type of leadership styles needed to build a responsive and adaptive public sector. Rose intends to create case studies to help leaders lean into new ways of working. Through her research and study programmes, Rose will explore:

  • the exponential changes in technology and demographic shifts likely to impact New Zealand’s Public Service and workforce
  • how to successfully collaborate for collective impact, including the importance of having diverse perspectives and cultural competencies
  • how cultural or indigenous framing or model can be applied more widely in the public sector to serve its communities.

  • Helen Potiki, Director, Policy, Ministry for Women
  • Richard Hamblin, Director of Health Quality Intelligence, Health Quality and Safety Commission
  • Marie Long, Director of Planning, Permissions and Land, Department of Conservation
  • Ezra Schuster, Director of Education, Bay of Plenty-Waiariki at the Ministry of Education
  • Eru Lyndon, Regional Commissioner for Social Development, Northland/Te Taitokerau, Ministry of Social Development

Helen Potiki

Helen Potiki is Director, Policy at the Ministry for Women.

Delivering to diverse communities through flexible work arrangements

Helen will examine how public sector leaders can set up, facilitate and negotiate flexible work arrangements and other innovative workplace practices to deliver effective public services to diverse communities.

Helen will meet with leaders in New Zealand, Australia, Sweden and the United Kingdom - countries with increasing diverse populations and a focus on innovative workplace practices. Helen will also attend a five-day workshop ‘Putting People First: Quality public services in a changing world’ at Public Administration International, London.

Listen to updates in Helen's LinkedIn video logs

Richard Hamblin

Richard Hamblin is Director of Health Quality Intelligence at the Health Quality and Safety Commission.

Organisations that deliver through data

Richard HamblinRichard investigated how organisations can successfully drive delivery through data and analytics. His aim was to focus on understanding what makes a great leader of data-driven organisations. He wanted to contribute to the public sector’s development of the right people to lead transformative data teams.

Richard undertook research and visit organisations in New Zealand and overseas that have world-leading data and analytics teams, which have helped transform their organisations into being genuinely data-led. He wanted to share the lessons of their success with the New Zealand public sector.

Read Richard's reports and blog posts.

Drive and insight and change

Richard also developed an interactive tool for public sector analytical teams. It will help them learn how to gain real insights from their data and move from primarily monitoring data to capturing real understanding from the information teams collect and analyse. Data analysts will be able to offer more value to their agency and across the public sector, and better understand the complex adaptive systems that provide the services for New Zealanders.

Designed to structure and support thinking, the tool includes: checklists, decision trees, and links to useful resources.

Drive and insight and change interactive tool (interactive PDF) 

Marie Long

Marie Long is Director of Planning, Permissions and Land at the Department of Conservation.

Innovations in natural resources regulation

Marie LongMarie explored the innovative approaches that international jurisdictions are taking in natural resources regulation. She wanted to find out more about regulation models based on customer-centric design and shared decision-making.

Marie also looked at understanding how the rights of indigenous people are applied in the design and application of regulation. Finally, she explored the response to increasing tourism on protected natural areas.

As part of the Fellowship programme Marie attended the London School of Economics to complete a short course in regulation.

Ezra Schuster

Ezra Schuster is Director of Education, Bay of Plenty-Waiariki at the Ministry of Education

How divergent agencies together achieve the best outcomes for young people

Ezra SchusterEzra’s Fellowship focus was how divergent agencies and organisations work in partnership with education, health and social providers to achieve positive outcomes for children and young people.

Ezra examined diverse cultural and social contexts: a successful education programme in Swansea, Wales, and how the city of Leeds has developed its approach to implementing its vision of a 'Child Friendly City'.

Ezra plans to attend a leadership development programme at Oxford University.

Listen to updates in Ezra's LinkedIn vlogs

Eru Lyndon

Eru Lyndon is Regional Commissioner for Social Development, Northland/Te Taitokerau, at the Ministry of Social Development.

Creating new ways to deliver products and services effectively to Māori

Eru LyndonEru's aim was to learn more about how to develop customer-centric services and product innovation, using processes such as design-thinking, and how these approaches can be embedded in organisations.

By combining this new knowledge with his ability to navigate Te Ao Māori and Te Ao Hurihrui, Eru explored how transformative business models with a digital focus, can create new ways to deliver products and services effectively to Māori. Eru applied his new knowledge to three national programmes focused on at-risk children.

As well as visiting organisations in New Zealand and North America, Eru attended Stanford’s Design Thinking Boot Camp and MIT’s ‘Digital and Social Media Analytics’ programmes.


2017 LDC Fellows

Kellie O'Sullivan

Kellie Sullivan is General Manager, People and Performance, Ministry of Justice.

Focus: Exploring the future of HR and large-scale transformational culture change.

Murray Young and Tracy Voice

Murray Young is Chief Information Officer, New Zealand Customs Service.

Tracy Voice is Director, Business Technology and Information Services (CIO), Ministry for Primary Industries.

Focus: Jointly undertaking a joint study programme looking at the use of emerging technologies to improve government interaction with citizens, focusing first on border control.

Blair McKenzie

Blair McKenzie is Auckland Regional Commissioner at the Ministry of Social Development.

Focus: Utilising education and experiential learning opportunities to understand existing best practice for leading diverse ethnic groups in a New Zealand context.

2016 LDC Fellow

Jayne Russell is General Manager, Employer Services, Ministry of Social Development.

Focus: Businesses' corporate social responsibility (CSR) approaches. Maximising employment opportunities for clients was a priority objective. Jane applied her Fellowship learning to how relevant government agencies can better take a whole-of-government approach to working with the private sector in their provision of employment. Her proposal was submitted under the 'Better Public Services' theme and she is looking at leadership that builds sustainability, resilience and connections.

2015 Fellowship

Joint winners:

  • Lis Cowey: Programme Director, Service Support and Design at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Sally Washington: Programme Manager, The Policy Project, Improving the quality and performance of policy advice, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
  • Evelyn Wareham: General Manager, Customer Insights, Analytics and Research, Statistics New Zealand
  • Tania Warburton: Deputy Chief Legal Counsel, Ministry of Justice.

LDC Fellows pre-2015

  • Carolyn Risk, Ministry of Social Development
  • Robert Brodnax, New Zealand Transport Agency
  • Bryan Chapple, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Janine Dowding, Ministry of Social Development
  • David Habershon, Ministry for Social Development and Craig Soutar, NZ Transport Agency
  • Karl Le Quesne, Ministry of Education