Leadership Development Centre (LDC) Fellowships support senior leaders across the Public Service to identify system leadership challenges and opportunities, and undertake research and/or study to address these.

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

Fellowships are sponsored by contributing public sector agencies.

COVID-19 and current international travel restrictions have prompted a review of our 2021 application process and criteria. We are working through how best to invite innovative applications with a strong local rather than international flavour.

We’ll publish more information, including our updated criteria and application timeline, in early 2021.

Congratulations to the 2020 LDC Fellows.

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 neurodiverse individuals to have greater representation in the state sector and will explore work environments that are neurodiverse friendly. He 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.

Congratulations to the 2019 LDC Fellows.

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

Enabling Asian leaders to flourish in the NZ Public Service

Denise Hing and Richard Foy

In 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, Acting Deputy Secretary, Parent Information and Community Intelligence, Ministry of Education

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

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

Delivering to diverse communities through flexible work arrangements

Helen Potiki

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. She 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.

Keep up-to-date with Helen's study and research with her video logs on her LinkedIn page. 

Richard Hamblin
Director of Health Quality Intelligence, Health Quality and Safety Commission

Organisations that deliver through data

Richard Hamblin

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

Richard will undertake 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 wants to share the lessons of their success with the New Zealand public sector. 

30 years down the wrong rabbit hole: how we got there and how we get out

"It’s all very well arguing that we need to use data in a different way and therefore we need data teams that look like this and are led like that, (and by the end of this fellowship process I may have some idea of what this and that look like), but a sceptic could perfectly reasonably ask 'why do we need to use data in a different way?' What follows is my answer, the reason why I embarked on this exercise." 

READ30 years down the wrong rabbit hole: how we got there and how we get out (pdf)

So what? (and for that matter “how”?)

Richard's earlier paper suggested why we need to change how we view data in public services. Data should be seen as a source of insight rather than an instrument of control, and that where monitoring “targets” exist these should be locally relevant and mutually agreed rather than centrally imposed. What does that mean in practice, and how do we go about doing it?

READ: So what? (and for that matter 'how?) (pdf)

Read Richard's blog for updates.

Drive and insight and change

Richard has 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 your thinking, the tool includes: checklists, decision trees, and links to useful resources.

Download the tool and save it to your files. Write on, print out, and share the checklists and decision trees with your team.


Marie Long
Director Planning, Permissions and Land, Department of Conservation

Innovations in natural resources regulation

Marie Long

Marie will explore the innovative approaches that international jurisdictions are taking in natural resources regulation. She wants to find out more about regulation models based on customer-centric design and shared decision-making. She’ll also look at understanding how the rights of indigenous people are applied in the design and application of regulation. Finally, Marie will explore the response to increasing tourism on protected natural areas. As part of the Fellowship programme, Marie will attend the London School of Economics to complete a short course in regulation.

Ezra Schuster
Director of Education, Bay of Plenty-Waiariki, Ministry of Education

How divergent agencies together achieve the best outcomes for young people

Ezra Schuster

Ezra’s Fellowship with look at how divergent agencies and organisations work in partnership with education, health and social providers to achieve positive outcomes for children and young people. Ezra plans to examine 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.

Hear what Ezra's up to in his LinkedIn vlogs.

Eru Lyndon
Regional Commissioner for Social Development, Northland / Te Taitokerau, Ministry of Social Development

Creating new ways to deliver products and services effectively to Māori
Eru Lyndon

Eru aims 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 will explore how transformative business models with a digital focus, can create new ways to deliver products and services effectively to Māori. Eru will apply his new knowledge to three national programmes focused on at-risk children.

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

2017 LDC Fellows

Kellie O'Sullivan, General Manager, People and Performance, Ministry of Justice

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

Murray Young, Chief Information Officer, New Zealand Customs Service and Tracy Voice, Director, Business Technology and Information Services (CIO), Ministry for Primary Industries 

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, Auckland Regional Commissioner, Ministry of Social Development

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

Read more about the new LDC Fellows and their study programmes.

2016 LDC Fellow

Jayne Russell

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

Jayne investigated 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. Jayne's proposals was submitted under the 'Better Public Services' theme and she is looking at leadership that builds sustainability, resilience and connections.

See Jayne's findings on creating shared value in this conversation starter (pdf).

2015 LDC Fellows

 LDC 2015 Fellows: Lis Cowey, Evelyn Wareham, Tania Warburton, Sally Washington

LDC 2015 Fellows: Lis Cowey, Evelyn Wareham, Tania Warburton, Sally Washington

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

Other past fellows

Check out their blogs, which include first-hand insights and learning.

Carolyn Risk, Ministry of Social Development

Read Carolyn's blog.

 Robert Brodnax

Robert Brodnax, New Zealand Transport Agency

"The LDC Fellowship was the best learning opportunity I have ever had – the chance to mix targeted training with self-directed international research in a specific topic of interest to myself and the sector is simply gold."

Read Robert's blog

 Bryan Chapple

Bryan Chapple, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

"The Fellowship gave me a period of time to reflect on my leadership and on the economic challenges and opportunities for New Zealand – with some great input from leadership courses and a wonderful economics library to feed that thinking."

 Read Bryan's blog

  Janine Dowding

Janine Dowding, Ministry of Social Development 

“The fellowship gave me the opportunity to learn alongside public and private sector leaders from around the world. I was taken way out of my comfort zone but the rewards in terms of personal growth were worth it.”

Read Janine's blog

 David Habersoh and Craig Souter

David Habershon, Ministry for Social Development and Craig Soutar, NZ Transport Agency 

"…the best leadership development opportunity I have had … the most educational, enlightening and enriching development experience."

Read David and Craig's blog

 Karl Le Quesne

Karl Le Quesne, Ministry of Education

Read Karl's blog