Te Manutaki | New Senior System Leader Development supports leaders who are within the first 12 months of transition to a new role and Te Pae Turuki | Public Service Leaders Group (PSLG).

The chief executives of the New Zealand Public Service recognised the need for all leaders to be developed at critical transitions within their career. In response, the Leadership Development Centre provides Te Manutaki | New Senior System Leader Development to all leaders who are within the first 12 months of transitioning to a new role and new to Te Pae Turuki | Public Service Leaders Group (PSLG).

Cultural narrative

E mataara ana, e mātai iho ana te manutaki i ngā wā katoa. E aro atu ana ki te paerangi, e mātau ana ki ngā hau me ngā tai e huri ana. Ka topa i runga ake i te kaupapa waka hei tāiko, hei kaitiaki, e whakahaumaru ana i tana rahi.

The manutaki is alert and always watching. Eyes on all horizons, highly attuned to the ever-changing winds and currents. They soar above the fleet like a sentry bird and guardian, keeping their people safe.

A manutaki, senior system leader, is a steward for their people and their organisation to ensure the Public Service continues to serve the needs of all communities across Aotearoa. They understand the broad system context, the needs of their organisation and with humility astutely guides their people and the large service deliveries they lead through this interchanging environment.

Tailored development

Manutaki require different skills to other ­leaders. Their roles are complex, operate on a system-level and collectively lead the New Zealand Public Service.

To help with this transition, leaders participate in a cohort programme that includes self-directed work, facilitated sessions and peer learning. Te Manutaki is designed to promote new ways of thinking and strong networks with peers.

Designed to meet the Public Service Act 2020, the development for this programme is centered around five priorities:

  • Te ārahi takitahi | Lead Self
  • Te ārahi i te tapatahitanga o te pūnaha | Lead System Collaboration
  • Te ārahi i ngā hononga o te Māori me te Karauna | Lead Māori Crown Relationships
  • Te ārahi i ngā pūnaha tuwhera | Lead Inclusive Systems
  • Te ārahi i te anamata | Lead Future

To also support this development, manutaki receive two 45-minute transition development conversations with an LDC executive coach. Through this process, leaders reflect on development priorities and create personalised development goals. 

Te Pae Turuki | Public Service Leaders Group

The PSLG comprises senior public servants in the most complex and influential leadership roles from Public Service departments, Police, NZ Defence Force and some large Crown Agents.

Members of PSLG are nominated by chief executives according to role-based criteria set by Te Kawa Mataaho | the Public Service Commission.

Te Manutaki process

 Chevron process diagram: Leader invited to Te Manutaki, Kick-off session, 1st transition conversation, Self-development and 4 facilitated session, 2nd transition conversation, Completion session.

Benefits of development

  • Build networks with peers in the Public Service who share a common purpose.
  • Hear from experienced chief executives and senior system leaders in the Public Service.
  • Engage in full day sessions so you can fully delve into system priorities and apply this immediately to your work.
  • Gain a clearer vision of your development needs as a senior system leader in the public service moving forward.
  • Deepen your understanding of the critical shifts required in this key transition.
  • Strengthened understanding on what it means to be a part of Te Pae Turiki | Public Service Leaders Group.

Time commitment

The transition development conversations each take 45 minutes. During the programme, you are also expected to build on your development goals

There are 4 full day virtually facilitated sessions over 4 months.  For each development priority, you will need to complete a development guide (1 hour) plus peer learning.  There are also 2 half day sessions to open and close the programme.


“The New Senior System Leader Development programme is a great course. It helps you shift your mindset to think about your role as a leader not just within your own agency but across the wider public service.”

- Service leader, Inland Revenue  


Attendance on this programme is by invite only and to leaders who are within the first 12 months of transition to a new role and Te Pae Turuki | Public Service Leaders Group.