Challenges and opportunities of Indigenous public service leadership

  • Published Date: 06 March 2017

We know we’ve made progress in recent years, but what lessons (good and bad) could and should we be learning from other places? 

What makes for culturally inclusive public sector organisations led and staffed by culturally fluent people?

On March 9, Dr Catherine Althaus, new Associate Dean (Academic) at ANZSOG, presented on a study of Indigenous leadership across NZ, Australia, Canada and South Africa, designed to reflect on the challenges and opportunities facing Indigenous public servants in these post-colonial countries, in turn mapping the roles and experiences of Indigenous officials to distil lessons for both the structure of government agencies and our various HR cultures, policies and practices.


pdf Catherine Althaus presentation (1.71 MB)  (PDF)

Listen to Catherine Althaus discuss leadership in our podcast.

Top 5 ideas:

  • The experiences that Di Grennell confirmed Maori public servants go through on a daily basis
  • The comparative data between countries, indicating the global nature of these issues and that it is not isolated to certain demographics
  • Why public servants need to acknowledge cultural leadership models as integral to improved outcomes for indigenous Maori
  • That no individual can represent a group, because they do not share the same exact history or experience
  • That we need to keep having these conversations, to include more people in the conversations, and make meaningful change.


Leading from between: Challenges and opportunities of Indigenous public servant leadershipLeading from between: Challenges and opportunities of Indigenous public servant leadership was held 9 March in Wellington.