Mānawatia a Matariki! Matariki is the start of the Māori New Year. It's a time to reflect on the previous year and to set the goals for the year ahead.

During this time, GWN is pleased to shine a light on nine women who are rising stars in public sector for their career progress and their achievements in the past year. Join us in celebrating these women role models as we look ahead and set our goals for the coming year.

Click the links on each name to see their full story.


Ginette Spence, Project Manager, PHARMAC

“Kua tawhiti kē tō haerenga mai, kia kore e haere tonu. He nui rawa ō mahi, kia kore e mahi tonu.” (You have come too far not to go further, you have done too much not to do more.) — Tā Himi Henare

Kilisitina (Chrissy) Fifita, Intelligence and Insight Specialist, Inland Revenue

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Tanya Carter, Acting Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)

Ehara tāku toa, he takitahi, he toa takitini.” (My success should not be bestowed onto me alone, as it was not individual success but success of a collective.)

Jess Middlemiss, District Manager – Canterbury,  Ara Poutama Aotearoa, Department of Corrections

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese proverb

Amy Wikaira, Assistant Advisor, Māori Capability, Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission

“Me ārahi, me whai, me whakawātea rānei.” (Lead, follow or get out of the way.) — Eva Rickard

Leila Nicholson, Principal Adviser to the Chief Science Adviser, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)

“Be curious, be brave and be open to the nudge – take opportunities that present themselves because they are well within your capability!”

Wikitoria (Wiki) Pou, Emergency Dispatch, NZ Police

“If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” — Maya Angelou

Jude Patterson, Chief Fire Officer, Fire and Emergency New Zealand

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak – it’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

Avery Underwood, Senior Communications Adviser, Inland Revenue (IR)

“When one of us shines, all of us shine.”


You can see the full range of posts on our LinkedIn page or download our Matariki Rising Stars 2021 list

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