'Kia kaha, kia kaha maia, kia manawanui - Be strong, have confidence and determination. Life is what you make it...'

Hinewai Clark, awardee, at the Auckland award ceremony 2017

The next funding round opens 1 March 2021. 

 If you have any questions, please contact: enquiries@newhorizonsforwomen.org.nz

Please note: You will need to sign up to register on the applications website. Once registered, you will be able to start your application. You can return to complete your application at another time, by signing back in. This video shows how to continue a partially completed application. View The Video

Purpose of the award

The Ria McBride Public Service Management Award for women is sponsored by the State Services Commission. The goal of this prestigious award is to help women, including those who have not previously undertaken academic studies, who have already demonstrated potential, to advance to higher levels of responsibility in the Public Service.

The award honours Ria McBride, who was the first woman appointed Chief Clerk of the Public Service Commission (which preceded the current State Services Commission). Ria McBride worked for the Public Service Commission from 1946 to 1960 overcoming prejudice and obstacles as a woman in a then male domain. She was the first non-Maori to be appointed to the Maori Welfare Division of the Maori Affairs Department, serving as Administration Officer there from 1960 to 1967, when she became head of the Housing Division. Upon her "retirement" in 1970, she pursued equal employment opportunities for women, as a founder member of the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women. In this role she helped set up the Accident Compensation Commission. From 1978 to 1980 she was one of the first full-time human rights commissioners.

Value of the award: Up to $15,000 for professional development. 

  • The money is to be used for study and personal development in a position in the Public Service.

  • The recipient may use the award for study over an extended period (up to 5 years), or a brief period of intensive study provided the recipient retains eligibility by working for the Public Service (in a department listed in the First Schedule of the State Sector Act 1988)

  • The money may be used for tuition costs for an approved programme of study, experiential development, transport costs, costs associated with disabilities, childcare or other study-related expenses. It will be paid out by the New Horizons for Women Trust: Hine Kahukura on receipt of an invoice for expenses anticipated and included in the winner's proposal. It may be used in combination with funding from other sources.

  • The recipient of the Award is expected to pursue study leading to a recognisable and reputable higher qualification, as appropriate to the recipient’s circumstances. Applicants pursuing a second chance at education are encouraged to apply.


  • Are employees of Public Service departments listed in the First Schedule of the State Sector Act 1988 (PLEASE check your eligibility prior to completing an application using the link below.).

  • Have a letter of support from the Chief Executive of their department.

  • Are citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand or have full residency status (provide evidence of residency status)

  • Live in New Zealand

  • Have not previously received a Ria McBride Public Service Management Award.


Ria McBride Public Service Management Award