NZ Harkness Fellowships to resume in 2023 in partnership with the Public Service Commission

After a three-year hiatus created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the New Zealand Harkness Fellowships will resume in 2023, with a refreshed focus on creating career-enhancing opportunities for emerging public sector leaders.

Applications will be advertised before Christmas, with applications due in the first quarter of 2023, allowing Fellows to travel from the middle of next year.

Key to the resumption of the Fellowships is a renewed partnership that the NZ Harkness Fellowships Trust Board has entered into with the Public Service Commission.

“While it has been frustrating being unable to run the Fellowship programme since 2019, it has given the board an opportunity to pursue the sustainable, long-term future of the NZ Harkness Fellowships,” says Harkness Fellowships Trust chair and past Fellow in 1997-98, Patrick Smellie.

A renewed focus on emerging leaders

The creation of a new relationship with the PSC, under the auspices of its Leadership Development Centre, will allow up to two Fellows annually to undertake exchanges in the United States and for the Fellowship programme to be further developed.

“Since they were first offered to New Zealand recipients in the 1950s, the Harkness Fellowships have been a prestigious award, offering life-changing opportunities and career development, mostly but not always to emerging public sector leaders,” says Smellie.

Administered by the Commonwealth Fund of New York, the Fellowships changed to focus on public health policy in the late 1990s, with a new NZ Harkness Fellowship established and administered separately, more akin to the traditional multi-disciplinary Fellowship.

A premier opportunity

A major grant in 2014, facilitated by the then Prime Minister, the Rt Hon John Key, secured the medium-term future of a shortened three-month Fellowship programme for two Fellows annually.

“Deepening our existing relationship with the Public Service Commission is a natural next step in securing the future of the Fellowships,” says  Smellie.

The Public Service Commissioner, Peter Hughes, says his own experience as a Harkness Fellow had been transformative.

“Our vision is to make the NZ Harkness Fellowship one of the premier opportunities for emerging public service leaders in years to come,” he says.

How to apply

Details of the application and selection process will be announced in late November, with applications and selections in the first quarter of next year.In the meantime, potential applicants wishing to be kept informed of the process can register their interest by sharing their contact details via this form. You can also join our LinkedIn group for news and updates.