Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Leadership Processes of Pacific Public Servants in Aotearoa, New Zealand

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posted on 2021-11-08, 23:19 authored by Paea, Mele Katea

This dissertation presents research focused on leadership processes among Pacific public servants at multiple levels in the New Zealand Public Service. The current study was guided by this research question: What are the leadership processes currently employed by Pacific public servants in the New Zealand Public Service? This study also explored participants' views on the effect of Pacific cultural backgrounds and organisational contexts on their current experience of leadership processes. The exploration of the topic was developed within a post-positivist research paradigm, using phenomenological methodology to examine the leadership processes of Pacific public servants. It employs qualitative case studies of two New Zealand Public Service organisations in the Wellington region. I employed two data collection tools in these case studies. The first was the use of in-depth interviews, and the second was an analysis of relevant organisational documents. A total of sixteen Pacific public servants participated in my study, eight from each case organisation. The findings indicated that the Pacific participants understood leadership as a social process of collective influence within a context. Participants perceived participating, networking and relationship building, learning about leadership from cultural contexts, and practising the Pacific value of va as important leadership processes for their performance in the organisations in which they were working. This study also found that the organisations' key roles and leadership values, which are embedded in Pacific cultures, shaped participants' experiences of the leadership processes. The findings also highlight some factors that contribute to and constrain the Pacific public servants' leadership processes. This emphasises the need for diverse policies to encompass leadership development. This study also highlights the need for leadership support for Pacific public servants at all levels in their New Zealand organisations. Practical and future research recommendations gained from the findings are discussed. The study contributes to the field of leadership research on Pacific public servants in New Zealand, and provides a different perspective on leadership processes in general leadership theory.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Management Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Victoria Management School


Proctor-Thomson, Sarah; Jones, Deborah