The Holmes Prize in Public Policy | Institute for Governance and Policy Studies | Victoria University Wellington

Institute for Governance and Policy Studies

This prize is awarded to the best research paper or thesis on an issue of public policy or public management of importance to New Zealand. It will be awarded to:

  • either (i) best research paper in the Master of Public Policy programme i.e. MAPP 570;
  • or (ii) best research paper in the Master of Public Management programme i.e. MMPM 553;
  • or (iii) best thesis in the Master of Public Policy programme i.e. MAPP 575

2009 Prizewinner: Grant Fletcher

Grant Fletcher

The Holmes Prize was awarded to Grant Fletcher for the best research paper or thesis
in the Master of Public Policy, Public Management, or Strategic Studies programmes.
Air Marshal Sir Bruce Ferguson, KNZM, OBE, AFC, RNZAF (Retd) accepted the prize
on Grant’s behalf (below).

Previous Prizewinners

2008 Ruth Herbert

Ruth Herbert has a background in social and community work, which has enabled her to combine her extensive work experience with a personal interest in family violence. She examined how successful the public sector has been in implementing the three government family violence strategies, identified factors influencing implementation and recommended a range of changes that could improve implementation outcomes in the future. Since ithin in the public health system. For the past 12 years she has run her own consultancy business specialising in strategy, implementation and evaluation.

2007 Bernardine Vester

Bernardine Vester, is the Chief Executive Officer for the City of Manukau Education Trust, a charitable trust established by Manukau City Council. She has led the development of innovative community projects in family literacy, school-business connections, youth transitions, and family and community engagement in education.

Her research focused on the relationship between local government and education. Based on an analysis of responses some New Zealand communities have made to significant educational challenges, her research proposes a model for development of the relationship between these two sectors. An article based on this research appeard in the Policy Quarterly and is available here

2006 Rebecca Lineham

Rebecca Lineham, a Policy Officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, received the inaugural Prime Minister’s Prize in Strategic Studies and the Holmes Prize for her research which examined the democratic accountability of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). An article based on this research appeared in the Policy Quarterly and is available here

Rebecca Lineham



2005 Nick Matsas

Nick is currently employed in the Department of Labour as a Senior Advisor in the Workplace Group looking after the implementation and further development of the Workplace Health and Safety Strategy.

Nick's research topic is entitled "Implementation Issues for Organisations Implementing Policy Initiatives Other than their Raison D'etre" Using the designation of the Civil Aviation Authority to administer the Health and Safety in Employment Act as a case study, it is an examination of some issues implementers of public policy face when implementing policy that introduces a new dimension to an organisation that differs from what the organisation would consider is their reason to be.

An article based on this research is available here

2004 Ross McLeod

Ross gained his Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies in 1992 and a Diploma in Local Government and Administration in 1996. Ross has worked for the Waitakere City Council since 1992 and currently performs the role of Director: Corporate and Civic Services.

His research examined the impact of the political context of public organisations and political leadership on the ability of executives to lead those organisations to achieve or contribute to strategic outcomes. The aim was to examine the links between political leadership, strategic leadership efforts by executives and strategic performance of organisations. The primary research for this project was undertaken in three large local government organisations in New Zealand.

A copy of the full research report is available here

A 2007 working paper based on this research is available here

2003 Colleen Coop

Colleen's research looked at staff satisfaction as an indicator of quality in the health sector. A copy of her research paper is available here

2002 Peter Roberts

Peter's research looked at the pursuit of a safety culture in New Zealand public hospitals. This research was published by the IPS in 2003 and is available for purchase here