Kristen Maynard

He Kākano nō Rangiātea: Wairua in a public service context


Supervisors: Dr Amanda Wolf and Dr Julia Talbot-Jones


Kristen Maynard is of Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu and Ruapani descent. She has over 20 years of policy advice and management experience in a range of state services including, the Ministry for the Environment, Department of Corrections, Ministry of Social Development, State Services Commission and the Health Promotion Agency (now part of Te Whatu Ora). She is also a qualified Fractology practitioner, and holistic life coach. In 2018, Kristen returned home to her tūrangawaewae in Tūranga-nui-ā-Kiwa and is undertaking some consultancy work, while pursuing her PhD and Masters in Fractology.


Certificate in Fractology, Institute of Fractology, 2017

Diploma of Holistic Life Coaching, Life Coach Associates, 2010

Bachelor of Laws, University of Otago, 1994

Bachelor of Arts (political studies), University of Otago, 1993

Research interests

Kristen’s research interests are primarily driven by a vision of a more humane and effective public service  - one that consistently treats people with compassion, respect and without judgement; supports people to live well and to be well; deals appropriately with complex issues; is fair, just, responsive and inclusive; and leads to equitable outcomes. Her research and lived experience suggest that Indigenous values and practices, particularly wairua/Indigenous-spirituality, could play a significant part in realising this aspiration, and help address some of the more challenging public service issues being faced worldwide.

In 2019, Kristen co-authored a Policy Quarterly article with Bob Gregory entitled “Weber vs Wairua: toward a more humane bureaucracy in Aotearoa New Zealand?” This article provides an insight into some of the early ideas that helped to frame her PhD research – see: