Miranda Smith wins IPANZ Public Administration Prize

This year’s IPANZ Public Administration Prize for top marks in a Public Management paper has been awarded to Miranda Smith.

Miranda is in her fifth year of a conjoint Bachelor of Commerce and LLB (Hons) majoring in Public Policy at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW).

She received top marks in the VUW School of Government’s Emerging Perspectives in Public Management paper.

Miranda, 23, says her first year commerce papers gave her a taste of public policy, and her interest was captured.

“I liked how it was theoretical but also practical, because you could see how public policy impacts on people’s everyday lives. Studying and living in Wellington gives the course great context, with decisions being made just over the road in Cabinet. VUW School of Government has a very good selection of papers that allowed me to look at all sorts of areas of public policy, as well as experienced and inspiring people on the teaching staff.”

Miranda has also had a taste of working in the public sector, as a policy intern working on insurance contract law at the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

“I appreciated that they provided me with a range of experiences. I got to go along to a meeting with the Minister and important stakeholders, which felt like everything I had learned so far at university was happening right in front of me. I also got to write briefings for the Minister, knowing that he was actually going to read them and might take them into account in his decision-making. Overall it was a valuable insight into how public policy works in practice.”

This summer Miranda will be clerking in a law firm and, while she’s unsure what the future holds when she completes her studies, she says she can see herself combining her interests in law and public policy.

She will be completing her final year at VUW next year, including a trimester exchange at the University of Liverpool, before looking for a graduate role.