Working for a Better New Zealand

With both parents in the public sector, it was almost inevitable that Kavya Shrivastava would find herself working in the public sector too!

Kavya started working part-time as a clerical support officer at the Ministry of Justice, the same year she started studying at Victoria University of Wellington. Within a couple of months, she was promoted to Grants Officer.

She says that experience gave her a good feel for public service — so when she graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in economics, marketing and international business, she decided to stay in the public sector.

She took her first full-time job in 2016 with Land Information New Zealand, where she is now a portfolio manager, dealing with the acquisition and disposal of Crown land and ensuring Crown land is being put to its best use.

Kavya, who was born in India, says the appeal of working in the public sector is knowing she’s working towards making New Zealand a better place.

"I am very proud of my work at LINZ and making a difference through my work by exercising delegated statutory authority,” she says. “It’s very satisfying to work for the public sector.”

She also loves learning about and experiencing first-hand the machinery of government, how Cabinet works, and the effects of changes in government.

She came to IPANZ to learn more about the sector, and she started attending New Professionals events for the networking and sense of community.

“My main goal was connecting with like-minded people that you might not have access to otherwise. It’s very welcoming, and anyone who is new to the public sector can join in and talk about their challenges.”

Kavya became a co-convener last year — drawn to the role because she wanted to help to foster the network, the sense of belonging, and to host really interesting and useful events.

“It’s about creating a sense of belonging. It can be a lonely place starting a new job in the public sector and it’s a steep learning curve when it’s your first time. IPANZ is a great way to get those skills that you need and meet people who can help you out. We also host a wide range of events based on what’s happening in the work at that time. These help you stay informed in a very accessible and understandable way — while getting to hang out with lots of people!”

Outside of work, Kavya likes to work out, eat out and runs a food blog on Instagram,, which you can check out for her latest tips on great places to eat!