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Master of Public Administration

Key facts

    This programme is not currently accepting applications

A unique qualification

Develop your capabilities and understanding of local government administration and management with the only qualification in New Zealand aimed specifically at local government administration.

What is it like?

Find out more about entry requirements, fees and courses in the planning section.

Massey University’s Master of Public Administration will offer you the knowledge and skills you need to gain a more in-depth understanding of local government, management and senior administration within the public sector and how these differ from the private sector.

Enhance your career prospects

The Master of Public Administration is designed for individuals seeking to advance their career within subnational government organisations, or for any experienced students seeking to enter the public sector in a managerial or administrative capacity.

In order to accommodate a varied student base, this programme is taught entirely by distance or block courses, and includes a professional research project.

What will you learn?

A Master of Public Administration will give you the skills to work to a high level of academic achievement, work to deadlines under pressure and communicate your work effectively. All of these are essential skills to work at a senior level in large organisations, or to progress to a higher level of study such as a PhD.

A master’s is a rigorous and challenging academic programme, but you will be rewarded with an in-depth knowledge of public sector administration that will significantly enhance your career prospects in a wide range of local and regional government organisations. 

International recognition

The Massey Business School is one of the country’s leading and largest business schools and is AACSB accredited.

Massey University’s business and management studies rank in the top 250 (by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings). We are ranked No.1 in New Zealand and in the top 150 universities worldwide for our business administration, communication and finance programmes by ShanghaiRanking.

Designed for local government

Massey University is the only public sector qualification in New Zealand aimed specifically at local and regional government. We have broad, cross-disciplinary expertise in this area on which you will be able to draw. During your study, you will become familiar with the theories underpinning the structure of public sector management and you will be given the opportunity to apply these in practical, real world contexts.

Accessible lecturers

We work to help you succeed. Massey University offers smaller classes and more personalised learning than many other tertiary institutions, giving you greater access to lecturers and the help you need to succeed and thrive during your master’s study.

Research-led learning

Massey teaching is research-led and our academics are internationally ranked and among the best in the world. Our teaching staff are widely published and are in demand as keynote speakers on topical global issues.

Relevant learning

Your lecturers and supervisors at Massey have strong connections with the industry. We work to ensure that our teaching fits with the changing environment, which means you will emerge with a relevant qualification valued by potential employers.


A good fit if you:

  • Are interested in an advanced career in local government or the public sector
  • Want a flexible study programme that fits your schedule and location
  • Are interested in a postgraduate qualification that combines both structured learning and research
  • Want to progress your career to the next level of seniority and stand out in the job market


Advance your career

This qualification is for public sector employees working in New Zealand government organisations who are currently, or intending to move into a management or executive role.

Potential employers may include:

  • City and regional councils
  • District health boards
  • Regionally-based government departments
  • Iwi organisations

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:

  • Young master’s graduates earn more than one and a half times more than the national median (five years after study)
  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 15% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree.

World-leading lecturers and supervisors

Massey’s public sector management staff are internationally renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with  recognised specialists, for example:

Dr Andy Asquith

Andy is passionate about good local government. He is a former local government employee and stood in the UK as a political party candidate in local body elections. He also served on the UK equivalent of a community board. His PhD examined how local authority chief executives (mis)managed change and his current research interests lie in the changing leadership roles of both local government mayors and chief executives in New Zealand and the debate surrounding the future role of local government.

Associate Professor David Tweed

David worked with the New Zealand Treasury for three years in the design and delivery of an advanced governance development programme for the directors of boards of New Zealand’s SOEs. He has management experience in turnarounds, delivery of large research contracts, and directing executive education. He is a graduate of the Senior Executive Programme at the London Business School. He most enjoys adding value to organisations in collaboration with their managers, councils, boards, and trusts.

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