Welcome to the TalentNZ Menu of Initiatives. The Menu is designed to invite discussion and reflection over a range of possible initiatives to attract talented individuals to live and work in New Zealand, and is a part of the McGuinness Institute project TalentNZ.

TalentNZ builds on Sir Paul Callaghan’s vision that New Zealand be ‘a place where talent wants to live’. We have researched this idea, which he originally advocated in 2011 at the StrategyNZ workshop, and can report back that he was ahead of the curve. He could see the important role that talent would have in New Zealand’s economic and social development, he understood the capacity of young people to surprise us with their talents, and he knew we needed to develop a mindset where we respected those whose talents were different from our own.

Today you cannot open a magazine or newspaper without reading about the role of talent in economic and social development in some way. The countries and communities which learn how to implement Sir Paul’s vision, and deliver an ecosystem that grows, attracts, retains and connects talent have a real opportunity for long term success. Countries and communities that do not actively pursue the creation of dynamic, talent-based economies are more likely to struggle in the long term. Talent attracts talent, dynamic talent ecosystems will create a gravitational pull, and we want that pull to be in New Zealand’s direction. This will require hard work and a mindset where communities build on their unique strengths and weaknesses.

TalentNZ began in 2012, and it has already proved to be quite a journey. To the amazing Kiwis doing extraordinary things who we have met along the way, thank you all for your support, we could not have come this far without you.

The McGuinness Institute will maintain this website to allow more ideas to be gathered and shared. We hope the website will provide clarity over how communities might develop cost-effective and innovative solutions to strengthen their gravitational pull and deliver better outcomes to their citizens. To this end we welcome your feedback, your examples and any additional research you think might be useful: please email us at talentnz@mcguinnessinstitute.org.

Enjoy the website, and in particular check out the examples of how Kiwis are working hard today to make New Zealand a place where talent wants to live.

Wendy and the team


This is a McGuinness Institute Project.

20160603 TalentNZ Stress test meeting in blue

In the second half of 2016 we will be publishing a TalentNZ Infographic Poster. This poster will be an illustrative diagram that explains the development of our thinking from a traditional jobs-based economy to a talent-based economy. It is an output of the TalentNZ Refresh meeting held on 19 May 2016.

Menu of Initiatives back
In 2014 we created, with the help of councillors from around the country, a Menu of InitiativesThis menu illustrates New Zealand’s talent ecosystem and showcases a broad range of possible initiatives that communities might implement in order to create a flourishing talent-based economy.

Sam Morgan

Sam Morgan speaks about The Talent Thing during the launch of the TalentNZ Menu of Initiatives on 11 June 2014. Check out the TalentNZ playlist