History Matters - The Public Service in 1914

History matters, looking back helps us move forward. So often, the challenges of today are ones that have been thoroughly traversed over many years, there are so often profound insights which public servants working today can use.

In the interests of a historical perspective, in relation to public administration, we go right back to 1914 to take a glimpse at the public sector then, in an article written by Tim Shoebridge, produced by the NZ History team.

 Just three bits of information to get you thinking -

  • “Business operations made a substantial contribution to the funding of the public service. The two trading departments (the Railways and Post and Telegraph departments) provided 43% of government revenue, with Customs bringing in another 28%.”
  • “The public hospital system was maintained by local bodies under government supervision, but the government managed the mental hospital system directly through its Mental Hospitals Department.”
  • “In 1913, most of the public service was put under the control of a Public Service Commissioner. He introduced a service-wide recruitment process, and restricted the public service entry examinations to male candidates”

You can read the entire article here.