Ministers & Officials: How to get the relationship right – Insights from conversations at the political administrative interface
IPANZ recently collaborated with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) on a series of events to explore the crucial relationship between ministers and officials. This series of conversations was designed to shed light on what both sides can do to ensure the relationship is working at its best. Topics covered were getting the relationship between ministers and officials right, understanding and developing political nous, and building the relationship with political nous.
- 09 Aug 2023
At the IPANZ AGM last Wednesday night, 26 July 2023, Adjunct Professor Chris Eichbaum challenged the audience – should we just give up on political neutrality?
- 31 Jul 2023
Here is the survey report for the BusinessDesk/IPANZ 2022 survey of public servants that asked about how they saw the public service principles being implemented and about aspects of their workplace.
- 21 Apr 2023
Working in the Public Service – here’s what people think in September we asked our members what they thought about working in the public service – thanks to the 771 people who completed the survey. Initial results out now
- 28 Nov 2022
Apologies. I have been reflecting recently on what it means to apologise as a public servant leader. Apologising for things that happen under your watch has always seemed very straight forward to me. As the leader of an organisation, you take the good with the bad. If you are prepared to take credit for the fantastic things your organisation delivers day in and day out under your leadership but without your direct involvement, you must also be prepared to own the mistakes, which again you may have had no direct involvement in. Own it, fix it, learn from it. Sometimes owning it, being accountable, means stepping away and allowing the organisation to fix and learn under a new leader.
- 07 Sep 2022
Great relationships between ministers and senior public servants are crucial for good government decision-making. Engagement across the political-administrative divide requires effort and understanding on both the demand and the supply side of the relationship. IPANZ and ANZSOG recently co-hosted a panel discussion in Wellington to explore some of the gnarly issues at the political-administrative interface facilitated by Sally Washington, ANZSOG Executive Director Aotearoa New Zealand. You can read a summary of this discussion here
- 31 Aug 2022
IPANZ invited Riana Manuel Tumu Whakarae/Chief Executive of the new Māori Health Authority – Te Mana Hauora Māori, to speak at our 2022 Annual General Meeting. Riana provided a fascinating overview and introduction to the new Māori Health Authority, it’s role in addressing issues around Māori inequity in health outcomes and how the Kaupapa and structures demonstrate Te Tiriti in Action. You can view her presentation here.
- 28 Jul 2022
The foundations are there. The Public Service Act shifted the dial, set the tone, offered a springboard. It provided the beginnings of what may be profound change. But good foundations and promising beginnings have trumpeted transformational change many times in the public service. Enabling legislative frameworks, new initiatives, and fresh advisory groups proliferate, but few things change unless there is relentless urgency to implement what is promised.
- 08 Jun 2022
The IPANZ Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Kay Booth to the position of IPANZ Executive Director, replacing outgoing Executive Director Shenagh Gleisner. Kay brings to the role a passion for the potential of the public sector to make a difference combined with an extensive career spanning the public, private and university sector and including senior leadership in the public service, consulting, science, tertiary teaching and governance roles on Crown and not-for-profit Boards. Kay has also established and operated several businesses.
- 18 May 2022
History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes – Mark Twain
On the auspicious date of 22/2/2022, IPANZ held its much-deferred annual conference as an online conference. Miraculously, our speakers, sponsors, and more importantly, our attendees stayed with us. My thanks to all those who attended. It was a great day, providing much food for thought, debate, and action.
- 21 Mar 2022
Zooming into Better Work-Life Balance? Gender and Equity Insights from New Zealanders' Experiences with Working From Home
This research commissioned by ASB and completed by Christina Leung and Sara Hogan from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) assesses the potential implications of the increasing trend towards working from home on wellbeing and career progression, particularly regarding the impact on women.
It found that during recent lockdowns women took on a greater share of childcare and home-schooling duties. We discuss ways to mitigate the impacts on career progression to ensure equity for all workers.
- 15 Mar 2022
Entries for Te Hāpai Hapori | Spirit of Service Awards 2022 are open from Monday 21 March through to Monday 23 May 2022.
The awards are open to organisations across central and local government, including Crown entities. Entries are welcome from single agencies or collaborative initiatives, which may include partners outside the public sector.
- 15 Mar 2022
My office is on Lambton Quay in the heart of Wellington’s CBD. It is a great location for viewing parades, protests, or just the ordinary foot traffic. The CBD is noticeably quieter these days as more people work from home. Tuesday, 8 November was different.
I was aware that there was a protest march, it was not until my meeting was completely disrupted by the sound and vibration of huge motorbikes that I looked out. As others have commented, this was a protest like no other I have seen. There was no unifying message or chant. Some placards were vehemently anti-vax, some pro-vaccination but anti-mandate, others anti-1080. Pro-choice placards were next to Nazi swastikas and anti-apartheid signs. Some waved the Tino Rangatiratanga flag, others the flag of the United Tribes – often upside down. Still others waved Trump and QAnon flags and slogans.
- 25 Nov 2021
IPANZ Member, Te Taura Whiri - The Māori Language Commission has taken out the supreme award at the International Public Relations Association’s Golden World Awards for Excellence for their Māori Language Moment | Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori. This campaign saw 1 in 5 New Zealanders – more than 1 million people – celebrate te reo at the same time, marking the moment in 1972 when the Māori language petition was presented to parliament.
- 18 Nov 2021
We have created a new Strategic Stakeholder Advisor role, which will focus on gathering intelligence and ideas to meet the needs of our members and, ensuring we are reaching as far as we possibly can with our material, including to the general public. If you know the public sector very well, are a great communicator, researcher and marketer, it could suit you.
- 02 Nov 2021
Kāore te kūmara e kōrero mō tōna ake reka The kumara does not speak of its own sweetness He aha te kai a te rangatira? He kōrero, he kōrero, he kōrero. What is the food of the leader? It is knowledge, it is communication. On 12 November 2021, IPANZ will be holding its annual conference. The focus of the conference is on the key challenges facing the public service, both current and future. It is a conference designed to provide public service professionals with the opportunity to pause, listen, reflect, and learn together.
- 06 Sep 2021
Do you know someone deserving of the inaugural NZIER Early Career Economics Leader award? Someone, you see as a rising star in their field?Nominations for the inaugural NZIER Early Career Economics Leader award are now open.
- 13 Jul 2021
You will have seen the latest news regarding the change in COVID-19 Alert Level in Wellington - the region has been moved to Alert Level 2. We are closely monitoring the situation and will update you should this impact any of our events.
- 23 Jun 2021
A message from IPANZ President, Liz MacPherson, copied from our upcoming Public Sector Journal (July 2021 edition).
Hoki whakamuri, kia anga whakamua - Look to the past to help forge the future
Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua - I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past
- 16 Jun 2021
A media release from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) about their newly released working paper highlighting how New Zealand’s place in the world – including flows in trade, people, capital, and ideas – continues to change in the wake of COVID-19.Read more here...
- 10 Jun 2021
Next week, (starting 31 May) is the final opportunity to do New Zealand’s first Public Service Census, Te Taunaki. It remains open for anyone working over the Queen’s Birthday holiday weekend, until 12 noon on Tuesday 8 June.
Read here for more information.
- 28 May 2021
Public Service Pay Guidance 2021
Every employee needs to know that good work is valued in their workplace. For employees to go the extra mile they need to know they are appreciated for the service they give, whether in management, backroom offices or the front line.
- 17 May 2021
Copied from our current (April 2021) Public Sector Journal
Is soft power our super-power?
Just this week, the Global Soft Power Index 2021 was published. New Zealand was recognised as the fastest rising nation in the new rankings, reflecting the way we have collectively responded to COVID-19. Now, like me, you may have had no idea that the Global Soft Power Index even existed and may share my scepticism of indices run by brand management firms. However, it did trigger some thoughts.
“Soft power” is defined as the ability for a country to use its reputation, networks, and standing to have influence around the world. It is about being able to attract, build, and mobilise networks of people. It is the opposite of might-based “hard power”.
- 25 Mar 2021
Copied from our December 2020 Public Sector Journal Ka whangaia, ka tupu, ka puawai – That which is nurtured grows, then blossoms I recently attended a hui where the participants were asked for their “why”. Why were they participating? Why were they giving up their time and their energy? What did they hope to achieve from being part of the emergent kaupapa. Each person recorded their thoughts in silence. Virtually to a person, the answer was a variation on “my mokopuna”, “my grandchildren”, or even “my mokopuna’s mokopuna”. This is the essence of stewardship – supporting and taking decisions that will improve the wellbeing of our mokopuna and the world we leave to them.
- 02 Mar 2021
Beware Unsubstantiated Claims
The third part of Simon Wilson’s essay “Why I am afraid” (Weekend Herald 16 January 2021) raises some important insights about threats to democracy. If inequality, racism and climate change are not addressed, the seeds are sown for deep discord...
- 26 Jan 2021
This news item contains of the contents of an email message, sent out by The Māori Language Commission - Te Taura Whiri acknowledging the statement and commitment to a new direction for Māori content by the editorial team at Stuff NZ.
- 02 Dec 2020
The IPANZ website has a great collection of information on it. We hope you dig into it from time to time to read things you have missed. Here are three areas on the website that we think you might enjoy.
- 25 Nov 2020
Follow these step by step instructions to create an IPANZ login.
- 20 Oct 2020
John Larkindale has had one of the most varied and rewarding careers it’s possible to have - and all within one Government agency. Not bad for someone who was expected to become a chemist and then take over the family business manufacturing adhesives and cleansers for the dairy industry. Half way through his PHD, John realised he didn’t want “to know more and more about less and less” and instead wanted to learn and experience more of the world — so finished his PhD (in record time) and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the age of 25. Read more about John's journey through the sector here.
- 29 Sep 2020
“Performance management” is changing as the methods shift from the traditional annual appraisals to a continuous process of communication and coaching. There is a big body of research on this subject, but limited research in the context of and application in the New Zealand Public Service
We think it will be of real interest to you. It is being undertaken at Victoria University. All you need to do is to set aside about 45-60 minutes of your time to be interviewed by the researcher. This can take place any time during October or November.
- 29 Sep 2020
- Tag B
Hannah Cameron, Deputy Commissioner, Strategy and Policy at the State Services Commission has provided us with a brief update on progress of the Public Service Legislation Bill.
- 18 Jun 2020
At least one commentator has noted that Covid-19 has given us a communications master class. Many have said that the communications effort has been intrinsic to New Zealand’s success during the COVID-19 crisis.
The focus has often been on the personal qualities of the Prime Minister and the Director General of Health. There is little doubt about the effectiveness of these two leaders as communicators, and that their effectiveness has relied very much on the team around them.
- 02 Jun 2020
In response to our last e-update, we received comment about the innovation, leadership and collaboration shown in many sectors. One that we particularly enjoyed was an update from Te Awakairangi Health Network, about the response through a primary care lens.
It talks of the transformation that took place in the primary health care sector and recognises the response that has occurred at a local and national level.
- 27 May 2020
The no surprises principle (sometimes called a convention) is an element of the operations of the Executive. IPANZ has an interest in the norms, structures and processes of our public administration system. Hence our wish to engage with IPANZ members on this issue. We are contacting IPANZ members now as there is an opportunity to learn more about the operation of the no surprises principle, and to make your views known.
- 18 May 2020
Leadership is coming from people throughout New Zealand, individuals, the community sector, Iwi and hapu, local government and the private sector and more. We celebrate them all. But we especially want to shine the light on the public service today as we move towards Level 2.
Here we share just a few examples of achievements so far:
- 11 May 2020
The team at IPANZ are working from home during the coronavirus lockdown. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or require any information, we'd love to hear from you. Our contact details are:
- Executive Director, Shenagh Gleisner - firstname.lastname@example.org or 027 485 0369
- Office Manager, Della Urgenc - email@example.com or 021 493 930 - for all accounts or membership queries.
- Events Manager, Fiona McDonald - firstname.lastname@example.org or 027 294 8808 - for all event queries.
- 30 Apr 2020
This article from Geoff Mulgan’s blog caught our attention. He turns his mind to the future, and especially speaks of what might happen in relation to government once the crisis is over — very much the sorts of things IPANZ thinks about.
- 22 Apr 2020
Leaders are under extraordinary pressure right now. They are expected to make decisions quickly with often incomplete and rapidly evolving information. Research tells us that even the most intentional and well-meaning leaders can fall into patterns of bias and exclusion — the pressures of working in crisis mode mean we often default to heuristics and gut instincts, rather than making deliberate and goal-oriented decisions. Yet now, more than ever leaders must prioritise inclusion. To be truly innovative, organisations need input from all employees, a diversity of ideas and perspectives is critical for problem solving and realising development opportunities.
- 22 Apr 2020
Have a look at this interesting article written by Dr Alan Bollard. IPANZ is aware of the enormous effort, and skill, dedication being shown by public sector professionals both at the front line, and no less important, behind the scenes. They deserve our admiration and support. We very much liked the ending of this challenging article "spare them a thought".
We have permission to circulate this article from Dr Alan Bollard, former Reserve Bank Governor. It has also been published in the National Business Review.
- 31 Mar 2020
Decision to Suspend In-Person Events We put a high value on face-to-face events and interaction, however it is clear that one of the best ways we can all contribute to slowing the spread of COVID-19 is to limit in-person interactions where possible. We have therefore decided to suspend in-person events, and will be focussing instead on delivering a virtual programme. The good news is that we’re well positioned to offer you a virtual programme that continues to support your development — through our e-updates, our social media platforms, and video content.
- 19 Mar 2020