Perspectives


Monitoring the Implementation of the Public Service Act's Principles and Values

A key plank of the IPANZ strategy is to “ensure the espoused aspiration to demonstrate public sector ethics, values and principles is fully reflected in the lived experience of public sector professionals”. The day-to-day demonstration of these principles in action will be achieved by steady culture change, support, inspiration and modelling by everyone. However, progress will presumably need to be tracked and monitored for learning and improvement to take place. We were therefore interested to talk with Simon Chapple of Victoria University about his ideas on potential ways of monitoring implementation over time.

  • 06 Oct 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Principles and Values
  • Public Service Reform

New York City’s Open Streets Programme

New York City’s Open Streets Programme is closed to many who need it the most, writes Amy Howden-Chapman. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 1 million New Yorkers could not access a park within 10 minutes’ walk from their homes. Like millions of other New Yorkers, I live in an apartment with no garden or balcony. To stay sane and get through the stress and sadness of the pandemic, I needed to be able to spend time outdoors – to see the sky. In March, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would close some streets to cars and allow them to be “open” to residents so people could use their street like they would a front yard. However, the initial Open Streets pilot programme consisted of just four streets (1.6 miles) to serve a city of over 8 million residents. The pilot programme lasted just over a week.

  • 05 Oct 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice

The Case for Mesh Governance

COVID-19 has put intense pressure on governments around the world. Aside the tragic loss of life, the pandemic has also acted as a natural experiment in best-practice governance. We can learn from the variety of governmental responses in order to perform better when confronted by similar challenges. There is, however, controversy about which lessons we should learn. Advocates of centralised government point to our experiences in Aotearoa New Zealand as proof that centralisation ensures efficiency and clarity. Meanwhile, advocates of decentralisation underline how important the semi-autonomy of states and cities has been in the United States, where clear federal co-ordination has been sorely lacking.Mulgan argues that neither of these impulses is correct

  • 05 Oct 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Collaboration
  • Public Service

A Journey to Enhance Cultural Competence

A number of the readers of our Public Sector Journal have been inspired by the journey of Emerge Aotearoa to better meet the needs of Māori. Barbara Disley talks of the vital importance of leadership (from the board and management), how strategy and values are lynch pins, how partnering with Iwi is essential, and how developing Māori leaders in the organisation is key to sustaining change. There are lessons for everyone in hearing about this journey, and how it is delivering outcomes.

  • 29 Sep 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Cultural Competence
  • Wellington

Futures Terminology

In everyday conversation, people talk about ‘the future’ in the singular, as though there was one future we were heading towards – but myriads of decisions, big and small are being made, every moment of every day. As each decision is made, it takes some futures out of contention and steers us towards other futures that are now more able to come into being. Since the 1990s, various futurists, including Dr Joseph Voros, Senior Lecturer in Strategic Foresight at Swinburne University of Technology, have developed a wider set of terms for distinguishing between different types of futures. They are each described briefly in this article.

  • 15 Sep 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Futures Thinking

The Role of Science in Policy

The government’s COVID-19 response has shown how crucial science advice is in informing policy decisions. With
so much science discussed in the press and social media, trusted science advice is hugely important for all policy. But who selects and interprets science for the government and how does it inform policy decisions? MARGARET MCLACHLAN found out.

  • 02 Sep 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Policy Advice
  • Research
  • Science

Why Data Empowerment Matters

SAM YOON of Deloitte advocates a different approach to data protection. With the ascension of technology, privacy policy makers are scrambling to balance the utility of such technologies with individual data rights. Appropriate policies should focus on empowering users with their data, rather than punitive measures to limit data usage.

  • 02 Sep 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Big Data
  • Information Technology
  • Privacy

In The Public Service? Artificial Intelligence and Government

Artificial intelligence presents some marvellous opportunities for the public service. SEAN AUDAIN gives a summary of some of these along with the unique challenges.

  • 02 Sep 2020
  • 2020
  • Artifical Intelligence
  • Best Practice
  • Information Technology
  • Innovation

Keeping the Public's Trust and Confidence

SHENAGH GLEISNER talks to the Auditor-General, John Ryan, about public accountability and trust and confidence. The Auditor-General’s website often contains challenging ideas. In late 2019, they wrote about public accountability with a focus on the trust and confidence of New Zealanders in the public service. They also drew attention to the focus on stewardship in the public service legislation and considered how public accountability could change accordingly.

  • 02 Sep 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Integrity
  • Trust & Confidence

A Comment About Open Government by Laurence Millar

OGP – Opaque Government Programme? One of the final acts of this Parliament was to pass the Public Service Act which has been described by the Minister, Hon Chris Hipkins, as the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The Act defines five public service principles, this article is focussed on the fourth principle “to foster a culture of open government”.

  • 25 Aug 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Open Government

Commentary on the Final Versions of the Public Service Act 2020

The Public Service Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 6 August 2020 and, consequently, has become part of New Zealand law. During the legislative process, IPANZ made two submissions on the proposed legislation, the first during the initial consultation period following the release of a discussion document and the second in January 2020 in response to the draft Bill which appeared subsequently. IPANZ also made an oral submission to the Governance and Administration Select Committee on 4 March 2020. As is to be expected, the final Act is in large part unchanged from the draft Bill, apart from quite a number of what might be deemed ‘technical’ amendments. These will not be commented on further here. IPANZ is, however, pleased to note that a number of substantive changes have however been made in line with its suggestions. It is also fair to note, however, that IPANZ is disappointed that other suggestions that have not been taken up (examples include the lack of an explicit reference to the critical constitutional role played by the Public Service and the continued omission of a provision recognising the responsibility of Ministers not to act in such a way as to undermine the principles of the Act). IPANZ remains of the view that their omission reflects an opportunity lost. The following comments and discussion largely follow the shape of IPANZ’s January 2020 submission which in turn follows, more or less, the order in which the issues are addressed in the Bill.

  • 24 Aug 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Public Service Reform

Reclaim or Reframe

The pandemic has forced the world to change. JIM SCULLY, co-founder of ThinkPlace New Zealand, sees this as a chance to build a better tomorrow. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the world are re-evaluating their futures. It seems to be that there are two choices: individuals, teams, and communities can reclaim “what was” by attempting to recreate the pre-lockdown status quo or they could use this as a springboard to ask “what could be?” This choice will exist for a brief window of time and could be overlooked in our rush to take decisive action. How might leaders use this time? There are opportunities at the team and system levels.

  • 13 Aug 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Crisis Response
  • Leadership

Equity for Maori in Health Services

In late 2018 and early 2019 there were a series of discussions with the five DHBs from the Waikato north, encouraged by the Minister. The aim was to seek to establish common purpose around the recognition of Te Tiriti in the health sector and the improvement of access to services for Maori. If we are to improve equity, "address persistent Maori health inequities" and meet our Te Tiriti responsibilities it follows we must change practice. But which practices do we change, and how do we do this and what happens to those who might stand to miss out from such a change?

  • 31 Jul 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Maori-Crown Relationships
  • Public Service

Some Background Information on Individual Ministerial Responsibility

Recent weeks have seen a relatively rare event in New Zealand politics and public administration – the resignation of a Cabinet Minister. One can ‘make sense’ of events like this through a number of perspectives - Chris Eichbaum shares some thoughts on Ministerial Responsibility in this article for IPANZ members.

  • 16 Jul 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice

New Zealand Spirit of Service Scholarship

Arun Jain and Tennille Maxey are the inaugural recipients of the Westpac New Zealand Spirit of Service Scholarship, which supports early-in-career public servants to attend Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government to study towards a Master of Public Policy. They’re half way through the year-long programme, and in this article they give an update, with some of their big highlights and insights, and how Covid-19 has impacted their studies.

  • 30 Jun 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Leadership
  • Public Servant

Kia Kaha, Te Reo Maori! Kia Kaha, Aotearoa!

Te reo Māori has played a central role in the Crown’s response to the coronavirus or as our translators named it: Mate Korona. In the first days of lockdown, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori assembled our nation’s leading translators into a specialist, rapid response reo Māori team. By collaborating as a team, peer reviewing, and creating new terms related to the virus, they provided translations seven days a week, often well into the early hours.

  • 17 Jun 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Crisis Response
  • Public Service
  • Te Reo
  • Wellbeing
  • Wellington

Voices From Canterbury

As public servants, our role in New Zealand’s economic and social recovery from Covid-19 presents many challenges but also many opportunities. How effectively we respond will, at least in some part, be determined by how well we learn from the experiences of the past. In the latest issue of our Journal, we talk to people with different roles in the Canterbury region, about the lessons they have learnt about responding to crisis and trauma that could help to shape our future responses.

  • 17 Jun 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Crisis Response
  • Wellington

Technology Change, Pandemics and the Future of Work

Nicholas Green from the Productivity Commission considers the potential impact on our workplaces from Covid-19, building on the work of the Commission into Technological change and the future of work. Nicholas lays out a range of economic impacts if New Zealanders retain the preferences for doing things more online. He focusses specifically on how the public sector should think about the issues, and opportunities in all portfolios to improve resilience and service productivity.

  • 17 Jun 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Information Technology
  • Innovation
  • Wellington

Engaging Young People in Policy and Practice Development

How might we get young people to genuinely provide input to public sector decisions? This is not a question everyone asks - but it’s regularly on my mind. With Select Committees being about politicians needing more information, not about civic dialogue, we need new ways to involve citizens, notably young people, in decision making. I can only speak about examples that have crossed my path while working for the public sector.

  • 17 Jun 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Collaboration
  • Youth Engagement

Please Press Pause

IPANZ is aware of those important partners of the public service in the non-government charitable sector. The Chief Executives of the Wise Group have sent a paper called Please Press Pause to Government with an important message about taking the time to reflect on some of the sector transformation that has been nimbly achieved over the past six weeks, because we don’t lose any of the social good that has been gained through the COVID-19 crisis

  • 12 May 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Public Service
  • Wellington

Understanding Multi-Ethnicity in Aotearoa

EeMun Chen, a senior analyst with MartinJenkins, has written about multi-ethnicity and the consequences of this for public servants — whether policy professionals or service providers. She particularly makes a plea for a greater focus on qualitative research to provide a more accurate and nuanced understanding of the lived experience of this group, which now stands at more than half a million people in New Zealand.

  • 11 May 2020
  • 2020
  • Best Practice
  • Big Data
  • Demographics
  • Wellington

Beyond 2022 - Ireland Sets Out to Reclaim Part of its History

This major cultural project has required collaboration, funding and an interdisciplinary approach to work previously unseen - there are lessons and parallels for New Zealand's Archives and Culture and Heritage communities

  • 02 Jul 2019
  • 2019
  • Best Practice
  • Culture and Heritage

Results from IPANZ New Professionals Survey

In November, the IPANZ New Professionals Committee undertook a survey of our members to stocktake how they're feeling in their work life as well as how the New Professionals Committee can continue to support their progression.

  • 03 Dec 2018
  • Best Practice
  • New Professionals

Maudie Johnson-Hunter takes out IPANZ Public Administration Prize

Maudie Johnson-Hunter is the winner of the IPANZ Public Administration Prize 2018 for top marks in a Public Management paper as part of her BCom at Victoria University of Wellington. However, completing her degree was just the start for Maudie.

  • 23 Nov 2018
  • Best Practice
  • Education
  • Public Servant

A Framework for Wellbeing

As we look towards New Zealand’s first “Wellbeing Budget” in 2019, Carl Billington takes a closer look at what we mean by wellbeing and how we might measure it. Traditionally, wellbeing has always been the focus, if not always the outcome, of economics. The current kōrero that is developing around wellbeing, economics, and public policy represents a return to this original understanding.

  • 20 Nov 2018
  • Best Practice
  • Innovation
  • Public Service