Perspectives


Risk Is Not A Four-Letter Word!

It’s a way to embrace uncertainty and enable success Managing risk sounds chronically dull to many. David Nalder, who’s spent thirty years helping organisations understand and manage risk effectively, sees it differently. He views “risk” as an inherent part of success, management, performance, and decision making.

  • 04 Oct 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Public Service
  • Risk Management
  • Wellington

The Constitution is a Taonga

Our constitution is unwritten. Tyson Hullena explores the benefits of our constitutional arrangements and how its interaction with Te Tiriti presents great opportunities for Aotearoa as a whole.

The constitution of Aotearoa is in a constant state of flux. Our constitution has slowly and reactively changed to reflect societal preferences. Each reaction has added its own flavour, influencing the constitution in a different way.
The purpose of this piece is to discuss and track how our constitution continues to change...

  • 04 Oct 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Governance
  • Public Service
  • Te Tiriti
  • Wellington

Getting the Relationship Right: Effective Engagement with Ministers

Getting the relationship right: Effective engagement with ministers across the political/administrative interface
What’s the secret to building and maintaining great relationships with ministers? What can public servants do to effectively support ministers as they navigate both the political landscape and bureaucratic hurdles? Liam Russell reports on the key takeaways from a recent panel discussion jointly hosted by IPANZ and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), where a former prime minister, a current minister, a chief executive, and a former prime minister’s chief of staff reflected on the drivers of a good relationship – and shared their advice and insights on managing stresses and strains and building an enduring foundation of trust.

  • 07 Sep 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Parliament
  • Policy Advice
  • Public Servant
  • Public Service

Collaboration: Reflections on the IPANZ Webinar Series

Bill Ryan, Adjunct Professor, School of Government, Victoria University, reflects on the outcomes from the IPANZ webinar series on collaboration.

The IPANZ webinars held during May and focusing on moving collaboration forward were welcome.
Each webinar canvassed the following three questions:

  • What has the public service done so far to better enable collaborative work?
  • What can be done next to further reduce barriers to collaborative work?
  • What are the difficult issues for the public service and how can these complex trade-offs be addressed?


  • 07 Sep 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Collaboration
  • Public Service
  • Wellington

Public Sector Heroes and Heroines

In the September Issue of Public Sector Journal - Special Feature: New leaders in the Public Sector Enhancing Te Taiao Te Papa Atawhai has presented its first ever Matariki Awards, celebrating staff who make an extraordinary contribution towards enhancing DOC’s role as a Te Tiriti o Waitangi partner. Humble, courageous, and inclusive were words used to describe joint winners, Jeff Milham and Martin Rodd. Kathy Ombler went to meet them. Te Papa Atawhai’s Matariki Awards were introduced to recognise the first Matariki public holiday, says Huia Lloyd, Director, Kāhui Kaupapa Atawhai.

  • 07 Sep 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Leadership
  • Public Servant
  • Public Service
  • Te Tiriti

Getting to the Table: Lifting the Veil on Barriers to Allyship

In the upcoming September issue of our Public Sector Journal, Chikita Kodikal explains a hopeful new way of getting minority and marginalised communities to the table.

  • 07 Sep 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Diversity
  • Public Service

Elbowing Through the Crowd

Ihlara McIndoe wants to see women at all levels of the public service, but she’s troubled by a trend she sees among conversations about women in leadership.

  • 09 Jun 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Equality
  • Leadership
  • Public Service

What Do Network Leaders Do?

The trouble is that this increasing interconnectedness does not reduce our requirement for leadership. By creating new and tough problems and undermining the legitimacy and effectiveness of some of the traditional institutional responses to them, it actively increase it. But the question is what kind of leadership do we need?

  • 08 Jun 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Leadership
  • Public Service
  • Wellington

Systems Thinking

During 2022 and onwards, IPANZ will regularly be focussing on systems, and the thinking and actions needed to work effectively with systems beyond the boundaries of our organisations and sectors
This is a brief introduction to a definition of systems thinking and the first steps in thinking in this way. We would welcome ideas/articles/blogs or the work of great thinkers in this area, just contact us with your recommendations.

  • 08 Jun 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Public Service
  • Wellington

Legislation You Probably Didn’t Know About

You may have heard that when Russia invaded Ukraine, some New Zealanders decided to travel there and take up arms to help defend Ukraine. But, in fact, it was actually illegal. Under the Mercenary Activities (Prohibition) Act 2004, being a mercenary in foreign conflict is not allowed. At the time the Act was passed, the minister Phil Goff said that mercenary activities are “effectively paid murder”.
To many people, this came as a surprise. But what other pieces of legislation might surprise you?

  • 02 Jun 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Governance
  • Legislation
  • Wellington

Panama Legislates to Give Nature Rights

“In Panama, scientists, lawyers and politicians are working together to dismantle current legal systems and popular mindsets about Nature. And, they’re collaborating to build it back better for the future of their country and the planet.

  • 26 Apr 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Collaboration
  • Public Service
  • Science

Brief Deep Dive - Outsourcing by Max Harris

A really fascinating paper came out this week on outsourcing in the Quarterly Journal of Economics (thanks to Wilbur Townsend for flagging to me - who’s worth a follow on Twitter for good tweets, especially on economic policy). It compares private and public ambulance performance in Sweden. It found a few things. First, the evidence on the merits of ‘outsourcing’ - the process where the state contracts out key services to private (often for-profit) providers - is very thin. Second, private ambulances perform worse than public ambulances in Sweden on mortality outcomes. Thirdly, private ambulances “cost innovate” by driving down labour costs, resulting in the employment of staff with less experience and less training, who work longer hours with greater use of overtime.

  • 26 Apr 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Public Service

Working Jointly in the New Zealand Public Sector – We Have Come a Long Way and Not Got Very Far

Working jointly across public agencies has been described as the holy grail or the philosopher’s stone of public management. Joint work is particularly important in New Zealand where, by world standards, there are a relatively large number of small public agencies. The Public Service Act 2020 has introduced a legal mandate for public joint ventures, and the Office of the Auditor-General recently reported on the difficulties experienced in the operation of one of the new joint ventures focused on family violence. IPANZ therefore decided to focus attention on this important set of developments.

  • 11 Apr 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Collaboration
  • Public Service

Does the Crown Minerals Act Undermine Partnership with Māori?

The Crown Minerals Act 1991 (CMA) was introduced “to promote prospecting for, exploration for, and mining of Crown owned minerals for the benefit of New Zealand.” A series of fundamental questions has emerged as to whether the Act undermines the ability of the Crown and tangata whenua, anchored in Te Tiriti o Waitangi, to operate in a true sense of partnership. Carl Billington takes a closer look in the April 2022 Edition of Public Sector Journal.

  • 04 Apr 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Maori-Crown Relationships
  • Public Service
  • Te Tiriti

Where Does Democracy Belong in Select Committees?

In the light of enormous public engagement with select committees, Will Dreyer wonders if we are missing something. (From the April 2022 edition of Public Sector Journal) Last year, a record-breaking number of submissions were made to the Justice Select Committee on the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill: a massive 106,700 submissions. Assuming – conservatively – that each submission was on behalf of one individual, then this is equivalent to just under one out of every twenty-seven voters in the 2020 General Election submitting on this bill.

  • 04 Apr 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Democracy
  • Engagement
  • Parliament
  • Public Service

Isaiah Apiata - Te Hāpai Hāpori Spirit of Service Awards Young Leader of the Year

Isaiah Apiata, a youth justice leader and rangatira on his Te Tii Waitangi Marae, has been named Te Hāpai Hāpori Spirit of Service Awards Young Leader of the Year. What drives him is cultural connection, service, and a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

  • 21 Mar 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Culture and Heritage
  • Leadership
  • Public Service

The Lifelong Impact of Early Brain Development

The human brain undergoes extraordinary growth during the early years of life. By the age of one, the brain has already more than doubled in volume, and by the age of two, it is 80 percent adult size. Dr Felicia Low from Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures, University of Auckland, outlines some fascinating results from recent research and what it might mean for policy making.

  • 21 Mar 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Public Service
  • Research
  • Wellbeing

Doing Our Best By Pacific Communities

Dr Collin Fonotau Tukuitonga, Associate Dean Pacific and Associate Professor of Public Health at the University of Auckland, reflects on the role of public servants in working with and delivering for Pacific communities.

  • 14 Mar 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Leadership
  • Public Service
  • Wellbeing

A Review of the Literature on Joint Ventures in the Public Sector

The attached paper, written to support an IPANZ roundtable workshop, explores the literature on interagency collaboration, focusing on more formal collaboration including joint ventures. The discussion is limited to collaboration within central government although similar issues arise in international, central-local, public-private, and public-NGO working.

This summary of the literature is intended to create a shared language and shared understandings for participants in the roundtable.

  • 07 Mar 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Collaboration
  • Public Service
  • Wellington

Seven Steps to Ensure the UK Learns from a COVID-19 Public Inquiry

This article is an excerpt from the below publication laying out the steps to ensure there is learning from the COVID public enquiry. https://covidandsociety.com/how-covid-19-public-inquiry-help-uk-learn-right-lessons/
People at every level have worked incredibly hard over the last two years. Yet what is not in doubt is that the UK has performed badly, exhibiting among the highest levels of excess mortality and economic harm, as well as the largest debt and tax burden in living memory. Hopefully we can perform better in the way we learn lessons from the pandemic.

  • 21 Feb 2022
  • 2022
  • Accountability
  • Best Practice
  • Inquiries
  • Trust & Confidence

Notes on an IPANZ Roundtable on - Policy Making Under Pressure: Rethinking the Policy Process in Aotearoa

The New Zealand Productivity Commission and IPANZ hosted the roundtable online on Friday 11 February. The original paper by Jeremy Richardson and Sonia Mazey was in the December Public Sector Journal and they began by presenting some of their conclusions.

  • 21 Feb 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Policy Advice

New Zealand Innovation Barometer - How Your Organisation Can Be Involved

After successfully running the Innovation Barometer with nine government organisations, we are excited to offer the Innovation Barometer to a wider audience in 2022. Organisations can see how the Innovation Barometer aligns with their priorities. Ministry of Health Group Manager of Emerging Health Technology Jon Herries says “The health reforms have identified that innovation is a key part of the new operating model and the Innovation Barometer will help us understand where we need to make improvements.”

  • 13 Dec 2021
  • 2021
  • Best Practice
  • Innovation
  • Public Service
  • Technology

Signing The Way

COVID press conferences have brought sign language interpreters into the public eye. In fact, New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is one of our three official languages, and interpreters have been providing this essential service, across private and government agencies, for many years. Kathy Ombler spoke with two of them.

  • 07 Dec 2021
  • 2021
  • Best Practice
  • Engagement
  • Public Service

Evaluation Culture and Practice in the Public Service

Dr Jacqueline Cumming, Dr Janet McDonald, Dr Ausaga Fa‘asalele Tanuvasa, Dr Lynne Russell, Dr Clive Aspin (including contributions from the late Dr Jenny Neale, and from Dr Sue Buckley) report on a major new research project on evaluation in the public sector.

  • 28 Nov 2021
  • 2021
  • Best Practice
  • Public Service

Valuing Pacific to Build a Stronger Aotearoa Public Service

Romeo Tevaga explores what is holding the public service back from having better representation of Pacific staff, and he explores the unique benefits that Pacific staff bring to organisations.

  • 28 Nov 2021
  • 2021
  • Best Practice
  • Culture and Heritage
  • Public Service