Perspectives


Public service cannot promise any government ‘no surprises’

“No surprises” is fundamentally about the constitutional relationship between ministers and public servants. National’s coalition agreements with Act and New Zealand First agree that the cabinet manual’s “no surprises” policy “needs clarification to better respect the privacy of individuals”. The Institute of Public Administration NZ (IPANZ) suggests a more fundamental overhaul of the entire “no surprises” approach is necessary. Now, at the beginning of the new parliamentary term, is the time to do it.

  • 15 Dec 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • No surprises

Did you know? New Zealand Customs

Uncover some fascinating facts and intriguing insights into one of the oldest government departments in Aotearoa New Zealand: Customs. Its Māori name – Te Mana Ārai o Aotearoa – translates as ‘the authority that screens and protects New Zealand’.

  • 08 Dec 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Did you know? PSJ series

AI and the Public Sector: Understanding the current landscape

In the first of a series of articles for Public Sector journal, Stephen Clarke, Data and Information Management Consultant and former Chief Archivist, provides an overview of the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies within the public sector, the impacts of AI on our work, and asks what issues AI raises for public servants.

  • 08 Dec 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Technology

Public Service Awards 2023: Perfect Storm

The 2023 Young Leader of the Year award at the Spirit of Service Awards went to Suanoa (Noa) Samasoni. Kathy Ombler chats with her about what guides her in her work and how her background has informed her work as a public servant.

  • 27 Nov 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Leadership
  • Public Servant

Agile, Tragile, Fragile: Busting the myths around agile approaches in the public sector

Shane Hastie, Global Delivery Lead at SoftEd, part of Skills Consulting Group, uncovers the myths around the concept of Agile and how this mindset or philosophy of work relates to the public sector.

  • 17 Nov 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Productivity

Bullying and Rudeness in the Public Service

Geoff Plimmer, Alina Haider, and Ao Zhou (Ollie) from the School of Management, Te Kura Whakahaere, Victoria University Wellington Te Herenga Waka ask some insightful questions about bullying and rudeness in the public service and seek to offer some solutions.

  • 17 Nov 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Wellbeing

With change comes opportunity – preparing to serve the government of the day

This post-election government formation period is not an easy time for public servants. The pre-election period has dwelt on criticism of the public service. This is not easy to hear, especially without the ability to respond. Then there are the threats of cuts to the state sector particularly the lack of value put upon ‘back office’ jobs. And there are a plethora of new ideas and policies to be implemented which will require considerable work, potentially with diminishing resources.
When we take stock at this time, what is it that we know?

  • 31 Oct 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Public Service

Pioneering Change: What can Aotearoa New Zealand learn from Wales

What can the public sector of Aotearoa New Zealand learn from the achievements of the first Future Generations Commissioner for Wales?

  • 09 Oct 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Futures Planning
  • Sustainability

Political Neutrality: A discussion

Chris Eichbaum, Adjunct Professor at Te Kura Kāwanatanga School of Government, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, shares his thoughts on the topic of political neutrality.

  • 06 Oct 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Political Neutrality

In the Service of Our Future - The IPANZ story

Liz MacPherson, IPANZ President, recognises the need to look backwards in order to determine the future direction of IPANZ. Here she outlines the vision and strategy for the organisation.

  • 29 Sep 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Futures Planning

IPANZ President’s message: Public service by the people, for the people

IPANZ President, Liz MacPherson's message on public service by the people, for the people in the 2023 Spring issue of the Public Sector Journal.

  • 15 Sep 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Public Service

Election season in the Public Sector: Navigating the pre- and post-election periods

Laura Sahng and Georgina Lomax-Sawyers from Russell McVeagh summarise the main points from a recent election season event, run by the IPANZ New Professionals Leadership Team.

  • 11 Sep 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Public Servant
  • Wellington

Index Shows more Kiwi workplaces need to prioritise psychological safety

Jane Kennelly, Director People and Stakeholder Management at Skills Consulting Group, brings together some insights about workplace wellbeing from their 2023 Skills Group Work Wellbeing Index.

  • 16 Aug 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Wellbeing

IPANZ AGM with Guest Speaker Dr Chris Eichbaum, Adjunct Professor, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington Te Herenga Waka

IPANZ invited Dr Chris Eichbaum, Adjunct Professor, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington Te Herenga Waka, to speak at our 2023 Annual General Meeting. Chrischallenged the audience – should we just give up on political neutrality?

  • 09 Aug 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Political Neutrality
  • Public Servant
  • Public Service

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. The attached report documents insights that emerged from these conversations.

  • 09 Aug 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Political Nous

Operating in a political system without operating politically

Kate Butler, Solicitor at Russell McVeagh, brings together some insights about political nous following a series of events hosted by IPANZ and the Australia New Zealand School of Government.

  • 16 Jun 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Political Neutrality
  • Political Nous
  • Public Service

Public Service kaimahi making a difference

Empathy, impartiality and embracing a Māori worldview are guiding principles for MBIE Take Matua, Senior Employment Mediator, Trisha Harrison-Hunt. Kathy Ombler finds out more.

  • 16 Jun 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Customer service
  • Public Servant
  • Trust & Confidence

President's message: “The art of walking upright here...”

Around the motu over the last month or so, university students have been graduating. This week was Victoria University of Wellington Te Herenga Waka’s turn. With two daughters graduating in separate faculties, I had the privilege of attending two parades and two graduation ceremonies.

  • 09 Jun 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice

Making sense of Politicisation in the New Zealand Public Service

Politicisation, which is when partisan considerations get into the advice and operations of a non-partisan public service, is a perennial concern. Richard Shaw (Professor in Politics at Massey University) and Chris Eichbaum (Adjunct Professor in the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington) explore politicisation in the New Zealand public service and ask what the recent Working in the Public Service survey tells us about it.

  • 02 Jun 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Political Neutrality
  • Public Service

Public and Private: A Tale of Strife and Synergy

The private and public sectors have long been considered chalk and cheese. With one prizing profit and the other service, they seem unlikely bedfellows. But is there still a gaping ideological chasm between the two or is the divide closing in interesting and heartening ways? Claire Finlayson takes a look.

  • 11 Apr 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Public Service

Overboard with Dashboards

Many in the public sector believe data-reporting methods, like dashboards, overpromise and underdeliver. Kevin Jenkins agrees but says it doesn’t have to be that way, and performance dashboards and other data-driven reporting can be much more insightful and useful than they usually are.

  • 11 Apr 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Data
  • Reporting

The State of the Core State: Is the Glass Mainly Full or Partly Empty?

The Working in the Public Service survey was conducted for IPANZ and survey partner BusinessDesk by research firm Perceptive in September and October 2022. This is the first of several articles that explore the findings.

  • 03 Apr 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Public Servant
  • Public Service

Seeing the beauty in public policy

Ruby-Ann Burgess (Ngāti Pākehā) is the recipient of the 2022 IPANZ Public Administration Prize for the top student in PUBL 311 Emerging Perspectives in Public Management at Victoria University of Wellington School of Government. Ruby shares how studying public policy has excited and changed her.

  • 24 Mar 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Public Policy

IPANZ President’s message

  • 24 Mar 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Political Neutrality
  • Public Servant
  • Public Service
  • Trust & Confidence

Public Sector Heroes

Kiri Marshall grew up in a forestry community that was wary of bureaucracy. Now she is proud to be working in the ACC Contact Centre, changing attitudes and making a difference. Kathy Ombler chats to her.

  • 24 Mar 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Public Servant
  • Public Service