Perspectives


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
  • Free and Frank advice
  • 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
  • Free and Frank advice
  • 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

POLITICAL NOUS – an experiment with CHATGPT

As an experiment, IPANZ asked a question about political nous of the AI chatbot ‘ChatGPT’.

  • 13 Mar 2023
  • 2023
  • Best Practice
  • Political Nous

The "Demand side" – Helping Ministers to be intelligent customers of policy services

A recent IPANZ/Productivity Commission round table concluded that public servants should be more courageous in their advice to ministers and more leadership was required. Sally Washington, Australia NZ School of Government (ANZSOG) Executive Director Aotearoa, unpicks the dimensions of great relationships between ministers and their departments. IPANZ and ANZSOG intend future collaboration to explore issues at the political–administrative interface.

  • 21 Feb 2023
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Policy Advice
  • Public Servant

Determination, Fashion, and Humility - a conversation with the 2022 Young Leader of the Year award at the Spirit of Service Awards

The 2022 Young Leader of the Year award at the Spirit of Service Awards went to Mary Soonaoso Tiumalu. Claire Finlayson chats with her about the kind of leader she is and the things that challenge and excite her.

  • 06 Dec 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Leadership
  • Public Service

Introducing Margie Apa, the new Chief Executive of Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand

Fepulea‘i Margie Apa is the head of the new health organisation Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand. It employs around 80,00 staff, having merged twenty District Health Boards and a further seven shared service agencies into one organisation. Simon Minto chats to her about her background and asks where she wants the organisation to head.

  • 06 Dec 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • Health
  • Leadership
  • Public Service Reform

Navigating Indigenous relations across the ditch - Lil Anderson

Lil Anderson has been in Australia since April. In the December issue of the Public Sector journal Kirsten Rose catches up with her and asks her about her impressions of the Australian public service and other things Australian.

  • 06 Dec 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • International Relations
  • Maori-Crown Relationships
  • Public Service
  • Public Service Reform

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

Poipoia te kākano kia puawai – the power of support

Rawinia Thompson (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine) is the recipient of the 2021 IPANZ Public Administration Prize awarded to the top student in PUBL 311 Emerging Perspectives in Public Management at Victoria University of Wellington School of Government.
She began her career in the public service in 2017 in an administrative role at the Ministry of Education. After working full-time and resuming studying part-time for just over two years, she graduated in early 2021 with a degree in public policy and political science. She is now a Senior Policy Analyst at Manatū Hauora, Ministry of Health. Rawinia shares some reflections on her study and her experience in the public service so far.

  • 20 Sep 2022
  • 2022
  • Best Practice
  • New Professionals
  • Public Service
  • Te Reo
  • Te Tiriti

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