On day one of my new role as IPANZ Executive Director, I attended one of the Systemic Change in the Public Service to Better Enable Collaboration webinars. This sang to my heart – coming from a partnerships background as I do. Since then I’ve been impressed with what’s available for members. But I’m keen to explore how we better meet your needs – so I hope you’ll be up for a conversation with me sometime in the future. Thanks in advance! Kay Booth, Executive Director
- 29 Jun 2022
This is my last e-update. It has been such a pleasure collating interesting pieces for IPANZ members. I wish you all the very best. I know that Kay Booth, who has taken on this wonderful job at the beginning of this week, will continue to serve you all into the future. Thank you all so much. Shenagh Gleisner
- 09 Jun 2022
A concern has been on my mind this week, illustrated in this e-update. One is the comment in one of these articles suggesting that, if the culture of the public service prompts us to be frightened of taking risks, this can stifle effective responses. Then I listened carefully to the words of our Chief Executives in a webinar we ran on collaborative work. I felt they were urging us to be motivated to overcome what might seem like barriers at first, but were not as insurmountable as we might think. They also talked about their own leadership imperative to create a culture that enables and supports new thinking and fresh action. Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director
- 18 May 2022
There are indeed many burning issues for the public service right now. They include the imperative to honour Te Tiriti, the spread of misinformation, the increasing prospect of environmental catastrophe, and less momentous perhaps, but still top of mind – the new work place and the opportunities it offers us. So this e-update really covers some vital issues! – do enjoy it. Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director
- 27 Apr 2022
As you may know, I will be stepping back from the role of IPANZ Executive Director in June in order to visit family overseas, whom I have not seen for some years. I have found this to be a very rewarding job. I have loved every aspect of the work, the content always so fascinating and the people I have had the privilege to meet so skilled and committed. I am delighted that IPANZ is in such a strong position and very much look forward to seeing who will step forward to lift the sights of IPANZ ever further. Lots to do before mid-June though! Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director
- 13 Apr 2022
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic, notes that the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a massive 25%. Loneliness, fear, grief, financial worries, exhaustion are some of the themes. Then we have the desperate situation in Ukraine. And in our own community, the protest, right outside the doors of Rutherford House where the IPANZ offices are housed, which left us with many emotions, including great sadness. Our thoughts and best wishes to you all in these difficult times. Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director
- 17 Mar 2022
I write this on the evening after our Public Sector Conference. How do I thank people enough for their contribution? First, to all the speakers – despite so many other demands, staying with us for months and being there on the day. Thank you. Second to Amy Abel at Conference and Events, for such calm and professional support in every way. Third, to our generous sponsors who did not withdraw their backing, despite us having to go online. Fourth to Jehan Casinader for his insightful questioning and great presence as MC. We feel somewhat overwhelmed. Nga mihi nui ki a koutou katoa
- 28 Feb 2022
Welcome to 2022. The joy of a warm summer break not yet a long distant memory, but still so much uncertainty, and division, weariness and sadness. It is important to hold on to opportunities, a chance for renewal, if we can. The theme for this e-update is on potential opportunities, for both individual and collective change. It also celebrates remarkable heroism in communities. Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director
- 02 Feb 2022
Here is the cover of our December Public Sector Journal. It speaks of summer. We hope so much that you get a break, you find the space to relax, to refresh, you reconnect with people and you take time to reflect upon the many achievements at the end of this tough year.
We will be sending a copy of this Journal to our database, just as a one off. Please enjoy it and take out a subscription, get your agency to join IPANZ or become an individual member if you wish to continue to receive this wonderful member-only benefit for 2022. Contact us at email@example.com
- 15 Dec 2021
Did you read on our Linkedin page about the award won by Te Taura Whiri - The Māori Language Commission – the supreme award at the International Public Relations Association Golden Awards for Excellence for their Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori campaign? Three things struck me about this. First, what an absolutely deserved accolade for the work of the Commission. Second, why don’t you become a follower on our IPANZ Linkedin page – we post some great stuff. Third, every single staff member of the Te Taura Whiri is signed up on our membership database. If you work in an IPANZ member organisation, you are a member of IPANZ and you can get these great advantages too. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org about getting your staff all signed up.
- 24 Nov 2021
You will see we have linked you to a video of a talk given by Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw in this e-update. As the public service works to reach those hesitant about the vaccine, she suggests we remember that logic does not always drive decision-making. Rather we listen to people we trust and admire. Also in this e-update, Dave Winsborough puts a high value on diversity of thinking, and wonders if there is enough of this such diversity in the public service. Our ”what we are reading” section focusses on the lessons from anthropology. All of this asks public servants to explore the assumptions that underlie our thinking processes.
- 24 Nov 2021
This week, IPANZ put a post on our social media which talked of the frustrations and fear abounding in New Zealand, creating fractures, challenging trust, promoting blame as everyone grapples with the insecurity and threat created by COVID-19. We imagine public servants may be feeling the pressures of dealing each day with this frustration amongst the people they serve. As people seek to apportion blame (which is so often not appropriate in this complex picture) we hope public servants are coping with the anger or negativity that may be expressed towards them.
- 12 Oct 2021
IPANZ sends a heartfelt shout out to all of you. Whether you are working 10-hour days non-stop, front-line or back office, whether you have been juggling children and work at home, whether you are in Auckland with the long, long lockdown, or whether you are just experiencing despondency and anxiety. This is hard, resilience is so important, but sometimes it just feels fragile. Kia kaha. Nga mihi aroha ki a koutou katoa Shenagh Glesiner, Executive Director
- 21 Sep 2021
Those of you who follow the IPANZ LinkedIn page will have seen our comment. IPANZ is distressed to see the continual personal criticism of public servants. Scrutiny is vital, very personal attacks which cannot be defended does not have to be part of this scrutiny. Public servants can get caught in the crossfire when commentators attack a government they do not like. This makes public service leadership a tough job. Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director
- 21 Sep 2021
Kia ora koutou The IPANZ conference itself is but one day. But the conversations and challenges will start before, via IPANZ events and e-updates: for example, our Public Sector Journal due out in late August, explores some of the themes such as regulation, young people’s visions and collaboration and a tribute to Ivan Kwok. The conference offers a platform for deeper debate which will be developed in all IPANZ products over the months ahead, hopefully sparking participation and forward-thinking from everyone.
- 16 Aug 2021
Kia ora koutou The IPANZ conference programme is now published. Have a look at it. This will be a memorable and powerful conference. You will see that we start the day with a challenging focus on Mȧori-Crown relations, the Ivan Kwok Memorial Lecture celebrating the very best of public service, and one of our international speakers talking about significantly shifting how the public sector operates. These themes thread right through the conference with many speakers taking up the issues and much more. Do join us. Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director
- 26 Jul 2021
IPANZ values its independent voice, informing and inspiring our members throughout the public sector. We know from the positive feedback we receive, that our communications can be effective. However, we believe we could do more to communicate to the general public, to New Zealanders, about the public sector; to inform, perhaps to challenge myths, and to champion public servants.
- 07 Jul 2021
Kia ora koutou Our recent System Leadership event was very popular, with a long waiting list. Despite our reminders with a strong request for people to tell us if they were unable to come, we still had a large percentage of no-shows. This meant people on the waiting list were let down. We sought to understand this, and some people said we should consider charging. However, IPANZ remains committed to free events, it is an important service to our members. We also completely understand that unexpected things come up in your busy lives and you will inevitably find yourselves unable to attend. We ask that when you register for an event, put it in your schedule, do your very best to come, or offer the place to a colleague if you can’t. And if we do tell you there is a waiting list, make a very special effort to tell us if you cannot come. Thank you. We have the video of this session below, though nothing replaces being there!
- 14 Jun 2021
In our last e-update we talked about the danger of burnout for public sector professionals, with the COVID demands of the last year, and looking ahead to significant transformational change in many parts of the public sector, central and local government. The capacity and capability of the sector is stretched, putting particular pressure on key groups of staff - managerial, back office and front line. In the context of these pressures and some constraints on pay increases, IPANZ is thinking about the challenge for public service agencies to demonstrate that they value their staff.
- 17 May 2021
There is a lot of change going on! We are still in the midst of the reform of vocational education, the health system transformation is far reaching. There was an announcement about the review of local government last week. These three alone are significant pieces of work for a public sector already stretched. IPANZ first acknowledges the skill, and commitment that public servants show when delivering on a government's aspiration for significant change. The complexity of this work demands capabilities and capacity that may be in short supply, or spread thinly, because of the numbers of projects and specialist skills required.
- 27 Apr 2021
This e-update touches on at least three subjects which merit more discussion. These encompass three of the concerns which are often shared with IPANZ. The first is bullying in the public sector. People say it is more widespread than is acknowledged. The second is the media and the difficulties for the public service to get the good news out. A perennial challenge of course. The third is the ongoing challenge of gender equality. Women tell us they did not anticipate we would still be having to fight for this in 2021. Lots to think about in this update!
- 07 Apr 2021
Two things happened this week which made me think. We booked the new Productivity Commissioner, Ganesh Nana, to talk to our IPANZ members (see upcoming events for details), and we started our membership renewal process. IPANZ has a high level of productivity. We produce multiple products for our members, and our team consists of just 2.5 FTE staff. We provide training courses and resources, we run around 30 free lunchtime and evening events covering a range of topics annually, we distribute our popular three weekly e-update, post numerous items across our social media platforms and publish a quarterly journal, all this plus providing friendly and efficient customer service and financial management for all membership services. IPANZ members get a great deal, your subscription is used to create benefits for you, it is not spent on overheads!
- 16 Mar 2021
This e-update illustrates the diverse matters that public sector professionals turn their minds to every day, for example - trust and integrity, systems thinking, racism and co-design, to name a few.
- 25 Feb 2021
Welcome to 2021. We hope you enjoy this E-Update.
IPANZ celebrates and stands up for the public service, as you will see in this update. But we also offer insights for improvements, one is our wellbeing strategy – can we do better? Another is an operational question – are we doing as well as possible with our performance management in the public service?
- 03 Feb 2021
We are full of admiration for the resilience and fortitude the public service has shown through this year - and very aware of the exhaustion so many are feeling. The pressures and urgency for ongoing response and improvement go on – this is a marathon not a sprint. This last e-update of the year comes with the very best wishes of the IPANZ staff and Board.
- 10 Dec 2020
It has been widely acknowledged that the Covid-19 crisis has transformed aspects of the way our sector functions. We use technology in a way we never imagined, flexible working accelerated, methods of teaching and training changed, and much more. The technologies we now use regularly were available early in 2020, but not widely adopted. Covid-19 acted as a dramatic catalyst. We would never have made these shifts without the pandemic, perhaps we did not appreciate that we had the individual and collective capability to do what we have done. The Spirit of Service Awards event on November 9th, run by the Public Service Commission, was inspiring; a testament to the ability of the public service to respond and transform beyond all expectations. The collaboration across so many agencies sung out in these awards, as well as the speed with which agencies implemented financial support to businesses and their workers. So we are capable of extraordinary achievements. How will we dramatically transform in 2021 without an external crisis? There are certainly enough burning platforms.
- 17 Nov 2020
Kia ora koutou What a delight to see our events section in this e-update filled with the activities of our New Professionals. November is clearly the month for our IPANZ young people! We hope we’ll see many more Young Professionals signing up to our database. IPANZ wants the voices of younger people and those new to the public sector reflected in all of our discussions — our e-updates, journal, social media and events.
- 27 Oct 2020
We hope you enjoy this edition of our regular E-Update. It features articles and interviews about cultural competence, the implementation of the Public Service Act's Principles and Values, performance management, futures thinking and more. We hope you enjoy it.
- 06 Oct 2020
Kia ora koutou With the plethora of fascinating information relevant for the public service available, it is always a challenge (and pleasure) to decide what to share with you. We take notice of ideas from our members and this week we have included a lighthearted article about “nudging” which we found in a source recommended by one reader. Thanks! The Public Service Act is top of mind as we move into implementation. In this e-update, collaboration and stewardship are at the forefront, and we will pursue these two subjects in multiple ways in the next six months.In the “what we are reading section”, we quote the work by Koi Tū on capacity in the public sector to do futures work, and the future challenges for the public sector. We link to the full paper. We also give you a good framework for thinking about futures. Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director
- 15 Sep 2020
Kia ora koutou We open this e-update by drawing your attention to the Public Service Act. This new Act can change the way the public service works if we all set our aspirations high and our leaders create the conditions to enable success. One of the principles in the Act is political neutrality. Possessing and applying ‘political nous’ can assist public sector professionals to act responsibly in the zone between politics and administration. As public sector professionals, we can demonstrate political neutrality while also understanding the political context and the politicians’ reality. We can also respond to the short-term needs of Ministers while being always mindful of the long term, part of our stewardship responsibilities. The principles in the Act are essential and require some deep expertise to deliver wisely. Do read the excellent article in our “what we have been reading section” on the subject of political astuteness and public value. And let us all continue to explore this. Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director
- 26 Aug 2020
Kia ora koutou The past months have seen so many challenges, adaptions, successes and opportunities for the future. We touch on some of them in this e-update including trust and social capital, the response of Maori communities during COVID-19, innovation and the role of science. We are also beginning to focus again on the Public Service Legislation, with an exploration of organisational culture. Culture change will be essential to deliver the aspirations of this legislation. And the public service definitely can change, and can do it fast with will, motivation and leadership. Public servants rose to the challenges of the past months because we have a modern workforce with a genuine desire to serve the public. Visible, agile professionals working beyond their hours and collaborating across boundaries — old negative stereotypes no longer need endure. Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director
- 04 Aug 2020
You may well have heard the term ‘ministerial responsibility’ in the past few weeks. You probably heard public servants taking responsibility for the mistakes at our border. You will also have heard the term ‘heads must roll’ in the media. You saw a Minister resign, although who was “responsible” for the mistakes is not clear. Sheeting home responsibility and blame to one person can often be very hard. A complex system of Ministers, public service departments, individual people within and outside the public service and actions of past governments, often means that responsibility is shared. There is a convention that Ministers are accountable to Parliament for the actions of their departments, irrespective of whether they had any direct oversight of detailed operations. To enlighten us a little on this, you can read here a background piece on the concept and practice of ministerial responsibility, written for IPANZ by Chris Eichbaum.
- 16 Jul 2020
The word “bureaucracy” is often used about the public service, and sometimes with pejorative overtones. It can imply excessively complicated administrative procedures; the term “faceless bureaucrats” is not uncommon. But surely this stereotype has been countered during the past three months. Maybe the image of the public service now also embodies agility, flexibility, collaboration and responsiveness to New Zealanders, alongside the image of being calm, wise, steady and evidence-based. What has the public service learnt? Can speed and agility now personify our responses without forgetting the importance of giving time, precision and detailed thought to issues that merit a slower, more deliberate process? Is collaboration across departments, central and local government and public sector, communities and business only relevant in crises? Not at all. Can we stop doing things that we thought were crucial, or will we learn that business as usual has been too neglected? IPANZ looks forward to seeing how all players in the system, especially the leaders, are going to preserve and expand the great things that have been learnt. Status quo is very powerful and there will be a danger we revert back to all those things with which we are familiar, but that would be an opportunity lost. Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director
- 23 Jun 2020
Kia ora koutou We are sending a very warm welcome to our new members of IPANZ. We are delighted that new entities such as the Climate Change Commission, and agencies in our wider state sector, such as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra have decided to join us. More local authorities are also joining, which is so important as their voice is essential. When we talk of government, we mean local as well as central and need to always reflect this diversity of experiences. We are also very pleased that some NGOs and businesses have joined too. It is so important for the public service to work collaboratively with other sectors. We are very keen to hear and share different perspectives. Please send us your insights, articles, blogs and perspectives and we will do our utmost to share them so that everyone across the system can be inspired and informed. To celebrate the breadth of the IPANZ family, here is a 30 second glimpse of one of the NZSO players working from home. During the lock down the NZSO demonstrated innovation and agility by producing wonderful music with ensembles of musicians each in their own homes and yet perfectly in time and tune. Shenagh Gleisner You can contact me anytime at email@example.com
- 02 Jun 2020
Kia ora koutou Opportunities to serve others in times of crisis can be key moments to bridge professional, political and personal differences and bring people together. But we should not forget that crises create but temporary unity. Some of this dissipation of collective effort and unity is revealing itself already.
- 12 May 2020
Kia ora koutou It isn't often that New Zealanders suggest that a public servant should be the New Zealander of the year, but at the time of writing about 4,300 New Zealanders have signed a petition for Dr Ashley Bloomfield to take that honour. I am sure Ashley Bloomfield would be the first to acknowledge that he relies on all public servants across the system. He gives us an insight into the best public servants everywhere. In front of the media glare he reveals the cherished qualities of public service: honesty, clarity, responsiveness, learning, using evidence, humility, being unflappable and communicating with warmth and care. The State Services Commissioner made the appointment of a doctor to lead the Ministry of Health. A wise decision it seems. There may be some agencies in the Public Service where the choice of a person with a related professional background is important, and other agencies where it is less crucial. A matter for future conversation perhaps. For now, let’s celebrate the public service at its best, and let’s acknowledge that this excellence and leadership is demonstrated across central government, in iwi and hapu, local government, community organisations and much more. Let us also celebrate that we may see a shift in public attitudes, with more appreciation of the preventative and coordinating role of governments and the public service. Shenagh Gleisner
- 22 Apr 2020
Nga mihi aroha ki a koutou katoa As New Zealanders respond to the challenge of Covid-19, we are overwhelmed by the impressive work of public sector professionals everywhere. The frontline contribution is evident every day on our news feeds. We also know that for everything delivered in extraordinary timeframes — work subsidies being just one of a myriad of examples — many of you will have worked tirelessly to make it happen. Every time our Prime Minister and Ashley Bloomfield talk to us, I think of the incredible amount of research, writing, analysis and decision-making that it takes from public sector professionals to enable our leaders to perform as they do. IPANZ will continue to seek out and celebrate this dedicated work. It is indeed the spirit of service in action. We also see this spirit way beyond the public sector. We see it in individual New Zealanders, whanau, neighbours, supermarket check-out staff, businesses of all sizes, food growers and producers, truck drivers, and community services such as foodbanks, shelters and refuges. We can be in awe of the culture of this country which means that this spirit of service shines when it is most needed. We are trying to find the right balance in our communications, helpful and reassuring for our new working and home situations, and also interesting and thought-provoking articles because life and work go on regardless. Tell us if we have the balance about right for you. Shenagh Gleisner
- 03 Apr 2020
Kia ora koutou This week we have decided to suspend our physical events schedule for the next few months and offer a ‘virtual-events’ schedule in its place. We’ve made this decision to ensure we continue to best serve our members — knowing that many of you will already be reducing in-person social interactions to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This e-update gives you some context for our decision and what you can expect over the next few months. There’s also a round-up of news and insights including from our recent events and from around the sector. Please keep sending us your comments. We enjoy hearing from you. Shenagh
- 18 Mar 2020
It’s been a big week for IPANZ with the announcement on Wednesday of president Jo Cribb’s retirement and Liz MacPherson taking the reins as Interim President.
Leadership and strategy matter a lot. We have been very fortunate to have a president, in Jo Cribb, who has led our strategy very strongly. Jo is moving on due to work pressure, but she has devoted nearly three years to IPANZ. We are also very lucky to have Liz MacPherson as Interim President until a formal election for President at our AGM in July. Liz was straight into the role, facilitating at the IPANZ Annual Address from the Minister of Finance on Thursday! If you haven’t already, do read Jo’s message on our website. Liz will be introducing herself to you in the near future. I hope you enjoy this e-update and please keep sending us your comments. We enjoy hearing from you.
- 25 Feb 2020
Welcome to 2020. We are raring to go, and have important events coming up, articles to share and ideas to debate. We are also working hard on extending our reach into Auckland and Christchurch.
Perhaps the most important event since our last e-update was our submission on the Public Service Bill, which we lodged last week. We have made our submission available on our website here and we encourage you to read it and to talk with us about it. Enjoy this e-update. And please keep in touch with us and tell us your views. We can only meet our members’ needs when you tell us what you want to hear more about!
Let’s create positive change in 2020, learning and developing.
- 03 Feb 2020