Tue 25 Feb 2020 AT 12:30 pm , Wellington

Bullying in the Public Service

Professor Michael Macaulay said in the December edition of our Public Sector Journal “bullying is the single most observed and reported form of misconduct in the New Zealand public service”.

This IPANZ session aims to get to grips with this phenomenon and grow understanding of the very best ways of reducing the incidence of bullying in our workplaces and more broadly within New Zealand society.

The session explores what we mean by “bullying” and how to create the conditions where we reduce its incidence and how to most effectively manage it when it does happen. The session will touch on what we need to do if we are being bullied or have a colleague, friend or family member who may be the subject of bullying and harassment. It will also explore the obligations on employers and managers to ensure a safe workplace founded respectful relationships.

IPANZ is fortunate to have three experts, each with a slightly different perspective to enlighten us on all these things. An essential session if you are a leader or manager or an aspiring manager. But all members of IPANZ, wherever you work, will find much of value from the wisdom our speakers will share.

About our Speakers:

Steph Dyhrberg


Steph has 28 years' legal experience and is a partner in Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law, a specialist employment law practice in Wellington.

Steph is the Convenor of the Wellington Women Lawyers' Association. She is a Trustee of Mary Potter Hospice.

Steph is active in the pay equity movement and appeared in the Bartlett litigation.

In december 2018, Steph was awarded Wellingtonian of the Year for her contribution to tackling sexual harassment in the workplace.

Nicholas Pole


Nicholas is currently the Chief Review Officer and CEO with the Education Review Office (ERO), a position he has held since the beginning of 2017.

Nicholas has had a long career in the New Zealand and Australian public sectors in a range of management roles.

In 2019, ERO released a major study looking into the issues of Bullying in New Zealand schools. This included capturing the voices and experiences of 11,000 students. The findings from this work provides a unique look into this issue, and poses some real questions about the New Zealand culture.

Debbie Francis

Debbie is an independent consultant specialising in strategy development, organisational culture and change management.

She was previously head of PwC New Zealand’s Central Government and People and Change consulting practices where she worked with public and private sector clients on large scale organisational change. This included work with New Zealand Police over many years in response to the Commission of Inquiry culture changes.

She was also a lead reviewer for the State Services Commission and undertook many performance improvement framework reviews of public agencies. Debbie was also the first civilian Chief People Officer at the New Zealand Defence Force, where she was responsible for establishing Operation Respect to prevent and manage bullying and sexual harassment.

Most recently, Debbie led an independent review of the culture in the New Zealand Parliamentary Workplace. She is currently reviewing systems and processes that prevent and respond to bullying in NZ Police.


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