IPANZ E-Update - 1 October 2019

Nga mihi mahana ki a koutou.

This e:update spans a wide range of issues of relevance to public sector professionals including, as examples, the potential impacts of public service reform, mental health in your workplace and Crown/Maori relationships. IPANZ aims to inform, inspire, challenge and celebrate public service professionals and we hope this update reflects that. Please keep in touch with us, tell us what you found useful and what other matters you want us to cover in future — you can drop me a line at Shenagh@ipanz.org.nz. We also aim to contribute to a public administration system that enables the best results for New Zealanders. And as part of this commitment, we are now sharing relevant news and updates to our website and LinkedIn every week, and to our New Professionals Facebook page – please do have a look. We intend to send this e:update to you every three weeks, linking to our own work, the interesting ideas from others and our forthcoming events. I hope you enjoy it, and have time to click on some of the links to go a little deeper into what we offer.

Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director

Public Service Reform

At the recent Public Sector Conference we had a nice summary by Hugo Vitalis, Acting Deputy Commissioner, Strategy and Policy at the State Services Commission, of some of the things public service professionals can expect from the reforms, and how the guiding principles will change the way we think about our work, and therefore how we act. Here are some examples:

  • The proposed Act will include the ideal of “a spirit of service to the community”. Your work in showing compassion in face to face interactions with the public, or expertise and courage in giving policy advice will be accentuated even more than now, and celebrated.
  • Thinking of public service professionals collectively owning the reputation of the whole system, implicit in the Act, will mean that you will be concerned about ethical practice not only in our own departmental work area, but in all parts of the public service.
  • Because shared leadership will be increasingly important in the new public service, you will find yourselves doing more brokering, negotiating, sharing information and coming to decisions together, with diverse people and communities

At this stage it is worth getting your head around what is envisaged – practical support to make it work will need to come next.
You can read Hugo's full speech here


Chris Eichbaum gave attendees a very interesting talk called “the 2019 Public Service Reset – Tweak or Transformation”. He has since sent us his notes to accompany this talk. This is definitely worth a read — both looking backwards and looking forwards.

Chris draws our attention to some significant strengths in the proposed changes within the state sector legislation. He mentions for example:

  • The new statute seeks to advance the relationship between the Crown and Maori with a prominent stand-alone clause referring to the Maori/Crown relationship and also to Te Tiriti;
  • Formally articulating principles and values and taking the step of changing their status from convention to formal statute; and
  • A decision to include in the legislation provision for long-term insights briefings.

He then draws attention to two areas where he believes more consideration is needed. One is the tenure of chief executives and another is the proposed make up of the putative Public Services Commission itself.

Remember there is still an opportunity to engage. It is expected that the Bill will be introduced before Christmas and submissions to Select Committee will be due early in the new year. We will keep you informed of dates and opportunities. IPANZ members out of Wellington, that includes you! IPANZ is very keen that all public service professionals have a say.

You can read Chris Eichbaum's speech notes here

Protecting Our National Security

Rebecca Kitteridge, Director-General of Security, gave a fascinating presentation on national security at an IPANZ event in Wellington on 18 September.

You can read her full speech on the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service website - https://www.nzsis.govt.nz/news/speech-understanding-intelligence/.

We also sat down with Rebecca after her presentation and discussed the role of everyone in New Zealand in our national security. Rebecca says people can help by contacting security agencies or the police if they see something of concern, and by welcoming people of all cultures and helping them to feel included in our society. Hear it in her own words in this one minute video.

Caring For Our Mental Health

Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week — a timely opportunity for us to be thinking about how we look after our own mental wellbeing as public service professionals, and the wellbeing of our colleagues and teams.

Highlighting the importance of workplace wellbeing, our IPANZ New Professionals began their Courageous Conversations series last month with a practical workshop on mental health. Attendees heard from a senior public servant about their mental health journey then participated in a workshop led by the Mental Health Foundation to explore factors that contribute to a healthy workplace, and simple ways you can integrate effective practices into your work life to support positive mental health for yourself, your colleagues and your friends.

If you would like some tips for supporting mental wellbeing in your workplace, you can download the Mental Health Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing at Work Toolkit here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/home/our-work/category/42/five-ways-to-wellbeing-at-work-toolkit

The Five Ways to Wellbeing (Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, Give) are proven to help people find balance, build resilience and boost mental health and wellbeing, and the toolkit includes fact sheets, tips, tools and templates to make it easy for you to support your teams to build the Five Ways into their daily lives. We hope you will find it useful.

And for our New Professionals, keep an eye out for more events in the Courageous Conversations series. The next workshop will be on sexual harassment in the workplace, with a date to be confirmed soon.

Public Sector Journal

In case you missed it, our latest issue of the Public Sector Journal is out now. You can read it on our website here.

We’ve also shared shorter versions of some of the articles on our website and social media, if you’d like a two minute taster! These include:

  • Forging a relationship with Iwi: New Zealand’s public service has been on a mission to move out of monocultural mode for decades, and there’s still a long way to go. But a partnership between Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum is providing a possible model for government agencies… READ MORE
  • Emerging traits for the public sector professional of the future: The public service professional of the future will need more of a focus on entrepreneurial and relationship skills, leading to a greater emphasis on collaborative engagement and innovative design. Research from University of Birmingham researchers Catherine Needham and Catherine Mangan has identified 10 traits of the 21st Century public service professional… READ MORE
  • Co-designing solutions to our most complex issues: Auckland Council’s social and economic change programme for southern Auckland, The Southern Initiative, has been taking ground-breaking approaches in co-design – with lessons emerging for how government can deal with some of the most complex issues facing our communities… READ MORE


Deloitte and IPANZ New Professionals - Future Proofing Local Government (All Welcome)

WELLINGTON, Tuesday 8 October, 5.30pm - 7.30pm

Local Government in all its forms is a large employer and influencer within the wider-public sector, and its ability to impact change continues to grow. Recognising the need to continually evolve our local body institutions and ensure they are future proof to meet upcoming challenges, this event will bring together experts in the sector to discuss the key issues faced by local government and how we can change to meet these.

With local body elections just around the corner, this topic is of prime importance and we’re excited to facilitate this important discussion for IPANZ New Professionals. Read more and register here.

The Christchurch Call - Regulatory Implications for the Public Service

WELLINGTON, Wednesday 16 October, 12.00pm - 1.00pm

In light of the horrific events of March 15 in Christchurch, Peter Thompson, Senior Lecturer, Media Studies Programme, Victoria University of Wellington will give an enlightening picture of the key social media platforms, the challenge this presents to public service policy makers and explore options for responding particularly from a regulatory point of view. Read more and register here.

Please note that we are already fully booked for our Effective Engagement with Māori workshop this month. Sorry if you’ve missed out on registering for this one, but we will share some hints and tips from the workshop on our LinkedIn page and in future e-updates. We will also look at options to run the workshop again in future.


A fair tax system is at the heart of a just society and is critical to the community and public services we all need. We need to talk about it in an informed and rational way. PSA has joined with Tax Justice Aotearoa and Victoria University’s Institute for Governance and Policy Studies to host a series of lunch time public talks on tax. The more of us who understand the importance of tax the better.

Tax on Tuesday: A Slice of the PIE - Creating a more productive, inclusive economy
WELLINGTON, Wednesday 16 October, 12.00

Join Bernard Hickey, Geoff Bertram and Alison Pavlovich to consider what the ideal tax system looks like to support a productive, inclusive economy. Read more here

Tax on Tuesday: Where's the Party At?
WELLINGTON, Tuesday 12 November, 12.00-1.30pm

NZ Herald journalist Hamish Rutherford chairs a panel of political party representatives as they share their views about tax, present and future, as well its relationship to equality, climate and economic productivity. Read more here

Engaging Successfully with Young People

Various dates and locations across New Zealand

More than ever before, involving children and young people in the design of services that impact them is crucial.

Whether you’re in government, healthcare, sports and recreation, public transport, education or vocational pathways, involving young people in the design and delivery of your services will make your efforts more successful.

This workshop series will give you the confidence to engage with young people successfully. Underpinned by co-design principles, you will learn as you go from an expert facilitator, from other participants and from applying new methods to your own work.

To read more and register click here

Connect with us on social media

IPANZ is upping our presence on social media to give you more ways to find out about our events and receive helpful information from us. If you’re not already connected with us, please follow our page on LinkedIn