IPANZ E-Update - 22 October 2019

Kia ora koutou

This e-update speaks for itself – summaries, articles, brief videos, all of which talk about the subjects that you have told us interest you.

I hope that you enjoy it and that you will find plenty here that is of interest and helpful to you.

Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director

Effective Engagement with Māori

It’s an important time for all of us to be thinking about how we are engaging with Māori, and what meaningful and effective engagement looks like. The establishment of Te Arawhiti – The Office for Māori Crown Relations, reinforces the government’s commitment to building strong, ongoing and effective relationships with Māori across all of government.

IPANZ is helping public sector professionals to build their confidence and skills with a revamped workshop on Engaging Effectively with Māori, and our workshop starting this Thursday proved so popular that it sold out in record time.

For those who missed out on registering, we will be sharing some updates from the workshop and tips for getting started with engagement, from our facilitator Katy Te Amo on our new LinkedIn page. Be sure to follow us and keep an eye out for those updates there. We also intend to continue to offer these workshops so look out for more about that next year.

We believe interest in the workshop highlights a growing awareness in the public sector about the importance of engaging effectively with Māori, and a drive to go beyond the sort of consultation we have traditionally seen to true partnership.

Fortunately, as well as workshops like ours, there are many great resources available to us. In particular, Te Arawhiti has excellent tools on their website including the findings of full country consultation hui asking Māori what they want the Crown Relations portfolio to do for Māori, and an engagement framework and engagement guidelines with pragmatic recommendations for engaging effectively. They are a great place to start for anyone in the public sector.

Working with Local Government

We brought together an expert panel earlier this month to discuss the key issues faced by local government and how we can change to meet these, at the Deloitte & IPANZ New Professionals Future-Proofing Local Government event.

It was a fascinating and insightful evening with our expert panelists, Anne Molineux, Dr Mike Reid and Prof Michael Macaulay.

Here are three of our top take-home messages:

  • 95% of all taxes go to Central government with just 5% of all taxes going to local government. Yet local government is essentially "NZ government by local means”. The panelists did not see the balance of power and resource as ideal and noted research that affirms a greater level of decentralisation has been shown to be effective in many countries.
  • There was a strong plea for genuine co-design of the legislation and regulations together between central and local government. The two parts of government should assess and develop the best balance of power and resources, rather than central government specifying or dictating to the extent that happens now.
  • There are some contested areas between central and local government, with homelessness in the big cities being an example, outside the resourcing constraints of local government, but seen to be their responsibility. In relation to climate change, one panelist said that local government have a role in relation to adaptation but should be empowered to have more of a role in mitigation. Some research has measured the amount of infrastructure which will be impacted by sea level rise. It is significant, without real clarity about who pays for this.

We have also shared short (one minute) videos with some words of wisdom from two of our experts:

In this video, Anne Molineux, an Associate Director at Deloitte, shares some thoughts on how to effectively engage with local government - including making the most of the data and insights that are available about local demographics and issues, as a foundation for authentic community engagement.

In this video
, Michael Macaulay, Professor of Public Administration in the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington, talks about the importance of central and local government co-designing, co-creating and being co-responsible.

Regulating Social Media

Peter Thompson, senior lecturer in the media studies programme at Victoria University of Wellington, gave a fascinating and insightful presentation on the need for social media regulation and how this could be done in New Zealand, at our event The Christchurch Call last week.

We have shared Peter’s full presentation, along with his article Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts on our website.

Some key points we took away from the presentation included:

  • To curb violent extremist content online we need a regulatory response; an acknowledgement of political, economic and civil harm.
  • Social media platforms responded to the attacks in Christchurch this year with ‘content moderation’ practices, but these revealed serious conflicts of interest.
  • Regulatory frameworks for digital media intermediaries are three decades out of date. The permeation of digital media in our lives raises intersecting policy issues across many ministerial portfolios and government agencies.
  • We don’t have a joined up regulatory framework. There are a range of possible regulations, and we need a collaborative approach.
  • We could align ourselves with the sorts of regulation happening in France, Germany, UK - e.g. commercial/financial penalties. It’s a mistake if we think we’re too small.
  • The challenge for policy makers is that policy outcomes operate like a pinball machine: it's impossible to tell where the outcomes will land.

The Power of Procurement

In our last Public Sector Journal we wrote about the power of procurement to have a positive impact in our communities. One organisation that is taking a focused and impactful approach to social procurement is the Auckland Council.

For some inspiration, check out this great video which shows the extent of the impact that the council’s social procurement is having. https://drive.google.com/file/d/16u2eUJBeBi6RwQ2Q18Yh-v4DIOhnebmj/view

What We're Reading

Truth is a curious and often elusive thing! Fortunately Jess Berentson-Shaw’s book ‘A Matter of Fact – Talking Truth in a Post-Truth World’ (https://www.bwb.co.nz/books/matter-fact) has some good advice on how to communicate information in a world where the truth can be hard to find.

We found the book interesting from the perspective of how we, as public sector professionals, can engage effectively when much of the information that pervades discourse may not be true.

The book digs deep into the research and explores how psychology, cognition and linguistics can help us think about this subject, such as that:

  • False information moves faster, further, deeper and more broadly across categories of information than true stories.
  • Plugging a knowledge gap may not have the impact we might think. Rather than rationally weighing the evidence, we analyse it using our values and beliefs.
  • We have mental models and, if a new fact disrupts the coherent story, we tend to first reject the fact and plug gaps in the mental model with information that keeps the narrative consistent
  • People process information more accurately, understand it and engage with it better when it is conveyed through a narrative. People retain a story long after they retain data.

The author presents 20 helpful suggestions about how to think about communication information. So an interesting, and indeed practical, book.

A Matter of Fact – Talking Truth in a Post-Truth World, Jess Berentson-Shaw, BWB Books - Aug 2018, Pages: 192

Please Help Us to Reach and Support Others

Our mandate is to provide a forum to promote improvements in public sector policy and administration. Our seminars, events, and newsletters are available to all staff in our member organisations, and to anyone who has an interest in better public service in New Zealand. We’re always keen to reach, and to support the development of more people, so if you value the service we provide, please share this newsletter and encourage your colleagues and friends to sign up! There is no cost to join our database - simply email us with your details at admin@ipanz.org.nz


Public Sector Complexity and Accountability with Len Cook

AUCKLAND, Thursday 24 October, 5.00pm - 6.30pm

Len Cook has a depth of understanding and experience in the system which shapes the world of public service professionals. He will be able to talk about some of the critical issues for the public sector coming in to 2020, relevant for central and local government alike. He will focus particularly on public accountability, especially to citizens, Maori and the most vulnerable, and explore with the audience what evidence we use to assess how we are performing and the validity of this evidence.

Find out more and register here.

Tamaki Regeneration Company on Co-Design in Practice

AUCKLAND, Monday 18 November, 6.00pm – 7.30pm

Human-Centred Design (HCD) is an approach to creating solutions for problems and opportunities through a focus on the needs, contexts, behaviours, and emotions of the people that the solutions will serve. Co-design takes this a step further, recognising the expertise of “users” and seeking to make them meaningful, active agents in the design process. This is far more than simply asking people what they want.

So what happens when the service you are designing is for people who are vulnerable, living in the most challenging situations, struggling to get by day to day - people who have had to tell their story a hundred times over to access food, emergency housing and the services they need, and each time it leaves them feeling dehumanised and judged.

Tamaki Regeneration Company is designing and establishing an intensive support service for whanau living in crisis. They have had to learn how to adapt and tailor the co-design process to make it safe, meaningful and empowering.

They are still learning but would like to share some early experiences and insights from this work, including two recent examples of co-design projects:

  • Whanau by Whanau, which is about establishing an intensive support service for families to tackle multiple and complex individual family and systemic factors that trap families in crisis and poverty.
  • The Apartment Strategy, which looks at what housing typologies Tamaki Regeneration Company should be offering Tamaki.

Find out more and register here.

IPANZ New Professionals and The Policy Project: Policy and Pizza

(Open only to New Professionals working as Policy Analysts / Advisors)
WELLINGTON, Monday 18 November, 12.30pm – 1.45pm

We’re partnering with The Policy Project in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to give new professionals who work as policy analysts / advisors the opportunity to learn about and experience Policy Project tools in a hands-on workshop.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about and apply two of the Policy Project tools – the Policy Quality Framework and the Development Pathways Tool.

The Policy Quality Framework is a tool used by policy practitioners to improve the quality of their advice and ensure it is fit for purpose. The Development Pathways Tool is an online tool used by policy practitioners to identify the practical actions they can take to build their policy skills.

Find out more and register here.

You Can Be a Leader In Every Level in the System - with Dame Diana Crossan
WELLINGTON, Tuesday 19 November, 12.00 - 2.00pm

Dame Diana Crossan has had an impactful career spanning the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, and she will be sharing stories at this lunchtime event about leadership in action, influencing strategies, overcoming barriers and the importance of mindset.

Find out more and register here.

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