IPANZ E-Update - 3 February 2020

Kia ora koutou

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.

You will get many chances to engage on this submission. We have asked to make an oral submission, which will draw on the most essential issues from the written submission. We will share these points with you in a future e-update. We’ll also have an article in our upcoming Public Sector Journal, sharing the perspectives expressed in our submission as well as the priorities of other groups. In itself the Act will achieve little unless we all embrace its possibilities, and make it happen.

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.

Shenagh Gleisner


Turning the tide on bullying 

Bullying happens everywhere and the public service in New Zealand has been no exception. We want to help turn the tide on workplace bullying and this month we have an event coming up to talk about what bullying is and is not, and how we can create the workplace conditions to reduce bullying. You can read more about that in the events section.

This is an important issue to us. As Michael McCauley (professor of Public Administration at VUW’s School of Government) said in our December issue of the Public Sector Journal, bullying is “the single most observed and reported form of misconduct in the New Zealand public service”.

A good place to start to reduce bullying, is with understanding what it is, and what it isn’t. So to help define bulling, we have drawn on guidelines from WorkSafe (New Zealand’s primary workplace health and safety regulator) and the State Services Commission. You can read our summary of the definitions here.

Concerns with public sector staff turnover

A recent report by the UK Institute of Government has found that excessive staff turnover in the civil service is costing the UK government up to £74 million a year in recruitment, training and lost productivity. The indirect costs of turnover are even higher, including major projects going awry because of disruptive leadership changes, and weakened institutional memory damaging policy development.

Although the report and many of the examples given are specific to the UK at this time in their history, and not relevant to New Zealand, it is striking that we see similarly high turnover in the New Zealand public service.

The report signals significant concerns with:

  • Gross staff turnover from 2011 to 2018 in the UK civil service averaging 21%. Over the same period, turnover in the NZ public sector averaged 26%.
  • Eight out of 20 UK departments with turnover over 15% in 2018. In the same year, 22 of 28 NZ agencies had turnover of over 15%*

IPANZ would be interested to know if there are concerns about turnover in the New Zealand public service, what its drivers might be and how to reduce it. If you have perspectives you would like to share, please email us (shenagh@ipanz.org.nz). You may also wish to look at this NZ workforce data on the SSC website.

*With thanks to Simon Chapple IGPS for the comparative data.

Inquiry into local government funding and financing

Murray Sherwin is the Chair of the Productivity Commission and he will be speaking at a joint IPANZ/Auckland Council event in Auckland this month, which you can read more about in the events section.

At the end of 2019 the Commission completed an inquiry into local government funding and financing. The recommendations suggest changes from both central and local government, such as improving transparency of decision-making, using funding tools better, handling the threat of climate change on local authority infrastructure and resetting the relationship with central government.

You can read the full report from the Productivity Commission on their website here, and we also recommend two particularly helpful resources from the Commission — one captures it all in one picture and the other summarises the situation in a little more depth, but still at a glance.


We are currently taking registrations for the following events. 

IPANZ Annual Address from the Minster of Finance

WELLINGTON ,Thursday 20 February, 11.00am -12.00pm  

The Minister of Finance Grant Robertson, will deliver the 2020 IPANZ Annual Address in the Banquet Hall at the Beehive.This address kicks off our year, with useful insights into the Government’s plans and priorities. It will be especially interesting with this year being an election year.

This event is filling fast and limited places are still available.You can register here.

Local Government Funding and Financing - A Report by the Productivity Commission

AUCKLAND, Friday 21 February, 11.30am - 12.30pm 

The Productivity Commission completed an inquiry into local government funding and financing at the end of last year. The Government wanted to know whether any changes are needed to enable local authorities to meet current and future cost pressures and other challenges.  Come along and hear from the Chair of the Productivity Commission, Murray Sherwin, about what the Commission discovered.

Find out more and register here.

Bullying in the Public Service

WELLINGTON, Tuesday 25 February, 12.30pm - 1.30pm 

This panel discussion aims to get to grips with the best ways of reducing the incidence of bullying in our workplaces. We need to know what it is, and what it isn’t. We need to how to detect it so it is not hidden; how to create the conditions where we reduce its incidence and how to most effectively manage it when it does happen. We need to know what to do if we are being bullied, we need to be confident we can raise it and stop the damage.

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.

Find out more and register here.

Parliament in Practice

WELLINGTON, Wednesday 26 February, 9.15am - 3.30pm 

Parliament in Practice provides attendees with a unique opportunity to learn about the operations of Parliament, from those working within Parliament walls, and who are tasked with supporting Parliament.  This seminar, offered twice a year, provides an introductory overview of the roles and functions of Parliament and explores the legislative, select committee and cabinet processes, including a tour of Parliament. It also considers strategies for working effectively with Ministers.

Find out more and register here.

An Inclusive Culture in the New Zealand Workplace

WELLINGTON, Thursday 27 February, 7.30am - 9.00am 

More organisations than ever before are discovering the importance of championing an inclusive culture at work. In this panel discussion we will explore the difference between diversity and inclusion, review some great examples of inclusion in action, reflect on how senior managers and leaders can ‘call forth the voice of others’, and understand what it takes to create an environment that welcomes new voices, and the consequences of not.

Join Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Wellington School of Business and Government Professor Ian Williamson, the President of IPANZ (Institute of Public Administration New Zealand), and other invited guests for breakfast and a panel discussion with four local experts in the area of diversity and inclusion.

Find out more and register here.

Effective Engagement with Māori

WELLINGTON, (Other locations may be in the pipeline)

We’re offering our popular two-day Effective Engagement with Māori workshop in Wellington again this year in March, July and October. Our March workshop is already full, so we recommend getting in early to secure places for later in the year.

You can find out more and register for the July workshop here, and for the October workshop here.

The workshop is designed to help public service professionals gain a greater understanding of Te Ao Māori (Māori world view) and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and provides practical tools and techniques for effectively engaging with Māori.

We are looking at opportunities to run this workshop in other locations outside of Wellington so keep an eye out for in future e-updates.


While the areas of Māori economic development, leadership, entrepreneurship and governance have attracted the attention of Māori business scholars and practitioners, the field of Māori management has been somewhat overlooked.

There is enormous potential in unlocking this space, especially in terms of Māori management practice, human resource management approaches and change management approaches. This is increasingly important with the need to enhance our public service culture and capabilities to embrace Māori tikanga.

A report by Chellie Spiller, Gareth Craze, Kiri Dell, and Matthew Mudford, A short report on Human Resource Practice - Introducing five ancestral strengths and three recognition narratives’ presents the findings of research with a group of 15 Māori managers, where the authors sought to find out about their unique practices of Māori management, with a particular focus on human resource management.

The report makes the overall point that Māori managerial approaches are “steeped in a sense of community and civic obligation”.

The authors talk about five ancestral leadership strengths:

  1. Mauri Ora – creating well-being. This is a process of acknowledging a person and their experiences. Each and every individual needs validation.
  2. Whānaungatanga – having a family-based approach to work. Māori managers integrate organisational systems, policies and procedures to support community-building.
  3. Tangata Whakapapa – embracing the wholeness of a person. The recognition of the power of the authority of ancestral, tribal and family connections of all employees
  4. Hūmārie – practising humility. Leaders would be expected to show deference and humility to those they lead.
  5. Tuākana-Teina – transmitting mana through mentorship. Transferring knowledge and workplace culture to a mentee foster and give worth to organisational values

The article goes on to describe narratives and touch stones.

We feel you would find reading the full article worthwhile so encourage you to take a look! (It is just under 20 pages long).


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 new page on LinkedIn.

If you found this update useful, please share it with your friends and colleagues. We’re always looking to reach more people with our news, events and insights. If you have friends and colleagues in Christchurch or Auckland, we would be particularly happy to hear from them.

And if you’ve received this update indirectly and would like to sign up to our mailing list, email us at admin@ipanz.org.nz