IPANZ E-Update - 25 February 2020

Kia ora koutou

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.

Shenagh Gleisner

IPANZ's Direction of Travel

We have just shared our 2018-2022 Strategy-on-a-page on our website, along with our plan for where we will focus for 2020.

Our events, communications, seminars, workshops and articles are geared to equip public sector professionals to build competence and confidence and to contribute to creating a public administration system that enables them to deliver to New Zealanders.

There are three themes for 2020:

  1. Public sector professionals thriving now and in the future — We’ll provide information and inspiration to assist public sector professionals to understand new trends that influence their work, and share excellent practice in developing capabilities.
  2. Public Service reform —The Public Service legislative changes coming in 2020 are just the beginning. It is culture and behaviours which will make the difference. This is what we will focus on.
  3. Values and principles — Public service principles will have a strong unifying role in the new legislation. We’ll focus on ensuring the espoused values and principles are reflected in the lived experience of public sector professionals.

And telling the public about your great work. Another part of our strategy is promoting understanding about, and celebration of, the public service amongst New Zealanders. Here we want your input – what sorts of things should we be telling New Zealanders about the work of the public service? Email Shenagh@ipanz.org.nz to let us know your thoughts.


IPANZ Annual Address from the Minister of Finance 

The Minister of Finance, Hon Grant Robertson, delivered the 2020 IPANZ Annual Address at the Beehive last Thursday - kicking off our year with useful insights into the Government’s plans and priorities.

The focus remains firmly on wellbeing; breaking down silos between agencies (and Ministers themselves!); and the efficiency and effectiveness of funding - including more baseline funding reviews (to ensure all money, not just new money adds value), and shifting over time to multi-year budgeting to enable agencies to plan ahead better.

He also acknowledged on behalf of the Government the incredible job that the public service does day-to-day, and especially the ways in which it responded to the March 15 terrorist shootings, and the Whakaari / White Island tragedy - where he said the public service ethos and values were very much in action.

You can watch our video of his speech, or read the speech on the Beehive website.

Insights from the State of the State

The State of the State article series, prepared by Deloitte in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington, explores perspectives on equitably growing wellbeing to build a fair future for all.

To conclude the State of the State 2019 series, Deloitte and IPANZ held a workshop this month to gather views from 40 people from community, government, health and social organisations. Following the workshop, Deloitte have summarised the feedback. You can read their summary here.

Inspirational UK Public Service Projects

The annual Guardian Public Service Awards offer us a great insight into some of the best practice in public service in the UK.

We’ve chosen three projects to feature on our website: a council working to be carbon neutral, peer support for beneficiaries, and recruitment and positive action in a fire service. You can link to our summary here.

You may look at these and say – yes we are doing that just as well as them or better – in which case tell us about your work, please email Shenagh

How We Are Doing on Transparency

The importance of transparency for central and local government officials cannot be emphasised enough, and the first Transparency International NZ newsletter of 2020 (which you can read here) had good news for the sector: The New Zealand public sector and judiciary are again ranked at Number 1 on the Transparency International Corruptions Perceptions Index.

But we cannot be complacent.

In November 2019, the Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier, released “Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act compliance and practice at Christchurch City Council”. Mr Boshier says his report into official information practice at local authorities is a wakeup call for all council leaders about the importance of an open and transparent workplace culture – and their accountability for achieving that .

Mr Boshier says his investigation identified serious concerns among Council staff about the behaviour of some members of the Executive Leadership Team to keep negative information from elected members and the public.

Your Views on Turnover

One of IPANZ’s aspirations is to promote debate, so we are delighted when you share your views with us.  The article on turnover in our last e-update generated a lot of comments.

Some of you pointed to advantages of turnover, for example:

  • Employees transferring within the public service can help build networks and collaboration across departments and sectors.
  • If organisational structures are static, opportunities for advancement often only come up when there is turnover.

Others drew attention to challenges, for example:

  • Turnover resulting from restructures can have negative impacts: connections get broken, continuity of important work loses momentum.
  • People who work on-the-ground often need to get embedded in communities to establish relationships, and turnover can disrupt these communities.
  • A lot of turnover at senior levels can cause staff underneath to get burnt out.
  • Productivity can be significantly reduced on project teams when team members keep changing.

Thank you for your comments. Let’s keep talking about this. You can share your views with us anytime. Email Shenagh to let us know your thoughts.


We are currently taking registrations for the following events. 

Understanding Intelligence

AUCKLAND, Tuesday 3 March, 12.00-1.00pm - Free event

What is intelligence, and how do intelligence and security agencies really work? Director-General of Security Rebecca Kitteridge will explain the role of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service and how the agency works and carries out security investigations, and discuss some of the threats New Zealand faces that our intelligence agencies are working to counter. This is a wonderful opportunity to remove some of the mystique around how our security service operates!

Find out more and register here

The Forces Shaping Public Service Culture

WELLINGTON, Wednesday 25 March, 12.30-1.30pm - Free event

IPANZ will be exploring the organisational culture of the public service throughout 2020 — grounding this exploration in the context and drivers which shape our culture. We have two outstanding speakers to start this journey in thinking about the organisational culture of the service in which you work: NZ Transport Agency Chief Executive Nicole Rosie and The Office of the Children’s Commisioner’s Acting Chief Advisor Māori, Dr Kathie Irwin.

This session will give you new insights into why things are as they are and how they should or could be, and will enable you to understand and influence this culture.

Find out more and register here.

External Reviews Matter - Preparing and Responding Effectively

WELLINGTON, Wednesday 8 April, 1.00-2.00pm - Free event

This session will explore how the leaders of public sector departments prepare for, co-operate, assist with and respond to external reviews to develop better ways of working.

Two senior public service leaders will discuss the ways they have worked through the review process and the important lessons they have taken from the review process: Secretary for Transport and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Transport Peter Mersi and Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children Gráinne Moss.

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 and July workshops are already full, so we recommend getting in early to secure places for October.

You can find out more and register 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.


Warring Songs: Information Operations in the Digital Age

In May 2019 DEMOS published an article on information operations in the digital age. It makes some interesting points, including:

  • “The mutation of the internet into a theatre of war has brought with it a wide range of combatants”.
  • A focus on “fake news” over-emphasises the importance of fact-checking and ignores the role of emotional manipulation.
  • Information operations have long term aims but rapid activity at times. This requires long term investment in intelligence, but also the ability to be agile.
  • Information operations blur the boundaries of fact and fiction and thus render dissent by merely dismissing contradictory facts without any rational basis.
  • There is a helpful tabulation of aims, strategies and tactics (on page 8) with some subtle methods outlined such as false amplification of marginal voices and dissemination of doctored images.

This is a pretty big read, be warned, but it opened our eyes to the strategies behind distorting truth and influencing opinions. If you want to look, here is the link


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