IPANZ E-Update - 10 December 2020

We are full of admiration for the resilience and fortitude the public service has shown through this year - and very aware of the exhaustion so many are feeling. The pressures and urgency for ongoing response and improvement go on – this is a marathon not a sprint.  This last e-update of the year comes with the very best wishes of the IPANZ staff and Board.

We could not finish this year without reflecting on the importance of the challenges and opportunities for Māori Crown relations. It is hard to know what to pick on to share with you. But we decided to profile our wonderful Māori Language Commission – Te Taura Whiri with its tribute to Stuff Ka rawe. Kia Kaha to all the agencies within and outside the public sector who are facing up to their responsibilities.

Whilst encouraging you to switch off over the holidays, we also hope you might take this opportunity to read those journals and e-updates that you stored saying “ I will get round to reading these when I have a little more time.”

Nga mihi aroha ki a koutou katoa


We Can All Build This Vision for Māori Crown Relations

In this article Lil Anderson paints a vivid picture of a public sector three years hence, a public sector that means that Te Tiriti is reflected in the everyday work of public servants. For example, "Our words have mana, our commitments are being honoured" and "every agency has a capability building programme and each staff member has begun their journey across the bridge".

That journey across the bridge is making the Public Service Act come alive in relation to Māori Crown relations. The starting point is willingness to embrace Te Tiriti and open-up to learning. As Lil says "this is no longer a choice in a modern public service."

That Word Stewardship, What Does It Mean? 

We have all got to get our heads around this concept. It is crucial. It is exciting for the public service. It is about taking care of tomorrow today, through actions and decisions made by public servants in the many parts of the system, in local and central government settings.

This article defines it clearly and comprehensively. It captures the heart of stewardship as being both about careful management of all the things trusted into our care and about taking a long view, exercising foresight and a deliberate and careful attempt to better incorporate long term costs and benefits into the decisions we make today.

An Exhausting 2020 and Maybe No Let-Up in 2021 - Recharge Your Batteries 

Resilience is more than a vague concept – it has been demonstrated to an extraordinary degree by the public sector this year. But so many of you are exhausted. This brief article is a gentle reminder about simple things to do to recharge. It includes

  • “bite size” recovery practices,
  • turning off emails (and turning off distracting thoughts), and
  • being kind to yourself.

Exciting Times for Collective Action

Jo Miller, Chief Executive of Hutt City Council, imagines a world where collaboration is the norm. Jo is a compelling voice from local government, speaking about practical central-local government joined-up approaches which are delivering significant value.

You can read her opinion piece here.

Can Health Technology Foster Greater Resilience In Our Health Care Systems?

The Centre for Science and Policy was launched in 2009 following donations from the David Harding Foundation and the Isaac Newton Trust. It is based at Cambridge University in the UK.

It aims to bring academia and government together. “Since 2009, we have pioneered new ways of bringing together public policy professionals and academics to learn from each other, building relationships based on mutual understanding, respect and trust”.

This article raises both the benefits of increasing use of health technologies, but warns of continuous care which must be taken to avoid exacerbating inequalities and to ensure human contact and communication. This brief article raises questions for this important ongoing debate, relevant in New Zealand as we look towards the reform of our health system. We are sure our members will dig wider into the important topic.

We have put this a copy of the article on our website… and you can also look at http://www.csap.cam.ac.uk/news/article-technology-in-health-systems/

The IPANZ Member Survey

Did you get the email on Friday about our poll of members?  Well we know some of you did as we have a good response so far, thank you.  We really want to hear from you! We very much want to keep improving and better meet your needs. Have another look here.

Find out more about H2R here

Privacy Commissioner Releases Guidance to Ministers and Departments

The Privacy Commissioner has today publicly released guidance developed for government departments and Ministers to help them determine when personal information can be disclosed to a Minister by a government department. The guidance has been prepared in conjunction with the Crown Law Office and was provided to Ministers and government departments as part of the briefing process for incoming Ministers.

IPANZ has been exploring the 'no surprises' duty in recent months. This Privacy Commission guidance may be of value our members who have been interested in this issue.

You can read the guidance here 


This year the Public Service Act has come into law.  In terms of public administration and reforms of the public service, it is helpful to see where we have come from with successive reforms.

This paper (published in 2016) https://www.psa.ac.uk/sites/default/files/conference/papers/2015/Craft%20of%20PA_0.pdf presents an eloquent account of public service reforms over the last years and makes the rather disturbing point that one reform has succeeded another reform with no evaluation or inadequate evidence of success or failure.  There is time to ensure the reform taking place now is evaluated over time.

The author prompts us to wary of a few things, for example:

  • Preserve the institutional memory: if the public service loses knowledge of constitutional context, departmental history and awareness of policies that have failed or succeeded in the past, policy makers are less well supported
  • Traditional skills remain important; as public servants master the skills now required for “managing the complex, meta-governing, boundary spanning and collaborative leadership” they also have to be neutral, competent servants of the political executive.

The emphasis on this article is on the ‘craft’ skills which accepts the importance of experiential knowledge as well as formal knowledge. Some of the knowledge is tacit, not always systemised and often learnt. In contrast to science, there is not always ‘one best way’.

The author goes on to describe what he considers to be the essential craft skills for a public sector professional. They are counselling, stewardship, practical wisdom, probity, judgment, diplomacy and political nous. 

As he concludes “it’s a mix of the old and new that matters”. Public sector professionals can both seek innovation, agility and co-production, whilst also preserving and valuing the traditional craft skills.

Find out more about The Johnson Group here 

The IPANZ Office will be closed from 24 December until 11 January 2021 -

Wishing you all a very safe and Merry Christmas and New Year.