A Note from Our President - December 2020

Copied from our December 2020 Public Sector Journal

Ka whangaia, ka tupu, ka puawai – That which is nurtured grows, then blossoms

I recently attended a hui where the participants were asked for their “why”. Why were they participating? Why were they giving up their time and their energy? What did they hope to achieve from being part of the emergent kaupapa. Each person recorded their thoughts in silence. Virtually to a person, the answer was a variation on “my mokopuna”, “my grandchildren”, or even “my mokopuna’s mokopuna”. This is the essence of stewardship – supporting and taking decisions that will improve the wellbeing of our mokopuna and the world we leave to them.

This year has the potential to be a “watershed year” – a year that alters the course of the decades, events, and lives that follow. A “watershed” is an area of high land, like a ridge, that divides two or more river systems. All the water on one side of the watershed flows into one river system while the water on the other side of the ridge flows into a different river system. COVID-19 has presented the “team of 5 million” with an opportunity to reset and reimagine and to flow one way or the other. But in what direction? What future are we creating? What do we want to take with us into 2021 and beyond, and what do we want to leave on the other side of the divide? What do we New Zealanders want to nurture and grow for us and our mokopuna?

In this journal, we explore the concept of stewardship from a variety of different perspectives. We also continue our focus on one of the New Zealand public sector’s most critical and challenging stewardship opportunities. That is to support the Crown, Māori, and Aotearoa New Zealand as a whole to unlock the true potential of Te Tiriti o Waitangi for improved outcomes for all. The Tiriti-based models described in this journal illustrate what can be achieved where communities are trusted and where power is shared. Unfortunately, the authorising environments that allowed new yet ancient ways of working to flourish during our COVID response are already starting to dissipate as the bureaucracy – Crown and Māori – begins to “return to normal”. This must not be allowed to happen. Now is our opportunity to understand, steward, nurture, and grow these new arrangements – for us and our mokopuna.

Liz MacPherson, President of IPANZ