IPANZ E-Update - 7 April

This e-update touches on at least three subjects which merit more discussion. These encompass three of the concerns which are often shared with IPANZ.

The first is bullying in the public sector. People say it is more widespread than is acknowledged.

The second is the media and the difficulties for the public service to get the good news out. A perennial challenge of course.

The third is the ongoing challenge of gender equality. Women tell us they did not anticipate we would still be having to fight for this in 2021.

Lots to think about in this update!

Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director


Learning from a Year of COVID and Looking Forward

We had the pleasure of Michael Baker, Professor of Public Health, University of Otago, talking with us last week, presenting fascinating insights, to a big audience. He made us think about the science input in public policy decisions. Both direct media engagement and participation in advisory groups were powerful for the science community.

We appreciate finding time to look at the video may be challenging, but we wanted you to have the opportunity. By watching the video in full screen you can read the interesting slides as well as hear what Michael says.

You can view Michael's address here

Bullying Exists - The Challenge is to Root it Out and Tackle it

The themes that surfaced in this report are very disturbing. It documents the existence and details of bullying and notes the damage it causes. It suggests it is likely confined to particular individuals and to specific workplaces.

So how many other individuals and work teams across the system display these worrying behaviours? There is no reason to think that the New Zealand Police are outliers, bullying exists in all workplaces, within and outside the public sector.

What is the big question for the public sector? Is the bullying in their organisations known to the leaders? Are they able to tackle it effectively?

Telling Two Stories at Once - Both Positive and Negative

The overwhelming and relentlessly negative press on Oranga Tamariki will have escaped no-one. For Maori there is longstanding despair over the historical legacy of the child protection system with its disproportionate impact upon Maori and recent distressing interventions. It's no wonder they are asking for radical changes.

What has become somewhat hidden in the media is the demonstration of some positive developments made by Oranga Tamariki. Here, there is another story, a more positive one. A much less human and visual story, revealed through data which is perhaps never so compelling and potentially not so trusted.

Perhaps Oranga Tamariki did not talk about these positive signs of change to the media. Mind you, it is not easy for public servants to speak up for themselves. Maybe the media sought to build on its narrative and found it hard to weave the positives through it.

Men as Allies to Achieve Gender Equality

As Kerri Du Pont from the Government Women’s Network says “we must make faster headway”. Men can stand for gender equality, and men’s willingness to act will create more impact than women and data alone. She shares a very practical and helpful tool kit for all men wishing to support gender equality. The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day theme was Choose to Challenge.

This excellent article written for IPANZ will inspire men to challenge attitudes and behaviours which stand in the way of gender equality.

The Public Service Census

There is to be a public service census. You can find out about it here. A high response rate is important, providing a baseline enabling improvements to be tracked over time.

The census will be administrated by Research New Zealand. IPANZ realises how important it is that such a survey is securely confidential and your trust how the data will be handled is essential.

The overarching goal is “to provide information to support the Public Service to implement the new Public Service Act”. It covers important aspects of the Act such as diversity, inclusive workplaces, work life balance, a unified service and cultural capability. It does not, for example, cover your views on the principles and values being demonstrated in the workplace.

Find out more about H2R here


SAVE THE DATE - Our Public Sector Conference is Back in 2021. More details to come...


This is not a quite accurate heading this time. It is in fact what we have been watching. And it is not the latest Netflix release. No, it is a very well-prepared video laying out the factors to consider in decision-making for public servants. It is good straightforward advice for all public sector professionals about matters to consider in order to mitigate judicial review. It is produced by the G-Reg team, who have done such excellent work in the public sector, and presented by Ian Caplin.

You can view it here

Find out more about The Johnson Group here


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 ad Auckland, we wuld be particularly happy to hear from them.

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