IPANZ E-Update - 29 June

IPANZ values its independent voice, informing and inspiring our members throughout the public sector. We know from the positive feedback we receive, that our communications can be effective.

However, we believe we could do more to communicate to the general public, to New Zealanders, about the public sector; to inform, perhaps to challenge myths, and to champion public servants.

We would love to hear from all our members your views on this. What matters would you wish us to communicate? Where should we raise important issues, and how best to do so? Do email with your thoughts to Shenagh@ipanz.org.nz


The Family and Sexual Violence Joint Venture has been Reviewed by the Auditor-General

Joint ventures are signalled as important mechanisms in the Public Service Act, to ensure multiple agencies work collaboratively to address some of our most urgent and complex problems. The Auditor-General has reviewed this first joint venture with the purpose of providing insights and learning at an early stage of implementation.

You can read IPANZ's brief comment on this review which includes a link to the report itself. Like the Auditor-General, we do not criticise individual people at all, but we do accentuate the significant changes in our system that must take place if joint ventures are to be effective.

Genuine Working in Partnership can Work in a Place-Based Approach

The Hastings placed-based approach is masterclass in partnership between Central Government, Local Government, Mana Whenua, and communities. It deals with a range of complex and inter-related housing issues including emergency housing, affordable housing, accommodation for seasonal workers and public housing. These housing challenges have to be progressed by partnerships between all concerned and driven from the flax roots. This video will introduce you to an award-winning initiative to follow up further.

System Leadership - Learning What It Is and How To Go About It

In the last e-update we presented the video of our session on system leadership presented by Iona Holsted and Vicky Robertson, chaired by IPANZ President Liz MacPherson. We appreciate that not everyone has time to watch a full video. We asked Anthony Richards, one of our Board members, to write some key points he drew out of this excellent session. Presented as set of questions and answers, including points raised from the floor – which we did not cover in the video – we think this will give you further food for thought.

You can read his notes and view the video here

Cognitive Bias - Try to Recognise Your Own

You may all be psychology experts and have a good understanding of unconscious bias. In which case, forgive this little piece which is Cognitive Bias 101. A list of the most common types of cognitive bias and three potential ways to challenge yourselves to diminish the impact. (written by MIND)

It is important because unconscious bias will cloud your judgement which could harm others, it could reduce performance in yourself or your teams, it could lead you to jumping to the wrong conclusions about people. Worth digging into. Discuss it with others so you can discern your own biases.

Long-Term Insights Briefings

IPANZ is working with DPMC and Dr Stephanie Pride offering training in futures thinking methods and approaches to support the people leading the work on the long-term insights briefings across the whole public service.

There is an article in the journal about this important work giving greater weight to the future. This is a new requirement required by law, as set out in the Public Service Act. Here are a few insights from public servants as they embark on this work. There is enthusiasm, but also concerns that inadequate priority will be put upon this crosscutting initiative. These are not just another accountability document, they challenge the presentist bias in Ministers and the public service.

Find out more about H2R here


Hōkai Rangi – Partnership and Engagement with Māori

Wellington, date and time TBC

We had to postpone this event due to the escalation in COVID Alert Levels in Wellington. We are working with our speaker to find a new date for this seminar and will let you know as soon as this has been decided.

We were overwhelmed with interest in this session and will do our best to ensure that we secure a larger venue to cater for everyone who wants to attend and learn more about this important work.

Applied Innovation in the Public Sector

Wellington, Monday 19 July, 12.00-1.00pm

As public servants we must constantly understand the changing dynamics, challenges and expectations of the democracies we serve. How public sector bodies undertake the innovation needed to explore, understand and adapt to this changing context is a fascinating and unique challenge.

Join Sean Audain from Wellington City Council, and one of Harvard’s Global Innovators for 2020 to see how some of his experiences over the past decade have helped sustain an innovation culture, and how some of the tools and techniques applied can help us meet the challenges of the next decade.

Register here


The opening sessions capture some of the big themes: rising to the opportunity of building strong Māori-Crown Relations, shifting how the public sector operates, and the enduring values. Look at some of the session outlines.

This conference emphasises connections across the whole system, local and central government, younger and older, junior and senior, internal and external. Our young person’s panel sets a vision and challenge; we also have an articulation of better collaboration across the system; and we welcome many leaders setting out potential paths to the future.


Read more here


Inequality and its consequences. So much to read and learn, where to start? We read this week the BWB Texts “The Inequality Debate: An Introduction” by Max Rashbrook written in 2014 but updated in recent years. We quote here just a few of the facts which will command everyone’s attention and prompt people to ask – what is the evidence now in 2021?

  • Our poor international position: “From the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s, the gap between the rich and the rest widened faster in New Zealand than in any other developed country”.
  • Gains for just a few: “The top 10% of New Zealand single person households have seen their incomes increase by over 80% between 1984 and 2014”.
  • Inequality hurts everyone: “A growing body of evidence demonstrates that unequal societies are less functional, less cohesive and less economically sound that their more equal counter parts. Everyone is adversely affected by inequality”.

The Government has asked the Productivity Commission to prepare the Terms of Reference for a new inquiry into the drivers and dynamics of long-term disadvantage within people’s lifetimes and across generations. https://www.productivity.govt.nz/inquiries/a-fair-start-for-all/

As they say, echoing the points above, “people facing persistent disadvantage see their opportunities shrink and can end up trapped in a vicious cycle. When people are trapped in disadvantage, it is not only bad for them, but all of society loses out”.

For this inquiry the Commission is consulting the public to shape the terms of reference. That is a new way of approaching an inquiry. You can get yourself on the mailing list to get regular updates.

Find out more about The Johnson Group here

Stay In-Touch With Us

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