IPANZ E-Update - 20 September 2021

IPANZ sends a heartfelt shout out to all of you. Whether you are working 10-hour days non-stop, front-line or back office, whether you have been juggling children and work at home, whether you are in Auckland with the long, long lockdown, or whether you are just experiencing despondency and anxiety. This is hard, resilience is so important, but sometimes it just feels fragile.

Kia kaha. Nga mihi aroha ki a koutou katoa

Shenagh Glesiner, Executive Director


Trusted Public Servants

Trust in public servants is high by all counts. When people use or are in direct contact with public services, their experiences leads to a very high level of trust. But when the population are asked about the public service in general, they express a lower level of trust. It seems people do not realise what an enormous range of public service jobs support the foundations of our society, undertaken by largely invisible public servants behind the scenes. We posted this piece on our IPANZ LinkedIn page.

Long-Term Insights Briefings - Learning and Developing

Contributing to recent a McGuinness Institute webinar, David Skilling looked at foresight work in some other small economies. He draws from these some implications for NZ. You can view his brief slides are here.

These briefings are a new and evolving initiative here in Aotearoa/New Zealand. All aspects of the process will be reviewed and lessons learnt and applied over time. One important question for us all to consider is how we will increase the “demand” for such long-term thinking and action for these long-term challenges, amongst both government and the public.

Co-Design - Some Practical Ways Forward

We could see from the enormous interest in our Hokai Rangi - Engagement and Partnership with Māori event that there is an appetite for learning about co-design amongst our members.

We therefore attach an article featuring in our September Public Sector Journal, summarising some of the very practical ideas gained from our recent Co-Design Symposium “ways of being, knowing and doing”. It also asks how we could build better understanding of when and how to do this mahi – is there more that could happen in our authorising environment to assist us?

Is Working From Home The Answer?

It might seem to many that working from home has many benefits. However, the drawbacks are obvious to some, especially those with fewer resources. This opinion piece from our September Public Sector Journal raises concerns about the longer term and unanticipated consequences of moving too far from having enough face-to-face connection in a workplace.

Affordable Community Facilities

Time to start thinking differently about how the public sector can become enablers for connecting communities to spaces, rather than delivering spaces as a service. Working with social enterprises with tech capabilities might be a way forward. SpacetoCo is just one such potential partner. Read this short article featured in the current Public Sector Journal.

Find out more about H2R here


Like many organisations, IPANZ is handling uncertainty week by week on the number of people allowed to attend in-person events. We have two events in the coming weeks, Face to Face with Digital Exclusion and Learning to be an Ally for Ethnic Communities both booked over the cap of the allowed 50. We tread that fine line of opening up to the wait-list , aware that drop outs on the day are inevitable, but how many is always hard to predict. We are planning to increase our recording capability to continually get out our wonderful events to you all, wherever you are in Aotearoa.

We just want to apologise for any uncertainty this creates for you all and assure you we will always keep you fully informed at the earliest point possible.

Tomorrow would have been our wonderful Public Sector Conference, inevitably postponed, and now scheduled for Friday 12 November. We are watching progress on the COVID alert levels, with new restrictions to levels designed to handle Delta, and continually weighing up the way forward.

We want to thank you for your patience and understanding.

Find out more about The Johnson Group here


You may well have been overwhelmed by the disruption to our lives and read many challenging commentaries about how dramatically our world is changing. Almost more than we can take in, especially if we dare to stare at the future for the planet with climate change and the even perhaps the future for democracy with the clamour of misinformation.

IPANZ likes the way Policy Horizons Canada has focussed on the concept of “sense-making” in their foresight work. Sense-making is the way we gather and interpret information to give meaning to our lives and it shapes our decisions and our behaviour.

This paper can help public servants to understand how changes to sense-making could affect their specific policies and practices.

Just a few examples from this paper

  • False content flooding the information landscape is creating new realities which may divide people more, bringing established shared reality into question.
  • Significant change to established norms e.g. revision of journalistic approaches, online learning changing traditional teaching methods dramatically.
  • The potential that the virtual world will rival the physical as a primary frame of reference over time.
  • Our ability to make sense of our worlds may increasingly depend on what we know and understand about surveillance and social sorting – with A1 being ubiquitous.

This is ongoing work from Canada. We share it because early awareness of these changes and an opportunity to keep updated on this work could be useful for our members.

Read more here - The Future of Sense-Making - Policy Horizons Canada


If you found this e-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 and Auckland, we would be particularly happy to hear from them.

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