IPANZ E-Update - 23 February 2022

I write this on the evening after our Public Sector Conference. How do I thank people enough for their contribution? First, to all the speakers – despite so many other demands, staying with us for months and being there on the day. Thank you. Second to Amy Abel at Conference and Events, for such calm and professional support in every way. Third, to our generous sponsors who did not withdraw their backing, despite us having to go online. Fourth to Jehan Casinader for his insightful questioning and great presence as MC.

We feel somewhat overwhelmed. Nga mihi nui ki a koutou katoa

All the very large number of people registering will be given a chance to give us feedback, so that we do even better next time. By the end of the week, we should have the recordings up on the platform. Amy will be contacting you.

Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director

The 2022 IPANZ Public Sector Conference was proudly sponsored by -


Do You Believe a Public Inquiry into our COVID-19 Response is a Valuable Investment?

To help you form your views, read this analysis of the potential of a public inquiry in the UK, prepared by Prospect Magazine and the IPPO just prior to the terms of reference being released.

The questions this raises for us included:

  • How can an inquiry truly focus on learning - creating a physical space that supports a willingness to learn, not confrontation?
  • There is a cathartic benefit to ideas expressed but is of no value if lessons are not implemented - how do you structure an enquiry so that recommendations are implemented?
  • An inquiry must not be about blame and the “sacrificial accountability” common in Westminster systems is to be avoided
  • The limitations of hierarchical models and an attempt to run a “whole of society” inquiry model

On our website we have the seven recommended steps to ensure valuable learning from an inquiry (3 minute read).

This is extracted from a longer read, in which it is suggested multiple and staged enquiries is the way to go, and it also outlines some vital questions (10 minute read).

And if you would like to watch the webinar where experts from all parts of the community in the UK speak about the pandemic and enquiries, watch this (45 minutes).

Some Ideas to Ensure Inclusive Growth Post Pandemic

The pandemic has caused enormous economic and social shock, but the impacts are not distributed evenly. Those already facing systemic disadvantage have disproportionately shouldered the burden.

These authors have some ideas to ensure the future growth is more inclusive. Suggestions include:

  • Removing barriers to skills development for those stuck in low wage jobs
  • Providing social support to reduce the state of persistent insecurity with regard to employment or income
  • Supporting entrepreneurship and innovation, transitioning workers to firms and sectors with a positive outlook
  • Using good practice participatory engagement tools to involve citizens
  • Requiring child and youth impact assessment for major policy processes with likely intergenerational distributional impacts.

This is not a long read, and it is a subject that every public servant will be thinking about.

Ongoing Discussion About "Rethinking the Policy Process"

In the December Edition of our Public Sector Journal, we had an article written by Sonia Mazey and Jeremy Richardson entitled “policy making under pressure….” . Have a look at the journal – you all received a copy just before Christmas.

The Productivity Commission wished to debate these ideas with the authors at a virtual round table. IPANZ worked with the Commission, inviting a small group of policy leaders to this discussion, keen to ensure the ongoing debate was grounded in the experiences of public service policy professionals.

Here is a summary of some of the themes raised by this group of policy leaders.

They go to the heart of some of the important issues, as you will see. We hope very much these conversations continue with concerns that addressed.

How Do We Begin to Diminish Misinformation?

This challenge is one that faces regulators, citizens, politicians, digital experts, lawyers, human rights experts and indeed will be of great interest to all public servants and all those who care about democracy.

IPANZ chose this article as it is a useful overview, focussing on option son both the supply and demand sides. There are no easy answers. This was published by Newsroom.

The External Environment Impacting Regulators

Watch this presentation from Julia Black. It paints a very helpful picture of the trends impacting regulation all round the world and the external environment which regulators must take into account.

Read more about H2R here


IPANZ Annual Address with Hon Grant Robertson 24 February 2022, 12.30-1.30pm, ONLINE

Join us as Hon Grant Robertson, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance shares the government's priorities for the year ahead.

Read more and register here


We want to draw your attention to the following two events we believe will appeal broadly, one at a policy level and one at a personal level:

The 2022 New Zealand Economics Forum - 24 & 25 February, ONLINE. This forum will be debating critical issues for public servants to understand, with a compelling set of speakers. You can learn more about it here.

Westpac Financial Wellbeing Series Various dates in March, ONLINE. This series is designed to help everyone to improve their financial wellbeing. You can learn more about it here.

Read more about The Johnson Group here


The Gravitational State - DEMOS

Protests and disaffection are leading commentators all over the world to turn their minds to the state of our democracy. In this important paper, there is a quote from an ex director of Demos, Tom Bentley. He said

“Without renewing democracy at every level, our capacity to succeed as societies, and then as individuals within them, will drain away…. Without a new level of direct citizen participation the legitimacy of our political institutions will continue to decline. Without new cultures of dialogue, exchange and learning, our social differences will overwhelm us. That is why democratising the relationships between people, institutions and public authority is the central challenge of our age.”

Only if democracy is anchored in everyday experience will it be possible to legitimise shared rules that restrict people’s freedom some of the time.”

If relevant in 2015, surely ever more so now. The author of the book, Polly MacKenzie, says:

“The goal of everyday democracy is, in large part, about capacity building for the individuals who comprise the nation, to support people to enable them to be effective, active, digitally included citizens”.

She emphasises massive devolution and participative policy making as some of the ways forward.


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