IPANZ E-Update - 5 April

As you may know, I will be stepping back from the role of IPANZ Executive Director in June in order to visit family overseas, whom I have not seen for some years.

I have found this to be a very rewarding job. I have loved every aspect of the work, the content always so fascinating and the people I have had the privilege to meet so skilled and committed. I am delighted that IPANZ is in such a strong position and very much look forward to seeing who will step forward to lift the sights of IPANZ ever further.

Lots to do before mid-June though!

Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director


Big Global Shifts

In this brief think piece written by David Skilling, he talks about what the Ukraine invasion means for the global system. For example:

  • Countries are now prepared to bear the economic costs in order to support the rules-based system, which some have tried to avoid up to now.
  • There will be an acceleration of the fragmentation of the global economic and political system, as the decoupling of Russia and China grows.
  • Although energy systems can be developed from renewables, but not quickly and substantial economic costs cannot be avoided.

The urgency of adapting to this reality, for government, firms and investors is emphasised. This applies to all countries including New Zealand.

We Hope You Read Our Journal

We encourage you to dip into our Public Sector Journal. IPANZ has a great Journal Advisory Group which met last week, planning the next Journal. We try hard to get a mixture of articles supporting the public service and also more edgy ones that challenge people’s thinking. The article on the media was in the latter category. We would love to debate further the issues raised, in this and other articles. We encourage you to write in your views and we will find ways of debating the ideas.

IPANZ asked the Journal Advisory Group which article they thought we should share direct in this e-update. They chose this one entitled "Does the Crown Minerals Act Undermine Partnership with Māori', because they felt it was an area we knew too little about, and yet the matters discussed are core to the development of Māori/Crown partnerships.

Governments Must Collaborate with the Private Sector

You may well have heard Mariana Mazzucato on Radio New Zealand in February 2022. You can listen again here, or just read a summary of what she said.

Takeaways for us included:

  • Public sector investment is about forging a better partnership with industry and not crowding out the private sector.
  • It is about investing in new opportunities, not just giving tax incentives which increase profits but do not necessarily increase investment, with open democratic debate about investment projects.
  • It will require reskilling public servants, specialised public sector institutions, and incentivising a risk-adverse public sector to lead creative innovation.

Quite a challenge!

Accountability for Environmental Stewardship

Murray Petrie has written a brief summary of some of the recommendations in his new book (the reference for this book is noted in this short piece), which suggests, amongst other things, changes to fiscal policy and the budget cycle.

He warns however as the danger of “green washing”, in that governments in other parts of the world which have gone down this track have pointed to new spending, but have tended to hide the dollars which continue to be spent on environmentally harmful subsidies.

To What Extent Can, Or Should, Adaptability be a Core Feature of Public Sector Agencies?

Richard Alderton writes about adaptive capability. He asks, how many of these issues apply to your organisation?

  1. Your external environment is moving faster than your internal environment
  2. People have to be coaxed into accepting change ‘from scratch’ every time a project starts
  3. Silos exist between teams
  4. Grade A experts in their field are only delivering Grade C levels of innovation
  5. Employees lack a sense of urgency
  6. There's too much focus and time spent on exploiting what we’re already doing now rather than exploring what we should be doing next
  7. People tend to focus on how risky expensive and disruptive change is, rather than its benefits

He suggests if two or three of these apply to your organisation, adaptability could be enhanced. The big question is whether all agencies in the public service are necessarily limited in the extent to which they can be adaptable? Are they really? Can we do better?

Learn more about H2R here


Wellbeing Budgets and the Environment: A Promised Land? Tomorrow, 12.00noon-1.15pm, ONLINE


At their core, Wellbeing Budgets are about sustainable intergenerational wellbeing. A recent report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) reviewed whether the Government’s budget process takes into account the complexities and long-term nature of many environmental problems.

Join us to hear from PCE the findings from this report, followed by a panel discussion about the findings and their application across the public sector with Prof Arthur Grimes, Prof Jonathan Boston and Dr John Reid.

Read more and register here

New Professionals Virtual Networking Event - Wednesday 13 April, 5.00-6.00pm, ONLINE

The IPANZ New Professionals Leadership Team are hosting a virtual networking event to help attendees form new connections between people at similar stages in their career and grappling with similar challenges. We welcome you to join us for a semi-structured night of fun and rapid connection forming.

Read more and register here


Did you know that after most of our events we post recordings, presentations and summaries of them on our website?

The most recent addition to this is the recording of our 2022 Salvation Army State of the Nation webinar. For 15 years the State of the Nation report has measured progress, stagnation and at time regression of the health of communities, whanau and individuals. Our speakers outlined the analysis findings and trends of the report, along with insights and reflections about how government can make a difference for communities, families and individuals in the future.

You can visit our Past Events Webpage here

Learn more about The Johnson Group here


This is a delightful talk by Susan Pinker from some years ago. However, at a time when social cohesion and connection with families and neighbourhoods is ever more important, it has lessons for today. She is actually talking about a place in Italy where people have excellent longevity and she explores why this is the case. But, mostly, it is a rather lovely story presented with humour. I think you will enjoy it.

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