IPANZ E-Update - 27 April 2022

There are indeed many burning issues for the public service right now. They include the imperative to honour Te Tiriti, the spread of misinformation, the increasing prospect of environmental catastrophe, and less momentous perhaps, but still top of mind – the new work place and the opportunities it offers us. So this e-update really covers some vital issues! – do enjoy it.

Shenagh Gleisner, Executive Director


Have You Heard of Critical Treaty Analysis (CTA)?

This article in the Conversation succinctly introduces you to CTA. It shows there are five indicators against which to evaluate policy in relation to Te Tiriti. It refers to the main elements of Te Tiriti: for example particularly seeking evidence of the influence and authority of Māori values in the policy process in order to demonstrate Tino Rangatiratanga.

The authors explain that they have used the CTA to review the New Zealand Primary Healthcare strategy. They suggest others explore its use if they wish to ensure government policies reflect Māori understanding, expectations and aspirations.

"Inoculation" Against Misinformation

IPANZ enjoys the perspectives that Jess Berentson Shaw brings. This article tells the story of the redesign of our cities. She uses this example to talk about combatting misinformation, saying:

  • No big change happens without misinformation being used to try and influence people to stop the change.
  • Of course, it is vital that hesitations about change need to be heard, genuinely considered and supports put in place to address the concerns.
  • However, it is not appropriate to give equal weight and information space to people with a vested interest or no credentials, as to people who are experts. Do the media get this?
  • “Predicting and identifying false information early and having inoculation strategies in places are just good practice”.

Do public servants give enough thought to such ”inoculation strategies”? Is it their role to do so?

Health Inequities Need Action Outside the Health Sector

This brief summary from the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that the social determinants of health account for between 30 to 55% of health outcomes. Social determinants include, for example, education, housing, social inclusion and early childhood development. Further than this, the contribution of sectors outside health to population health outcomes exceed the contribution from the health sector. These facts are probably widely known, but it is surprising that there is still quite so much emphasis upon health services per se, or lifestyle choices as being the answer to health outcomes rather than effective initiatives in other sectors.

Maybe the newly established Māori Health Authority will shape the korero and action a little differently.

Panama Legislates to Give Nature Rights

In the last week of February 2022, Panama’s President signed the Rights of Nature into national law. Panama joins over 20 countries who recognise the rights of nature. This means that Nature, as a subject of law has the rights to “exist, persist and regenerate her life cycles”. It authorises any legal or nature person to represent the interests of Nature and hold government and industry accountable for harm done. In other words, this law allows Nature to have a standing.

Time will tell how powerful a contribution this law can be to further environmental sustainability. Here is a brief summary of what the law does. What do you think of this? (Thanks to Sustainability Matters for alerting IPANZ to this).

Our Wellbeing Budget Process - Does it Support the Environmental Agenda?

The Parliamentary Commission for the Environment have written a report reviewing the wellbeing budget process. They find among other things, that it is very ill-fitted to the complex and long term requirements of environmental sustainability. The very experienced speakers on this IPANZ webinar eloquently describe why, and what needs to be done.

It is very much worth watching.

The Evidence of the Benefits of "Outsourcing" May Not Stack Up

Max Harris shares his view that outsourcing is overrated, and that a default of insourcing might be the best first step. An extract from his March 11th Roundup is on our perspectives page, you can read it here.

The New Workplace

Much has been written about the new workplace, but this is a particularly good article written by Veronica Mulligan for Business Desk. It is eloquent in pointing out that the employers who genuinely engage with their people about the models for going forward which work for everyone will thrive.

Learn more about H2R here


Systemic Change in the Public Service to Better Enable Collaboration - 3, 11 & 18 May, 11.00am-12.00noon, ONLINE

IPANZ is running three hour-long webinars during the first three weeks of May, addressing a very important subject – what can be done within in the public service to overcome the barriers to working collaboratively, across the public service and with communities? The focus is on shifts at the centre, looking at structural change, accountabilities and capability building in the public service.

We have great presenters for this webinar series, Chief Executives, the Public Service Commission and many other experts involved in working out how to make collaboration work better.

This is a complex area, no simple answers, but significant attempts are being made towards making joint work function better.

The webinars are free, look at the details, register now to join us.

New Professionals Meet the Chiefs Breakfast with Gaye Searancke - Tuesday 17 May, 7.15-8.30am, WELLINGTON

Are you under 30 years old or new to the public sector? If so, you are invited to join the IPANZ New Professionals Leadership Team for a light breakfast, intravenous coffee and the opportunity to meet Gaye Searancke, Secretary for Land Information and Chief Executive.

Come at 7.15am for breakfast, the speaker will start at 7.45am, it's an early start but well worth the effort to hear Gaye discuss first-hand her career path, highlights and challenges. There will be the opportunity to ask questions and engage with Gaye as well.

Read more and register here

Learn more about The Johnson Group here


We often wonder if IPANZ should engage Ministers and MPs in in-depth discussions. The Institute for Government in London regularly produces videos of interviews with Ministers, many of whom give great personal insights. We are interested to know if this would appeal to you if it was done in New Zealand?

In the meantime, there is a memoir written by Peter McCardle. Not quite ten minute video - it is 340 pages long! And not a leading politician. But still a personal and interesting story. We give you here a nicely written review of this book, “Party Hopper: The political life of Peter McCardle”, prepared by David Seymour for Newsroom.

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