IPANZ E-Update - 26 July 2022

IPANZ Strategy - do you have suggestions?

As I write this, here at IPANZ we are getting ready to refresh our strategy. I’d love to have input from members …. so a wee request of you. If you are interested in attending a virtual focus group to have your say on the future direction of IPANZ, could you please send an email to admin@ipanz.org.nz with your name, organisation and email address. Type into the email header: “IPANZ focus group”. And we’ll be in touch! Brilliant – thanks.


Nudges, Behaviour Change and Complex Systems

Much of government is about changing peoples’ minds and behaviours. Sounds like you?

In this article, set in the UK context but equally applicable to Aotearoa New Zealand, Geoff Mulgan reflects on the psychology of social change. Quite a long article – but worth the read (16 min read).

Māori Perspectives on Public Accountability

A 29-page report commissioned by the Office of the Auditor-General highlights issues of importance to all public organisations seeking to build and maintain trust and confidence with Māori. Focused on public accountability – how public organisations demonstrate to Parliament and the public their competence, reliability, and honesty in their use of public money and other public resources – the research asked: “What views do Māori have about effective public accountability?”

Four key ideas emerged from the discussions with research participants about trust and confidence:

  • Trust is relational.
  • Trust is reciprocal.
  • Tikanga builds trust and confidence.
  • The power imbalance thwarts trust.

Implications from the study for the public sector are framed around issues of:

  • Power and equity.
  • Auditing for Māori outcomes.
  • Increasing capacity and capability to monitor Māori outcomes.
  • Building connections with Māori.

You can read the full report here

Ministers and Officials - Getting the Relationship Right

A great relationship between Ministers and senior public servants is key to ensure good government decision-making. We’re shining a light upon the political-administrative interface in 2022:

  • Upcoming IPANZ/ANZSOG Panel Discussion on Wednesday 10 August – former and current ministers, ministerial advisers and senior public servants getting to the heart of a successful relationship. (See Upcoming Events for details)
  • Public Sector Journal (July 2022) – article by Sally Washington (Executive Director Aotearoa of the Australia NZ School of Government) breaks the relationship down into four key components, with excellent tips on helping ministers be intelligent customers of policy services.

A recent paper published by the UK Institute for Government reported on how Ministers think about the relationship, drawing on interviews with over 100 former UK ministers.

The paper identifies two distinct styles of ministerial management and leadership of civil servants – and finds evidence that male and female ministers adopt different approaches.

  • Transactional style: The minister sees the civil service as a challenge to be handled, a policy making resource to be optimised or a political risk to be contained.
  • Transformational style: The minister sets out a shared objective and vision for the department and works with the civil service by building mutual trust, respect and understanding.

There is evidence that “women ministers are…somewhat more likely to adopt transformational approaches”, with this particularly the case for more recently appointed ministers. Around half of the women ministers interviewed were more transformational in style – compared to just a third of male ministers. Previous occupation also plays a key role, as ministers with experience of leading businesses tend to be more transactional in their approach.

The report argues that neither style is better, and recommends that civil servants prepare for new ministers by rejecting a “one-size fits all” approach and developing a more varied set of resources of ‘playbooks’ to support transitions given high ministerial churn. It also says that prime ministers should focus on diversity in approaches to leadership when making ministerial appointments, as ministerial teams and the government as a whole can benefit from a greater diversity of approaches to ministerial leadership.

See the full 20 page report here

Why It's More Important Than Ever For Workplaces to Have Staff Well-being Plans

There has been a lot of attention on mental health within the workplace since Covid arrived. Dougal Sutherland, a Clinical Psychologist at Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington, suggests that most organisations have focused on employee resilience, largely ignoring organisational factors. In this short article (5 min read) he provides helpful suggestions for preparing workplace well-being plans.

Getting Sorted For Your Retirement - Free Webinars

Te Ara Ahunga Ora I The Retirement Commission is offering free Sorted at Work Money Mind webinars.

  • The Money Mind webinar is a conversational kick-starter to help people understand how their attitudes and beliefs shape their financial decisions, the importance of setting money goals and what legacy they want to leave behind.
  • The webinar covers: Financial past and future, money beliefs, goal planning, creating a financial action plan and how to stay on track
  • These are being run as part of Sorted Money Week, 8-14 August, the Commission’s public awareness campaign aimed at growing Kiwis’ confidence with money.

Register here by 5 August (first in, first served for 20 free webinars)

Learn more about H2R here


Ministers and Officials: Getting the Relationship Right - Wednesday 10 August, 5.00-7.10pm, WELLINGTON

Engagement across the political/administrative interface requires effort on both the demand and the supply side of the relationship. This event will get to the heart of what drives success.

The conversation will explore a range of issues at the political-administrative interface, such as:

  • What do Ministers and ministerial offices need from their public service advisors?
  • What are the biggest failures and frustrations on both sides?
  • What are the drivers of a very productive relationship?
  • How do public servants develop political nous while preserving the principles of political neutrality and free and frank advice?

These are just a few of the questions to be explored in this panel discussion facilitated by Sally Washington from ANZSOG. Confirmed panellists include, Sir Bill English, Wayne Eagleson and Peter Mersi.

Register here - there are just a few spaces left, so get in quick!

An External Event Which May Be Of Interest To Policy Analysts -

Insights from Social Policy Research on Communities and COVID - Wednesday 7 September, 8.30am-1.00pm, WELLINGTON

This free half day seminar will address the question: how can you access, support, and create social policy research that is representative of communities and practical for policy makers?

  • The seminar’s first part will begin with a grounding in social policy research from a community perspective.
  • The second half of the seminar is a panel of NZ community and academic researchers.

Read more and register here

Learn more about The Johnson Group here

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