Ministers and Officials: Getting the Relationship Right

Great relationships between ministers and senior public servants are crucial for good government decision-making. Engagement across the political-administrative divide requires effort and understanding on both the demand and the supply side of the relationship. IPANZ and ANZSOG recently co-hosted a panel discussion in Wellington to explore some of the gnarly issues at the political-administrative interface facilitated by Sally Washington, ANZSOG Executive Director Aotearoa New Zealand.

The panel featured representatives from both the political and the public service sides of the relationship, including:

  • Hon Carmel Sepuloni – Aotearoa New Zealand Minister for Social Development and Employment, Minister for ACC, Minister for Disability Issues and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage;
  • Sir Bill English KNZM – former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance;
  • Wayne Eagleson – former Chief of Staff to Prime Ministers Sir John Key and Sir Bill English;
  • Peter Mersi – Chief Executive of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) and Acting Head of the Policy Profession;
  • Professor Ken Smith AO (ANZSOG Dean and Chief Executive) and Dr Kay Booth (IPANZ Executive Director) delivered introductory and closing remarks.

You can read a summary of this discussion here