IPANZ E-Update - 4 October 2022

I have a couple of important things to share with you all in this e-update.

Firstly, we are seeking an Events and Engagement Manager to organise our events and help re-energise member engagement – as a secondment (or a fixed term role) until Christmas. If you are well organised and highly motivated, and looking for an organisation where you can make a difference and be a part of a friendly team, we'd love to hear from you. Read more here

Public Sector, our quarterly journal, is now available with lots of thought-provoking articles and information – something for everyone, you can read it here. I’ve highlighted a couple of the articles in this e-update.

Kay Booth, Executive Director


Working in the Public Service Survey

We’d love you to complete this survey if you work in one of the following types of organisation:

  • Public service departments – eg. Ministry of Education, Department of Corrections.
  • Non-public service departments – eg. New Zealand Defence Force, New Zealand Police.
  • Crown agents – eg. ACC, Waka Kotahi, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Worksafe.
  • Departmental agencies – eg. NEMA, Te Arawhiti, Ministry for Ethnic Communities.
  • Offices of Parliament – ie. Office of the Ombudsman, Auditor-General, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

Here is your link to complete the survey -


This survey will provide an independent picture of working in central government, supplying data about how public service principles (such as political neutrality and merit-based appointments) are put into practice and aspects of the workplace (including work/life balance, workplace relationships and bullying/harassment).

The purpose, as Liz MacPherson IPANZ President, puts it: “We take seriously our role as a ‘critical friend’ of the public service. We believe that additional data about practices and behaviours within the public service will be invaluable to help achieve a high performing public sector. This data will complement the public sector’s own research.”

"Much of the survey builds on previous research that we believe is valuable to update. We plan to repeat this survey in future years for insight into the public sector over time".

IPANZ has teamed up with news agency BusinessDesk for this survey, with Perceptive research company conducting the survey for us.

We will publish findings in the Public Sector journal and use the data as the foundation for future seminars. BusinessDesk will also publish the survey results (outside its paywall so the articles are freely available) and selected academic researchers will have access to anonymised data for further analysis and research.

Your privacy is protected, read more here

You’ll find more information about the survey here.

Risk Management - More About Opportunities for Success

Many “characteristics of ineffective approaches to risk management” will be uncomfortably familiar to some of us! Such a list is given in an article, published in the September issue of the Public Sector Journal, that also talks about “pseudo-maths to calculate how likely things could go wrong”.

David Nalder asserts that risk management and resilience are just subsets of management. It all focuses on success and uncertainty, looking through different lenses. Too often a risk approach is overly a negative view and asks “what could go wrong and how do we prevent this?” and undervalues the positive view “what can we benefit from, how do we capture this?”

If risks are defined in terms of uncertainty, then equal emphasis is on upside opportunities as downside threats. David suggests that risk monitoring looks like performance monitoring when done well.

You can read David's article here.

Insights on Building Trust

The Kiwis count survey show Māori having lower levels of trust in the public service than non-Māori. This article makes a plea to the public service (with illustrations from the health sector) to give profound priority to building of trust.

The article describes two important forms of trust:

  • Institutional trust is that which flows from institutional arrangements which give security and consistency. But you cannot capture nuances in contractual arrangements.
  • Informal trust is about voluntarily placing resources with others in the absence of an enforceable commitment. This trust is built upon personal relationships. Once let down, people are less likely to engage, and inequality contributes to the erosion of trust. More than this, low trust discourages innovation. There is a helpful description of the enemies of trust.

A big take-away for us is the enormous challenge created by organisational instability in the public sector, and how it damages the building of long-term relationships. For genuine trustworthiness to be demonstrated, there must be long-lasting personal relationships in which exchanges are repeated over time.

Thinking About Our Constitution

Aotearoa has carved its own governance path, with the Westminster framework as a starting point. Not having a written constitution is regarded by the writer of this article for our Journal, as a real strength – it can develop to suit the circumstances of Aotearoa. The Māori voice is now more widely accepted as a fundamental part of our constitution.

He traces the impact that protests, the Waitangi Tribunal and the Courts have had on the way in which Te Tiriti o Waitangi has had an influence, and how appropriate and how exciting this is. There is still a long way to go in its evolution.

The author (Tyson Hullena) develops the ideas in conversation with Sir Kenneth Keith and Justice Tā Joe Williams - you can read the article here.

Challenge Yourself to Speak More Plainly!

We recently heard the Chief Family Court Judge talking about the alienating language used in courts, how people in front of the courts leave having no idea what has been said – “it would be good if you could just talk normal” they told the Judge. Te Ao Mārama, a new kaupapa for the District Court, will mean that all people who come to court to seek justice will be seen, heard, understood and able to meaningfully participate.

This helpful article looks more broadly at the use of jargon and suggests some ways of talking more plainly, for example:

  • Active Verbs: It is easier for people to understand a sentence if it’s describing what someone is doing rather than if it is describing what something is.
  • Familiar Phrases: Our minds ascribe importance and believability to words and phrases we’ve heard before.
  • Vivid Words: Most of our information processing is visual. If words evoke images of people, places and things, we’re more likely to remember them.
  • Repeatable Sayings: Try to use phrases that you think your audience would be comfortable using themselves, so they repeat your message to their colleagues, peers, and families.
  • Meaningful Metaphors: Use metaphorical words and phrases that help people understand abstract ideas.

Learn more about H2R here


New Professionals: The Role of Officials in Passing Legislation - 27 October 2002, WELLINGTON

It can be daunting, as a new professional, to be tackling the legislation setting process for the first time.

The New Professionals team are holding the ‘Role of Officials in Setting Legislation’ seminar, to provide you with an overview of the legislation setting process, what it involves, common pitfalls, and what officials can do to best support it.

There will be an opportunity for refreshments and networking after the seminar - places are limited, so get in quick!

Read more and register here

Parliament in Practice - 1 November 2022, WELLINGTON
Parliament in Practice provides attendees with a unique opportunity to learn about the operations of Parliament, from those working at Parliament.

This seminar provides an introductory overview of the roles and functions of Parliament and explores the legislative, select committee and cabinet processes and parliamentary scrutiny. It also considers strategies for working effectively with Members of Parliament and Ministers.

The seminar is designed for departmental and crown entity staff who want to develop an understanding of the functions of Parliament, the passage of legislation, select committee and cabinet processes and working effectively with Ministers.

Read more and register here

New Professionals Study Group: Public Sector 101 - 1 November - 13 December, ONLINE

The New Professionals are offering you the chance to work through the Public Sector 101 course at a discounted rate, with a group of your peers. The Public Sector 101 Online New Professionals Study Group will run from 1 November and finish up before Christmas!

No pre-reading or homework required. Sign up now for a comprehensive introduction to the public sector in just 10 ½ hours over 7 sessions. Spaces are limited.

Read more and register here


Women in Public Service Summit 2022 - 2 November 2022, ONLINE

Experienced public servants, practical workshops and in-depth panel discussions are all waiting for you at the Women in Public Service Summit 2022. Speakers will include:

  • Professor Edwina Pio – New Zealand’s first and only Professor of Diversity
  • Tupe Solomon-Tanoa'I – Chief Philanthropic Officer: 2020 Women of Influence NZ winner
  • Sarah Connor – Freelance writer and facilitator of conversations about menopause
  • Hannah McQueen – Founder of the financial strategy and coaching company, enable.me

The full summit programme is available. Be sure to talk to your manager and/or your HR advisor before registering. Bulk registrations will be available for five or more people and can be ordered by contacting the event organisers via the registration page.

Visit the Virtual Summit Website for all programme and registration details.

GOVIS 2022 Conference - 28 October 2022, WELLINGTON

GOVIS is a professional association for government information, data and technology professionals who want to connect, share and learn. GOVIS are holding a one-day conference at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa on Friday 28 October.

The conference theme is Mahi Tahi - Digital Diversity, Collaboration, Inclusion. It will be a chance to dig into how these topics are affecting trust in government, and learn about what our colleagues in the public service have been doing in response. Options are available to attend in person or virtually. Join in the conversation by registering online at www.govis.org.nz

Learn more about The Johnson Group here


This is worth a read. It comes from research by the Oliver Wyman Forum which uncovered 8 critical “personas of our age”. Accounting for over half of the population, they are at the forefront of 30 critical macro trends disrupting society and organisations.

This 24-page summary enables us to see trends in a very real and accessible way, painting a picture of the groups of people and how they operate and think, and giving some excellent data on each of these “persona”. It deeply challenges the status quo suggesting how much the public service will need to adapt.


If you found this e-update useful, please share it with your friends and colleagues. We're always looking to reach more people with our news, events and insights. If you have friends and colleagues outside of Wellington, we would be particularly happy to hear from them.

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