IPANZ E-Update - 1 February 2023


2023 lies before us, ready for each of us to make it into what we will. We’ve pulled together some articles in this E-Update that look backwards to help you go forward into 2023.

My 2023 has started extremely well, with a new team member joining the IPANZ Team – Courtney Wylie is our new Events and Engagement Manager. And if you want to know about an IPANZ event – check out our website or email events@ipanz.org.nz.

Executive Director


A male prime minister will attract less vitriol.

It is no surprise that research shows the number of references to misogyny appearing online has soared over the past five years. Former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been a victim of this hateful vitriol.

This global research shows that trust levels in female leadership are tracking down. Apparently this trend matches the slump in the global stock market, whether correlation or cause.

This is a depressing insight as we move into 2023, but it must be a call to action. Every single one of us can do something to shift these deep-seated norms. If anyone on your Linked In or Facebook page makes any hateful comments about female leaders, call them out. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.”

A report card for 2022 – how would you guess New Zealand fared?

The Conversation prepared a report card for New Zealand for 2022. As an experiment, think what would be on your list, and see what you discover reading this article…

Just a taste. New Zealand is still rated extremely highly for democratic values and standards, is the 4th most gender equal country, suicides are down, our prison population is down, and there has been a large increase in median weekly earnings from wages and salaries.

On the negative side, New Zealand fell a place in the World Happiness Report rankings, we have a deteriorating environmental performance, and our poverty rates compare badly within the OECD. Slightly better news is that the number of children living in poor households in New Zealand has declined.

Considering our media reporting and social media commentary, I am not sure we would have guessed this.

What lies ahead in 2023 for public servants?

This article is an interesting insight into what public servants around the world faced in 2022. And it gives some ideas on prospects for public servants in 2023. It is authored by someone who has interviewed many public servants from around the world.

There are the positive and negative impacts of tech, enduring changing work norms, populism, environmental stress and much more. This is a helpful article for public servants to consider and discuss, to form their own ideas about what 2023 will present.

Continuous vigilance to ensure no abuse of state power.

This article presents a tribute to Nicky Hager and his lawyers. Finally, an apology. New Zealand must embrace its principled journalists who speak truth to power, and guard against state authoritarianism. Let’s never fall into the trap of asserting that the public service never errs, let’s be always alert to being politicised, and aware of the fragility of trust.

The future CAN be positive if “delivered by ordinary community people” – a comment from the USA.

Robert Reich strikes an optimistic note about the USA in the midst of the gloom of 2022 here …. He starts, however, by saying... “The anti-democracy movement is still fulminating. Trump is still dangerous. Corporate malfeasance continues. The climate catastrophe is worsening. Inequality is widening. Reproductive rights have been dealt a major setback. The haters and bigots have not retreated.”

He then asserts that it is commitment, tenacity and the unvarnished truth, delivered by ordinary community people across the country, that will see us overcome this gloom. As he says, the leaders of change are not the formal leaders nor the people whose names are known, they are you and me.

2022 A momentous year for Te Reo Māori – what for 2023?

The Spinoff argues that 2022 was a momentous year for Te Reo Māori. The question for all of us in 2023 is – do we just want a continuation of this progress, or do we want (and expect) another big push for Te Reo and what will it involve? See article here.

Calling all public sector communications and engagement specialists based in Tāmaki Makaurau!

Are you interested in a regular meet-up with others in your field to share challenges and wins, learn from one other and build a sense of community?

Consultancy SenateSHJ is scoping the appetite for a series of regular meet-ups in this vein – if this interests you, fill out their super-quick survey at this link.


IPANZ Annual Address 2023 with Hon Grant Robertson


Join us as Hon Grant Robertson, Minister of Finance, delivers the 2023 IPANZ Annual Address, where he will share the Government's priorities for the year ahead.

Register here

Parliament in Practice


Designed for departmental and crown entity kaimahi (workers) who are new to the public sector. Join us for a unique opportunity to learn about the operations of Parliament, from those working within Parliament walls and tasked with supporting Parliament. 

Register here

Effective Engagement with Māori


Registrations have opened for our popular two-day Effective Engagement with Māori workshop in Wellington. Be in quick! 

Register here

New Professionals -  Ministers and Officials: Building the Relationship with Political Nous (a joint IPANZ/ANZSOG event)


A joint IPANZ/ANZSOG - this event for IPANZ New Professional Members. To learn more about IPANZ New Professionals check out our website.

“Public servants cannot, and should not, avoid politics ... It is vital that officials understand how to operate within a political system without operating politically”

But how does a public servant learn political nous, and how should a new professional engage with the political system early in their career?

This joint IPANZ/ANZSOG event will help new professionals understand what political nous is, hear from senior public servants on their experiences engaging with the political system, and provide opportunity for new professionals to discuss and share what would help them develop their own skillset.

This event is an interactive workshop where new professionals can learn, connect and share their experiences in small breakout groups, guided by experienced public servants.

 Register here


Colonisation and (mis)truth underlie two books we have been reading… both themes that are so very critical to Aotearoa New Zealand today.

Africa is not a country by Dipo Faloyn

It is an interesting read, counteracting stereotypes of Africa. But we draw your attention to the section on pages 25 to 34 for an account of colonisation which will stay with you, we are sure.

The Appeal by John Grisham

A novel which the author admits does not describe actual events, but which he believes clearly lays out what actually happens when powerful people are intent on achieving a particular end. It is a most chilling account of how truth is distorted, individual reputations dismantled and lies created distorting the American political system to achieve nefarious ends.

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