My heart goes out to those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and dealing with the aftermath – this newsletter asks ‘where to from here’. We also touch on the gnarly topic of measuring what you are achieving – how to know whether you are making a difference. And we highlight upcoming events – take a look, there’s bound to be something for you.
Kay Booth, Executive Director
The success of the crisis response. And the failure.
It is quite stunning how public servants, along with front line emergency workers, individuals and communities, reveal extraordinary commitment in a crisis. They show courage and love, they go way beyond what we imagined was possible.
New Zealanders expect their government to do whatever is required to stop these heartbreaking crises. It is not as if we have not been warned, reports written, paths forward outlined. As forward-looking government actions start to emerge, we give two examples of where urgent action can go...
1.The slash obscenity: The cycle of environmental damage caused by plantation forestry operations must stop as reported in newsroom. It is time for a fundamental reset of the rules that govern the sector.
Airini Ngariwa explains why every marae should have a road sign. Waka Kotahi have already erected about 30 signs predominantly around the East Coast and Northland. The suggestion is that all marae ask their local council for a sign. There are many compelling reasons for this, but one that strikes us in terms of their contribution to everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand, is that marae so often open their doors to help whānau in times of crisis. We all benefit from knowing that this wonderful network of marae are spread throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.
IPANZ and ANZSOG have partnered to explore issues at the political administrative interface. The series - Ministers and officials: Getting the relationship right - kicked off last year with an event where Rt Hon Bill English, Wayne Eagleson, Peter Mersi and now Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni discussed what makes for good relationships between ministers and officials and what each side needs to do to invest in and maintain those relationships. See these articles from Public Sector from before that session and after.
A critical component identified in last year’s session was the need for officials to be politically savvy. But what is political savvy or political nous and how do you develop it? How can officials understand the politics without getting involved in the politics? IPANZ and ANZSOG will delve deeper into this vital and fascinating topic over the next few months – see more about our upcoming events here.
On February 8th, the Minister of Finance gave the IPANZ Annual Address. You can see it here.
Minister Robertson expressed his gratitude to all public servants and was particularly aware of the impact upon them of stopping policy programmes that they have been working on.
There were some gems in his speech, especially an area where he requested help. He asked every public servant to articulate exactly what and how much difference they were making, not to describe what they do, but to evidence the outcome. How do you know you are making a difference and exactly how will we monitor it, and how will you demonstrate this to New Zealanders?
The Minister is clearly fed up with performance reporting that is not meaningful. He referenced the work of the Auditor General – the next article is a blog from the Office of the Auditor-General to start you thinking. And we’ll have more on this topic in the April issue of our Public Sector journal.
This blog from the Auditor General is a very strong wake-up call about performance reporting and accountability – for example:
• Annual reports tend to be public relations documents, focussing on successes not failures.
In addition, read the blog about environmental reporting. He asks us to give evidence about what actual difference we are making.
IPANZ New Professionals Recruitment drive and request for feedback
The IPANZ New Professionals are also interested in hearing your views on what events types and topics you’d like to see them offering this year. You can share your thoughts and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEDNESDAY 1 MARCH • PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS, WELLINGTON
A few last minute spaces have become available in our Parliament in Practice seminar next week. Get in quick to snap up the last spots! However, if you cannot make this date but would still like to attend one of these seminars you can see other dates here.
WEDNESDAY 26 APRIL • RUSSELL MCVEAGH, WELLINGTON
IPANZ and ANZSOG are partnering to explore issues at the political administrative interface. The series - Ministers and officials: Getting the relationship right - kicked off last year with an event where Rt Hon Bill English, Wayne Eagleson, Peter Mersi and (now) Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni discussed what makes for good relationships between ministers and officials. A critical component identified in last year’s session was the need for officials to be politically savvy.
But what is ‘political savvy’ or ‘political nous’ and how do you develop it? How can officials understand the politics without getting involved in the politics? This joint IPANZ/ANZSOG event will delve into this vital topic with a panel well versed in the relationship between politicians and officials.
New Professionals events
Planning for our 2023 programme is well underway with our first two events scheduled in March:
• 14 March: Ministers and Officials: Building the Relationship with Political Nous - an event to 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 skill set. Register here.
WEDNESDAY 22 FEBRUARY • ONLINE • FREE
NZIER is hosting a 'Women and Work' lunchtime seminar on Wednesday 22 February, 12.00 to 12.45 pm.
TUESDAY 14 MARCH • CHRISTCHURCH
Registrations have opened for the Women in Public Service Summit - Southern. The theme for this year will be "Behind the Mask: Vulnerability within Leadership".
Westpac Financial Wellbeing Series
VARIOUS DATES IN MARCH • ONLINE • FREE
Everyone can use a little extra help when it comes to reaching their money goals. Westpac’s Managing Your Money programme offers an engaging, practical and interactive financial wellbeing programme to help you feel more confident when it comes to making decisions about your money.
Session One: Understanding Debt. Tuesday, 14 March. 11am-12pm. Register here.
Understanding debt – Identifying the real cost of personal borrowing
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