IPANZ E-Update 16 May

IPANZ focuses on the practice of doing public service, irrespective of which organisation you work for. Our community is everyone working in or alongside the public sector.

Because of the complexity of public service, there is never-ending scope for topics to cover in my e-updates. Please do let me know if you have suggestions or ideas about what we should address. I’d love to hear from you!

Kay Booth, Executive Director


Tips on better managing privacy

Michael Webster, the Privacy Commissioner, describes ways to avoid five common mistakes in protecting individuals’ privacy. He offers tips and explanations, for example, personal information is anything at all that can identify a person (photos, social media feeds, email addresses…) it’s not just their name. He urges us to read the privacy principles, they are not complicated.

Taming the ‘wild west’ of lobbying

This is a very concise set of suggestions to better regulate lobbying written by an expert on democracy. He gives evidence and examples, and suggests the following:

  • A cooling off period for political insiders before they become lobbyists
  • A register for lobbyists and their actions
  • A code of conduct for public officials dealing with lobbyists
  • A code of conduct for lobbyists

The author asks if government has an appetite for better controlling vested interests?

Valuing karakia

There are many times we hear of people railing against the use of karakia to open a meeting. This article describes the value of karakia – that they are about manaakitanga, gratitude and recognition of the world around us. And that is why they offer something important to us all.

Social enterprises as part of the answer to wicked problems

Government and the public service cannot solve the big social and environmental issues with traditional models, nor can they do it alone. Private sector and community entrepreneurs are needed. This article talks about the assistance given in the UK to social enterprises.

Maybe there are much more creative ways to engage others in achieving the outcomes the public service seeks? A first step is to understand social enterprises and appreciate the value they bring.

Private and public sectors can ‘hold hands’

Do not talk about the public and private sectors in binary terms. For example, large bureaucracies, whether public or private, can lack agility. Just consider a few of the insights from this article in our Public Sector Journal:

  • The work-world of the public sector is extremely complex and under constant public scrutiny – it deals with complex problems the market can’t or won’t deal with, together with multiple and conflicting demands from New Zealanders.
  • There is a low tolerance of failure and risk-aversion in the public sector, meaning that innovation is an institutional challenge which must be overcome.
  • The public service needs excellent engagement with the private sector, to genuinely reflect all aspects of the economy and to capture entrepreneurial ideas.

Busting some myths around Aotearoa New Zealand becoming a republic

This is a very straightforward description of what it could mean to be a republic from a constitutional law expert. The author dispels some myths around this subject – about Te Tiriti, the Commonwealth and whether a President is a ‘must have’. He suggests we should acknowledge the history of colonisation, have confidence in our constitutional maturity and “get on with the debate, respectfully, vigorously and mythlessly”.


• 11 July: Parliament in Practice - Designed for departmental and crown entity kaimahi (workers) who are new to the public sector. 

Register here for a unique opportunity to learn about the operations of Parliament, from those working within Parliament walls and tasked with supporting Parliament. 


Women in Public Service Summit 2023

IPANZ is proud to support the Women in Public Service Summit 2023 – sign up to celebrate this year's theme "together again" with a day of inspiration, learning and reflection, the perfect mid-year boost!

This event offers the chance to connect kanohi ki te kanohi at the TSB arena, Wellington. In addition to concurrent sessions, keynote addresses and practical workshops, the programme includes a Chief Executive Panel featuring:

  • Gerardine Clifford-Lidstone, Secretary for Pacific Peoples and Chief Executive, Ministry for Pacific Peoples
  • Megan Main, Chief Executive ACC
  • Karen Chang, Chief Executive Serious Fraud Office

Westpac Financial Wellbeing Series

If you missed Westpac’s Managing Your Money March series, you can find the recordings here (they will expire 31 July 2023):

  • Understanding debt – Looking at the true cost of borrowing Click here
  • Buying your first home – Steps to get your first place Click here
  • Managing your mortgage – Looking at fixed vs floating vs offset Click here
  • Managing Your Money special topic – Housing Market update Click here


    Analysing the conspiracy theories swirling around the pandemic in terms of our current perspectives ignores the fact that our responses are very like what happened in the Middle Ages. ‘Magical thinking’ continues to shape our response to disasters like pandemics.

    The belief that nefarious intentions lie somewhere behind every major event is a cornerstone of conspiratorial thinking, current and past. We want to blame someone.

    There are many fascinating novels giving accounts of former pandemics and the scapegoating which permeates the response – you will know some of these novels. However, this article draws out the main historical themes.

    Some questions about the origin of COVID-19 may never be answered. For many, that is an unpalatable idea. Yet the author argues that if we are to intervene in this historical pattern of overreaction, conspiracy theory and blame, we need to be honest about the limits of our knowledge.


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