IPANZ E-Update - 29 August 2023


Last week, IPANZ was proud to host Dame Sophie Pascoe for her Dare to Dream presentation. Thank you to Westpac who supported this inspiring event. Sophie shared advice for the public sector on how to support the disability community, reinforcing for me the importance of engaging widely. Read on for more informative content, and opportunities to engage through IPANZ events.

Kay Booth, Executive Director


The ‘how’ matters as much as the ‘what’

The next few months of electioneering will put forward a plethora of ideas (the what that is referred to in this blog) but little detail about implementation (the how). Often it turns out the broad-brush idea isn’t as good in practice as it is in theory. There can be a big gap between the generic idea and the practical expression.

Public servants know that an idea may gain traction with the public because it sounds good, but years of experience has taught them that implementation takes time and patience. Good ideas, or even good evidence, is fine. But for a new government, guidance on how you make it happen is valued more.

Of course, public servants must stay silent for now on the subject of feasibility. But they must also be ready to ‘make things happen’ through good policy and its implementation.

Bringing policy making and delivery together

This article describes a way to avoid narrowly informed policy making using a process where it is iteratively challenged and changed. As it says, policy making is too static – “once the policy is out the door, it usually doesn’t come back for improvement.”

The authors talk of the intent of the policy being unclear to those implementing it. They recommend building measurement into policy delivery through continual evaluation. They call it adaptive policy making and make the point that it challenges the decoupling of policy and delivery that was established as the norm in the 1980s and still prevails more than it should.

There are good learning resources offered.

Ministers and officials – getting the relationship right

Earlier this year IPANZ and ANZSOG ran a very successful series of events exploring this vital interface for public servants, focusing especially on political nous. The insights from this series are now summarised on the IPANZ website. It is a real treasure trove of wisdom, for both experienced public servants and those early in their careers.

Just to give you a taste of what you will find in this summary... be attuned to the political ecosystem, have courageous conversations while maintaining good relationships, build alignment – and good advice is offered on how to develop and hone your skills.

What wānanga means to Māori

This brief article will give you insight into the concept of wānanga. It outlines its origins, how it can be used as a verb as well as a noun, how it does not always require an outcome or conclusion but is a place for the exchanging of a wide range of different views. Always good to use Māori kupu with a thorough understanding of their meaning and intent.

Too few managers and leaders really listen

This is a long article, but worth the effort. It says the art of listening has two key components. One involves listening without distraction or judgment, purely for comprehension. The other involves creating systems and processes that produces an ecosystem of learning.

Senior managers generally have access to more lines of communication than anybody else, but the information that flows to them can be compromised. Warning signals can be tamped down. Key facts may be omitted or data sets given a positive spin, direct reports second guessing what their manager might want.

The article talks of one CE’s journey to better listening and key things to do to improve listening, including:

  • De-emphasise hierarchy
  • Give permission to share bad news
  • Listen without judgment or without an agenda, be present.

How good was the wage subsidy administration during COVID?

An interesting report on a range of evaluations undertaken to assess the wage subsidy administered during the pandemic. Excellent to see good quality evaluations in the public sector!

The report presents a largely positive picture. On many measures, the scheme did well, judged as being cost effective and timely.

There were areas where it performed less well, for example:

  • The lowest rating was given to the scheme’s consistency with Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • A key weakness was its inability to protect people ‘on the edges’.

MSD rejects the assertion made by the Integrity Institute that they overpaid $10 billion. Just 11 cases of significant and complex alleged wage subsidy fraud have been referred to the Serious Fraud Office.


Friday 15 September, Wellington, 7.15 - 8.30am: New Professionals - Meet the Chiefs Series - Join the IPANZ New Professionals Leadership Team for a light breakfast and the opportunity to meet with Paula Tesoriero MNZM, Chief Executive of Whaikaha | Ministry of Disabled People. It's an early start but well worth the effort to hear first-hand about Paula's career path, highlights and challenges. Register here.

Wednesday 20 September, Wellington, all day: Parliament in Practice - Our final Parliament in Practice seminar for 2023. 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. 

Tuesday 26 September, Wellington, 12.00 - 1.30pm: Centrally-Enabled, Locally-Led Workshop: introductory session - Inspiring Communities, in partnership with IPANZ, bring you this free introductory session where they’ll unpack the sticky issues we face trying to enable community responses and solutions within a government context. Packed with practical tools, examples and inspiration, this a great opportunity for you and your colleagues to navigate creative ways of working with community. Register here.


Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2023

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, or Māori Language Week, is an annual campaign led by Te Taura Whiri promoting te reo as New Zealand’s language and a language for all New Zealanders. Every whānau from across Aotearoa New Zealand, including organisations, schools, workplaces and homes, are encouraged to give te reo Māori a go.

The theme of Kia Kaha Te Reo Māori – making the language stronger – will continue this year. The campaign is an essential piece of the puzzle to achieving the goal of 1 million speakers of te reo Māori i 2040.

There is lots of inspiration for how people can participate on their website.

Communicating climate action – Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Join SenateSHJ and the Auckland Climate Festival for lunch and a kōrero about the role communications and engagement professionals play in supporting development and delivery of effective climate action strategies for public sector organisations.   

  • Date: Wednesday 27 September 2023
  • Venue: Generator Britomart, Auckland
  • Register here

Westpac Financial Wellbeing Series - Online

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. Below you will find links to sign up for the September Westpac Managing Your Money series, along with the June series recordings.

September series registrations:

  • Goal setting and intro to investments - Tuesday, 12 September, 11am-12pm - Click here to register.
  • Preparing for the future - Thursday, 14 September, 11am-12pm - Click here to register.
  • Saving and investing - Tuesday, 26 September, 11am-12pm - Click here to register.
  • Are You Investment Ready - Thursday, 28 September, 11am-12pm -  Click here to register

June series recordings (These recordings will expire on 29 September 2023):

    • Spending & budgeting – Ways to get on top of your spending - Click here
    • Weathering the storms – Planning for the unexpected - Click here
    • Preparing for the future – Look at Kiwisaver and retirement - Click here
    • Managing Your Money Special Topic – Economic update - Click here


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