IPANZ E-Update - 19 March 2024

Leaking – does it matter? We start this week with insight into why indeed it does. Then shift gears to think about future demographic changes – and what this means for providing public services to the ‘new shape’ of the New Zealand population.

There’s a lot happening – stay well and plug into some of the events and opportunities we highlight at the bottom of this e-update.

Kay Booth, Executive Director


Why public sector leakers are not acceptable

Max Rashbrooke believes public servants are playing a dangerous game if they leak confidential documents, noting that “leaks are now starting to become torrential”. It erodes trust in the public sector and feeds the narrative that both the public sector and media undermine National-led governments (of course leaks also occur when Labour-led governments are in power). The trust of ministers in their officials is too precious to risk by public servants leaking documents; potentially the very role of the public service could be threatened.

He outlines the dilemmas for public servants when they feel they see morally dubious courses of action being pursued. He also points out that eventually cabinet papers become public, and that the OIA is an opportunity to get state information into the public domain without blatant leaking.

This is an important article for all public servants.

Demographic change is coming, ready or not

In our upcoming journal, Public Sector (coming out at the end of March), Professor Paul Spoonley asks if the public sector is ready for the anticipated demographic changes. He concludes that many existing public sector policies and approaches simply will not work for the ‘new’ New Zealand.

Here are some examples:

  • The ageing population will put pressure on long-term care beds at a pace that exceeds GDP growth.
  • Fertility is dropping with only 1.58 births per woman in 2023 and consequential lowering of school populations.
  • More than 80% of our population growth is from net migration – India, the Philippines and China are the main source countries. This will put enormous demand for diversity onto public services.
  • By 2043, 21% of the population will be Māori, 24% Asian, and 11% Pasifika (under-15 year-olds will be 33% Māori, 25% Asian, and 19% Pasifika).

This article discusses some of the consequences of these changes for the public service. And to mention just one trend especially relevant for local government, in some of the regions in New Zealand, depopulation and stagnation is likely to occur.

The common good created collectively

ANZSOG summarises an article by Mariana Mazzucato which argues that public organisations have to interact with private and civil society actors to deal with the major challenges facing society.

Ms Mazzucato is talking about collective goals shared by all these actors, guided by five pillars:

  • Purpose – clear outcomes-oriented policies
  • Co-creation and participation
  • Collective learning with diverse knowledge
  • Access to all and sharing of benefits through specifically designed schemes
  • Transparency and evaluation.

Looking globally – ways of ensuring affirmative action without backlash

The authors of this article studied affirmative action policies across the world – they provide some interesting examples. Of the 194 studies reviewed, 63% concluded that affirmative action programmes did improve outcomes for minorities.

However, in over half of the countries studied, protests emerged directly linked to the introduction and implementation of affirmative action policies. This suggests that the way forward may be to pursue soft over hard affirmative action measures.

The demise of the Productivity Commission

IPANZ has always read the work of the Productivity Commission with interest – the public sector benefits from the independent thinking provided by our various commissions and think tanks.

This article expresses concern about how the disestablishment was done – it is hardly respectful for staff to hear that their organisation is to be closed by way of a public announcement to the media.

It is a tribute to the spirit of service evident among public servants that the Productivity Commission continued to produce so much work right up to when its doors closed. That shows respect and commitment.

More scrutiny on corruption in the Australian Public Service

You will know that integrity has been a significant focus for the Australian Public Service in the face of some high-profile scandals.

This article from The Mandarin
describes a framework for corruption control launched by the Australian federal government. The framework applies to corruption as well as fraud, requiring Australian commonwealth entities to take steps to prevent, detect and deal with corrupt conduct.

Entities are required to identify the activities, functions or programmes that are at the highest risk from fraud or corruption and decide whether to undertake targeted fraud and corruption risk assessments.

Focusing effort and resources on the highest risk areas – rather than a blanket analysis across all areas – is appropriate.


Effective Engagement with Māori - Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 April, all day, Wellington

While politics around Te Tiriti o Waitangi's application is a hot topic at the moment, the Prime Minister is clear this Government will honour Te Tiriti. Public servants will continue to require the knowledge and confidence for engaging with Māori.

Presented by Piripi Winiata, who recently facilitated the Rangatahi forum at the Māori King's Hui ā Motu, the Effective Engagement with Māori workshop is designed to help public servants gain a greater understanding of Te Ao Māori (Māori world view), Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and develop practical tools for effectively engaging with Māori.

For more information or to register for this workshop visit our website.

Parliament in Practice - Wednesday 3 April, all day, Wellington

Are you, or is someone in your team, new to the public sector? If so this introductory level seminar is for you!

Parliament in Practice is designed for departmental and crown entity kaimahi. It provides attendees with a unique opportunity to learn about the operations of Parliament from those working within Parliament walls and who are tasked with overseeing the roles and functions of Parliament.

For more information or to register for this seminar visit our website.

Te Tiriti in policy-making webinar - Wednesday 20 March, 12.00 - 1.00pm, online

Join us for a webinar where we will take a ‘lessons learned’ approach to the subject of Te Tiriti and its principles in policy-making, focusing on some of the experiences from the Ministry for the Environment in resource management reform.

For more information or to register for this webinar visit our website.

Public Sector Capabilities in Challenging Times - Wednesday 10 April, 12.30 - 1.30pm, Wellington

The New Zealand public sector has reached a watershed moment: Budget cuts and restructures lead to extreme uncertainty. A tough time for organisations, their staff, and their leaders.

IPANZ, and the Wellington School of Business and Government, present “public sector capabilities in challenging times”. An active discussion between academics and practitioners – focused on what is useful and realistic in practice.

For more information or to register for this event visit our website.

NEW DATE: Ian Axford Fellowships in Public Policy welcome webinar: Office of the Privacy Commissioner - Monday 25 March, 2.30 - 3.30pm, online

In partnership with the Ian Axford Fellowships in Public Policy, IPANZ brings you a mini webinar series introducing you to the 2024 fellows and the work they will be doing in Aotearoa New Zealand.

In our final webinar we will hear from Rachel Levinson-Waldman. While in New Zealand she will be hosted by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and will be working in the realm of privacy, social media, and artificial intelligence. Rachel will be joined by Privacy Commissioner Michael Webster, and Deputy Privacy Commissioner and IPANZ President Liz MacPherson. For more information or to register for this webinar visit our website.


Policy Quarterly journal – have your say

Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington is reviewing the journal Policy Quarterly. You can have your say about the future of this journal by completing this very short survey (3-5 minutes of your time). Survey closes 5pm, Friday 22 March 2024.

Public Sector awards and recognition 2024

Te Kawa Mataaho | Public Service Commission runs an awards programme that recognises and promotes the spirit of service across the public sector. Please find details below and information on how to enter.

  • SOSA Te Hāpai Hapori | Spirit of Service Awards - These awards are for the public sector to showcase excellence in the work they do, day in day out, for New Zealand and New Zealanders. See their website for more information about the awards, eligibility, and how to enter.
  • Te Rā Ratonga Tūmatanui | Public Service Day Awards - Public Service Day is celebrated on 7 November every year. Te Kawa Mataaho | Public Service Commission holds a ceremony on or near Public Service Day to celebrate individuals receiving Te Tohu Ratonga Tūmatanui o Aotearoa | The New Zealand Public Service Medal, and Te Tohu Amorangi a Te Kawa Mataaho | Public Service Commissioner’s Commendation for Excellence. See their website for more information about the awards, eligibility, nomination forms and previous recipients.

Fulbright Specialist Awards

Fulbright Specialist Awards are for NZ institutions to host US academics, artists or professionals for lectures, seminars, workshops, conferences, or symposiums.

Up to five Fulbright Specialist Awards are granted each year, towards two-to-six-week programmes of activities. Eligible institutions include universities, non-profit organisations, government agencies, cultural and medical institutions, as well as research organisations and think tanks.

See their website for more information on the awards and how to apply.


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