Public Service Country Profile

2310-2098 (online)
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This series provides insight, in a country-by-country format, into the managerial and structural changes underway in the public service. The series was launched in 1995 when the principles of New Public Management were in the early stages of adoption, and was updated and revised in 2003 to reflect the changes that the various civil services had undergone in scope, organisation and approach since then. This series is an accessible and valuable source of reference for bureaucrats, diplomats, political and academic audiences seeking to benchmark best practice in public sector reform across Commonwealth member countries.
A Profile of the Public Service of New Zealand

A Profile of the Public Service of New Zealand

Current Good Practices and New Developments in Public Service Management You do not have access to this content

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Commonwealth Secretariat
01 Jan 1995
9781848595422 (PDF)

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Commonwealth member governments have been taking part in a unique mapping exercise, identifying the actual changes which have been made in some key areas of public service management. The Public Country Profile Series sets out the results of the mapping exercise, country by country, to provide an unprecedented insight into the real managerial and structural changes under way in the public service.

In providing some firm ground on which those public servants, both elected and appointed, who are faced with the challenge of public service reform can stand while assessing the options available, the Public Country Profile Series marks a milestone in the debate concerning the management of the public service.
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  • Foreword

    Since 1975, the Management and Training Services Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, and its predecessor the Management Development Programme, have been providing extensive assistance to Commonwealth governments confronting the challenge of securing administrative and managerial improvements in the public sector. The Division's analyses of major trends and opportunities for public sector reform are complemented by its tailored consultancy and training packages designed in response to national and regional needs.

  • Introduction

    New Zealand has earned international recognition for the scale and consistency of its state sector reforms. A consistent philosophical basis for the state sector's interventions in the economy and society has been maintained through almost ten years of change. This publication summarises the background to our reforms, the key principles on which they were based, and the shape of the new state sector.

  • Making The Most Of Staff

    The New Zealand (NZ) public service has been the subject of equal employment opportunity initiatives since 1984 and of legislative provisions ensuring nondiscrimination in employment practices since 1988. This paper explains the system used within the New Zealand public service to monitor overall progress in implementing equal employment opportunities (EEO).

  • Making Government More Efficient

    Productivity improvement lies at the heart of virtually all the public sector reform measures that have been implemented over the past decade. The State Sector Act (1988) and the Public Finance Act (1989) were aimed at improving public sector performance as was the restructuring of the public sector into such new entities as State Owned Enterprises, Crown Agencies and Policy Ministries.

  • Improving the Quality of Services

    Quality Management is seen by many organisations as an important tool in the contemporary economic climate. The imperatives that have led the private sector to introduce Quality Management (QM), enhancing profitability through increased market share and customer loyalty, are less compelling in the public service. Nevertheless, the importance of improving quality and productivity are leading a number of organisations in the New Zealand public service to apply QM.

  • Improving Partnerships with Organisations/Agencies Outside Parliament

    The public service provides the principal source of official policy advice to the New Zealand Government. This entry examines the various ways in which the provision of policy advice to government has become more contestable over the past decade. In particular it looks at the New Zealand experience in separating policy advice from policy implementation.

  • Making Management More Effective

    The state sector reforms that have occurred in New Zealand over the past ten years have created an inherently more complex and demanding management environment. The separation of policy from service delivery functions, the on testability of advice and widespread restructuring have all been features of the state sector environment. The transition from a traditional public service culture to one more closely reflecting private sector practice has also imposed new demands on public service managers.

  • Improving the Management of Finance

    The effect of public sector reform in New Zealand has been to place increased accountability on management for organisational performance. Internal audit is one of the management systems used in the public sector to promote the efficient and effective use of resources. While internal audit is not new, its traditional role has been in ensuring that departments comply with various administrative and financial rules and requirements.

  • Improving Policy-Making

    If government is to make well-informed decisions on matters of public policy it requires high quality policy advice. Policy advice is now explicitly identified as an output of many of the core state sector agencies in New Zealand. In July 1991 the Minister of State Services directed the State Services Commission (SSC) to review the provision of policy advice from government departments in order to identify ways of improving its cost-effectiveness.

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