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 2003
9781848597693 (PDF)

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Public sector reform has moved on apace since the first of the Commonwealth Public Service Country Profile Series was launched in 1995 when the principles of New Public Management (NPM) were in an early stage of adoption. Since then, the various civil services described in the series have undergone radical change in scope, organisation and approach rendering a revision timely. Now up dated and completely revised, these reissued Country Profiles continue to be an accessible and valuable source of reference which attempt to both describe and analyse the often tumultuous and controversial public sector reforms which have taken place in contributing countries since 1995. Practising bureaucrats diplomats political and academic audiences will find these new books invaluable in benchmarking best practice in public sector reform across Commonwealth member countries.

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  • Foreword to the Country Profiles series

    Since the successful launch of the Commonwealth Profiles series in 1995, much has happened. When the Auckland Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting of 1995 mandated its ‘Towards a New Public Administration’ Programme, many Commonwealth member countries, to a greater or lesser degree, were contemplating or already applying the principles of the New Public Management (NPM) in their civil services. Since that time, the literature on the NPM has been burgeoning, the architecture of civil service delivery has altered dramatically and the debate about the relative success or failure of the NPM continues.

  • Introduction

    New Zealand is well known for the scale, scope and consistency of the changes made to the State sector from 1984 onwards. Prior to 1984 the public management system was dominated by bureaucracy and process. The focus was on doing the job correctly and lawfully.

  • Making the Most of Staff

    Legislative foundations of Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) in the Public Services were set down in the State Sector Act 1988. The Act requires each chief executive to annually develop an EEO programme for their department, to report on EEO progress for the past year and to promote, develop and monitor EEO policies and programmes. Although much of the responsibility for EEO was devolved to the chief executives of Public Service departments, the Commission retained an overview role for the whole of the Public Service.

  • Making Government More Effective

    The development of the public management system.

  • Improving Partnerships with Organisations and Agencies outside Central Government

    A key principle of the reforms of the State sector in New Zealand has been that the State should not be involved in any activities that would be more efficiently and effectively performed by the community or by private businesses. The government now provides funding to a large range of non-governmental agencies (NGOs) for a wide range of public purposes, through a number of portfolios and government agencies (both Public Service departments and Crown entities). Many of these funding relationships are with not-for-profit organisations.

  • Making Management More Effective

    The Public Service and wider State sector need outstanding leaders and senior managers. It is particularly important that such leaders promote a ‘values and standards’ based work culture that is focused on outstanding service to citizens and on achieving sustainable outcomes.

  • Improving Policy-Making

    The provision of advice to the government has always been one of the most important functions of the Public Service. In March 1997, the then Minister of State Services expressed some concerns about aspects of advice.

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