Cabinet decisions about the Public Service reforms were released in June 2019.

Read An Overview of Proposals in the Cabinet papers.

Read A Unified Public Service, where proposed law changes will:

  • help create a unified Public Service with a common purpose, upholding foundational principles and displaying affirmed values
  • make appropriate officials (e.g., chief executives) responsible for upholding the principles
  • acknowledge “a spirit of service” as fundamental to the Public Service
  • reaffirm the term ‘the Public Service’ to include Crown agents.

Read Te Ao Tūmatanui / Our commitment to improving the public service’s responsiveness to Māori, which support:

  • engagement, participation of and partnership with Māori
  • delivering services that are responsive, accessible and work for Māori and whānau
  • improving workforce composition and capability
  • collective responsibility for a culturally competent Public Service that delivers with and for Māori
  • Māori are supported in leadership and decision-making roles
  • recognising the responsibility of the Public Service – including Crown Agents – to enable/support the Crown to fulfil its responsibilities under the Treaty.

Read “Public Service Employment and Workforce Proposal” where provisions cover:

  • employees being appointed to the Public Service, at the same time as being employed by departmental chief executives
  • broadening the Public Service Commissioner’s delegation powers for collective agreement negotiations, including pay equity
  • State sector-wide government workforce policy statements that set out government expectations, for example in pay equity, diversity, development, and the portability of service-related entitlements
  • improving inclusiveness and workforce diversity by explicitly recognising its value, making chief executives responsible to promote appropriate workplace policies and practices, and assigning the Commissioner to lead, support and report on inclusivity and diversity
  • portability of annual leave entitlements to aid career mobility across departments.

Read “Leadership of the Public Service”, with provisions to support system-focused leadership that include:

  • establishing a Public Service Leadership Team (PSLT) of chief executives. This will work as an executive team to support a unified Public Service. It will be led by the Public Service Commissioner
  • strengthening leadership of the centre through the proposed Public Service Commission
  • a senior leaders’ strategy that develops a strong group of senior leaders who can lead or move across boundaries and take a broad range of experience and skills into chief executive roles in the future. This will develop the role of the existing Public Service Leaders Group
  • creating functional chief executives and other mechanisms to lead system improvement.

Read “Organisations of the Public Service”, with new system-design provisions:

  • interdepartmental executive boards that support joined-up planning and budgeting and/or policy alignment on a complex cross-cutting issue
  • two different types of Public Service joint ventures – the interdepartmental venture, and the joint operational arrangement – that support joined-up, agile service delivery and joint resource management, including assets and staff
  • a more flexible departmental agency model.

The Public Service in the Regions

Alongside the system-level State Sector Act legislative changes, there is also work to improve how government agencies organise themselves in the regions.

Read “A More Joined-Up Approach to the Regional Arm of Government, starting with the Skills and Social Sectors”, with changes that include:

  • Shifting organisational boundaries (agency jurisdictions) to a more common basis built around communities of interest, reflecting territorial authority boundaries in general.
  • Driving change through the designation of regional leaders to provide system leadership. They will have the mana and mandate for convening cross-agency decision making forums.
  • Communicating public service focus areas through regional profiles and priorities for the whole Public Service. This will be developed with leaders within local government, iwi, business and community groups.
  • Developing shared property and IT models to support the operation of regional offices and the greater integration of services for communities.

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