Acting as stewards or caretakers for a resource that belongs to or exists for the benefit of others.
Stewardship is a duty of care for a resource, which can include people, information, processes, assets and legislation. Stewardship requires taking active steps, rather than a responsive or passive approach.
The Public Service acts as a steward of public resources in its own activities, and it also supports ministers to do the same. Public servants uphold the principle of stewardship by contributing to processes within their departments that ensure the people, information, processes and assets of the Public Service are appropriately developed and maintained, and that ministers receive advice that supports them to be good stewards.
Stewardship matters because it:
- protects and enhances the medium and long-term capability of the Public Service to serve successive governments
- protects the long-term sustainability of New Zealand’s system of government and supports public confidence that this occurs.
Long-term Insights Briefings
The Public Service Act 2020 introduced a requirement for Public Service chief executives to publish a Long-term Insights Briefing at least once every 3 years. The Briefings publish information about trends, risks and opportunities that affect or may affect New Zealand and our society. They are not government policy, but analysis about the future that requires the Public Service to focus on the long term. This requires organisational commitment to develop the capacity and capability to not only respond to the issues of the day, but also to take a long-term stewardship role.