Written on 30 March 2017 by Peter Hughes

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Let me start this blog in the same way that I’ve started every one of my speeches since starting in this job as State Services Commissioner last year. And that is to say that I really do believe in the ideal of public service. I believe in the spirit of service that the State Sector Act talks about. And while it’s maybe an old-fashioned word, I believe that it is a noble thing to serve our country and our fellow New Zealanders.

Like many of you, I’ve devoted the whole of my working life to public service, starting out with a holiday job on the front line working with people on the unemployment benefit. Serving the people of our country is something that matters to me.

And like all public servants, I choose to do that because I care and want to make a difference.

People and communication are critical to leadership. I often say that communication is the oxygen of leadership. I said that in an interview when I first started in this job. I see the communication part of that statement as key, particularly as we look ahead of us, both in the global and public service contexts.

When I think about what I’m wanting to achieve in this job, it’s about making a difference to the public of New Zealand and just as importantly to you as public servants.

I believe public service is something we should acknowledge, celebrate and reward.

I think we ought to be more positive and supporting of people like you, people who take on roles that can at times be very challenging and thankless. I see communicating with all of you as public servants, as one tangible thing I can do to show the value I place in the work you do, wherever you work.

I will also stand up for you and I will back you, especially when you are unfairly criticised.

Thank you for choosing public service as your career, for making that choice and that commitment.

Let me know how to make this blog work for you. I’m keen to hear from you.

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