Written on 8 November 2021 by Peter Hughes

Public Service Day blog final

Her Excellency, The Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro, GNZM, QSO, Governor-General of New Zealand, will tonight host the annual Public Service Day awards honouring 22 public servants for meritorious service and frontline excellence.

Public Service Day is officially 7 November, the day in 1912 the Public Service Act became law. It’s the one day a year we honour public servants who make a real difference and inspire the rest of us.

I believe in the power of awards and recognition. Public servants work hard for New Zealanders, often without thanks. They come to work wanting to do the best job they can for their communities.

But Public Service Day is about more than awards. It’s about reflecting on the ideal of public service. It’s also an opportunity to remind ourselves that New Zealand has a Public Service that values neutrality, fairness and integrity - a Public Service we can all be proud of.

Which is why it was so pleasing to see the inaugural Te taunaki e anga whakamua ai te Ratonga Tūmatanui | 2021 Public Service Census show that public servants are strongly motivated by a spirit of service and are in the job to make a difference for the communities they serve.

The Public Service Census found most public servants (84 percent) are strongly motivated to stay working in the Public Service because their work contributes positively to society and making a positive contribution to society was the most common (57 percent) reason they join the Public Service.

The results show what I have always believed - public servants are motivated by something bigger than themselves, a higher purpose. Every day all around the country public servants go the extra mile in their jobs to make a difference for New Zealand and New Zealanders. Once a year, they deserve reward and recognition.

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