New group to advise on state sector reform

  • Bill English
  • Tony Ryall
Deputy Prime Minister State Services

The Government has established a new group to advise on state sector reform, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and State Services Minister Tony Ryall announced today.

"As the Prime Minister said in his Statement to Parliament, the Government is committed to getting better value for money from public spending so we can deliver better public services to taxpayers with little or no new money over the next few years," Mr English says.

"With the Government committed to returning to budget surplus in 2014/15, change in the state sector now needs to pick up momentum. This is about identifying the things that matter most to New Zealanders, doing them better and doing them with less back-office bureaucracy.

"The public service itself has an important role to play in implementing change and we are keen to pick up on their ideas and propositions. The Better Public Services Advisory Group will provide support and advice to State Sector Ministers and help prioritise our broad work programme.

"We expect this group, which includes five senior public servants and three external appointments, to help ensure the changes we make improve the focus and results of the public service as a whole," Mr English says.

Mr Ryall says the new group brings together a high level of knowledge and experience from central government, local government, business and the non-government sector.

"There is a pressing need to improve the quality and direction of our public services. The world has changed a lot in the last 20 years and the state sector needs to reflect that.

"The group's members will bring a clear focus on value-for-money, innovation, high-quality service provision and effective change management.

"I have no doubt the group will help ensure any changes are based firmly on an understanding of what works best for government and for the people of New Zealand," Mr Ryall says.

The advisory group will be supported by officials from the three central agencies of government.

Better Public Services Advisory Group membership

The eight members of the Better Public Services Advisory Group are:

· Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet chief executive Maarten Wevers (chair).

· Watercare Services Ltd (Auckland) chief executive Mark Ford.

· Air New Zealand group general manager, people and technical operations, Vanessa Stoddart.

· Wise Group chief executive Jacqui Graham..

· State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie.

· Acting Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf.

· Ministry of Social Development chief executive Peter Hughes.

· Ministry of Justice deputy chief executive Sandi Beatie.

Cabinet papers and other links relating to the Government's state sector reforms can be found at