2012 IPANZ Gen-i Public Sector Excellence Awards

  • Jonathan Coleman
State Services

Good evening everyone

I am very pleased to be here tonight as we recognise some of the incredible work and innovation of New Zealand’s public servants.

It’s especially fitting in 2012 that we acknowledge this – as this year marks the centenary of the Public Service in New Zealand, which came in to being in 1912.

For 100 years New Zealanders have benefitted from a professional, unified and impartial Public Service.

Over this time New Zealand’s Public Service has earned a reputation which is envied around the world.

A trusted and high performing State sector is vital for New Zealanders - especially during tough economic times.

I’ve looked through this impressive list finalists and while they each have their own merits, for me two key aspects stand out.

A dedication to excellence, and a focus on innovation.

Innovation is crucial to a high performing Public Service.  If we continue to approach challenges in the same way we will come up with the same old responses.

Christchurch public servants showed us how important innovation is – in good times and in bad.

Following the Canterbury earthquakes, they showed that by:

  • working in different ways,
  • sharing information and infrastructure,
  • collaborating across agency lines, and
  • by working in partnership with business and community groups, new and innovative solutions are possible.

The Christchurch innovations are demonstrations of the Better Public Services the government is trying to achieve.

The Better Public Services programme is looking now at how those innovations can inform and drive change in other parts of the country, including Wellington.

Let’s be clear. Innovation is not just about coming up with bright ideas. It’s about using innovation methods and disciplines – like service design – to approach problems in a new way.

It requires new skills and capabilities that we will be trying to build across the State Services.

The key to successful innovation is a focus on the recipients of the service.

All the Christchurch innovations were built around the question: “what do people need?” and designing solutions around those needs.

That’s what government should be about.   We want to move beyond ‘innovation by necessity’, as was mostly the case in Christchurch, to ‘innovation by design’.

And tonight we recognise ‘innovation by design’ within agencies.

This is the fifth annual programme of Public Sector Excellence Awards initiated by the Institute of Public Administration New Zealand (IPANZ).

This year there was a record number of nominations – 71.

Testament to the excellent work from across the sector.

And just as pleasing – there’s a broad range of organisations which have been put forward: Public Service Departments, non-Public Service Departments, Crown Entities, Local Government, District Health Boards and Tertiary Education Institutions.

These awards require an immense amount of work – not just from the nominees, but also from those behind the scenes.

So I’d like to start by thanking Len Cook, President of IPANZ, and Judith Johnson, Chair of the Judging Panel, for their work on this programme.

Thanks are also due to the judges - which this year included Sir Anand Satyanand, our former Governor General – I understand they had a very difficult job in selecting tonight’s finalists.

These awards have been funded by generous sponsorship, and so I’d like to extend a warm thank you to all the sponsors, for their very important support.  

In particular, Gen-I, the lead sponsor for the Public Sector Excellence Awards programme, and PWC, the sponsor for the awards functions.

There are eight Award categories this year, which are:

  • Improving Public Value through Business Transformation
  • Working Together for Better Services
  • Crown – Māori Relationships
  • Networked Government
  • Public Sector Communications
  • Improving Performance through Leadership Excellence
  • Recognising Ethnic Diversity
  • New Professional of the Year

There is also a Supreme Award, which will be awarded to the overall winner at the Public Sector Excellence Awards function on 27 June.

It is now my pleasure to announce the finalists in each Award category.

Improving Public Value through Business Transformation

  • Redevelopment of Māori LandOnline with Geographical Information System capability                       

Ministry of Justice

  • Blood is a Gift                            

Auckland District Health Board

  • Pre-charge warnings: Alternative Resolutions, Policing Excellence

New Zealand Police

  • Reforming Greater Wellington's Water Supply Business

Greater Wellington Regional Council

Working Together for Better Services

  • Aoraki/Mount Cook solid waste plant development

Department of Conservation, Mackenzie District Council and Timaru District Council

  • Operation Suburb

Department of Building and Housing and Christchurch City Council

  • Rangitoto/Motutapu pest eradication project

Department of Conservation

  • Resolving historic claims of child abuse and neglect

Ministry of Social Development, Department of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Education

Crown – Māori Relationships

  • The Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Department of Conservation and Ruapuha Uekaha Hapu Trust

  • Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Wardens

New Zealand Police

  • Protecting the Waipoua and Mataraua Forest

Department of Conservation and Te Iwi O Te Roroa

  • Te Upoko Taiao - a partnership for resource management in the Wellington Region

Greater Wellington Regional Council and Te Ara Tahi (the Greater Wellington iwi leadership forum) 

Networked Government

  • A fresh look at our past - the digitising of New Zealand's historic Yearbooks

Statistics New Zealand

  • Digitisation - Winning the Paper War

Ministry of Social Development

  • Earthquake Employment Support

Ministry of Social Development

Public Sector Communications

  • Going Digital

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

  • Police Recruitment Use of Social Media

New Zealand Police

  • Smokefree Prisons

Department of Corrections

  • What’s My Number

Electricity Authority and Ministry of Consumer Affairs

Improving Performance through Leadership Excellence

  • Leading from where you stand

Statistics New Zealand

  • Our Place: Making a Great Place

Land Information New Zealand

  • Cross Government Collective Pacific Senior Public Sector Leadership

Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs

Recognising Ethnic Diversity

  • Enhancing Productivity in Diverse Kiwi Workplaces

Department of Labour

  • Maori Pacific and Ethnic Services Cultural Response Team

New Zealand Police

  • Intercultural Learning and Dialogue Programme

Unitec Institute of Technology

New Professional of the Year

  • Jo Pugh

Department of Labour

  • Ellen MacGregor Reid

Ministry of Social Development

  • Daria Kwon

Statistics New Zealand

  • Geoff Cooper

Auckland Council

And that brings us to the end of tonight’s announcements.

Congratulations to all of those who were finalists, and congratulations to all groups who also took the time to submit your projects for consideration.  

It is pleasing to see that so many of you have found ways to improve the services that you provide to New Zealanders, and as a representative of the government,  I wish to thank you for your work.

The final Awards Ceremony is being held on June 27th and I hope to see you all there.

Thank you.