Address to Victoria University School of Government

  • Helen Clark
Prime Minister

Welcome to Parliament and to this celebration of the first anniversary of the School of Government.

It is a year to the day since I had the pleasure of launching the School of Government.

I noted on that occasion my interest in the concept of the School of Government, both as a past academic and as a current practitioner. I saw the School bringing together and drawing on the many disciplines which are at the heart of government processes and deliberations.

This evening we celebrate the considerable achievements made in the first year, and we celebrate the particular achievements of two of the School’s graduate student, both of whom are recipients of the Prime Minister’s Prize, and one of whom is the recipient of the Holmes Prize, I want to emphasise that it is the Holmes ‘plural’ Prize. Sir Frank and Lady Nola Holmes will join me shortly to present it.

One year ago I also announced two important initiatives affecting the new School of Government and Victoria University.

The first was the tertiary alliance between the School and the State Services Commission, aimed at meeting the state sector’s needs for tertiary education.

I understand that agreement has been reached with the School of Government on what kinds of programmes the tertiary alliance will provide and the conditions under which they will be delivered. They will include:

1.Access to standard education programmes, and making them available to public servants outside Wellington.
2.Especially tailored education programmes, built up from components of standard degrees.
3.Co-operative seminar development and delivery.
4.Identifying relevant international research and scholarship to inform the evolution of senior leadership development services.
5.Structured reading and seminar assignments for an individual or a small group of people.
6.Tailored short courses.
7.Research consultancies.

Now the Leadership Development Centre of the State Services Commission is working with Victoria University on specific needs they have which can be delivered through the tertiary alliance. Victoria University School of Government will be accessing expertise from outside the School of Government to assist the Leadership Development Centre. One of the possibilities is to use the Victoria University School of Government and its network of colleagues to develop a non-certified course of study to meet common learning needs that are identified among Executive Leadership Programme candidates.

In parallel, the State Services Commission will write, before the end of the year, the formal Memorandum of Understanding with Victoria University to reflect its business requirements and also any experience which has been gained through the trialling of programmes.

The second initiative I announced a year ago was the involvement of the Government and Victoria University in the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.

New Zealand is an independent sovereign state, but we do have a very close economic, social, cultural, political, and strategic relationship with Australia.

New Zealand Ministers meet with their Australian Commonwealth and State counterparts in a number of Ministerial Councils, and there is a good deal of bilateral contact at the level of officials. It therefore makes a good deal of sense to approach a number of issues of public policy, management, and leadership through a trans-Tasman lens, and, in particular, through the Australia New Zealand School of Government. I congratulate Professor Alan Fels on his appointment as the Foundation Dean of the new School.

Developments to date in our relationship with the Australia-New Zealand School of Government include:

1.The enrolment of around twenty New Zealanders for the Executive MPA which began early this year.
2.Fourteen senior leaders and chief executives are currently participating in the first intensive three week ‘Executive Fellows’ Programme in Australia.
3.Nominations close this month for the next intake of the Executive MPA beginning in 2004.
4.New Zealand is working with Australia to set the Australia and New Zealand School of Government research agenda, in the fields of public administration, management, and policy, by early next year.
5.The Australia and New Zealand School of Government Case Study Unit, jointly funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the New Zealand Government, has been set up, and processes are being put in place to develop relevant, high quality case studies for teaching purposes.

I now turn to the announcement of the winners of the Prime Minister’s prizes for 2003.

There are two such prizes.

·The Prime Minister’s Prize in Public Policy Studies goes to the best student in the Masters in Public Policy Programme.

·The Prime Minister’s Prize for Public Management is awarded to the best all round academic performance in the Masters of Public Management programme.

The recipients of the Prime Minister’s Prize in Policy Studies for 2003 is Howard Pharo.

Howard is presently the National Manager of the Risk Analysis section of MAF’s Animal Biosecurity Group. His MPP Research paper focused on Acceptable Biosecurity Risk in New Zealand.

Let me now turn to the winner of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Public Management.

As a former Minister of Health it gives me great pleasure to announce that the recipient of the prize for 2003 is Colleen Coop, the Manager of Mental Health Services for the Otago District Health Board.

Colleen focused on issues of performance management within the health sector, and some of the issues raised by the interplay between accountability, compliance, professionalism, and the quality of care.

The issues traversed in Colleen’s work have considerable relevance to public management in the wider State sector. Accountability is a paramount consideration, but an overly contractualist approach to accountability risks compromising the kinds of outcomes which, as politicians and public servants alike, we are seeking to secure.

I now invite Associate Professor Bill Ryan of the School of Government to accept the prizes on behalf of the two recipients.

Bill Ryan accepts awards

It is now my pleasure to invite Sir Frank and Lady Nola Holmes to come up and announce the recipient of the Holmes Prize for 2003.

Sir Frank and Lady Nola announce recipient, and invite Bill Ryan to accept on behalf of Colleen Coop.

After accepting the prize Bill invites Professor Gary Hawke to speak.

Gary thanks Prime Minister and Sir Frank and Lady Holmes