Written on 1 August 2019 by Peter Hughes

Crown Entities Workshop 2019

Yesterday the State Services Commission (SSC) was pleased to bring together leaders from across Crown entities for the second time. 

SSC has been building more collaborative and constructive relationships with Crown entities since the Government amended the Crown Entities Act 2004 last year. This will continue. Crown entity leaders have incredibly difficult and important jobs that cover a range of responsibilities. Above all, SSC intends these workshops to be useful and helpful – and provide a chance to connect. 

This year’s workshop was a busy but valuable day. For me it was a great opportunity to focus on the State Sector Act 1988 reforms and what it means for the wider State services. 

The proposed Public Service Act represents a big transformation of the Public Service. 

For Crown entities, nothing will shift in terms of legal status or decision-making powers. However, significant change is coming. 

We want to reaffirm the values and principles that all public agencies share. Building public service culture and behaviour will most directly affect Crown entities, and particularly Crown agents. I hope Crown agents will see themselves as public servants. They are often the face of government, delivering vital services to New Zealanders every day. 

It was great to have State Services Minister Chris Hipkins and Finance Minister Grant Robertson open the workshop – and we heard from excellent speakers throughout the day. Both ministers noted the importance of a more unified Public Service in delivering on the Government’s objectives – and the questions of attendees indicated that this was felt across Crown entities.

We have the chance to make a big change to the way we work across the system. We will be more citizen-centric – the public don’t see individual departments, they just see government. This extends across our State services, and I genuinely want to work together in partnership. 

Ultimately, we are all public organisations, using public money, for the public good.

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