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Archived Government 06-09
Archived Government 02-05
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Review of the Centre

New Zealand’s Review of the Centre, set up by Ministers in 2001, was to review how well the public management system responded to the needs of citizens and Ministers. Introducing 2002 work on the Review of the Centre, then State Services Commissioner Michael Wintringham said New Zealand was moving into a new phase of public management, starting to do some of the “harder yards”. In a more demanding, rapidly changing world, the Public Service needs to get closer to citizens and the community, to understand their needs more, and to focus more on achieving results. This has some very specific implications for the Public Service and the wider State sector:

  • one agency cannot do it alone – agencies have to work together, and with communities outside Wellington, to address complex, and ever-changing issues, through collaboration, experimentation, and evidence-based policy development
  • values and high standards of behaviour across the State sector are critical to coping with this volatility, being the “glue” which helps staff operate with integrity and consistency in complex circumstances
  • New Zealand needs good, well-rounded people to lead and manage the State sector in this difficult environment.

The Review was an important process. It allowed the Government to consider and take ownership of aspects of the existing system and current developments, to place its own emphases and priorities, and to begin some changes as well.

Eafrlier initiatives such as the Values and Standards work were endorsed; moves to be more collaborative, and to strengthen Public Service capability, such as the Executive Leadership Programme, were given more focus and strength. Michael Wintringham said this was done through the government’s greater emphasis on the collective interest and capability building; and initiatives were begun in areas such as innovation.

Find out More!

The State Services Commission site has sections on Public Service standards, the Review of the Centre, the role of the State Services Commission and much, much




The Treasury building, strategically sited across Bowen St from the Beehive, and across the Terrace from the Reserve Bank.