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PM honours public sector academic achievements

MEDIA RELEASE 10 September 2003

PM honours public sector academic achievements

Two senior Public Sector managers have had their research and academic achievements recognised by Prime Minister Helen Clark this evening (September 10).

Colleen Coop, Manager of Mental Health Services for Healthcare Otago, has received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Public Management, awarded annually for the best performance in the Master of Public Management programme (MPM) at Victoria University's School of Government.

Howard Pharo, National Manager for Risk Analysis for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, has received the Prime Minister’s Prize in Public Policy Studies, awarded annually to the best Master of Public Policy (MPP) student at the School. The Prime Minister’s Prize reflects course work as well as research undertaken for the MPM and MPP.

In a ceremony at Parliament Buildings this evening, the Prime Minister applauded the quality of research undertaken by Ms Coop and Mr Pharo, and its relevance to current issues of Public Sector management and public policy in New Zealand.

In addition, Ms Coop has received the Holmes Prize for the best research paper on an issue of importance to New Zealand. The Prize was presented by Sir Frank and Lady Nola Holmes.

Ms Coop’s MPM research looked at how performance management can be improved in public health organisations. She found a need for greater balance between ensuring accountability and compliance, and fostering the morale and occupational capabilities of health care professionals.

Mr Pharo’s MPP research looked at how New Zealand can determine acceptable levels of biosecurity risk within the context of agreements on freeing up international trade. He identified the critical role of public opinion and the need for consensus among stakeholders as well as the expertise of technical specialists on issues of biosecurity.

The MPM and MPP programmes are offered by the School of Government as part of research and teaching programmes designed to build the capability of the Public Sector.

The ceremony this evening also marked the first anniversary of the School’s establishment as a centre that brings together academics and practitioners to promote excellence in public sector practice, research, teaching and discussion on issues critical to the Public Sector, and the New Zealand community at large.

ENDS

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