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Public services reviews do not go far enough

20 December 2006

Public services reviews do not go far enough

“More work is needed on the nature and structure of public services if they are going to address big issues like poverty, climate change and obesity,” said Brenda Pilott, PSA National Secretary commenting on the reviews of public services released today by the government.

“It is refreshing that the reviews are about strengthening public services rather than cost cutting, but the findings do not go far enough in addressing the lack of collaboration and inconsistent employment practices in the public sector.”

“The government needs to commit to a modern public sector where frontline workers are given the ability to develop innovative policy initiatives that deliver for local communities.”

The reviews note the importance of Child, Youth and Family working together with agencies in the health and education sectors.

“We have been saying for some time that social workers, police, schools and family violence agencies should be working together more so we welcome this commitment from government.”

“The whole public sector needs to be given room to develop innovative solutions to complex problems and be encouraged to work collaboratively with other organisations.”

“The command-and-control style of management popular in the 1980s and 1990s has had its day. We need to move toward an approach which utilises and respects the experiences of frontline public service workers.”

The PSA released a report last month called “Re-imagining Government: Putting people at the heart of New Zealand’s Public Sector which calls for a national debate about how to renew the systems and purposes of working in the public sector.

“These reviews play an important role in constantly improving public services and should mark the start of a reform of the systems and purposes of working in the public sector.”


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