Towards a New Public Ethics

Professor Michael Macaulay explores the tension between rhetoric and reality, drawing on almost seven years of New Zealand-based research.

Inaugural lecture—Professor Michael Macaulay

November 2019

The New Zealand public service is world leading in many respects, especially in its reputation for high levels of trust and integrity. Nowhere is this more evident than in the call from the State Services Commissioner for a new ‘spirit of service’. However, recent evidence shows that a number of ethical fault lines exist, especially over behavioural issues such as bullying and discrimination.

Professor Michael Macaulay explores the tension between rhetoric and reality, drawing on almost seven years of New Zealand-based research. He calls for a fundamental shift in ethical thinking within the public sector, and argues that the spirit of service requires a new ethics of care.

This is Professor Macaulay’s inaugural lecture as Professor of Public Administration at Victoria University of Wellington. Our public lecture series gives you the opportunity to engage with the latest thinking on the world’s major issues.

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