PM lends name to new chair in public sector integrity

The Australia and New Zealand School of Government has established a New Zealand Prime Minister's ANZSOG Chair in Public Sector Ethics and Integrity.

ANZSOG Dean and Chief Executive Officer Professor Ken Smith.
ANZSOG Dean and Chief Executive Officer Professor Ken Smith at the announcement of the new Chair in Public Sector Ethics and Integrity

The new Chair, which will sit within Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Government, is a leadership role "that has real potential for the public service", State Services Commissioner and Chair of the ANZSOG Board Peter Hughes told a launch event in Wellington.

"The Chair will focus on principles, values and behaviours in the public service. And the teaching and research will be done alongside government agencies in New Zealand and Australia. Public sector leaders must build and sustain relationships of trust and confidence, so they can deliver on the reform agendas ahead of us. And ANZSOG has a crucial role in this."

The Australia and New Zealand School of Government was established in 2002 by a consortium of universities, business schools and governments, including the New Zealand Government.

Its aim is to deepen government, community and academic understanding of public administration, policy and management through education, case studies and research.

Victoria University of Wellington is the only university in New Zealand which is a member of the consortium and that offers its programmes, including the popular Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) and Executive Fellows Programme (EFP).

‘Advancing better government’ is an academic focus at Victoria University of Wellington and Professor Girol Karacaoglu, Head of its School of Government, says the new Chair and other ANZSOG changes will strengthen the University’s role in this area.

"We have a long history of researchers looking at questions of ethics and integrity in the public sector, as well as in other parts of New Zealand society. Just this week, our Institute for Governance and Policy Studies released the findings of a survey it commissioned into how much trust people have in key groups, including government ministers.

"The new Chair, which will be co-funded by ANZSOG, the State Services Commission and Victoria University of Wellington, will be a focal point for further activity, through research, teaching and engagement with the public sector as it evolves and deals with all sorts of emerging challenges.”

Among other ANZSOG changes announced at the launch were a raft of new senior appointments and a commitment to greater diversity in all areas of delivery, including equal gender representation and greater responsiveness to the expectations of Māori and First Peoples of Australia.

Also, EFP participants will spend less time in traditional academic settings and more time immersed in first-hand experience.

"These changes will strengthen courses that are already offering a unique and high-quality education designed specifically for the public sector. We will continue to review them to ensure that they stay relevant," said Mr Hughes.

"Participants in both EMPA and EFP courses will continue to learn from globally recognised academics and senior practitioners from the executive of the public service and the not-for-profit and private sectors."

ANZSOG Dean and Chief Executive Officer Professor Ken Smith said ANZSOG’s activities had changed since it was established in 2002 and would continue to change, "but our focus on improving the standard of public services has not. Effective public services which create public value benefit every member of our community".