Renewing the Public Service

For the first time in a generation, the State Sector Act is under review. An expert panel discusses the proposed changes to this vital piece of legislation.

Renewing the Public Service


RHLT2, Lecture Theatre 2, Rutherford House

The way we regulate our public service has direct implications for the effective functioning not merely of the public service, but of our broader democracy. It raises important constitutional issues.

For the first time in a generation, the State Sector Act 1988, the instrument which regulates how the public service operates, is under review by the State Services Commission. A consultation document has just been released proposing new legislation and asking the public for feedback.

The timeline for consultation is extremely short, especially given the importance of any changes. Broad public understanding of and debate on the issues is vital. Join us for a panel discussion chaired by Professor of Public Policy Jonathan Boston. Each expert speaker will give a short account of their thoughts on the proposed changes, followed by an expansive question and answer session.


Chris Eichbaum is a Senior Associate of the IGPS, and an experienced public servant and Ministerial adviser. His most recent book, with Richard Shaw, is Ministers, Minders and Mandarins: An International Study of Relationships at the Executive Summit of Parliamentary Democracies.

Elizabeth Eppel is a Senior Associate of the IGPS and a former senior public servant who studies policy, drawing on insights from complex adaptive systems theory.

Catherine Knight is a former senior policy analyst at the Ministry of the Environment and environmental historian. Her most recent book, Beyond Manapouri, is a history of the environmental administration in New Zealand

Julian Wood works at the Maxim Institute. primarily examining regional development in New Zealand. With a Master’s in Social Science from Waikato University, Julian brings a depth of experience from his time working as a senior labour market policy analyst for the Department of Labour.