1 May 2018: The Government announced in January 2018 that the Better Public Services programme would not continue in this form. These pages have been archived.

 

The better our public services, the more the public service can respond to the needs and expectations of New Zealanders.

The Better Public Services Programme was launched by Prime Minister John Key on 15 March 2012.

The Better Public Services Programme was informed by the Better Public Services Advisory Group report, which provided recommendations to Government in December 2011 on how the Public Service could work smarter.

Read the Better Public Services Advisory Group Report .

View Frequently Asked Questions about the Better Public Services programme.

Links to background papers and other material that has been approved for release are provided in the following tables.

Issues Papers

A set of issues papers was prepared by the joint central agencies Secretariat that supported the work of the Better Public Services Advisory Group in 2011. They set out the Secretariat’s thinking on some of the critical issues that were considered by the Advisory Group. These papers reflected officials’ thinking as it evolved and don’t necessarily reflect final views, nor do they represent the views of the Advisory Group.

Results issues paper - November 2011
This draft paper sets out the Secretariat for State Sector Reform’s thinking on the issues associated with lifting public service performance through a greater focus on results.
This draft paper sets out the Secretariat for State Sector Reform’s thinking on the issues associated with lifting public service performance through a greater focus on leadership.
This draft paper sets out the Secretariat for State Sector Reform’s thinking on some of the important issues around how decisions are made in the state services, including offering some options for how the current system could be made more flexible and better able to cope with cross-agency decision-making.
This draft paper sets out the Secretariat for State Sector Reform’s thinking on some of the issues associated with organising departments and agencies in sectors to focus on the more effective delivery of results that cross agency boundaries.
This draft paper sets out the Secretariat for State Sector Reform’s thinking on the issues associated with using more open information and greater citizen participation to lift public service performance.
This draft paper sets out the State Sector Reform Secretariat’s current thinking on some of the critical issues associated with measures to further strengthen the delivery of public services. This includes an analysis of further options to progress the best-sourcing of goods and services that have traditionally been provided exclusively by Crown agencies, including places where citizens could be given greater choice in who provides the services paid for by the Government.
This is the November 2011 update to an earlier version of this paper published August 2011.
This draft paper offers a guide to the core ideas or propositions underpinning the New Zealand public sector management model as it was articulated by Treasury officials in the late 1980s.
This is the November 2011 update to an earlier version of this paper published August 2011.

Legislative Change Papers

Advice to Ministers, and other papers relating to proposed legislative changes to the Public Finance Act, the State Sector Act and the Crown Entities Act.

Background Papers

Secretariat Papers prepared for the Better Public Service Advisory Group in 2011

These papers were prepared by the joint central agencies Secretariat that supported the work of the Better Public Services Advisory Group in 2011. These papers reflected officials’ thinking as it evolved and don’t necessarily reflect final views, nor do they represent the views of the Advisory Group.
This report provides an analysis of the British Government’s “Open Public Services White Paper”, which outlines the intended direction for the UK public service.
This note draws from international and New Zealand experience to create a potential greenfields vision for New Zealand’s state sector.
A comparison of key public management features across a number of countries, with a possible direction of travel for New Zealand’s public management system.
An overview of State Services leadership issues and ways to lift leadership quality and performance.
A system view of the key components needed to drive continuous improvement.
An analysis of public sector innovation, including the barriers and buttons to assist in creating the environment for greater innovation.

Better Public Services Advisory Group Minutes

Minutes of the Better Public Services Advisory Group established in May 2011 to advise the Government on State sector reform.
Minutes of Better Public Services Advisory Group Meeting - 1 November 2011                                                                                                                                                                                     

Advice to Ministers on State Sector Reform prior to establishment of the Better Public Services Advisory Group in 2011

A report from joint agency officials to the State Sector Ministerial Group.
A discussion paper prepared for Ministers in October 2010, which outlined a possible set of principles for creating a more dynamic and responsive state sector.

Related Papers

This working paper, prepared for the Treasury, outlines a modern approach to contractual incompleteness, and issues related to the scope, structure and management of the public sector in the 21st century.

Experience Better Public Services

There are many examples of where the public sector has thought about things very differently and found innovative solutions to today's challenges, improving results for New Zealanders across a broad range of areas.

The Christchurch Innovations project profiles innovations in public service delivery developed in response to the Canterbury earthquakes.

See also the following case studies, which are intended to provoke thinking on how the benefits of innovation could be harnessed across the wider public service.

Case study #1: ROCKON gets results - but it's not rocket science
A highly successful inter-agency tactic for tackling truancy is "not rocket science, it's simple. Just get the right people together at the right time for the right purpose."
Case study #2: Services pull together at The Pulse
The Pulse, a one-stop-shop for Whangarei's young people and families, has attracted international attention as an innovative multi-agency response to community needs.
Case study #3: Kia Wharite: a multi-agency environmental project
Iwi, landowners, the rural unemployed, tourists, and the North Island brown kiwi are among those who stand to gain from a unique partnership between the Department of Conservation and Horizons Regional Council in the Whanganui National Park.
Case study #4: Inter-CAD mobilises multi-agency response
Successfully building an electronic bridge between New Zealand's emergency services was a complex challenge that owed as much to inter-agency collaboration as it did to technical innovation.
Case study #5: NZ Police partners with the Deaf community
New Zealand Police broke new ground when it unveiled its 111 texting service for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired in 2010.
Case study #6: Court processes move beyond the courtroom
Hearings are moving through the country’s courts faster and more efficiently thanks to the Ministry of Justice's new approach to recording and transcribing evidence. It's also made the courtroom experience more positive for witnesses, victims and those working in the justice system.
Case study #7: NZ Defence Force prizes innovation
From soldiers serving in the Sinai to clerical staff at Wellington’s Defence House, defence force personnel are using an online innovation forum to directly shape the way the military works.

Literature and Resources

Local and international information and resources about state sector reform:

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