Written on 18 October 2019 by Peter Hughes

Future of the Public Service large

State Services Minister Chris Hipkins addresses the graduates.

Today SSC officially welcomed 150 graduates to the Public Service at a special ‘Future of the Public Service’ event at Parliament.

Together this cohort has entered the sector across 36 agencies, and they are now nearing the end of their first year. It is incredibly exciting to see a new generation of public servants coming through. They are the future of the Public Service.

Being a career public servant myself, I know that these graduates have both interesting and diverse careers ahead of them. But I also know their experiences will be incredibly different to mine. 

The Public Service is changing. We will soon have a new Public Service Act and with that we will have a greater focus on innovation, collaboration, trust and transparency, and better outcomes for New Zealanders. Underpinning all of that is the spirit of service we have to the community. 

Our graduates heard from a range of speakers throughout the day, with addresses from Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa, State Services Minister Chris Hipkins, and senior leaders from several agencies. This was a chance for them to listen to the experiences and insights of people who have dedicated their lives to serving New Zealanders.

However, it is important to remember that today’s graduates are our future leaders, and eventually they will be the ones shaping our public sector. These events are an excellent opportunity for graduates to connect with each other and to hear from today’s leaders, but they are also a great opportunity for us to hear from them – and to understand what they see as our key opportunities and challenges for the future. 

It is great to see so much diversity among young public servants – and to have them all together at Parliament. New Zealand is an increasingly diverse society, and we need that to be reflected in our Public Service.

Having a range of different experiences and voices in our agencies will ensure we are best serving our communities – and we need that diversity of thought to help us solve the complex challenges that we face each day. 

I would like to extend a warm welcome to our graduates, and I hope that their experiences in the Public Service thus far have been rewarding.

We want New Zealand’s brightest young minds to make the Public Service their first career choice – and I believe many of them are doing just that. Public servants enjoy varied and challenging work, and above all, we get to make a real difference in the lives of New Zealanders. How many people can say that? 

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