I talked this week to some of our brightest young public servants at the IPANZ New Professionals Conference in Wellington.
Many of these young people will have made public service their first career choice as new graduates, which is just great. New Zealanders deserve to have our best and most talented working on the challenging issues of the day.
As I always do, I took the opportunity to speak about the spirit of service our State Sector Act talks about. It’s a noble ideal, the call to service that drives all public servants and I hope it is also a big part of what attracts our newest and youngest colleagues. So it’s important to support, protect and nurture that spirit of service in the people who give expression to it every day. Especially those who are just starting out on their public service journey.
For me, the spirit of service is about opening our hearts, minds, resources and time to the needs of all New Zealanders.
It’s about bringing the right attitude to our work … an attitude of humility …
And finally, it’s about being motivated by a higher purpose – something bigger than ourselves – a desire to use our skills and talents to make a difference for our country and everyone who lives in it.
There are big changes on the horizon for New Zealand’s public service – that future-gazing was the focus of this week’s new professionals conference.
I strongly believe that our spirit of service ideal will be even more crucial to the way we work in future. And I’m committed to playing my part to ensuring that that happens.