Credit where credit is due for our public service


The Public Service Association says despite significant challenges, New Zealand’s public servants continue to do the country proud in terms of maintaining our near corruption-free status.

New Zealand has retained its top spot for having the least corrupt public service, and has even gone up a point in the latest Transparency International rankings.


“It’s all the more impressive when you consider that the public service has maintained that reputation in the face of what has now been years of public sector budget cuts, redundancies, a cap and sinking lid policy on public servant numbers, relentless restructuring and a continued expectation for departments to do more with less,” says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.


Earlier this year nearly 16,000 PSA members took part in an unprecedented survey developed by Victoria University’s School of Management, about their experience of work.


It found that most are highly motivated and without exception put in their best efforts ‘regardless of the difficulties’.


Brenda Pilott says interestingly it also found that for a resounding 90 per cent of those surveyed, it is a desire to make a positive difference to society which motivates them, and overrides any level of commitment to their individual organisations.


“That commitment is what drives our public service and gives it integrity,” she says.
The PSA says what could put our international reputation at risk is the actions of the government itself.


“Not only have we seen clear instances of ministerial interference in the affairs of departments, but increasingly questions are being raised over the ability of public service officials to give the government free and frank advice.”