Long-overdue state sector reform needs to deliver for Aotearoa

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Reform of the State Sector Act is long overdue and the public of Aotearoa needs to take this chance to develop a future-focused public service, the PSA says.

State Services Minister Chris Hipkins has announced a six-week public consultation around changes to the Act, which will include online and social media channels, face-to-face sessions in main centres and regional hui for Māori public servants.

PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says the union has been calling for change to the State Sector Act for more than a decade.

"The State Sector Act is a product of the 1980s, and we are now operating in a completely different political and industrial landscape," Mr Barclay says.

"The current Act actually makes it harder for our members to deliver the innovative, effective public services the people of Aotearoa deserve.

"The public service needs legislation that’s fit for the future, and this is the start of a process which we hope will deliver that."

Mr Barclay says the relationship between the Crown and Māori is moving into a new era, and the public service needs legislation which can give effect to that.

"We would like to encourage all New Zealanders to take part in this consultation process," he says.

"The PSA will encourage its members to engage, both individually and as PSA members, so the voices of people working at the coal-face can be heard.

"The overlap of public and community services is growing broader, and this perspective also needs to be heard.

"We’ve been asking for this reform for a long time - and we intend to take this chance to build a public service that Aotearoa can be proud of for years to come."