Public servants have earned New Zealand’s trust
23 Feb 2021
New Zealanders say they trust the public service more than ever, and the union for public servants says members are happy to hear that after a sometimes difficult year.
The latest Kiwis Count Survey has been released by Te Kawa Mataaho, the Public Service Commission. It reveals that 69% of New Zealanders trust the public service, a major increase from 51% the previous year and the highest result since the survey began in 2007.
"New Zealand’s public servants deserve to feel proud. They are the least corrupt and most resilient government workforce on the planet, and their fellow citizens place well deserved faith in them," says PSA National Secretary Kerry Davies.
"You learn who your friends are during a crisis, and 2020 taught us all how much we rely on well-funded, well-organised public and community services. The people of New Zealand have been protected from the pandemic by border workers, health workers and so many other public servants all over this country."
The Kiwis Count Survey has consistently revealed very high levels of public approval for their interactions with local councils and government agencies.
"Whether applying for a passport, filing a personal tax return or visiting the public library, New Zealanders are overwhelmingly satisfied with the service they receive," says Ms Davies.
"Public servants are sometimes unfairly attacked by unscrupulous employers or cynical politicians, so it’s great to see a vote of confidence from the people who really matter. New Zealanders do not want their public services cut or their public assets privatised. They trust their public servants to get on with the job and help this country thrive."
See also: New Zealand’s number-1 ranking thanks to vigilant public servants
New Zealand’s public servants can take pride today that their free, frank and fearless work has again been recognised by Transparency International, the PSA says.
For the third year in a row, New Zealand has been rated the least corrupt country in the world in the annual Corruption Perceptions Index.
Transparency International said the top score for New Zealand reflects the integrity of our public service.
“We’re delighted to see the integrity, honesty and work ethic of our members recognised in this influential global report,” PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk says.
“By standing together in union, the PSA’s public service members have been able to speak out about neutrality and their duty to provide free, frank and fearless advice.”
Ms Polaczuk says while today’s news is cause for celebration, there is still more work to do.
“Protection around whistleblowers needs to be strengthened, and we look forward to the review of the Protected Disclosures Act.
“We also welcome recent statements by the State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes about the need to maintain and enhance New Zealanders’ trust in their public service.
“As Transparency International points out, complacency is the biggest risk – and the PSA’s members in the public sector will continue to be vigilant.”