Martin has over 20 years’ experience in health services planning and delivery and has held a number of health sector roles. He is currently the Deputy Director for the Health and Disability Review Transition Unit, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Martin joined us to talk about the reform of the health system, what it includes, what is different and why now is the right time. 

Select the links to download additional webinar materials:

Becky Wright of Unions 21 spoke to PSA Staff as part of the September 2021 PSA Staff Online Symposium. Becky Wright discussed Covid-19 and the work of trade unions, and the the new challenges and new responses.

New Zealand has an enviable reputation for public sector transparency, democracy and press freedom. But how is it for people who speak up about wrongdoing?

Parliament is currently considering enhancements to legislation protecting whistleblowers but some key organisations are concerned it doesn’t go far enough. Should it be extended to the private sector? Should we have an independent oversight body?

MC Andrea Fromm lead this webinar, jointly hosted by Transparency International and the PSA with:

  • Debbie Gee, Transparency International New Zealand
  • Erin Polaczuk, PSA national secretary
  • Andrew Ecclestone, New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties
  • Michael Macaulay, VuW Professor of public administration
  • Phil Guerin, President, Institute of Management Consultants

Missed the webinar? Watch the recording below:

Download the webinar transcription as a PDF here.

For the 2020 Progressive Thinking webinar series. Select from the list of webinars below:

Sophie Handford on Reimagining New Zealand’s journey to a zero-carbon future 

12:00pm - 1:00pm, Wednesday April 29th

First up, we’ll be chatting with climate change activist and Kapiti Coast District Councillor Sophie Handford on where our public services need to get to for a Just Transition. 

Couldn't make the webinar? Catch up below.

Max Rashbrooke on The new and future role of an active state in a COVID-19 world

12:00pm - 1:00pm, Wednesday May 13th 

Join writer, academic and commentator Max Rashbrooke and PSA MC Andrea Fromm for the second webinar in our Progressive Thinking series – this time on the role of the state in a post-coronavirus world.

Do you think the State’s role will inevitably change in the coming months and years? Or that change will have to be fought for and carefully thought out?

Max Rashbrooke cautions that not everything about this crisis will teach us the right lessons and argues for more deeply democratic government, one in which citizens are more directly involved in decision-making.

Join us for a discussion about how we can create a more active, dynamic and resilient kind of government.

Read Max's chapter here: 
Learning and unlearning coronavirus lessons 

Troy Baisden (NZ Association of Scientists) on Restoring research for the restoration of well-beings 

12:00pm - 1:00pm, Thursday May 28th

Join New Zealand Association of Scientists’ president Troy Baisden and PSA MC Andrea Fromm for the third webinar in our Progressive Thinking series – this time on the role of science and research in a post-coronavirus world.

Science has been at the base of Government decision making and hearing the voices of scientists in mainstream media has become an everyday thing. Will science and research continue to be at the heart of the recovery?

Troy will discuss what’s needed for research to play its vital role in the restoration of well-beings in the recovery period and beyond.  

Read Troy's chapter here: 
Restoring research for the restoration of well-beings

Peter McKinlay on Local government and wellbeing in a Post-Covid 19 world. 

12:00pm - 1:00pm, Wednesday June 10th

Local government has a unique role which will be essential for managing the recovery from Covid-19.  Join us with Peter McKinlay of the Local Government Thinktank and an associate of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, to talk about local government’s role of enabling and supporting resilient communities and the change needed at both the local and the national level, to ensure communities shape the recovery and the post-Covid world.

Peter McKinlay, Executive Director of McKinlay Douglas Ltd, has nearly 30 years’ experience as a researcher and adviser on local governance and local government. He is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and a member of its research advisory group for Australasia.

As well as New Zealand, he has worked extensively in Australia, including NSW, Victoria and South Australia. His major work focus currently is the shift to well-being as the principal focus of central government, and the concurrent statutory empowerment of local government to promote community well-being. Peter’s experience in reviewing practice internationally suggests that this change far from being just symbolic will result in a fundamental shift both in the role of central and local government and in how they work together.

Have an unanswered question from the Q&A?

Click here to read Peter's follow up answers.

Janie Walker on Reinterpreting community and public services post COVID-19

12:00pm - 1:00pm, Wednesday June 24th 

Janie Walker's life has been a mix of paid and unpaid work opportunities.

Highlights include running a creative writing workshop for the Wellington Mosque community post-March 15; senior engagement roles with local and central Government; walking rescue dogs at HUHA; writing a children’s play called An Elephant Never Forgets for Wellington Zoo; helping to settle one of the first Syrian former-refugee families in Porirua with the NZ Red Cross; and travel writing and photography for The NZ Herald and Dominion Post. Janie's academic achievements include a Master’s degree in community climate change adaptation in Fiji, and translating Sanskrit into Tibetan.  Action research and community development are Janie's latest passions.

Have an unanswered question from the Q&A?

Click here to read Janie's follow up answers.

Paula Tesoriero on Building a more inclusive society in a post-COVID19 climate

12:00pm - 1:00pm, Wednesday July 1st 

As New Zealand’s Disability Rights Commissioner, it is Paula Tesoriero's role to protect and promote the rights of disabled New Zealanders

For this webinar, Paula will speak to the role of the public and community sectors as employers in the building an inclusive New Zealand post-COVID19. She will refer to the impact of the COVID19 response on disabled people, and how gaps in services and data, and the lack of understanding of disabled people’s lives, were highlighted in the response. However, Paula says there are opportunities for the re-build that should not be missed in creating the inclusive New Zealand we seek, such as incorporating universal design and accessibility into shovel-ready and other recovery projects. 

Have an unanswered question from the Q&A?

Click here to read Paula's follow up answers.

Click here to read Paula's webinar speech 

Click here to download a full transcript of the webinar 

Dr Geoff Bertram on Should we revive the Ministry of Works?

12:00pm - 1:00pm, Wednesday July 8th 

Until retiring in 2009, Dr Geoff Bertram was a Senior Lecturer in Economics at Victoria University of Wellington.  Since then he has been a Senior Associate at first the Institute for Policy Studies, and now at its successor the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies.  Geoff has a doctorate in Economics from Oxford University. 

Geoff’s broad research areas include climate change policy, environmental economics, income and wealth distribution, and small island economies. To see more of Geoff's work, his website hosts a variety of his writing from over the years.

Have an unanswered question from the Q&A?

Click here to read Geoff's follow up answers.

Professor Jonathan Boston on The welfare state beyond COVID-19: the case for a step-change

12:00pm - 1:00pm, Wednesday July 15th

Professor of Public Policy in the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington, Jonathan will be joining us to discuss Covid-19 and the welfare state.

Jonathan's research interests include: climate change policy (both mitigation and adaptation); child poverty; governance (especially anticipatory governance); public management; tertiary education funding (especially research funding); and welfare state design. He has also served at various times as the Director of the Institute of Policy Studies and the Director of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University of Wellington.


Have an unanswered question from the Q&A?

Click here to read Jonathan's follow up answers.

Deb Te Kawa and Dr Amohia Boulton on Raising waka, and not just yachts

12:00pm - 1:00pm, Wednesday July 22nd

While the COVID-19 crisis has reminded us of how underprepared the world was to detect and respond to emerging infectious diseases, it simultaneously revealed how well placed – and effective - iwi and Māori institutions are in being able to react decisively and positively on behalf of their communities.

While Government leaders remain focused on navigating the current crisis, making smart investments in iwi and Māori institutions has the potential to accelerate the nation’s COVID-19 response while also ensuring COVID-19 does not raise inequality in the same way past pandemics have.

Tracey Bridges on Social marketing and the State

12:00pm - 1:00pm, Wednesday August 12th

The success of the Government’s COVID-19 communication and marketing programme saw New Zealanders change working, social and recreational habits almost overnight.

As our neighbours ride second waves of COVID-19,  this webinar will take a look at the fresh challenges posed by the pandemic for behaviour change practitioners in the public sector and ask how can we modernise our practice and make it more progressive.

Join us for a conversation with Tracey Bridges, who has a long history of supporting social marketing in the public sector, about why the COVID-19 programme is a great case study for the enduring features of behaviour change best practice, and a pointer to the needs of the future.  

Thea Snow on Reimagining Government (chapter co-written with Adrian Brown and Toby Low)

12:00pm - 1:00pm, Wednesday August 19th

The COVID-19 crisis is redefining the relationship between citizens and the state and reshaping the workings of government at a breathtaking pace. The voices of people who have been victims of racism, and other forms of systematic injustice, have burst to global prominence. Change that would previously have taken years is happening in a matter of days as governments around the world scramble to respond to challenges unlike anything we’ve witnessed in our lifetimes.

The current Covid-19 crisis has highlighted three important themes that are likely to be of enduring importance:

  • Embracing real-world complexity
  • Nurturing our collective humanity and challenging injustice
  • Adopting a learning mindset

New Zealand is an ideal place for this exploration because it is making significant strides in this direction. For example, the commitment to future generations made in the Living Standards Framework provides opportunities for rethinking approaches to wellbeing, and the proposed Public Service Reform programme is seeking to create more agile and adaptive public service. Is this an opportunity to develop an approach to public management implementation based on learning, rather than targets?

Dr Mike Joy on the Future of Environmental Regulation

12:00pm - 12:45pm, Wednesday August 26th 

The role of environmental regulation is to prevent harm to the natural world, not only for its sake but to save humankind from self-destruction. When framed as this fundamental need to maintain the planet’s life supporting capacity the importance of regulation is clear. We maintain the planet’s ability to support life, or we have nothing. 

Here in New Zealand the failure of environmental regulation is stark and tragic. The Ministry for the Environment’s five-yearly summary of the state of the environment outlines a litany of neglect and dereliction. For the last three decades the mainstay of our environmental regulation legislation has been the Resource Management Act (RMA) 1991. At its core is the goal of “sustainable management of natural and physical resources” while considering future generations.

Join us on Wednesday August 26th to explore the failures in environmental regulation to date, and how to achieve an ideal environmental regulations. 

Have an unanswered question from the Q&A?

Click here to read Mike's follow up answers.

NOTE: Due to connectivity issues, the webcams had to be turned off early in the webinar. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Dr Jacqueline Cumming and Dr Lesley Middleton on The future of health services

12:00pm - 12:45pm, Wednesday 2nd September

The public health and disability system and what change needs to happen – both to enable us to get through and out the other side of the pandemic, but also to help New Zealand to be the kind of country we’d like it to be.  Where the review of the health and disability system should take us in the short and longer term.  The need for a more whole of system approach to health and disability and the removal of the “funder-provider split” instituted at the end of the 1980’s.   

The Wellbeing Budget – will it finally value women’s work fairly?

On Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22nd May 2019, Marilyn Waring presented to a full house on whether the 2019 Wellbeing Budget will finally value women’s work fairly.

About the talk

30 years ago Marilyn Waring’s ground-breaking book Counting for Nothing was released. Waring explained, through meticulous economic analysis, how the success of the global economy rests on women’s unpaid work. Counting for Nothing became a phenomenon: it was read and discussed around the world, and even made into a film.

Today, many people hope that the shift to a wellbeing approach – moving beyond narrow economic indicators when assessing New Zealand’s progress – will mean women’s work is finally valued fairly. But what does Marilyn Waring make of it? Come along to find out. Marilyn will present insights from her 2018 book Still Counting: Wellbeing, Women’s Work and Policy Making.

Watch it now

The video of the talk is available to view here:

If you have difficulties accessing the video via Youtube, it can also be found on the PSA Facebook page here.

The Tax Working Group Report – Beyond the Headlines

On Thursday 28 March the PSA hosted a lunchtime forum on some of the key recommendations of the Tax Working Group's report on the Future of Tax, with Bill Rosenberg and Max Rashbrooke.

About the talk

Join Bill Rosenberg and Max Rashbrooke in conversation as they discuss some of the key recommendations of Tax Working Group’s report on the Future of Tax; including whether the proposals go far enough to address growing income and wealth inequality in New Zealand, and the proposals for tax to take a bigger part in reducing the threats to our environment.

Bill Rosenberg is the CTU Economist and Director of Policy and was a member of the Tax Working Group. Max Rashbrooke is a journalist, academic and author of a number of publications on wealth and inequality.

Both Bill and Max contributed chapters in the 2016 PSA book Progressive Thinking: Ten Perspectives on Tax.

Watch it now

The video of the talk is available to view here:

If you have difficulties accessing the video via Youtube, it can also be found on the PSA Facebook page here

 A PDF copy of Bill's slides can be downloaded here.  The file size is 817KB. 

The PSA hosted a lunchtime forum on the topic of applying restorative principles to address damaging workplace behaviours.  The video of the talk delivered by conflict resolution specialist Jon Everest at St Andrew's on the Terrace is Wellington is available to view here:

Surveillance and the State: What needs to change in the public service?

On Thursday 21 February the PSA hosted a lunchtime forum with Russel Norman and Dr Simon Chapple on the 2018 report into the use of external security consultants.

About the talk

At the end of last year, a report into the use of external security consultants by agencies found that, while there was no evidence of widespread inappropriate surveillance, the public sector had fallen well short of the Code of Conduct in some instances. These included inappropriate surveillance of Greenpeace New Zealand. The PSA expressed its concern at the time.

How and why did this happen, and what needs to change? Russel Norman, Executive Director of Greenpeace New Zealand shares his views in this session, introduced and moderated by Dr Simon Chapple, Director of the Institute for Policy and Governance Studies, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington.

Watch it now

The video of the talk is available to view here:

If you have difficulties accessing the video via Youtube, it can also be found on the PSA Facebook page here.

The Tax Working Group: Why we need to talk about tax

On Tuesday 10 April 2018 the PSA were joined by Bill Rosenberg and Andrea Black to present the key issues being discussed by the working group.

About the talk

This lunchtime seminar featured CTU economist and member of the Tax Working Group, Bill Rosenberg, and the independent advisor to the Tax Working Group Andrea Black. Black and Rosenberg presented the key issues being discussed by the working group, followed by a Q&A from the audience.

Watch it now

The video of the talk is available to view here:

If you have difficulties accessing the video via Youtube, it can also be found on the PSA Facebook page here

 A PDF copy of Bill's slides can be downloaded here.  The file size is 2MB. 

Bullying and Violence in the Workplace

A lunchtime seminar hosted by the PSA with the Centre for Labour, Employment and Work, Victoria University, on Thursday 22nd February 2018.

About the talk

Violence and harassment are attacks on personal dignity, the right to equal and non-discriminatory treatment and often a person's health. Workers affected by it feel insecure about their work; they are more frequently absent and may even be unable to work, with consequent impacts on productivity and corporate and public costs (EurWork (2015) Violence and Harassment in European workplaces:  Extent, Impacts and Policies).

This seminar explores recent New Zealand and progressive approaches in Europe in dealing with negative workplace behaviours. The seminar included two presentations. 

Presentation 1: The Extent of harassment and violence in European workplaces and preventative public measures
By Andrea Fromm, Policy and Research, NZ Public Service Association

Andrea has recently returned to New Zealand from Europe where she worked for Eurofound (The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions), a tripartite European Union agency. Andrea was involve with the Eurofound report from 2015 entitled "Violence and harassment in European Workplace:  Extent, impacts and policies".  As with all Eurofound reports there is a social partner focus. Andrea summarises the findings and looks at the framework agreements and how it was implemented.


Presentation 2: Interventions to address workplace bullying:  How well does the New Zealand public sector stack up against "good practice"?
By Geoff Plimmer and Hamish Crimp, School of Management, VUW

This brief, interactive session covered 4 topics:

  • The prevalence of bullying and harassment in the New Zealand public service
  • Guidance on effective interventions using a public health model
  • A discussion of New Zealand public sector agencies' recent policies, and trends in public sector bullying responses
  • A discussion of further possible responses.

Geoff is a senior lecturer in the School of Management, with interests in workplace bullying, leadership, wellbeing and performance. Geoff has led the research on Workplace Dynamics in the NZ Public Service which gathered data on bullying and harassment in the public service.

Hamish has recently completed his Masters thesis on public sector responses to bullying, at the School of Management.



Watch it now

The video of the talk is available to view here:

If you have difficulties accessing the video via Youtube, it can also be found on the PSA Facebook page here.