Bill English MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of New Zealand spoke about his role as lead minister for the government’s wide-ranging public service reform agenda.
The New Zealand government recently launched a major reform programme, Better Public Services, with the objective of creating a public service and state sector that achieves value for money, is innovative, provides high-quality services and manages change effectively. The programme is focused in particular on improving the state’s ability to tackle problems that cut across departmental boundaries. The government has now published its ten overarching objectives (or ‘results’) for themes such as welfare dependence and vulnerable children, which it is committed to achieving within five years.
Mr English discussed the Better Public Services programme, the progress made, the challenges faced and the lessons learnt so far.
Francis Maude MP, lead minister for civil service reform in the UK government, responded to this speech. The two ministers then discussed how the UK and New Zealand can learn from each other’s experience of seeking to improve public services in a time of fiscal constraint.
The discussion was chaired by the Rt Hon Peter Riddell, Director of the Institute for Government.