Research on the influence of political staff in Ministerial and Prime Ministerial Offices and political neutrality in the New Zealand public service

Public sector Politics Public servants Ministerial staff New Zealand

Presents the initial results of a survey of staff working in Ministerial offices in New Zealand. The survey is a modified form of one that was used in 2005 when the authors first started to research political staff in the New Zealand context. The research explores issues around the enablers and dis-enablers of the public services’ capacity to discharge its constitutional responsibility to provide governments with free, frank and comprehensive advice, and do so in a ‘fearless’ manner.

The authors consider the import of the results are, in very many respects, quite clear and hope that this research will help to inform the very necessary on-going conversations that needs to occur if New Zealand is to have the benefit of the immense expertise, institutional knowledge and commitment to the public good that resides in its public service, protect the political neutrality of the institution, and ensure that its capability is realised in good government and governance.

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