“Public servants have to implement the policies of the government of the day
Many people come to government to try to support a good cause. They don’t realise the one who has to determine which good cause is to be supported is the democratically minister of the day. And quite a lot of departments, not slinging off at their professionalism but say DOC, you get a lot of people who join DOC because they know they want to save a kakapo and if not a kakapo it will be the lesser spotted whatever. And if the lesser spotted whatever is not on the minister’s list of priorities they’ll find it hard to do.
A key part of the role of senior public servants is to explain to them well it is the minister who has to take the heat in public about that and the public servant really isn’t just employed to follow their own interests and if they want to follow their interests they can go and work in the private sector like anyone else. . .
. . . No public servant should be zealous about the particular cause they’re interested in. They should be zealous about democracy and respecting the law. . .”
This is an extract from Mark Prebble’s discussion with Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon.
Some of the officers have at times adopted more of an advocacy role than a neutral advisory role. …
The regional councillors have been replaced by commissioners. Very little has been said yet on the need for a change of staff as well but unless there is a change of attitude and/or personal the problems in ECan will continue.