Abstracts, PublicNet: 4 April, 1999

Matheson A

Public Administration and Development, (UK), Oct 1998 Vol 18 No 4
Start page: 349. No of pages: 15

Outlines the evolution of New Zealand’s (NZ) approach to the determination of the strategic direction of its public services during a decade of reform beginning in 1984. Describes the most novel reforms as being the core mechanisms for allocating, managing, controlling and accounting for public resources and lists the key components of these reforms. Addresses the issues relating to the ‘strategic management process’ and claims that the evolution of this process offers an insight into the changed dynamics of NZ’s public management system. Discusses the sources driving strategic change, such as the need to refocus attention on the ‘collective interest’ of government, and to rethink and formalize the role of the State Services Commission. Explores the role of government and suggests that the key ideas for the development of a coherent government policy is an understanding between the main players of the intended direction of the whole; a sense of joint cause; and the co-operation of senior public servants in implementing it. Contends that governments must become more strategically able in the light of current environmental conditions. Concludes with an analysis of the reasons for innovation and change, and the attempt to improve and systematize the leadership and co-ordinating processes of government.