18 Nov 2019

State Sector Act to be replaced with new Public Service Act

6:03 pm on 18 November 2019

The State Services Minister has introduced legislation to make what he describes as the most significant change to the public sector in 30 years.

Minister of Education and Leader of the House Chris Hipkins

State Services Minister Chris Hipkins said the State Sector Act has reached the limit of what it can deliver. Photo: VNP / Daniela Maoate-Cox

The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed and replaced with a new Public Service Act.

Minister Chris Hipkins said the current law has reached the limit of what it can achieve in modern day New Zealand, and can no longer support the way public services now need to be delivered.

The new Act will give the public service more flexibility to respond to specific priorities or events, allow public servants to move between agencies more easily, and clearly establish the principles of an apolitical public service, he said.

Chief executive boards, or joint ventures, could also be set up to tackle very difficult issues; they would be accountable to one minister and receive a direct budget appropriation.