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Annual Report of the Treasury for the Year Ended 30 June 2014

Working with Others; Being More Effective

Our strength lies in our ability to take a whole-of-economy and whole-of-government perspective; to connect the dots for Ministers and work in partnership with others to provide the best possible advice and real-world solutions that will improve living standards for New Zealanders. And we can't do this in isolation. Delivering high-quality advice and implementing effective and durable solutions relies on our advice being informed by an understanding of what is happening in the real world.

We have been working to improve our engagement with stakeholders and looking for opportunities to collaborate with agencies (and learning how to do this better). Acknowledging and drawing on the skills and knowledge of others is critical to success. Aligned with the diversity and inclusiveness, we have made a point of seeking out wider perspectives from different parts of New Zealand throughout the year; both to hear the views of others and to share our own thinking. There are many examples of our engagement approach in action throughout this report.

In late 2013, we commissioned an online survey of stakeholders to assess how well we were engaging with them and to identify the focus of future improvement efforts.[5],[6] We aimed to survey a more diverse group including more businesses, NGOs and iwi than we had in our 2011 stakeholders survey. Business/industry respondents increased from 18% to 59%. One in three respondents was from iwi, social services, media or education. Public sector respondents dropped from 55% to 29%.

The feedback indicated that we had improved in the way we were engaging with State sector agencies and others to achieve results. Fifty-five percent of respondents had noticed changes in the way we expressed ourselves and our openness to new ideas and ways of thinking. Forty percent of respondents had noticed we were behaving differently. Those who noticed the biggest change were social service providers/NGOs/iwi (73%) and media and economists (66%).

It was rewarding to see that people noticed we have started to operate differently, and a positive sign of the change we were realising through our focus on the Treasury's culture. A greater sense that we're open to listen will also help to support wider engagement in the course of our future work.

The 2014 stakeholder survey indicated that:

  • 16% more stakeholders agreed the Treasury took a lead role in State sector performance improvement
  • 16% more agreed that the Treasury modelled the behaviour it expects of other public service agencies, and
  • 10% more felt that the Treasury clearly communicated what is needed to improve State sector performance.

Statistically significant areas of improvement since our last survey in 2011 were that people agreed we were looking to improve our own performance, modelling expected behaviour in public service, taking the lead in State sector performance improvement, communicating what's needed to improve sector performance and our willingness to learn from others.

While we have a way to go to reach the level of engagement and collaboration we want, it is rewarding to see evidence that our strategies for change are already delivering the results we want; so we know we are on the right track.

We are establishing in-house capability to enable us to continuously improve our activities, processes and functions. Getting out and engaging with our stakeholders is also critical to success; both to hear what they have to say and to share some of our own thinking. Delivering high-quality advice, and implementing effective and durable solutions relies on our advice being informed by an understanding of what is happening in the real world. There are many examples of our values in action in this report; in particular, examples of how we collaborate with other agencies and engage with our stakeholders, and we intend to do this even more.

Notes

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