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OGPNZ Update: long-term insights briefing, whistleblowers Act & Speaking Up standards

4 July 2022 

In this edition, we’re sharing an update of the new long-term insights briefing, new Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022, and updated Acting in the Spirit of Service Speaking Up model standards.

Long-term insights briefing published!

How can we enable better public participation in government in the future?

To further this discussion, Te Kawa Mataaho | Public Service Commission has published its first ever long-term insights briefing, Te Kirirarautanga: Te Whai Wāhitanga Tūmatanui ki Te Kāwanatanga Anamata | Enabling Active Citizenship: Public Participation in Government into the Future.

In 2021, Te Kawa Mataaho reached out to the Open Government Partnership New Zealand (OGP NZ) community looking for input about the topics for this briefing. Thanks to everyone who was involved with the development of this briefing, including though the 2021 online survey.

Under the Public Service Act 2020, all NZ government departments are required to publish a briefing at least once every three years. Long-term insights briefings are designed to be ‘think pieces’ on the future (rather than government policy), providing information about medium and long-term trends, risks, and opportunities that affect, or may affect, NZ.

There is a close alignment between the purpose of the briefings and work in the OGP space. The briefings provide an opportunity to input into government thinking that goes beyond the next OGP NZ National Action Plan.

If you would like to share the briefing on social media, you can find the posts on these Te Kawa Mataaho Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn platforms.

The email address will remain active, if you’d like to keep in touch. You can find all departments’ long-term insights briefings (as these are published) on this Te Kawa Mataaho web page.

Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022

On 1 July, the new Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022 came into effect. Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on the Act during its development phase.

NZ was one of the first countries to introduce a dedicated law to protect whistleblowers – the Protected Disclosures Act 2000 – to support people to expose criminal, fraudulent or other serious misconduct in their workplaces by protecting them from unfair dismissal or treatment. NZ's Protected Disclosures law covers all organisations, whereas most other countries’ equivalent laws only apply to the public sector and/or to large corporates.

Replacing the Protected Disclosures Act 2000, the 2022 Act covers wrongdoing in, or by, any organisation – large or small, public, private, or voluntary sector. It’s relevant to anyone who has worked, or volunteered, for any organisation.

The 2022 Act improves the provisions and principles of the 2000 Act, while making the process for whistleblowing more accessible and easier to understand.

For more details, check out the guidance available on the Te Kawa Mataaho web page Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022.

Acting in the Spirit of Service Speaking Up model standards

NZ is held in high regard for the standards of honesty, openness, transparency and integrity in the Public Service. This reputation is bolstered by the ability to build and maintain a culture that promotes speaking up about wrongdoing.

All NZ workers, including public servants, must be able to raise concerns without fear of punishment or reprisal. Good policies and processes that encourage staff to speak up about possible wrongdoing are vital for maintaining the integrity of our Public Service.

Last week, Te Kawa Mataaho published the updated Acting in the Spirit of Service Speaking Up model standards for organisations where public servants raise wrongdoing concerns.

The standards were first issued in 2017 (under the State Sector Act 1988), and further updated in 2019. The standards have now been updated in line with the Public Service Act 2020 and Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022.

For more information, visit the Speaking up in the Public Sector web page and blog Speaking up in the Public Service made easier.