Most Reputable Government Department: NZ Police

That New Zealand Police is still considered the country’s Most Reputable Government Department doesn’t really surprise its new Commissioner Peter Marshall. “I see great work done every day at all levels of the police force,” he says. “In that sense it [this year’s result] doesn’t surprise me.”
“We saw it particularly clearly in Christchurch after the quake on February 22 this year. When disaster strikes Police are the people running towards the danger,” he adds.
NZ Police were last year’s Most Reputable Government Department too. The consistently positive rating seems to endorse independent research of 10,000 members of the public commissioned by the department every year. The 2010 study found that 75 percent of those surveyed trusted or had confidence in the police, up three percent on 2009.
NZ Management’s reputational survey of business and organisational leaders is, says Marshall, just as relevant and important as their survey of public attitudes. “It is essential that we are held in high esteem by all sectors of the community. Police should be the one constant in any country. An efficient, professional, ethical and trusted Police service is the bedrock of successful society – including its business sectors,” he says.
Maintaining high reputation can be taxing. “Our reputation is won or lost on every interaction we have with the public,” says Marshall. “And we have around five million contacts with the public every year. Making each one of those interactions positive is complex mix of leadership from the top through to first-class training and development for staff as they progress through their careers.
“The fundamental strength of our reputation comes from the motivation and commitment of our staff to serve their communities and make them safer places.” As one respondent to the MRO survey put it: “NZ Police is an outstanding organisation, staffed by really motivated people operating successfully in complex and ambiguous political environment.”
The survey rates the Police highly for having strong stakeholder relationships. “We police by consent,” says Marshall. “We can only do that if we are representative of our communities. partnership approach is fundamental for us. We can’t achieve our objectives or enhance our reputation without building stakeholder relationships at all levels.”
The department’s highest reputational objective is to reduce crime and road trauma and to enhance community safety. “But we should also have reputation for being able to adapt to the ever-changing demands of our service, learning from our mistakes, utilising new technology and serving according to the tenets of our oath – to serve without fear or favour,” he says.
Policing doesn’t get any easier. “We face ever-changing challenges and expectations about what we can achieve,” says Marshall. “And minority of offenders seem increasingly willing to engage in violence rather than comply with lawful instructions. Our goal is to respond effectively to these changes and still meet the high standards expected of us.”
Recruitment then, is critical to maintaining the reputation the Police have. “People join for various reasons, but the integrity and reputation of the organisation is common to them all. So too is the desire to make difference in communities,” he says.
“The endorsement this survey gives us is important and valued by all our people. It’s one thing to be satisfied by doing good job. It is altogether more satisfying to be told you are doing good job by those you serve.” M


Finalists
Inland Revenue Department

Robert Russell, Commissioner
Inland Revenue’s role of collecting money to pay for government services is critical to the economic and social wellbeing of New Zealand. No less important is our mandate to ensure people receive Working for Families and Child Support payments, repay their Student Loans, and have confidence in our KiwiSaver administration.
Although we have over six million customers, our reputation depends on each individual customer interaction, and we put enormous emphasis on getting those interactions right.
We are proud of the fact that our overall customer satisfaction is consistently high, and of course we are always striving to do better. The integrity of the tax system depends on our customers’ confidence in the job we do.
A good tax system equals good, transparent policy-making plus good, efficient administration and in New Zealand I am pleased to say we have both.

The Treasury
Gabriel Makhlouf,CEO and Secretary
I am honoured to be leading the Treasury, an organisation of skilled and committed staff who work hard in pursuit of our objective of higher living standards for New Zealanders.
As an organisation, we strive to provide expert commentary and advice, shape debates to help navigate New Zealand, work as problem-solver with others to deliver innovative solutions, and lead through exemplary performance ourselves.
Ours is busy and challenging role – we are involved in important work across range of areas, and we are also in the driver’s seat of number of key reforms.
Being seen as an organisation of influence is big responsibility but ultimately, it is the belief that we can truly make difference that motivates me and my staff.

Department of Conservation
Al Morrison, Director-General
We have put lot of work recently into strengthening our relationships with business and becoming more business-like ourselves in the work that we do.
We’ve been doing this because we rely on partners across the private sector and the wider community to engage in conservation for New Zealand.
I think that’s behind our growing reputation among business leaders and it is something we are committed to building on because our reputation is vital if we are to get the conservation gains we are looking for.
We know that conservation is at the core of New Zealand’s prosperity and we need long-term partnerships based on trust and mutual benefits to deliver on that.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Wayne McNee, CEO
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) needs to have the support and trust of the public, industry, ministers and staff if we are to realise our vision of growing and protecting New Zealand.
Such support does not always come easily, which is why both MAF and the Ministry of Fisheries (which officially merged on 1 July) have worked hard to deliver on the performance expectations of their stakeholders. This focus has helped drive our reputation.
Moreover, we know from surveys that the public thinks the work we do is important. That has helped our reputation. We know that there is high awareness of what we do. That has also helped. In addition, we regularly engage with key stakeholders and have developed close relationships with them.
As the government “hub” for the primary sector, the new agency will develop even stronger relationships not only with primary production and food businesses, but also with tangata whenua, environmental NGOs, trading partners, local and central government and the wider community.

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