Changes in the delivery of public services.

The Office of the Auditor General commissioned MartinJenkins to review readily-available information to report on the challenges and opportunities affecting the delivery of public services in New Zealand. To do this, we have drawn on data, specific examples of public service change in New Zealand and international literature.  We have also drawn on insights that MartinJenkins has gained from working with a range of public sector agencies on a daily basis.

This report discusses the key trends and developments affecting the delivery of public services in four sections:

  • Current performance: an overview of the current performance of New Zealand public services relative to other countries, New Zealanders’ assessment of the performance of their public services and highlighting current pressure points.
  • Changing landscape: exploring global and domestic trends affecting the context within which public services operate and the implications of this change in context.
  • Changing service delivery: focusing on how the delivery of public services is changing in terms of what is being delivered and how it is being delivered.
  • Challenges and opportunities: looking across these trends and developments to draw out the challenges and opportunities for New Zealand public services.
  • Throughout this report, we have applied an inclusive definition of ‘public services’ – reflecting concepts of public goods, services delivered in the public interest, and services delivered by (or on behalf of) central and local government. As this definition implies, the boundaries of what are public services are not hard and fast.  Indeed, one of the implications of the analysis in this report is that these boundaries are likely to become more flexible and diverse, with different boundaries applying in different locations at different times.

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