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Public Service celebrates public service

New Zealand is marking its second official Public Service Day today (7 November), 107 years after the Public Service Act 1912 became law.

Announcing the celebrations, Minister for State Services, Chris Hipkins said 7 November, 1912 was an historically significant day because it was on this day that New Zealand established a professional, politically neutral Public Service.

“We have a Public Service to be proud of,” Mr Hipkins said.

“It remains fundamental to New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements for supporting the Government.”

He said about 45,000 people worked in the core Public Service, with another 300,000 engaged in the broader State sector.

“Each of these individuals comes to work every day to serve their community,” Mr Hipkins said.

“Public Servants run our schools and hospitals and keep our communities safe. They protect our environment, borders and heritage, and they defend our country.”

He said the Public Service did an excellent job, but the Government wanted to help it to do even better through change and innovation.

“We are building a vision for a modern, agile and unified Public Service that can achieve even better results for New Zealanders,” the Minister said.

He said the awards announced on the day were an opportunity to reflect on the ideal of public service.  

“The Public Service Medal recognises Public Servants who have given meritorious service, and is part of the New Zealand Royal Honours system – the Commendation for Frontline Excellence celebrates those who exemplify a spirit of service to the community,” Mr Hipkins said.