Massey University CareerplaNZ

Career and student learning issues brought to you by Massey University’s Careers Service – New Zealand

Going public

Posted by John Ross on February 6, 2009

Previously, we’ve looked at the importance of values in career choice.  A couple of articles I have just read of late lead me to return to this subject.


The first was in my employer’s publication ‘Massey News’.  It notes that more men are now training to become secondary teachers, stating that “the number of men studying to become secondary teachers at the University’s College of Education has doubled providing an even split between men and women”.  This, according to Programme Coordinator Dr Peter Rawlins reflects a number of factors, including the international economic downturn and rising unemployment in New Zealand.


These factors are mirrored in the second article – in this week’s Sunday Star Times Job Market Career Special.  This was headed ‘Public sector privately confident’ and carried the sub-heading ‘Economic conditions make councils (an) attractive option’.  In this, the author notes a new image in local government roles and quotes observers who see an increase in the attractiveness of the public sector and an enhancement of the skill sets available to employers in this sector.


It’s often a surprise to clients whom I work with how diverse the country’s public sector actually is.  It can be seen to include organisations and agencies such as District Health Boards, The Reserve Bank, Government Ministries; Crown Research Institutes and tertiary education establishments.

There can be little doubt that some are drawn to public sector work in times of economic uncertainty.  After all, it’s a sector traditionally reputed to offer relatively high degrees of job security.  That being said many more seek public sector work for it’s synergies with their own personal value system.  Typically, those committed to a public sector career evidence values in common with those of the Public Service itself.  The latter have been summarised by the State Services Commission as:

  • integrity
  • honesty
  • political neutrality
  • professionalism
  • obedience to the law
  • respect for the institutions of democracy
  • respect for the Treaty of Waitangi
  • free and frank advice

If, reading this, you’re keen to explore public sector work the following sites should help you:


  • New Zealand Government – Comprehensive site with information on central government, local government, Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand Statistics, State Sector/Government jobs, links to a variety of sites, including job vacancy sites.


  • Jobs in Government – New Zealand Government Jobs Online is the gateway to job and career opportunities within the New Zealand State sector organisations.


  • Local Government NZ Jobs – Local government has many areas of work that are specialised and unique to the sector. LG Jobs is where job seekers can start looking.


  • Local Government Careers – People Shaping Progress – This site outlines the career opportunities available in local councils, and the type of work those councils undertake in New Zealand. Also, it has listings of a selection of current jobs available in New Zealand local councils.

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