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Our organisational capability enables us to deliver high-quality services - Annual Report 2019 - 20

Three people laughing together at a market.

MSD is a large and diverse organisation with over 8,000 staff

As one of the largest agencies in the government sector, we are fully committed to the ‘spirit of service’ principles that underpin everything the Public Service does – supporting the Government of the day, acting with integrity, maintaining political neutrality, providing free and frank advice, ensuring appointments are based on merit, and remaining committed to open government.

We are especially mindful of these principles given the extent of our reach into New Zealanders’ lives.

Having the right people, capability and culture, with appropriate oversight and assurance of our actions, and with the right technology and resources in place, is essential to successfully delivering outcomes for New Zealanders.

The way our staff commit themselves to supporting vulnerable New Zealanders was demonstrated in our organisational response to the rollout of the Government’s COVID-19 support package. We mobilised our staff and reprioritised their regular work to help with assessing and processing applications for financial and other assistance.

This effort, and that of agencies throughout the Public Service, was recognised by the Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister for State Services, who told Parliament’s Governance and Administration Select Committee on 3 June 2020:

"…if you look at the scale of the challenge we have faced as a country and the speed with which our public servants have responded, I think we can all be incredibly proud.

"I think about agencies like MSD, for example, who [had] to introduce quite a wide range of supports, including the Wage Subsidy, at very short notice on a very large scale, and I think they have done that exceptionally well, and I think that we should all be thankful to them for the way they have worked.

"Like, I think, many businesses around the country, people have adapted very quickly to the challenge of working from home, and again if you look at what our Public Service has produced during the lockdown period, I don’t think anyone could question the work ethic or productivity of our public servants. I think they have done a truly outstanding job during a very, very difficult time…"