Community Scoop

‘It’s OK to Help’ campaign wins

Press Release – Institute of Public Administration New Zealand

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) communications campaign, Its OK to Help has won the Prime Minister’s Award at the 2013 IPANZ Gen-i Public Sector Excellence Awards.

3 July 2013

‘It’s OK to Help’ campaign wins 2013 Public Sector Excellence Awards

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) communications campaign, ‘It’s OK to Help’ has won the Prime Minister’s Award at the 2013 IPANZ Gen-i Public Sector Excellence Awards.

The Prime Minister’s Award for Public Sector Excellence recognises an initiative that has demonstrated excellence in both what it has achieved and how it has achieved it. The campaign also won the Excellence Award for Public Sector Communications.

An extension of The Family Violence: It’s not OK Campaign, the Ministry of Social Development developed a multi-media campaign to give family and whanau, friends and informal networks, the language, confidence and support to challenge violent behaviour. Despite reduced funding compared to the initial four years of the campaign, the number of people taking action as a result of the ‘It’s OK to Help’ campaign increased.

“This initiative was based on ground-breaking research and collaboration with many agencies, local communities and those working in the field of family violence prevention, said IPANZ President John Larkindale.

“It demonstrated outstanding innovation and vision in its approach and achieved excellent results for all involved,” he said.

“MSD’s innovative and successful programme is an example of the transformation that is underway in the public sector,” said Head of State Services and State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie. “Against the backdrop of increasing expectations from New Zealanders, including the need to show effective leadership, initiatives like this that deliver better public services will be the new normal,” Mr Rennie added.

The campaign included new TV adverts featuring cardboard cut-outs and the message that ‘the sooner you reach out to someone living with family violence, the sooner they can get the help they need.’ This was reinforced using the website with videos of former victims and ‘helpers’, media advocacy and media training with community spokespeople, a Facebook page, workshops within local communities.

The results showed that of the 677 people interviewed, 307 had taken action around family violence in their home or community; and nearly two thirds of those who raised the issue of family violence with others said family or friends were seeking help as a result.

Held jointly between IPANZ and Gen-i, the annual Public Sector Excellence Awards recognise and reward outstanding performances and achievements in the New Zealand public sector. The awards attracted 80 entries this year – the highest number since they began in 2008.

“To encourage excellence in the public sector, it is vital that we celebrate success. This is something that as New Zealanders we are not very good at doing. And there is much to celebrate, as shown in the high-calibre projects winning across eight categories for the excellence awards,” Mr Larkindale said.

Tim Miles, CEO of awards sponsor Gen-I, congratulated the winners, adding their achievements demonstrate that innovation and a commitment to excellence is thriving in the public sector.

“Gen-i is proud to have been supporting these awards since their inception in 2008, and to once again honour the exceptional talent demonstrated by tonight’s winners. It’s great to see how the level of award entries has grown year on year, reflecting the exponential growth in creative thinking and high performance within New Zealand’s public sector,” said Mr Miles.

Winners were announced at an awards dinner held at Wellington’s TSB Arena on 3 July.

2013 Award winners in each category:

Improved Public Value through Business Transformation – joint winners

The Reluctant Customer: Transforming the Collections Operating Model – Ministry of Justice

IPONZ Business and Service Transformation – Intellectual Property Office of NZ (IPONZ) (MBIE).

Crown – Maori Relationships

Toi Ora – Bay of Plenty District Health Board

Integrity and Trust

Balancing ease of doing business and integrity – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)

Improving Performance through Leadership Excellence

Building a highly-engaged workplace – Land Information New Zealand

Networked Government

Registry System Modernisation, BCP – NZ Transport Agency (NZTA)

Public Sector Communications

It’s OK to help – Ministry of Social Development

Working Together for Better Public Services

Joined-up Justice – Ministry of Justice, NZ Police, Department of Corrections

New Professional of the Year Award

Jeremy Palmer – Land Information of New Zealand


It’s OK to help – Ministry of Social Development


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