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Administrative cleanliness promotes public good

There are many words in common usage in today’s world, which were not thought of, or used 20 years ago.

They include words like microwave, cell phone, internet, remote control and Wi-Fi. Another is the word ‘Governance,’ which is now encountered frequently in relation to the affairs of government or business.

‘Governance’ is something different from ‘Government’ and seems to combine a notion of structure with a description of processes it may employ.

Good Government might refer to the decision-making power available to a holder of office in accordance with its constitutional framework.

It requires leadership and decision-making power to achieve results.

This is however different from ‘Good Governance,’ which rates the quality of how things are achieved; things such as their simplicity and availability for the ordinary citizen.

In turn, these must be according to expectations in the modern world of efficiency and effectiveness.

Good Governance, when encountered, leads to trust and satisfaction expressed by citizens because an organisation with good governance becomes something with which people can feel comfortable.

Speaking in a world sense, New Zealanders are people who are well educated and rights-conscious.

New Zealanders dislike unfairness and misuse of power.

The readiness with which people in our country express their views on talkback radio, in the press and in use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter emphasise this view.

This may be a crucial reason why New Zealand rates so well on indices formulated by respected international groups such as ‘Transparency International,’ as having low levels of incidence of bribery and corruption.

As well, in the public sector there are mechanisms that try to ensure good governance such as the Courts, the Ombudsmen or Auditor-General.

In the private sector, alongside formal processes of accounting and auditing, there is also access to the courts, and the press.

Lastly, mention can be made of organisations such as ‘Business New Zealand,’ whose advocacy in the interests of business and for good standards in business is well known.

Accomplished communicator

Phil O’Reilly (Guest Speaker at the Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture this year) is a well-known personality on New Zealand media, in print as well as on radio and television.

His viewpoint is frequently sought after on business matters and he can be relied upon to provide sound, informed comment and an opinion, which he will deliver in a manner befitting an accomplished communicator.

Today, his remit is broader than before, but in earlier roles as Public Affairs spokesman for the Westpac Bank in Australia and for the Newspaper Proprietors Association in New Zealand beforehand, he demonstrated those same characteristics such as have led to his development to head Business New Zealand.

Multitask Specialist

Brian Stephenson (Master of Ceremonies at the Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture this year) is someone with whom the term ‘multitasking’ seems natural.

Although he is a practising Barrister, his workload has elements of judicial work as a tenancy tribunal adjudicator as well as active participation with the mountaineering community.

There has been a continuous evolution in his work, coincident with his interests. A long time first career in broadcasting when among other things he pioneered talkback radio led to furthering a long held interest in the law and a law degree.

For much of his time as a lawyer, he focused on employment law, where he functioned as a practitioner and then took up a judicial role with the Employment Tribunal.

About our Former Governor-General

Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand is the first person of Indian origin) to serve as the Governor General of New Zealand (from 2006-2011). Following his graduation from the Law School in Auckland with an LLB degree, he was admitted to the Bar in 1970. He worked at the Crown’s Solicitor’s Office, Meredith Connell, (up to 1975); then joined Shieff Angland, a Queen Street law firm in Auckland.

Sir Anand was appointed a District Court Judge and posted to Palmerston North (1982-1985); then Henderson, Auckland (1985-1987); Otahuhu, Auckland (1987-1990); and Auckland District Court (1990-1994).

He was appointed an Ombudsman in Wellington (the first Indian and Judge in the post), served two five-year terms (1995-2005).

Following retirement, the Government appointed him to chair the ‘Confidential Forum for Former In-Patients of Psychiatric Hospitals’ in 2005 and later, the Clerk of the House of Representatives appointed him to be Registrar of Pecuniary Interests of Members of Parliament (the first returns were published in the first week of April 2006).

He also undertook a review of the New Zealand Banking Ombudsman Scheme between May 2005 and March 2006 (Extracts from Indian Newslink Anand Satyanand Special, August 15, 2006)

The Lecture

Sir Anand brought expertise, dignity and honour to every office that he held in his illustrious career that spanned more than 40 years. Accountability, Integrity, Transparency and Good Governance are among his finest attributes.

In paying tributes to these qualities, we established the Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture last year with John Allen, Secretary and Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as the Guest Speaker (on ‘Shaping New Zealand’s Leadership: Law and Laughter’) and Rt Hon Paul East as the Master of Ceremonies. The event was held on July 4, 2011 at Stamford Plaza Hotel in Auckland City.

Wellington based Phil O’Reilly is the Guest Speaker at this year’s Lecture (on the subject, ‘Good governance – who wins: the shareholder, the public or Gordon Gekko?’) with eminent Auckland based Barrister Brian Stephenson as the Master of Ceremonies. Rt Hon Sir Anand and Lady Susan Satyanand will be our Guests of Honour at the Black Tie event, which will include cocktails and dinner, to be held from 630 pm on Monday, July 30, 2012 at Stamford Plaza Hotel. For tickets, ($140 per person including GST), please call (09) 5336377.

Email: editor@indiannewslink.co.nz

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