Ministers, Minders and Mandarins
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Ministers, Minders and Mandarins

An International Study of Relationships at the Executive Summit of Parliamentary Democracies

Edited by Richard Shaw and Chris Eichbaum

Ministers, Minders and Mandarins collects the leading academics in the field to rigorously assess the impact and consequences of political advisers in parliamentary democracies. The 10 contemporary and original case studies focus on issues of tension, trust and tradition, and are written in an accessible and engaging style.
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Chapter 9: New Zealand: bargains, compacts and covenants in the core executive

Richard Shaw and Chris Eichbaum


One of the chief characteristics of the second wave of scholarly work on political advisers is an explicit engagement with the wider theoretical oeuvres of political science and public administration. This chapter squarely locates arrangements in New Zealand in that context. We begin by briefly outlining the institutional arrangements within which political staff operate and provide advice to the political centre. We then provide a capsule history of the political adviser in New Zealand, describe the roles those staff play in the policy-making process and detail the impact they have on interactions within the core executive. We draw on the public service bargain (PSB) literature to make sense of the particulars of those relationships, and conclude with a series of observations regarding the contribution our analysis might make to the wider PSB scholarship and the extent to which theorizing on the basis of the New Zealand case might have comparative application.

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