A perfect example of the power and effectiveness of institutional culture.
CYF staff told: you're minister's servants - National - NZ Herald News
Child Youth and Family staff at a regional office have been told they are Social Development Minister Paula Bennett's servants who should not trouble their master with concerns about their work.
In an email dated August 13, supplied to NZPA by Labour Party deputy leader Annette King, Kaitaia CYF staff were told to show respect to the minister when she visited the next day.
"It is not appropriate for staff to pour their hearts and souls out to the minister," a manager wrote. "This is a formal visit and she is not your 'friend'. It's a bit like the relationship between a servant and a master, ie the servant knows their place. She should not be presented with the woes of the office, or lack of resources, or anything like that."
However, the email said it was okay to state there were challenges that could be managed.
The minister claims that she is disappointed in the manager and that she very much wants to hear what the staff has to say etc etc etc.
But the institutional culture is working perfectly.
Successful underlings always know what the boss wants and seek to provide it. Managers are especially sensitive to the actual agendas and desires of their bosses. The messages are always in code and this manager's failure was not that they know perfectly well what the minister actually wants, the failure was that they made it explicit and then the bloody fool put it in writing.
Paula Bennett has made a speciality of stepping in it and then walking it across the shag pile. This is just another example of what is coming down from the top.