30 April 2024

Did you know we have a range of strategic data about the Public Service available on our website for everyone to access?

We collect data to provide important insights into where the Public Service is doing well and where it needs to take steps to improve.

Our three key datasets are:

  • Workforce Data – collected from staff payroll to provide a snapshot of trends in the Public Service workforce. It includes staff numbers, age, gender, ethnicity, occupation, salaries and gender pay gaps.
  • Kiwis Count – surveys New Zealanders about the trust and confidence they have in the Public Service.
  • Te Taunaki Public Service Census – surveys public servants with a focus on diversity, inclusion and wellbeing at work, a unified Public Service and strengthening Māori Crown capability.

We publish this information on our website to make it transparent and easy to access. It’s important our data is published so the public can develop their own insights on the performance of the Public Service. This transparency is also an important element in maintaining trust and confidence in the Public Service.

Here are some facts about the Public Service from our latest data:

  1. 55.5% of public servants are based outside the Wellington region. They are located in every region across Aotearoa New Zealand, led by Auckland (20.8%), Canterbury (9.8%) and Waikato (6.4%). 
  2. The largest occupational groups in the Public Service are frontline roles of inspectors and regulatory officers (11,257) and social, health and education workers (10,873). 
  3. Māori (16.8%) and Pacific (10.7%) representation in the Public Service workforce continue at higher levels compared to the overall New Zealand working-age population (15.1% and 6.7% respectively in the year to June 2023). 
  4. 84% of public service employees say the reason they stay working in the Public Service is because their work contributes positively to society. 
  5. The average age of people employed in the Public Service is 44. The average age of the workforce has been trending down slightly from a peak in 2015–16 of 44.8 years. Before then, the workforce had been aging steadily, with the average age in 2000 being 40.8 years. 
  6. 62.2% of all public servants are female. Female representation is at the highest level since first measured in 2000 (56.2%). 
  7. Rainbow communities make up 9.4% of the Public Service.  
  8. 81% of New Zealanders trust public services based on their personal experience. New Zealanders have high trust in public institutions compared to many other countries according to OECD data. 
  9. The size of the Public Service has consistently been about 1% of the population over the last 20 years.  
  10. Public servants work in a wide range of jobs spread across 239 different occupations in 2023. 


Note: This article was originally published on 11 August 2023. It is updated each quarter with the latest data.

Data and research


For more facts and figures about the Public Service, see our Data and research page.

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