The provision of free and frank advice is central to our system of government. Free and frank advice demonstrates and upholds the impartiality that is fundamental to maintaining a politically neutral Public Service. Having the capacity and capability to provide this underpins the integrity, legitimacy, and performance of our system of government.

Good policy decisions, informed by free and frank advice, optimise services and results for the people in New Zealand, including future generations. Investing appropriately in policy stewardship means we’re well placed to provide free and frank advice to future Governments.

This guidance sets out expectations that Public Service chief executives provide free and frank advice to ministers, engage in effective policy stewardship, and ensure that their agencies understand this. Agencies in the broader Public Service may also find this guidance a useful reference for good practice.

Ngā kōnae e hāngai ana | Related files

Free and frank advice and policy stewardship(PDF, 84 KB)  

Free and frank advice and policy stewardship FAQ(PDF, 78 KB)

Please note: The free and frank advice and policy stewardship guidance was issued before the Public Service Act 2020 came into effect. As a result, it contains some language that reflects the previous State Services Act 1988. All guidance provided in the document remains applicable.