01 March 2023

Our Public Service can only work effectively if it has the trust and confidence of New Zealanders.

Without public trust, the Public Service loses its licence to operate.

Which is why it was pleasing to see the results of the OECD’s 2023 Drivers of Trust in Public Institutions in New Zealand report released today.

Drivers of Trust in Public Institutions in New Zealand | en | OECD

The OECD identified competence as a big driver of trust. New Zealanders trust their Public Service because it is responsive and can be relied on to deliver policies and services that meet the needs of people.

It was particularly pleasing to see the OECD acknowledge “the high levels of institutional trust in New Zealand have been grounded in an effective and honest public service.”

The OECD said one of the keys to New Zealand’s success can be attributed to a politically neutral, effective, and trusted public service that works together.

The OECD findings are in line with our own Kiwis Count survey, which also measures the trust and confidence of New Zealanders in the Public Service. According to the latest quarterly Kiwis Count survey, 80 percent of New Zealanders trust public services based on their personal experience.

The OECD report helps us to understand what drives trust and how we can improve.

Trust and confidence is something that cannot be taken for granted. We as public servants need to keep working hard to build and maintain it. It takes a long time to earn trust, but it can be lost very quickly.

The report also identifies areas for improvement. I acknowledge this. We can always do better, and we will.

But overall, the Public Service is doing an excellent job. The OECD report confirms this.

New Zealanders can feel proud of their Public Service.


Peter Hughes

Public Service Commissioner