23 February 2021

The latest Te Kawa Mataaho Kiwis Count Survey shows a sharp increase in trust and confidence in New Zealand’s Public Service.

The survey has found 69% of New Zealanders - up from 51% the previous year - say they trust the Public Service. This is the highest result since the Kiwis Count survey started in 2007.

Kiwis Count has been an ongoing survey since 2007 where New Zealanders are asked for their views and experiences on the public services they have received, and their trust in the public and private sectors. The feedback helps government agencies see where services are working well and where to focus efforts to improve.

The latest result underlines a number of other recent measures that underline New Zealand’s international reputation for trust and confidence in its Public service.

The Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking, a monthly report that shows where the pandemic is being handled the most effectively with the least social and economic disruption, is the latest international measure that goes to trust and confidence in our Public Service. It puts New Zealand first with a resilience score of 76.8 for the period November 2020 to January 2021. Other recently published results:

“This result is a tribute to the hard work and integrity of public servants who deliver vital services to New Zealanders every day,” said Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes.

“While public servants are very appreciative of this support from New Zealanders, we can always do better. The challenge now is to maintain our excellent reputation and we will continue to work hard to do that”.

Mr Hughes says it’s likely the Public Service’s role in responding to COVID-19 has contributed to the spike in trust and confidence in the Public Service as a whole.

“The Public Service has been at the forefront of the Government's COVID-19 response,” he said.

“The public don’t always get to see the work public servants do behind the scenes. Covid-19 has given New Zealanders a glimpse behind the curtain of the great work that public servants do every day.”

Mr Hughes expected future results to be more in line with the gradual upward trend in trust and confidence since 2007.

This is the first Kiwis Count survey to be published quarterly. The sample size has increased from 2000 to 4000 per year and the method is now conducted via an online panel. The latest survey was conducted from October to December 2020.


Media queries: Grahame Armstrong 021 940 457 or grahame.armstrong@publicservice.govt.nz