Read these guidelines to complete the nomination form.

Section 1: Agency contact details

The agency key contact is the person we will contact if we have questions about the nomination form, and to arrange logistics, including for recipients to attend the Public Service Day Awards ceremony. This is usually not the nominee’s manager.

Section 2: Information about the nominee

Should the nomination be successful, we will check the name provided, which will be engraved on the medal and used in the citation.

Section 3: Nomination details

The medal is awarded to public servants for meritorious service. The regulations define meritorious service as service by a person in their capacity as a Public Service employee that, in the opinion of the Public Service Commissioner:

  • demonstrates an outstanding commitment to New Zealand and New Zealanders; or
  • is exemplary, or a model for other employees of the public service; or
  • brings significant benefit to New Zealand or the public service; or
  • is exceptional and otherwise worthy of recognition.

The regulations can be found here.

When considering nominations, the Selection Panel will look for people who exemplify a spirit of service and are making a real difference for New Zealand or New Zealanders through their work. If your nomination is successful, we will use your description of why the nominee demonstrates meritorious service as input to their citation. Citations for 2020 recipients can be found here.

Letters of support

Letters of support add depth to the nomination and should be from people who are familiar with the nominee’s service. They could be colleagues, stakeholders, and/or members of the public.

Chief executive or board chair endorsement

It is important that nominating chief executives and board chairs are satisfied that there are no integrity issues in relation to the nominee that could bring the public service into disrepute (e.g. criminal convictions or upheld employment relations issues). Integrity checks should only include information held by the agency. If the nominee is successful, Te Kawa Mataaho will ask consent for a criminal conviction check to be undertaken.

Section 4: Submitting nomination

Nominations may be submitted by post or email to by 12 noon, 9 August 2021.

Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission will confirm receipt of your nomination.

Please advise Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission if there are any changes to the nominee’s personal details or any of the information supplied.

What is Te Tohu Ratonga Tūmatanui | The New Zealand Public Service Medal?

The medal is part of the New Zealand Royal Honours system and is conferred for meritorious service by employees in the New Zealand public service. The Royal Warrant that created the medal can be found here. The medal is presented annually at the Public Service Day Awards ceremony in early November.

Who can make a nomination?

The number of medals conferred each year is strictly limited and only public service chief executives (including chief executives of Crown agents) and board chairs can submit nominations. The public service means the public service agencies listed in Schedule 2 of the Public Service Act 2020 and the Crown agents listed in Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Crown Entities Act 2004.

Who is eligible?

The medal can be conferred on any public servant who performs meritorious service, regardless of their role or stage in career. Nominations should be made while the person is a current employee of the nominating agency.

If the nominee is close to retirement, we ask that the nomination is made at least six months prior to the nominee’s expected retirement. In exceptional circumstances, the medal may be conferred posthumously.

A non-New Zealand citizen can be conferred with the medal in recognition of their meritorious service to the New Zealand public service. There are extra steps in the process for these nominees.

Who considers the nominations?

Nominations are considered by a Selection Panel comprising at least six members. The Panel is chaired by a Deputy Public Service Commissioner and includes a representative from the Cabinet Office. The other members may be public service chief executives, Crown agent board chairs, other senior public servants or external members.


The consent of the person being nominated is not required and we ask that you do not inform the person that they have been nominated. This is to avoid raising expectations as not all nominees can be conferred with a medal. When requesting letters of support, please emphasise the need for discretion. Nominees who are selected to receive the medal will be contacted and asked whether they wish to accept.

All nominations for Public Service Medals are treated in the strictest confidence. No information regarding the nominee or the details of the nomination is divulged during the selection process except to the Te Kawa Mataaho team managing the process and the Public Service Day Awards Selection Panel.

If possible, please use SEEMail when submitting the form, by typing [SEEMail] using square brackets in the subject line or body of the email. If you are not sure if your agency is subscribed to the SEEMail service, please speak to your IT support team.

If the nominee consents to accepting the award, Te Kawa Mataaho will ask their permission to profile them on social media and our website, which they have the option of declining.

Notification of outcome

Chief executives or board chairs who have submitted nominations will be advised of the outcome.

The Public Service Commissioner will advise the Minister of State Services of the names of medal recipients before they are publicly announced. Agencies whose nominees will be conferred with the medal are asked to advise their responsible Minister in confidence before the recipients are publicly announced.

Re-nomination requests

Where nominations are unsuccessful, chief executives or board chairs may wish to re-nominate the person for consideration for a future Award round. Please email and request your nominee be reconsidered. All nominations will be kept on file. If seeking reconsideration, you may wish to add further information to your nomination.


If you have any further questions or require guidance please contact Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission at

Last modified: