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 used in the citation.

Section 3: Nomination details

The commendation is awarded to public servants who demonstrate outstanding spirit of service through:

  • exceptional care and commitment to New Zealanders, and a ‘higher purpose’ motivation
  • the highest standards of integrity and kaitiakitanga
  • generating pride in the public service.

Nominees may be in frontline public service delivery; operational, policy, corporate, technical or specialist roles. Frontline means people who are responsible for the delivery of work, rather than its management. In most cases this will be people who do not have direct reports.

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

Chief executive endorsement

Commendation recipients are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of integrity and it is important that nominating chief executives 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), should the nomination be successful. Integrity checks should only include information held by the agency.

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.

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 Amorangi a Te Kawa Mataaho | Public Service Commissioner’s Commendation for Frontline Excellence?

The commendation was established in 2018 to recognise public servants who exemplify a spirit of service to the community. Commendations are presented annually at the Public Service Day Awards ceremony in early November.

Who can make a nomination?

The number of commendations awarded each year is strictly limited and only public service chief executives and Crown agent board chairs can submit nominations. The public service includes departments, departmental agencies, interdepartmental ventures and interdepartmental executive boards listed under 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 commendation can be awarded to any frontline public servant who demonstrates outstanding spirit of service.

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 commendation may be awarded posthumously.

A non-New Zealand citizen can be awarded the commendation in recognition of their outstanding spirit of service and contribution 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:

  • the Deputy Public Service Commissioner
  • three public service chief executives
  • a representative from the Cabinet Office, and
  • an external representative.


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 awarded a commendation. Nominees who are selected to receive the commendation will be contacted and asked whether they wish to accept.

All nominations for commendations 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 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 commendation recipients before they are publicly announced. Agencies whose nominees will be awarded the commendation are asked to advise their responsible Minister in confidence before the recipients are publicly announced.

Re-nomination requests

Where nominations are unsuccessful, chief executives 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

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