Te kokenga ā-punaha i ngā titikaha mō te Papa Pounamu me te aronga ki ngā hinonga e whai wāhi ana ki ngā mahi ārai-whakatuma | Progress against the Papa Pounamu commitments with a particular focus on agencies involved in Counter-terrorism efforts

In the Public Service, there are 12 agencies that have specific roles and functions that relate to counter-terrorism efforts. We have looked at these 12 agencies as a group to provide baseline information on how they are performing as a subset of the wider group of 39 Public Service agencies. In addition to their Papa Pounamu progress, we have also looked at useful demographic information from our workforce data and inclusion information from Te Taunaki | Public Service Census.1

Agencies involved in counter-terrorism efforts

  • Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • NZ Police
  • New Zealand Security Intelligence Service
  • Government Communications Security Bureau
  • Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • New Zealand Customs Service
  • Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Ministry of Defence
  • New Zealand Defence Force
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Ministry of Transport
  • Department of Internal Affairs

Some of these agencies only have small numbers of their workforce that are involved in work relating to counter-terrorism efforts.

Overall, the subset of agencies involved in counter-terrorism efforts (CT agencies) reported similar progress against their Papa Pounamu commitments to the wider group. They also showed similar levels of inclusion but generally lower levels of ethnic diversity across their workforce. CT agencies can face similar challenges in recruitment and progression into certain role types that work on counter-terrorism efforts. These agencies are continuing to work through these challenges as they, like all our Public Service agencies, are committed to increasing ethnic diversity at all levels and across job types.

More specific information on the CT agencies progress is noted below.

Papa Pounamu progress

Most of the Papa Pounamu progress by CT agencies was similar to the progress of the 39 agencies:

  • Three-quarters of CT agencies delivered cultural competence training - most of the training was focused on lifting Māori cultural capability.
  • 11 of the 12 CT agencies delivered some type of inclusive leadership training, and more than half had policies or strategies in place with a focus on inclusive leadership.
  • Three quarters of CT agencies made specific mention in their annual reports of how they were building relationships or engaging with their people. All CT agencies reported having two or more employee-led networks.
  • 8 of the 12 CT agencies delivered some type of addressing bias training, and half reported on changes they had made to their policies and processes to remove or mitigate bias.

Ethnic composition

The group of agencies involved in counter-terrorism efforts on average have lower ethnic representation for Māori, Pacific, and Asian employees than the general Public Service workforce. Māori and Asian employees also have lower representation than the New Zealand population, while Pacific representation is almost the same as New Zealand population levels. The information that we have on the ethnic make-up of our CT agencies is made up of the total of CT agencies and their workforces, this includes a large portion of employees who are not involved in work related to counter-terrorism efforts. We will continue to work with these agencies on ways to refine this reporting.


Te Taunaki | Public Service Census results on inclusion show that the agencies involved in counter-terrorism efforts had similar inclusion scores to the Public Service overall on staff being comfortable to be themselves at work, feeling accepted at work, feeling comfortable working with people from backgrounds other than their own, and how much their agency promotes an inclusive work environment.

Case study GCSB / NZSIS: lifting capability through tailored learning solutions

The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) have a keen focus on improving diversity and inclusion in their agencies. They are working together to achieve their D&I goals and have jointly developed a D&I strategy that sets out their collective vision - “Our workforce and work environment reflect the diversity of New Zealand, where our collective diversity is celebrated and embraced. Our mission of keeping New Zealand and New Zealanders safe from significant national security threats is strengthened through the different ideas, perspectives, skills, experiences of our diverse workforce”.

GCSB and NZSIS have made some good progress since starting their D&I journey. Since 2016, NZSIS and GCSB have increased their ethnic representation by 5.4% and 4.2% respectively. While they have made progress in the right direction, they still have a way to go until they reach similar rates of ethnic diversity as the wider Public Service and the New Zealand population. GCSB and NZSIS have recognised this in their D&I strategy and have a plan in place to further increase their ethnic diversity, with a particular focus on putting in place targeted recruitment and retention initiatives.

GCSB and NZSIS have also made good progress in lifting the representation of women and in closing gender pay gaps. NZSIS has increased female representation at the senior leader level by 13.5% in the last year (now 38.5%, up from 25% in 2019/2020). Except for a slight dip to 45.5% in 2019/2020, the GCSB has maintained 50% or more female representation at the senior leader level since 2016, with representation of 52.2% at the end of 2020/2021. Both agencies have driven down their gender pay gaps (GPG) – GCSB at 5.4% down from 11.7% in 2016 and NZSIS at 8% down from 11.5% in 2019/2020.

GCSB and NZSIS aligned their existing activities with the Papa Pounamu commitment areas and have made particularly good progress on the commitments to build inclusive leadership and address bias.

The agencies offer a range of leadership development opportunities to help leaders recognise and mitigate bias, value diversity, and foster inclusivity in the workplace. Both agencies supplement internal inclusive leadership offerings with programmes delivered by the Leadership Development Centre (LDC) and a number of other external providers. The GCSB and NZSIS suite of inclusive leadership learning covers a range of topics including – anti-bullying and undesirable behaviour awareness, bystander awareness and intervention, Rainbow inclusion, Māori-Crown relations, and te reo Maori learning.

In 2020/2021, 28 programmes with a D&I focus were delivered for staff across both agencies and 79% of staff have participated in at least one of the programmes. Most agency leaders have completed the ‘Understanding and Managing Unconscious Bias’ learning, and those that haven’t yet completed it are on schedule to do so by the end of 2021. Online modules to address bias in the recruitment process are required learning for all hiring managers and any staff serving on recruitment panels.

The D&I work of GCSB and NZSIS is making a difference, and this is reflected in their Te Taunaki inclusion scores, which are higher than average Public Service scores. When asked to rate the statement ‘The agency I work for supports and actively promotes an inclusive workplace’, 92% of GCSB and 86% of NZSIS staff responded positively, significantly higher than the Public Service average of 78%.


1Note information from HRC workforce and Te Taunaki excludes information from NZ Police and New Zealand Defence Force

Last modified: