Papa Pounamu was established in 2017, to bring together diversity and inclusion practices across the Public Service and to support Public Service chief executives to meet their diversity and inclusion obligations and goals. Papa Pounamu is co-chaired by Naomi Ferguson, Chief Executive of Inland Revenue and Peter Mersi, Chief Executive of Ministry of Transport.

Naomi Ferguson, Chief Executive Inland Revenue

Naomi Ferguson,
Chief Executive Inland Revenue

Peter Mersi, Chief Executive Ministry of Transport

Peter Mersi,
Chief Executive Ministry of Transport

Naomi and Peter are also the Functional Co-Leads for Diversity and Inclusion in the Public Service. They were appointed to these roles by the Public Service Commissioner. These roles are responsible for leading diversity and inclusion progress in the Public Service. They are also responsible for championing diversity and inclusion and supporting Chief Executives to meet their obligations and expectations in the Public Service Act.

Papa Pounamu is committed to achieving better outcomes for all diversity groups. We recognise and value the unique aspects of all diversity dimensions, such as ethnicity, gender, rainbow, disability and more. We also acknowledge that diversity doesn’t exist in silos. We take an inclusive and intersectional lens to all the work we do. 

The Papa Pounamu 2020/2021 work programme

Papa Pounamu sets a work programme for the Public Service, in consultation with the public service Chief Executives, so we can consistently grow our diversity and inclusion capability. The 2020-2021 Papa Pounamu work programme has five priority areas of focus which Chief Executives have agreed to make mandatory within their agencies. These five areas will work together to create positive impact across all diversity dimensions. As we develop more information on each of the areas you will be able to click on the links below to find out more:

  1. Cultural competence: Reflecting the significance of the Crown-Māori Relationship and building our cultural competence, and confidence, across the broadest range of cultures is integral to ensuring inclusion.
  2. Bias: Addressing bias is a critical factor in ensuring everyone in the Public Service has fair opportunity in recruitment, career progression and development opportunities.
  3. Leadership: How we lead across the Public Service matters. Diversity and Inclusion capability across the system depends on strong, inclusive leadership.
  4. Build relationships: Inclusion and belonging is dependent upon having a diverse range of supportive relationships in our workplaces. We intentionally draw upon those relationships to create positive change.
  5. Employee-led networks: Having a space and mandate to connect with others with shared lived experiences supports people to bring their whole selves to work. Employee-led networks provide richness to workplaces and contribute valuable subject matter expertise.

These five priority areas are additional to the existing diversity and inclusion commitments that many agencies will have. They are likely to relate to or complement existing commitments.

What does success look like?

Our high-level success indicators will help us determine how we’re going:

  1. Discrimination is eliminated: all aspects of public service practices are free from bias and discrimination
  2. The Public Service is fully accessible and everyone can participate: the Public Service provides a welcoming environment for everyone
  3. We understand the make-up of our workforce and society: we collect consistent, good quality data
  4. We report on diversity and inclusion progress, and revise our plans as needed: we are transparent about progress and whether our actions are generating the desired outcomes.

Diversity and inclusion work is the type of work that is ongoing. It doesn’t have an endpoint as we are always learning and evolving.

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