About the survey

Who is Te Taunaki | Public Service Census for?

Te Taunaki is for approximately 60,000 public servants working in 36 Public Service agencies (departments and departmental agencies), including New Zealand employees based overseas.

If you work as a permanent or fixed term employee of any of the departments and departmental agencies listed above, then you are asked to complete the survey.

Why are all Public Service employees being surveyed?

It’s important that the Public Service represents the people we serve, and that we have the tools and resources to do our jobs well. Getting a better understanding of the diversity of public servants will help build a unified Public Service that represents the people we serve, and where public servants feel supported to be themselves at work.

Survey topics include demographic questions about you and your role, flexible working, work-life balance, career development, cultural capability, what attracted you to join the Public Service, and how you feel about it now. There are specific questions on supporting the Crown in its relationships with Māori under te Tiriti o Waitangi | Treaty of Waitangi.

This information will be used to drive policy improvements in areas such as flexible working, opportunities to shift between agencies, pay equity for people in similar roles, hiring practices, as well as training and development.

When is the survey open?

Te Taunaki opened on Tuesday 11 May 2021 and closes in early June.

Who is conducting the survey?

The census is being conducted by an independent research provider, Research New Zealand, on behalf of Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission.

Do I have to participate?

The survey is voluntary, but we encourage you to have your say and voice your opinion. We need as many people as possible to participate so we have an accurate picture of the Public Service. Each question is optional, so you can skip any you don’t want to answer. If you change your mind, and want to withdraw your survey response, you can contact Research New Zealand and have the answers removed anytime up to until early June,  when the survey closes.

What kind of questions are in the survey?

Survey topics include demographic questions about you and your role, flexible working, work-life balance, career development, cultural capability, what attracted you to join the Public Service, and how you feel about it now.

We don’t think any of the questions in this survey are of a distressing nature, but if any specific concerns arise for you, please contact the services offered by your agency’s employee assistance programme.

How did you develop the survey?

Te Taunaki has been developed with help from a range of agencies and groups across the Public Service, including Stats NZ, Te Puni Kōkiri, Te Arawhiti, Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as well as the Office for Disability Issues.

We ran cognitive testing with 25 randomly selected public servants in early 2021.

There was also a pilot testing phase in late March and April with public servants from the Public Service agencies taking part in Te Taunaki.

Doing the survey

How long will the survey take?

We expect most people to complete Te Taunaki within 15-20 minutes.

How will I get access to Te Taunaki?

An email invitation will be sent directly to your work email address, and you will have your own link to the survey.

Can I complete the survey on my own device (home computer/phone) rather than on my work computer?

Yes. You can forward the link to a personal device and it will still work.

Will I be compensated for my time?

We’re asking you to complete Te Taunaki during your work-day, so your time is being paid as part of your usual hours.

Are New Zealand public servants based overseas asked to complete Te Taunaki?

Yes, all New Zealanders who are employed by Public Service agencies and are working overseas are asked to complete the survey.

How accessible is the survey?

Selecting a provider that would make the survey accessible to all public servants was important to us. The survey is on a secure Research New Zealand website, but can also be done on paper or via phone if needed. Anyone who is visually impaired can choose to view the online survey in a larger font size. Te Taunaki will also work with screen readers.

During our pilot phase in March and April, we’ve specifically sought people with a diverse range of accessibility requirements, to test Te Taunaki.

If you’d like to use the paper or phone option to complete the survey, please contact: info@researchnz.com

Am I expected to do the survey if I’m on leave?

If you’re on long-term leave over the whole of the survey period, you’re not expected to complete it. But it’s still an option, if you’re keen to do so. If you have a short-term leave during some part of May or June, we hope that you will complete the survey during the working time you have in that month.

Will public servants in ministerial offices be asked to do the survey?

Yes, public servants working in ministerial offices will be invited to take part on their department email address. The survey asks respondents to answer based on their experience working in a Public Service agency, rather than in a ministerial office.

Your Information

What will happen to the information I provide?

Your information will be kept anonymous. It will be grouped with all the other responses from your agency, and included in summary reporting. So you will not be individually identified.

Each agency that participates will get summary level information on what the people in their agency said. For example, 45 percent of people in this agency agreed with a statement.

Our rules for data handling mean that anytime there small numbers of people in a group, we hide the number so no one can be identified.

See our privacy page for more details on how confidentiality is maintained for datasets.

How will you keep my information secure?

Your information will be collected securely by Research NZ, whose Security Policy and Practices meet the requirements set out in the New Zealand Information Security Manual (NZISM).

An anonomysed version of the results will be securely stored in Te Kawa Mataaho’s internal system.

What sort of information will be available to individual agencies?

Agencies will receive results for their agency, and for the system as a whole, for benchmarking. Individual responses will not be identifiable and data representing small numbers of employees will be suppressed to maintain confidentiality.

Reporting results

How will I learn what the survey found?

Te Kawa Mataaho will report on the whole of the Public Service as a group. We will publish these reports on our website.

When will the results be published?

The first release of information on our website ‒ a high level summary of diversity across the system ‒ will be around October. Further deep dive reporting on topics will be released on the website as soon as they are  completed.

How will results be shared with agencies?

Aggregated results will be reported back to each agency, meaning the agency leaders can see how their people responded as a whole (eg, 45 percent of the agency agreed with this statement).  Agencies will also be able to compare results for their agency with system-level results to help identify where work may be needed to ensure staff are best supported to deliver on government priorities.

Participating in the March/April pilot

If I take part in the March pilot, do I still need to do the survey in May?

No. Research New Zealand will store your responses to the March pilot and they will be combined with all other responses in the main survey that started on 11 May.

If I participated in the pilot, will you be able to identify me because so few people are participating at my agency?

No. Research New Zealand will store your responses to the pilot and they will be combined with all other responses in the main survey that started on 11 May.

The pilot is about testing IT systems and processes needed to help make the census a success.

Contact us

If I have more questions, who do I ask?

Please contact us at census@publicservice.govt.nz.

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