24 July 2023

Long-term Insights Briefings are designed to be ‘think pieces’ on the future, providing information about medium and long-term trends, risks and opportunities that may affect Aotearoa New Zealand. They give effect to the Public Service’s stewardship responsibilities and are not government policy.

Long-term Insights Briefings are a new requirement introduced under the Public Service Act 2020. They are one of the key ways that the chief executives of government agencies give effect to the public service principle of stewardship. This principle means that chief executives are expected to act as the stewards of their agency over the medium- and long-term by:

  • maintaining organisational capability
  • being able to offer free and frank advice to successive governments regardless of political composition
  • responsibly managing assets (including legislation and information) on behalf of the Crown.

The briefings especially support the first two of these points. By developing a briefing at least once every three years, agencies build their capability for providing analysis on long-term trends that may affect New Zealand.

The briefings are prepared independently of ministers and do not include commentary on government policy or indicate preferences for any future policy options that may have been included. This protects the political neutrality of the public service and ensures it remains able to offer the same quality of advice to successive governments.

Presenting the briefings to Parliament and making them available for the public also enhances public debate on long-term issues, including by giving opposition parties access to some of the public service’s professional expertise to help them develop their policies. This helps us collectively as a country to think about, and plan for, the future.

Schedule 6, clause 8, Public Service Act 2020 — New Zealand Legislation