We are reporting on the progress against Papa Pounamu commitments for the first time. This has been divided into two sections — our system level progress and how our agencies involved in counter-terrorism efforts have progressed as a group.

We’ve based this reporting on information in agencies’ annual reports, supplemented with further details provided directly from agencies. We have also drawn on information from the Public Service Workforce Data and from Te Taunaki Public Service Census.

Workforce Data 

Te Taunaki Public Service Census 

There are some limitations to this reporting — our agencies have been approaching the work in ways that best suit them which means there is variability in what and how they report on their progress. We also know that we don’t hold exhaustive information on all the diversity and inclusion work that exists across the system. Some agencies, in a balance of prioritisation with the Public Service response to COVID-19, have decided to focus on some of the commitments over othersThe information in this report should only be used as an indication of our overall progress.

Te kokenga ā-punaha o te Rāngai Tūmatanui i ngā titikaha mō te Papa Pounamu Public Service progress against the Papa Pounamu commitments

The progress below relates to the 39 Public Service agencies that agreed to make the five Papa Pounamu commitments mandatory in their workplaces. If you would like more specific information on individual agencies, most agencies have provided this through their annual reports and make these available online.

Te Urupare i te Mariu Addressing bias

  • Commitment 

    Public Service agencies deliver bias learning to all their people and change their workplace structures and systems to reduce bias from occurring. This should be part of a wider plan to address bias over time.


  • Progress

    • Most agencies have taken action to address bias in their workplace in the last year in some shape or form
    • About three quarters of agencies delivered training modules around reducing bias in the workplace, with many reporting that they delivered this training in the first instance to people leaders
    • Just under half of agencies have reported that they have focused on addressing bias in their recruitment processes
    • All agencies are also committed to reviewing their HR and Remuneration policies to remove bias through the Pay Gap Action Plan


  • Example

    The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) have a strong focus on addressing bias and discrimination, building on progress achieved in previous years. They have focused on delivering training, support for staff and improving their policies and practices.

    Staff and managers completed online unconscious bias training which focuses on identifying unconscious bias and ways to manage it. This training complements their range of existing learning programmes to support staff in providing client services that are grounded in empathy and respect.

    MSD also continue to focus efforts to reduce pay gaps including those for women, Māori, Pacific and Asian people. They designed a partnership-based mentoring programme with the Women’s Network and Pacific networks and provide support for new employee led networks to form and flourish. They also implemented a new performance and remuneration framework, recruitment guidance to support managers in recognising and mitigating bias in the hiring process, a flexible working policy and guidance to support managers and employees to engage in conversations about flexible working arrangements.

Ministry of Social Development staff members meet for a coffee in the open meeting area.

Ngā tūhononga e kōkiritia ana e ngā kaimahi Employee-led networks

  • Commitment

    Agencies establish, support, resource and engage with employee-led networks. This should be an ongoing commitment.


  • Progress

    • There is good support for employee-led networks (ELNs) across the Public Service and all 39 provide funding proportionate to their size to support cross-agency ELNs.
    • 35 of the 39 Public Service agencies have one or more ELNs.
    • Results from Te Taunaki Public Service Census tell us that most people (72%) have access to ELNs that were relevant to them — those from smaller ethnic groups were those less likely to report access compared to their Māori, Pacific, Asian and European colleagues.
    • As expected, the agencies with the highest numbers of ELNs were large agencies with more than 1,000 employees
    • The four agencies without ELNs were small size agencies under 200 employees. Each of these are supportive of their employees joining cross-agency networks or networks at other Public Service agencies.
    • The most commonly mentioned networks were rainbow or Women’s networks.
  • Example 

    The Ministry for Business, Employment, and Innovation (MBIE) is one of our larger Public Service employers with over 5,000 employees. MBIE have been making exemplary progress in their commitment to ELNs. MBIE have seen an increase in the number of ELNs which now includes networks for Wāhine Māori, Pasifika, women of colour, rainbow, women, and mental health. They are also supporting new emerging networks, such as Asia-International and people with diverse physical and neurological abilities. MBIE provide senior leader sponsorship and support for all ELNs and encourage employee-led events and initiatives that celebrate diversity, highlight issues and educate others.

    MBIE also has an Inclusion & Diversity Council where representatives from all ELNs meet to connect, support each other, share knowledge and collaborate on raising awareness of intersecting identities. MBIE’s Inclusion & Diversity learning programme includes stories, insights and quotes shared directly from many network members.

    The MBIE Chief Executive Carolyn Tremain is also the Sponsor for the Public Service Cross-Agency Rainbow Network (CARN) that supports rainbow networks and rainbow public servants right across the public sector.

Theresa Peters, Co-chair of CARN, Luc Powell, Co-chair of CARN, and Carolyn Tremain, at the bi-annual CARN Conference in 2021.

Te āheinga ā-ahurea Cultural competence

  • Commitment

    Public Service agencies deliver cultural competence learning to all their people. This should be one part of a wider plan to enhance cultural competence, for the broadest range of cultures, over time.

  • Progress

    • All agencies reported that they had taken action to enhance cultural competence.
    • All agencies have committed to and developed plans for Whāinga Amorangi, a separate programme of work to lift Māori Crown relations capability across the Public Service. Te Arawhiti developed Whāinga Amorangi: Transforming Leadership framework to guide the Public Service in taking a coordinated approach to strengthening Māori Crown relations.
    • The vast majority (34 of the 39) of reported in their annual report that their cultural competence training or strategies had a focus on building knowledge or skills relating to Māori culture, history, Te Tiriti, tikanga or te reo.
    • Over three quarters of agencies reported that they had a strategy or plan for enhancing cultural competence and delivered training or workshops.
  • Example

    The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have a strong focus on building their cultural competence and have a wealth of resources to build cultural capability that are available to all their people. They have focused on the separate, but related work programme to lift Māori Crown relations capability and have an app that helps to develop an understanding of te ao Māori and how it relates to MPI. They also have a tikanga hub that includes te Reo Māori classes, a Te Tiriti o Waitangi workshop and tikanga Māori resources. More than half of their people have completed various cultural competency learning, this includes learning for diverse cultures through Mana Āki: Working effectively Across Diverse Cultures and for Rainbow communities.

Tamara Orr, Senior Forest and Land Use Adviser at the Ministry for Primary Industries’ career expo stall.

Hautūtanga Ngākau Tuwhera Inclusive leadership

  • Commitment

    Agencies will enhance inclusive leadership practice by ensuring all senior leaders (tiers 1–3) undertake learning on inclusive leadership. This will be an ongoing journey for leaders.

  • Progress

    • Over three quarters of agencies delivered inclusive leadership learning.
    • Over half of agencies described a focus on inclusive leadership through their diversity and inclusion plans, strategies or policies
    • Many agencies reported that their planned inclusive leadership training for this year were delayed or cancelled due to the focus on Covid-19
    • Over half of agencies specifically reported on the day-to-day actions that contribute to inclusive leadership
    • All 39 Public Service agencies are members of the Leadership Development Centre (LDC), which gives them access to Inclusive Leadership resources.
  • Example

    Senior leaders at Tatauranga Aotearoa (Stats NZ) have been doing the mahi to grow their inclusive leadership capability. The Stats NZ 2021 Annual Report noted that 100% of their Executive Leadership Team have completed the inclusive leadership training options that were made available. This means 100% of Stats NZ senior leaders have completed the Wall Walk programme which raises awareness of the history of New Zealand’s bicultural relations, learning of Te Tiriti, and InsideOut programme on rainbow (LGBTQIA+) learning.

    Stats NZ also made available learning modules on understanding and implementing Te Tiriti , te reo proficiency and the InsideOut programme on rainbow (LGBTQIA+) sensitivity. They are open to all employees.

    Stats NZ’s leaders also use a coaching approach for enhancing the performance culture of their teams and their workplace. People leaders also use a newly developed framework that is people-centred and incorporates training and development for our leaders to be inclusive by default in this coaching model.

Waipora Marshall-Lobb — Māori Capability Specialist talking through Te Reo, Te Ao Māori, Tikanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi development opportunities to Stats NZ’s current and future leaders within the Statistical Methods Unit in October 2021.

Te whakawhanaungatanga Building relationships

  • Commitment

    Agencies encourage and support all people to build positive and inclusive relationships within their workplaces. This should be an ongoing commitment.

  • Progress

    • All our Public Service agencies are doing work focused on increasing diversity and improving the inclusivity of our workplaces
    • One of the indicators for how we are going with building relationships is about how people feel about their sense of belonging and the ability to be themselves at work — we asked those questions for the first time this year in Te Taunaki Public Service Census.

    Workforce Data — Inclusion

  • Example

    Customs developed an Inclusion Survey to seek feedback on inclusive and diverse working environments, whether it’s safe to speak up, flexible working and support for leaders. This was based on the Ministry of Social Development and Inland Revenue surveys.

    Results for Customs show they are moving in the right direction — the survey found considerable support for the flexible working initiative and most employees were comfortable discussing flexible options with their managers. This shows that the ‘if not, why not?’ approach and flexible working policy (developed with unions and staff networks) is having a positive impact. The survey also provided insights into how to continue to support a safe and respectful workplace and Customs has planned a Safe to Speak Up Programme for late 2021 which supports the Positive and Safe Workplace Model Standards plan.

Anu Malhotra, Senior Customs Officer in conversation with colleagues

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 counterterrorism 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


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


  • Agencies involved in counterterrorism efforts

    • Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
    • New Zealand Police
    • New Zealand Security Intelligence Service
    • Government Communications Security Bureau
    • Ministry of 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


  • 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 counterterrorism 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 counterterrorism efforts. We will continue to work with these agencies on ways to refine this reporting.


  • Inclusion

    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 diversity and inclusion goals and have jointly developed a 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 diversity and inclusion 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 Māori learning.

    In 2020/2021, 28 programmes with a diversity and inclusion 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 diversity and inclusion 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%.

Papa Pounamu Public Service work programme

Papa Pounamu sets the diversity and inclusion work programme for the wider Public Service. It covers 5 priority areas that are focused on making the most positive impact across all diversity dimensions.

Read more