07 December 2021

Te Taunaki Public Service Census is a survey of public servants in Aotearoa New Zealand conducted by Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission. 

What Te Taunaki 2021 covered

Te Taunaki was a survey of approximately 60,000 public servants working in 36 Public Service organisations (departments and departmental agencies), including New Zealand employees based overseas. The survey questions focused on diversity, inclusion and wellbeing at work, a unified Public Service and strengthening Māori Crown relationships.test

Te Taunaki, which was New Zealand’s first Public Service census, started on 11 May and closed in early June 2021.

Public Service organisations

Why we surveyed the Public Service

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.

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

Te Taunaki was conducted by an independent research provider, Research New Zealand, on behalf of Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission.

Te Taunaki results

The Te Taunaki results are now online. Each topic can be viewed for the Public Service overall, or for a single organisation.

Participants

The final overall response rate for Te Taunaki was 63.1%, representing the views and experiences of about 40,000 public servants. This comprised 60.5% (around 38,340) public servants completing the survey, and a further 2.6% (1,640) completing at least all of the diversity questions. Measuring the diversity of the Public Service is a key priority for Te Taunaki so it is important to include these partial responses in our analysis and reporting.

To explore the data in more detail, use our interactive data drilldown. 

Guidance: Data drilldown and technical guidance 

Working in the Public Service

Diversity and inclusion

Māori Crown relationship

Workforce Data — Māori Crown 

Privacy

What happens to the information participants provided

Participants’ privacy is paramount. Responses are grouped and included in summary reporting at the agency and system level. Individuals are not identified in any reporting.

For more information, read the Privacy Impact Assessment report.

Privacy Impact Assessment Report — Te Taunaki Public Service Census 2021

How we keep information secure

The information was collected securely by Research New Zealand, whose Security Policy and Practices meet the requirements set out in the New Zealand Information Security Manual.

New Zealand Information Security Manual — Government Communications Security   

We securely store an anonymised version of the data in our internal system.

Methodology

For information on the methodology of the survey, including development, testing, participation rates, and margin of error, read the Technical Report prepared by our research provider, Research New Zealand.

Technical Report — Te Taunaki Public Service Census 2021 

Read the Te Taunaki questionnaire

Questionnaire — Te Taunaki Public Service Census 2021 

Use the Te Taunaki dataset in your research

We invite applications from bona fide researchers to use the anonymised information from the Te Taunaki dataset on site at Te Kawa Mataaho. Iwi affiliation is part of the dataset, and we can assist iwi to access information about public servants from their community.

For more information about research using the Te Taunaki dataset, contact census@publicservice.govt.nz

Te Taunaki meaning

Our te reo Māori name for the Public Service Census is: Te taunaki e anga whakamua ai te Ratonga Tūmatanui (Te Taunaki | the evidence). This means ‘the evidence that moves the Public Service forward’.

Ngā mihi whakawhetai ki Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori. Our grateful thanks to Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori the Māori Language Commission for providing a te reo Māori name that encompasses the spirit of the census.

Contact us

If you have questions about Te Taunaki, contact us at census@publicservice.govt.nz.

Why we surveyed the Public Service

Our workforce needs to be modern, agile and adaptive to deliver better results for New Zealanders now and in the future. The Commission has a legislative mandate to work with Public Service leaders to develop a highly capable workforce that reflects the diversity of the society. Te Taunaki | Public Service Census supports this by ensuring that at both the agency and system level, there is an understanding of the diversity of public servants, their experiences, views, and motivations.

Public Service organisations need to be exemplary employers that act fairly, equitably and inclusively.

Te Taunaki provides insight into employees’ views about the Public Service, their agency and their workplace. Results help target strategies to build Public Service capability now and in the future. Participating agencies are able to identify their areas of strength and concern, as well as comparing themselves to the Public Service as a whole using a standardized set of questions.

Who we survey in Te Taunaki

Te Taunaki 2021 was the first Public Service Census of approximately 60,000 employees working in 36 Public Service organisations (departments and departmental agencies). The final overall response rate for Te Taunaki 2021 was 63.1%, representing the views and experiences of about 43,000 public servants.

In Te Taunaki 2024, departments and departmental agencies are participating again, and Crown agents are also invited to take part.

Te Taunaki questionnaire

Te Taunaki topics are based on the Public Service Act 2020. We expect to review and update the questionnaire for each iteration of Te Taunaki, to ensure that the questions remain relevant. We take into account programmes of work that could be supported by information at the system and agency level. Though core topics of the survey will remain so we can monitor long-term trends, we will introduce modules on new topics as needed.

In 2021, questions focused on diversity, inclusion, Māori Crown capability, and spirit of service.

In addition to the main topics in 2021, the 2024 survey will cover a broader range of elements in the Public Service Act, including factors that support the delivery of better services to the public: team cooperation, management of poor performance, perceived team productivity, workload, engagement, and innovation. It will cover good employer fundamentals such as satisfaction with pay and employment conditions, stress, health and safety, and perceived negative workplace behaviour. Public Service principals will also be included.

We also provide agencies the ability to add a limited number of questions to the survey for their own staff. This assists agencies with their own targeted work programmes and reduces the number of surveys for employees. We anticipate this will provide efficiencies in both cost and time to the Public Service.

Public Service Act 2020 reforms – Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission

Questionnaire — Te Taunaki Public Service Census 2021 (PDF, 326 KB)

 

Privacy

What happens to the information participants provided

Participants’ privacy is paramount. Responses are grouped and included in summary reporting at the agency and system level. Individuals are not identified in any reporting.

How we keep information secure

The information was collected securely by Research New Zealand, whose Security Policy and Practices meet the requirements set out in the New Zealand Information Security Manual.

New Zealand Information Security Manual — Government Communications Security   

We securely store an anonymised version of the data in our internal system.

Methodology

For information on the methodology of the 2021 survey, including development, testing, participation rates, and margin of error, read the Technical Report prepared by our research provider, Research New Zealand.

Technical Report — Te Taunaki Public Service Census 2021 (PDF, 474 KB)

Use the Te Taunaki dataset in your research

We invite applications from bona fide researchers to use the anonymised information from the Te Taunaki dataset on site at Te Kawa Mataaho. Iwi affiliation is part of the dataset, and we can assist iwi to access information about public servants from their community.

For more information about research using the Te Taunaki dataset, contact census@publicservice.govt.nz

Our te reo Māori name for the Public Service Census is: Te taunaki e anga whakamua ai te Ratonga Tūmatanui (Te Taunaki | the evidence). This means ‘the evidence that moves the Public Service forward’.

Ngā mihi whakawhetai ki Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori. Our grateful thanks to Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori the Māori Language Commission for providing a te reo Māori name that encompasses the spirit of the census.

If you have questions about Te Taunaki, contact us at census@publicservice.govt.nz.