07 December 2021

Te Taunaki 2021 surveyed public servants in Aotearoa New Zealand, focusing on diversity, inclusion and wellbeing at work, a unified Public Service and strengthening Māori Crown capability.

What Te Taunaki 2021 covered

Te Taunaki was the first Public Service Census of approximately 60,000 public servants working in 36 Public Service organisations (departments and departmental agencies), including New Zealand employees based overseas.

The 2021 survey questions helped us learn more about the diversity and inclusion of public servants. We are working on the next survey, planned for early 2024, which will include questions on public servant's experiences in the workplace, such as negative workplace behaviours. 

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.


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

Workforce Data — Spirit of Service

Workforce Data — Mobility

Workforce Data — Capability

Workforce Data — Occupation

Workforce Data — Conditions of employment

Workforce Data — Wellbeing at work

Workforce Data — Balancing life and work

Diversity and inclusion

Workforce Data — Ethnicity in the Public Service

Workforce Data — Rainbow

Workforce Data — Disability

Workforce Data — Religion

Workforce Data — Inclusion

Māori Crown relationship

Workforce Data — Māori Crown 


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.


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 (PDF, 474 KB)

Read the Te Taunaki questionnaire

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

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.