20 October 2022

The data we collect gives us information about wage trends and pay gaps in the Public Service.

The Public Service is committed to addressing low pay and closing gender and ethnic pay gaps. This year the biggest increases in pay were for our lowest paid and non-managerial staff. The average pay of Māori women and men increased more than for any other ethnic or gender group.

Increases for the lowest paid and non-managerial staff have primarily driven the 3.7% increase to public servants’ pay overall (compared with increases of 3.7% in 2021 and 3.9% in 2020). About one in six (16.8%) of the Public Service workforce now earn less than $60,000, down from nearly one in five (19.3%) in 2021, and more than 40% 5 years ago. Consistent with the Government’s Workforce Policy Statement and the Public Service Commissioner’s 2020 guidance on pay, our low paid staff were prioritised for pay increases, meaning the pay of our highest paid staff (including managers) moved only a little this year.

Since the Public Service Gender Pay Gap Action Plan was launched in 2018, good progress has also been made to close gender and Māori pay gaps. The Public Service gender pay gap is lower than it’s ever been, at 7.7%. This represents a decrease of 0.9 percentage points in the last year, and 4.5 percentage points over the period of the Action Plan. By comparison, the national gender pay gap dropped by just 0.4 percentage points in the same period.  We are also starting to see a wider impact on ethnic pay gaps but there continues to be more work to be done.. The Māori pay gap fell in 2022, down 1.8 percentage points to 6.5%, the lowest such gap on record. The Pacific pay gap fell slightly (0.2 percentage points to 17.7%) and is also the lowest on record, while the Asian pay gap increased 0.8 percentage points to 12.4%.  Progress on Pacific and Asian pay gaps have been slowed down by increasing diversity in the Public Service, with higher numbers of Pacific and Asian people among younger public servants, who tend to be lower-paid. By launching Kia Toipoto, our 3-year Action Plan, we aim to make substantial progress toward eliminating all gender and ethnic pay gaps in the Public Service by 2024. 

Public Service Gender Pay Gap Action Plan (PDF, 825 KB)