02 November 2023

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

The Government is committed to addressing low pay and closing gender and ethnic pay gaps. In the year to June 2023 the biggest increases in pay were for our lowest paid and non-managerial staff, including Pacific men and women. Māori men and women also had above average increases in average pay.

In late 2022 Government agreed parameters for a public sector pay adjustment (PSPA) over two years. This included increases to base pay of $4,000 in year 1, and the higher of $2,000 or 3% in year 2. Year 1 PSPA increases occurred from either 1 December 2022, or 3 April 2023, and have driven increases in the Public Service average salary this year. Public servants’ pay increased 7.0% overall in the year to June 2023 (compared with increases of 3.7% in 2022 and 2021 and 3.9% in 2020).  7.0% is the highest annual increase in public servants’ salaries since records begin in 2000.

Consistent with the Government’s Workforce Policy Statement and the Public Service Commissioner’s 2022 and 2023 pay guidance, our low paid staff were prioritised for pay increases. Proportionally higher increases to lower paid staff were delivered both through the PSPA, and through other negotiated increases such as for those out of scope of the PSPA or those which applied prior to the PSPA being confirmed. Staff earning less than $60,000 now comprise 9.1% of the Public Service workforce, down from 16.8% in 2022 and 38.6% in 2018.

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 7.1%. This represents a decrease of 0.6 percentage points in the last year, and 5.1 percentage points over the period of the Action Plan. By comparison, the national gender pay gap dropped by just 1.0 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 2023, down 1.1 percentage points to 5.4%, the lowest such gap on record. The Pacific pay gap also fell by 1.1 percentage points to 16.6% and is also the lowest on record, while the Asian pay gap increased 0.6 percentage points to 13.0%.  Asian representation in the Public Service has been growing strongly in recent years and this means an increasing number, and proportion, of Asian employees are new recruits than in the past. This is likely to be counteracting improvements in pay gaps. This year for the first time, we are also reporting pay statistics for disabled and rainbow public servants. Kia Toipoto, the Public Service 3-year Action Plan, sets out the substantial progress expected on all gender and ethnic pay gaps in the Public Service by 2024.

Public Service Gender Pay Gap Action Plan