Te Taunaki | Public Service Census

Headshot of Peter Mersi, Te Tumu Whakarae mō ngā Waka |Secretary for Transport, and a quote from him: I’m excited we’ll be able to use Te Taunaki data to inform decision-making around creating a more diverse and
    inclusive Public Service.

For the first time, in 2021, the Commission conducted a census survey of all staff in the 36 core Public Service agencies (departments and departmental agencies). Our te reo Māori name for the Public Service Census is: Te Taunaki e anga whakamua ai te Ratonga Tūmatanui (Te Taunaki). This means ‘the evidence that moves the Public Service forward’. Results of the census are pending and will inform our next Annual Report.

For many years, we have relied on workforce data from our Human Resources Capability (HRC) Survey. However, there are aspects of the Public Service workforce that cannot be understood from assessing payroll data. This includes measures of workforce diversity and capability, as well as an understanding of the experiences, views and motivations of public servants. We needed to develop Te Taunaki, the first Public Service census, to gain a more comprehensive understanding of these aspects.

About 60,000 public servants were asked questions focusing on diversity, inclusion and wellbeing at work, a unified Public Service and strengthening Māori-Crown relationships. Te Taunaki provided a safe, independent channel for this survey. Participation was voluntary, but the response rate of 63% compares favourably with other similar surveys both in New Zealand and internationally, especially for an inaugural survey.

Te Taunaki included questions about people’s understanding of te reo and tikanga and their use at work, as well as a range of questions designed to capture the elements of the Individual Capability component of the Māori-Crown Capability Framework for the Public Service as developed by Te Arawhiti, such as knowledge of te Tiriti responsibilities. These insights will be highlighted in our report to agencies on findings from the survey.

To support agencies to grow their te reo Māori capability, Te Taunaki also asked about how visible te reo goals of the organisation are and how often public servants hear their leaders speaking te reo. We also asked how much people were encouraged to use te reo Māori and how much support they had to grow their skills.

Te Taunaki contained a range of demographic questions that give a broader picture of the diversity found within the New Zealand Public Service. For the first time, we asked about disability, languages spoken, iwi affiliation, religion and identifying with the Rainbow community. These will be reported later in 2021 on our website.

Te Taunaki also asked about how involved public servants feel in their workplaces, including their sense of being a valued member of their team and their ability to be themselves at work. People were also asked about their access to employee-led networks that were relevant to them.

The survey also questioned public servants on what parenting or caring responsibilities they had and how difficult they found it to balance work with home life. Te Taunaki explored what types of flexible work options public servants were currently using and what types they wanted to use more. This included reduced or compressed hours, remote working and job-sharing, as well as the reasons for using or wanting a flexible work situation.

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