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The principles are designed to:

  • help us recruit and retain the calibre of leaders needed to deliver high quality public services while at the same time making sure there is good value for the taxpayer
  • motivate chief executives to achieve a step-up in performance and measurably better results for New Zealanders, through a stronger link between chief executives' performance, the results their agencies achieve, their contribution to improved performance in the system and their remuneration
  • support increased transparency about the framework(s) and processes used by the State Services Commission, and about individual outcomes for chief executives, which can be clearly communicated to Ministers and the wider public
  • allow us to achieve greater consistency across the Public Service as a whole.

The underpinning principles that guide the design, application and future review of the remuneration policies and framework are:

Fair reward

Remuneration will be set at a level that reflects:

  • the scope and complexity of the role within the relevant market that the role and organisation operate in.
  • the knowledge, expertise and demonstrated capabilities of the role holder.

Performance guides remuneration

There is a clear alignment between the level of performance demonstrated and the total remuneration received.


The remuneration approach must be readily understood by all parties, able to be efficiently administered by the Commission, and clearly communicated to Ministers and the wider public.

Value for money

Levels of remuneration must be fiscally defensible and able to be demonstrated as good value for public money.


Disclosure of information on the framework(s) and processes used by the Commission and on individual outcomes will be determined through a balanced consideration of statutory, privacy and public interest requirements and expectations.


The remuneration approach must be able to handle changes in agreed performance levels; must be able to adjust to evolving roles and system requirements and changes in the fiscal and economic situation, and must be able to support the Commissioner's (and other State sector employers') ability to flexibly deploy leadership talent across the State sector.


The rewards and remuneration policies and framework are designed to reinforce the credibility of our reward practices by encouraging highly effective performance, competence and capability and rewarding consistent improvement in these elements.


These policies, and the framework, will be periodically reviewed to ensure the desired outcomes are being achieved in line with these principles.

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