Please note: This material has been archived. For current information see our Leadership and Talent pages.

Key positions are positions within the Public Service that are identified as:

  • being critical to the successful performance of the Public Service, or

  • offering learning experiences for the development of senior leaders.

Section 50 of the State Sector Amendment Act (2013) gives the State Services Commissioner the ability to designate roles in the Public Service as key positions, in consultation with relevant chief executives. Appointments to key positions need to be agreed with the Commissioner. Appointments to Chief Information Officer roles have been delegated to the Government Chief Information Officer.

The new legislation enables us to move talent to where it is needed, ensuring we have the right people in the right place to meet government priorities and deliver better public services for New Zealanders. It provides for a more system-focused approach to leadership development and deployment where chief executives share responsibility for building the capability and capacity of the State services as a whole, not just within their own agencies.

A first tranche of key positions has been decided with Public Service chief executives. These include a mix of strategy, operational, policy, and functional leadership positions. They have been chosen because they have a significant impact across the system and are critical to the delivery of operational services, government priorities or emergency responses.

Over time, developmental key positions will also be identified. These additional key positions will be used to give high performing senior leaders the experience they need to progress their careers and reach their full potential. They will help us grow the breadth and depth of the talent pool for the most senior appointments in the Public Service.

The list of Public Service key positions will change over time in response to changes in government priorities and as new areas of critical capability emerge.

A review of current key positions will be undertaken in six months.


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