Update 2 April 2014:
Human Resource Capability Dataset files have been published.
See 'Related Resources'.

The 'Commissioner's Foreword', the 'Executive Summary' and the 'Introduction' sections of the report are published below. For the FULL REPORT, go to the PDF file attached to the right. Also provided under Related resources are an A3 Summary sheet for quick reference and a Trend Report.

Commissioner's Foreword

Our State Services are undergoing the biggest change in an entire generation.  There are fundamental changes being made to how agencies work together and how the State Services 'system' delivers results as a collective whole.  These changes are having a profound impact on how the State Services operate that will be felt for many years to come.

The New Zealand public and the Government have told us they expect government services to be designed and delivered around the needs of New Zealanders, not around organisational boundaries.

Our response is to transform from a collection of fragmented agencies into a high-performing system. We are concentrating on the issues that really matter for New Zealanders and focusing money, people and information from across the State Services where they are needed and where they will make the biggest difference.

We are also developing leaders of the State Service system, not of individual agencies - with much stronger management and leadership development.  The aim of this work is to build much more capability and resilience into our State Services for the benefit of current and future New Zealanders.

The wider State Services are competing for a work force whose talent is much more in demand today than 15 or 20 years ago from both private sector and international employers.  This presents challenges for us but New Zealand's State Services have a wide range of challenging and satisfying job opportunities; we need to make sure these opportunities are understood by the talented and committed people we need to attract and maintain.  We also need to take a co-ordinated and deliberate approach to developing talented leaders and setting out clear career paths for people within the system.

This Human Resource Capability (HRC) Survey report provides insights into the State Services workforce and gives information on changing workforce trends.  It will enable agencies to make informed decisions about their workforce, to ensure the delivery of better public services.

Iain Rennie
State Services Commissioner


Executive Summary

This report provides information about trends in the State Services workforce with a focus on the Public Service. The report is produced annually and looks at both annual and historical changes, as well as highlighting areas of focus for the State Services Commission (SSC).  In the year to 30 June 2013:

Staff numbers have increased...

The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees has increased from 43,345 in 2012 to 44,500 (+2.7%). The State Services headcount is estimated to have increased to 226,225 (+1.0%).  This compares to an estimated increase of 2.1% in the Private Sector.

The Wellington region, being the main central administration, had the largest proportion of this Public Service workforce with 41.6%. This was followed by Auckland (20.1%), Canterbury (9.5%) and Waikato (8.2%). These four regions accounted for 79.4% of the Public Service workforce.

Salary movement is modest at 2.1% with decreased redundancies...

The movement in average base salary for the Public Service was 2.1% (3.0% in 2012).  This movement is not a direct reflection of the salary increases staff receive, it is affected by both compositional changes in the workforce, and progression within the scale and promotion increases.

In the year to 30 June 2013, the LCI measured an increase in wages and salaries of 1.5% for the Public Sector.  Within the Public Sector, the Public Service moved by 1.9%, the health workforce by 1.4% and the education workforce by 0.7%. In comparison, the private sector moved by 1.8%.

In the year to 30 June 2013, 696 employees in the Public Service were made redundant (down from 764 in 2012).  The average redundancy payment decreased to $47,696. Redundancy payments totalled $33 million.  This compares to $39 million last year and $11.7 million four years ago.

The size of the senior leadership group is decreasing...

The size of the senior leadership is decreasing, both in number and as a percentage of the Public Service.  The percentage of women senior leaders (41.5%) in the Public Service is down slightly from last year.  There has been increases in the representation of Māori, Asian and Pacific people in senior leadership over the last four years.

Turnover of staff is down...

Core unplanned turnover decreased to 10.5% in 2013.  The average length of service for employees in the Public Service has stayed the same at 9.2 years.  The amount of sick leave and domestic leave taken by public servants rose to an average of 7.9 days per employee (from 7.6 days in 2012).  Sick leave varies considerably across occupational groups and departments.

Slight increase in the gender pay gap...

The gender pay gap for the Public Service has increased to 14.2% from 13.7% last year.  This is an exception to the overall trend of a narrowing gender pay gap.  The average age of public servants has remained the same as last year at 44.6 years.



Information in this report comes primarily from the HRC survey, which collects payroll data on staff in all Public Service departments, non-Public Service departments and certain Crown entities within the State Services. The survey has been conducted annually since the year 2000. The SSC has a statutory role of employing Public Service Chief Executives and reviewing their performance. The HRC survey provides insights into performance from a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) perspective.

This report provides information about characteristics and trends within the State Services, and provides an extra level of analysis on the Public Service.  Six main topic areas are covered:

  • Ÿ staff numbers
  • Ÿ configuration
  • Ÿ people costs
  • Ÿ leadership
  • Ÿ the workforce
  • Ÿ leave

The survey data is a resource for agencies to use in benchmarking themselves with other agencies, sectors and the Public Service as a whole.  HRC information also feeds into university research, parliamentary questions, international benchmarks on government performance, policy advice and is an example of the Public Service's commitment to open government.

Technical aspects of the survey

The survey collects employee and organisational level information from departments.  The survey covers permanent and fixed term staff.  The database of information is managed by the Strategic Information team within the State Services Commission, who have information on Public Service employment dating back to 1913.  Information on the survey structure, definitions, and contact details are available on the SSC website: publicservice.govt.nz/hrc-survey-materials.

HRC reporting and capping reporting

This report complements the capping of core government administration update which focuses on the total number of positions (FTE staff numbers plus vacancy numbers) in the core government administration group, and the number of communication staff in each department.  For the full capping report, see publicservice.govt.nz/capping-june13 .

There is a significant overlap between the staff covered by the cap on core government administration and employees in the Public Service.  The figure below highlights the overlaps and differences between these two groups.


: The survey includes all permanent and fixed term employees but does not include contractors or employees who work on a casual or as-required basis.



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