The State Services Commissioner is responsible for the remuneration of chief executives who head departments that are defined under the State Sector Act 1988 with the exception of the State Services Commission, the Crown Law Office and the Government Communications Security Bureau. These are, respectively, the State Services Commissioner, the Solicitor-General and the Director, Government Communications Security Bureau. Remuneration for these roles is under the jurisdiction of the Remuneration Authority.
The Commissioner sets and reviews the remuneration within a policy approved by the Government. The remuneration policy is designed to:
link Public Service chief executive remuneration to a comparator market of the wider public sector (the market includes over 300 organisations, including Crown entities, District Health Boards, Crown companies, State-owned enterprises, and local government); and
strengthen the link between chief executives' performance and their remuneration.
On appointment of a new chief executive, the Commissioner negotiates remuneration, and other terms and conditions, with the appointee. Under the State Sector Act, the Commissioner must have the agreement of the Prime Minister and the Minister of State Services before finalising the conditions of employment, including remuneration (with the exception of the chief executive of Statistics New Zealand who is also the Government Statistician - see section 38 of the State Sector Act).
For each chief executive already in place, the Commissioner has the discretion to adjust remuneration annually and to pay a performance incentive, of up to 15 percent of the remuneration package, where the Commissioner determines it to be justified.
In making judgements on an individual basis the Commissioner considers the personal performance of the chief executive in terms of their contribution to the overall results of their organisation as well as their contribution to the well being and performance of the Public Service as a whole.