Each Public Service department and departmental agency has a chief executive, appointed by the Public Service Commissioner. Chief executives are responsible to a minister for the performance of their agency. They have responsibilities to protect the integrity of the Public Service. They also work across the system to improve ways of working.

The Public Service Act 2020 and the Public Finance Act 1989 govern the role of chief executives. Each chief executive has responsibilities to their minister or ministers for:

  • the performance and operation of their agency
  • providing advice to ministers
  • implementing the policy and programmes of the Government of the day
  • developing and maintaining the capability of the Public Service to engage with Māori
  • promoting diversity and fostering workplaces that are inclusive of all groups.

Public Service chief executives support their ministers to be accountable in Parliament. Chief executives may appear before Parliamentary select committees to review their department’s expenditure and annual reports.

Chief executives are responsible to the Public Service Commissioner for:

  • ensuring their agency upholds the Public Service principles
  • preserving the spirit of service to the community that Public Service employees bring to their work.

Public Service chief executives deliver high-quality outcomes for New Zealanders. They build a strong and diverse workforce, which is unified around a spirit of service and works across agency boundaries.

Current Public Service Leaders