04 September 2023

Statutory Crown entities are part of the broader public sector, and deliver services on behalf of government, but are governed by boards with a level of independence from Ministers.  

Each entity must deliver the specific purpose and functions set out in its establishing legislation. They may also be subject to other legislative requirements, and Ministerial expectations, covering a range of additional all-of-government priorities. These typically relate to how these entities operate, and to government policy priorities that require a response from a wide range of government institutions. 

This publication provides information on the “all-of-government” requirements and expectations for statutory Crown entities (Crown agents, autonomous Crown entities and independent Crown entities) under a series of themes. For each specific area within a theme, the legal requirements and Ministerial/system expectations that apply are set out. In addition, the information includes details on the system lead for that theme or specific area, with links to any published guidance, and a contact point within the system lead agency who can be contacted for further advice and support. 

It should be noted that, in some cases, requirements and expectations may vary within a category of Crown entity, for example where specific requirements are set out in a Crown entity’s establishment legislation or specific expectations in annual Letters of Expectations (LOEs). The information is primarily focussed on the generic requirements and expectations that apply to all Crown entities of that particular type. As such, this table does not represent an exhaustive list of requirements.- 

In some cases, requirements and expectations are laid out via a direction to support a whole of government approach under section 107 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 which is used when the Government has decided on a multi-agency approach for some activity and there are benefits from applying this to some or all Crown entities (except Crown entity subsidiaries and Tertiary Education Institutes) and/or companies listed in schedule 4A of the Public Finance Act 1989 – for more information, see the Whole-of Government directions Cab Circular CO (13) 4. 


Plain Language Act 2022

System Lead: Te Kawa Mataaho

The purpose of the Plain Language Act 2022 is to improve the effectiveness and accountability of public service agencies and Crown agents, and to improve the accessibility of certain documents that they make available to the public, by providing for those documents to use language that is

  • appropriate to the intended audience; and
  • clear, concise, and well organised.

Published Guidance: Plain Language Act 2022: Guidance for agencies - Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission

Contact for further advice: enquiries@publicservice.govt.nz

Requirements and expectations

Crown Agents

Autonomous Crown Entities

Independent Crown Entities

Legal requirements:

Crown agents as named in Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Crown Entities Act 2004,

must take reasonable steps to ensure that all relevant documents for which it is responsible use plain language.

That duty is, in the case of a Crown agent, a duty that is owed only to its responsible Minister (within the meaning of the Crown Entities Act 2004).

Legal requirements:

No legal requirements to implement but is strongly encouraged as good practice.

Legal requirements:

No legal requirements to implement but is strongly encouraged as good practice.