Te whai pūtake mārama tonu Working towards a clear purpose 

Our Aotearoa New Zealand population is made up of a wide range of diverse communities. We have clear goals about how to become a Public Service that reflects and celebrates this, now and in the future. 

Alongside Public Service chief executives, we have been focused on building a diverse and inclusive Public Service for over 5 years and have made some significant gains in that time. Despite this progress, we know disparities continue to exist, and we continue to focus on embedding gains and extending our efforts. 

We know there’s more to do and we’re doing it. Our work is supported by the Public Service Act 2020 (the Act), which identifies diversity and inclusion as an integral part of the Public Service. 

Committed to a diverse and inclusive Public Service

A diverse workforce and inclusive practices help us to be more fair and responsive and to engage more effectively with the communities we serve. 

Public Service organisations should recognise that:

  • every public servant is entitled to work in a safe and inclusive workplace, where people treat one another with respect
  • a diverse workforce has the experience and expertise to better contribute to the design and delivery of policies, services and other initiatives meant to improve the lives of all New Zealanders
  • New Zealanders will have greater trust and confidence in a Public Service they can see reflects our communities.

Improving diversity and inclusion in the Public Service 

Rainbow inclusive language guide 

Pronoun use in email signatures

Supporting diversity and inclusion through the Act 

The Act sets expectations for a diverse and inclusive Public Service and requirements for leaders to grow this. It requires our organisations to pursue fairness and diversity and ensure our workplaces are inclusive for everyone. It explicitly states that chief executives and boards must promote diversity and inclusiveness, and strengthens and supports our diversity and inclusion commitments as well as underpins our aim to be an exemplary employer. 

Under the Act, chief executives are expected to build an inclusive workplace culture that:

  • attracts and promotes diversity and inclusion
  • removes any barriers that prevent people from having fair and equal access to employment and career progression opportunities. 

Section 75, Public Service Act 2020 — New Zealand Legislation 

Papa Pounamu - kia whai hua pai ake Papa Pounamu — leading better outcomes

Papa Pounamu was established in 2017 to bring together diversity and inclusion practices and initiatives across the Public Service. Led by Public Service chief executives, this diversity and inclusion work programme covers 5 priority areas that will have the most positive impact. 

  1. Te Urupare i te Mariu | Addressing bias
  2. Ngā tūhononga e kōkiritia ana e ngā kaimahi | Employee-led networks
  3. Te āheinga ā-ahurea | Cultural competence
  4. Hautūtanga Ngākau Tuwhera | Inclusive leadership
  5. Hautūtanga Kākano Rau | Fostering diverse leadership 

The Public Service chief executives have agreed to make the Papa Pounamu commitments mandatory in their organisations. This moves us towards a more holistic approach to diversity and inclusivity.  

Papa Pounamu sits alongside our separate, but related, equity and inclusion work programmes.

Papa Pounamu Public Service work programme 

Te pūrongo me te kohikohi raraunga Reporting and collecting data

We are committed to collecting and reporting on data relating to diversity and inclusion. We collect this through Workforce Data and the Te Taunaki Public Service Census, and Public Service organisations report on their data through their annual reports.

When collated, the data shows where we are doing well and where we need to take steps to improve. Publishing the information on our website makes sure that it’s transparent and easy to access.

Workforce Data — Diversity and inclusion 

Te Taunaki Public Service Census

Inclusion and our rainbow Public Service 

Papa Pounamu

Papa Pounamu sets the diversity and inclusion work programme for the wider Public Service. It covers 5 priority areas that are focused on making the most positive impact across all diversity dimensions.

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