Kia Toipoto is a comprehensive set of actions to help close gender, Māori, Pacific and ethnic pay gaps in the Public Service.

Te whakamārama i te pūtake o Kia Toipoto Understanding the purpose of Kia Toipoto

Launched in November 2021, Kia Toipoto, the Public Service pay gaps action plan 2021–2024, has 3 goals, which are to: 

  • make substantial progress towards closing gender, Māori, Pacific, and ethnic pay gaps 
  • accelerate progress for wāhine Māori, Pacific women, and women from ethnic communities 
  • create fairer workplaces for all, including disabled people and members of rainbow communities. 

Kia Toipoto builds on the successful Public Service Gender Pay Gap Action Plan 2018–20, but goes wider than gender and extends to Crown entities. Kia Toipoto comes from the saying "Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa l let us be united, not wide apart.” The name speaks to closing gaps and creating unity and fairness for all peoples.

By putting Kia Toipoto into action, agencies and Crown entities can achieve the expectations set out in the Public Service Act 2020 and the Government Workforce Policy Statement 2021. These require the Public Service to be a good employer and close gender and ethnic pay gaps. Under Kia Toipoto, agencies and Crown entities will: 

  • publish their pay gaps in pay gaps action plans each year
  • ensure bias does not influence starting salaries or pay for employees in the same or similar roles 
  • have plans to improve gender and ethnic representation in their workforce and leadership 
  • develop equitable career pathways and opportunities to progress
  • protect against bias and discrimination in HR and remuneration policies and practices 
  • build cultural competence  
  • normalise flexible working

Agencies and Crown entities will engage with employees and unions in their work to close their gender and ethnic pay gaps.

Kia Toipoto is flexible, so small organisations can scale their work to reflect their size. It also aligns with the Public Service Papa Pounamu priorities, which are designed to strengthen workplace diversity, inclusion and cultural competency.

Kia Toipoto Public Service Pay Gaps Action Plan 2021–24(PDF, 1 MB)

Guidance — Introduction to pay gaps and Kia Toipoto (PDF, 1 MB)

Papa Pounamu Public Service work programme

Māori Pacific and Ethnic Pay Gaps Work Plan

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Why pay gap action plans are important 

Closing pay gaps is difficult and will take time, but taking action has results. The Public Service gender pay gap is at its lowest level ever. It fell from 12.2% in 2018 to 7.7% in 2022. A combination of factors contributed to the fall in the gap over the last 4 years, especially:

  • actions by agencies under the Public Service Gender Pay Gap Action Plan 2018-20, including:
    • correcting the salaries of similarly skilled employees in the same or similar roles
    • increasing the proportion of women in leadership
  • lifting the pay of the lowest paid employees, where women are generally over-represented
  • pay equity settlements for Oranga Tamariki Social Workers and Ministry of Education Support Workers.

Pay equity settlements and the Public Service Gender Pay Gap Action Plan also contributed to falls in other Public Service pay gaps. 

  • the Māori pay gap fell from 11.2% in 2018 to 6.5% percent in 2022
  • the Pacific pay gap fell from 21.6% in 2018 to 17.7% in 2022.
  • the Asian pay gap has changed little over this period. It was 12.6% in 2018 and 12.4% in 2022.

Workforce Data — Pay gaps 

Te ine i te kanuku How we will measure progress

We will measure progress by monitoring Public Service gender and ethnic pay gaps through the collection and publication of workforce data. Progress will also be measured through agencies’ and entities’ own annual pay gap action plans, which will be publicly available. Employee and union feedback is included in these plans.

Below are the pay gap action plans for Public Service agencies and Crown entities

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He aratohu whakakore taiutu rītaha, kaupapa — here rītaha hoki Guidance on removing bias from remuneration and human resources policies and practices

This guidance is designed to help remove any bias or discrimination from remuneration and human resources policies and practices. Following the guidance will help to close pay gaps and create fairer workplaces for all employees. Agencies and Crown entities apply this guidance to help achieve the goals of Kia Toipoto. 

Guidance: Ensuring bias does not influence starting salaries (PDF, 1 MB)

Guidance: Ensuring bias does not influence salaries for the same or similar roles  (PDF, 1.6 MB)

Guidance: Remuneration(PDF, 1.2 MB) 

Guidance: Eliminating all forms of bias and discrimination in recruitment processes(PDF, 2.8 MB)

Guidance: Career Progression Breaks and Leave(PDF, 2.1 MB)

He aratohu mahi paingore, whai kanorautanga hoki Guidance on flexible work and representation

This guidance is designed to help agencies and Crown entities developing their approach to flexible working, and to develop plans and targets to improve gender and ethnic representation in their workforces and leadership. Doing this will help build more diverse and inclusive workplaces, and close gender, Māori, Pacific and ethnic pay gaps.

Guidance: Flexible-Work-by-Default

Guidance: Improving working and leadership representation (PDF, 2 MB)

Pay gaps and pay equity

Everyone has the right to be paid fairly. Pay gaps can indicate that some groups are treated unequally in the labour market. It’s important that we remove bias and discrimination from our wages so that everyone is paid fairly for the job they do.


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