Kia Toipoto is a comprehensive set of actions to help close gender, Māori, Pacific and ethnic pay gaps in the Public Service. We are now beginning to focus on inequities experienced by Rainbow and disability communities, too.

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

Launched in November 2021 and running to the end of 2024, 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: 

  • 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 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.

100% of agencies and 80% of Crown entities have published Kia Toipoto plans, showing commitment to reducing pay gaps.

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 

The diversity and inclusion of our Public Service workforce helps New Zealanders to see themselves in those who are providing the services they need, and to feel confident their voices are included in policy advice right through to service design. This also supports our ambitions towards supporting active citizenship and meaningful engagement.

Addressing pay gaps helps attract and retain diverse talent. A more diverse Public Service workforce supports the development of policies which are more reflective of our society and which lead to delivery of better public services that meet the needs of all New Zealanders.

Closing pay gaps will take time, but taking action has results. We have shown that significant progress is possible. A combination of factors has contributed to the fall in public service pay gaps especially actions by agencies under Kia Toipoto over the last 4 years, including:

  • correcting the salaries of similarly skilled employees in the same or similar roles
  • increasing the proportion of women, Māori, Pacific and ethnic public servants in leadership
  • the Māori pay gap fell from 11.2% in 2018 to 5.4% percent in 2023
  • the Pacific pay gap fell from 21.6% in 2018 to 16.6% percent in 2023
  • pay equity settlements have also contributed to falls in the Public Service pay gaps.  

The Asian pay gap has changed little over this period. It was 12.6% in 2018 and 13.0% percent in 2023. Asian representation in the Public Service has been growing strongly in recent years and this means an increasing number, and proportion, of Asian employees are new recruits. This is likely to be counteracting improvements in pay gaps. We expect the gap will decrease as people advance in their careers. 

From Te Taunaki Public Service Census, we also know that as at 2021, both the Rainbow and disabled communities were under-represented in leadership. We are working on a common approach to the reporting of rainbow and disability pay gap data 

Workforce Data — Pay gaps 

He aratohu mahere mahi Guidance on creating your own action plan

Creating an action plan to close your own gender and ethnic pay gaps is key. Public Service agencies have been doing this since 2018. We provide guidance on how to develop your action plan, including how to measure and analyse gender and ethnic pay gaps.

Guidance: An introduction to pay gaps and Kia Toipoto(PDF, 1 MB)

Organisational gender pay gaps: Measurement and analysis guidelines — Stats NZ

Guidance - Collecting, Measuring, reporting pay gaps (PDF, 405 KB)

Guidance — Implementing Kia Toipoto in small organisations  (PDF, 452 KB)

Guidance: Crown Entities' Pay Gaps Action Plans 2022 (PDF, 1.3 MB)

Guidance: Public Service Agency Pay Gaps Action Plans 2022(PDF, 1.5 MB)

Guidance for Public Service Agencies: Developing DEI Plans

Ka pēhea mātou e ine ai i te kaunuku How we measure progress

We measure progress by monitoring Public Service gender and ethnic pay gaps through the collection and publication of workforce data. Progress is also measured through agencies’ and entities’ own annual Kia Toipoto plans, which are 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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