New Zealand's Public Service today

New Zealand’s Public Service belongs to you, the people of New Zealand, so it’s important it works for you.

This consultation details reform related to the State Sector Act 1988. It is part of a suite of reforms to the public sector system: the others include embedding intergenerational wellbeing in the Public Finance Act 1989 and establishing an Independent Fiscal Institution.

The review of the State Sector Act 1988 aims to enable the Public Service to:

  • deliver better outcomes and better services
  • create a modern, agile and adaptive New Zealand Public Service, and
  • ensure its role in supporting New Zealand’s democratic form of government.

The legislative changes set out in this paper are designed to enable the Public Service to do better for New Zealand. The proposals do this by:

  • providing a wider range of options for organisational and workforce development. These form a set of tools that can be employed where needed to help improve public services and the achievement of outcomes for New Zealanders
  • unifying the Public Service around a common purpose, principles and values
  • ensuring strong and capable leadership of the system.

In reviewing the State Sector Act, we are envisaging enabling, not prescriptive, legislation. That means that not all of the detail of the proposals outlined in this document would be drafted into the Act. But we have included this detail in this document to show the nature and scope of the change we are suggesting, and which we would want the Act to enable.


You can read the detailed proposals here then return to this page to have your say.

Related Documents

You can view all the documents related to this consultation including Frequently Asked Questions, PDF versions of the consultation documents and a calendar of all the consultation engagements here.


If you have any questions, or would like to reserve a spot at one of our consultations sessions, please email us at

Making a submission

Consultation Closing

Consultation closes on Friday 12 October 2018.

You are unable to save your answers as you go, so you may prefer to open the proposals in a new window on your browser so you can refer to them.

If you do not have enough time to answer all the questions at one time, please answer what you can, hit the submit button, and when you return, only answer those questions you have not responded to previously.

You can email your submission to

You can send your submission to:

State Sector Act Reform Consultation
State Services Commission
P O Box 329
Wellington 6140

Official Information Act 1982

We intend to publish all written submissions on the SSC website.

Please note also that all submissions are subject to the Official Information Act 1982, and that your submission may therefore be the subject of a request.

If you do not want your submission to be made public, please state this clearly, together with your reasons, and whether your objection relates to your whole submission or to a part or parts of it.  Any personal information you supply in the course of making your submission will be used by us only in relation to the matters covered in this discussion paper. Please clearly indicate in your submission if you do not want your name to be included in any summary of submissions that we publish.

Submissions have closed