state services

State Services Commission

The State Services Commission (Te Komihana O Ngā Tari Kāwanatanga in Māori), formerly the Public Service Commission, is a central government agency within the New Zealand government. The current State Services Commissioner is Iain Rennie. The current Minister of State Services is David Parker.

The role of the State Services Commission is to guarantee a high level of civil servants for New Zealand through performance management. The SSC's official responsibilities, as defined by the State Sector Act 1988, include:

  • appointing and reviewing Public Service chief executives,
  • promoting and developing senior leadership and management capability for the Public Service,
  • providing advice on the training and career development of staff in the Public Service,
  • reviewing the performance of each department,
  • providing advice on the allocation of functions to and between departments and other agencies,
  • providing advice on management systems, structures, and organisations in the Public Service and Crown entities,
  • promoting, developing, and monitoring equal employment opportunities policies and programmes,
  • any other functions with respect to the administration and management of the Public Service, as directed by the Prime Minister.

The overarching goal, by Cabinet endorsement, is A system of world class professional State Services serving the government of the day and meeting the needs of New Zealanders.

Development goals

To support the overarching goal mentioned above, the SSC has six specific development goals for State Services:

  • Goal 1: Employer of Choice

Ensure the State Services is an employer of choice attractive to high achievers with a commitment to service.

  • Goal 2: Networked State Services

Use technology to transform the provisions of services for New Zealand.

  • Goal 3: Value-for-Money State Services

Use resources and powers in an efficient, appropriate and effective way.

  • Goal 4: Coordinated State agencies

Ensure the total contribution of government agencies is greater than the sum of its parts.

  • Goal 5: Accessible State Services

Enhance access, responsiveness and effectiveness, and improve New Zealanders' experience of State Services.

  • Goal 6: Trusted State Services

Strengthen trust in the State Services, and reinforce the spirit of service.


The SSC is currently divided into six branches.

Performance Management Branch

The Performance Management Branch is responsible for providing leadership in relation to appointing chief executives and performance management within State agencies. It also has responsibility for ensuring the achievement of and monitoring progress towards the Development Goals.

The branch also interacts with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Treasury to develop and maintain a set of shared outcomes for the three central agencies.

System Improvement Branch

In 2007, the Development Branch (responsible for the Accessible State Services Development Goal) and Governance Branch (responsible for the Trusted State Services and Coordinated State agencies Development Goals) were merged into the System Improvement Branch. The System Improvement Branch has inherited responsible for the three Development Goals.

The Branch helps agencies by:

  • improving public management practices and systems
  • strengthening the spirit of service
  • promoting New Zealanders' experience and expectations of the State Services.

Information and Communication Technologies Branch

The Information and Communication Technologies Branch has primary responsibility for working towards the Networked State Services Development Goal. The branch provides advice regarding information communication technology investments by the government and related matters. It is responsible for the E-government Strategy, delivering its outcomes and is home to the Government Chief information officer.

People Capability Branch

The People Capability Branch has primary responsibility for working towards the Employer of Choice Development Goal.

The branch is also responsible for the senior leadership and development strategies, the State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme (the State Sector's retirement scheme prior to Kiwisaver), and activities of the Public Sector Training Organisation.

The Mainstream Supported Employment Programme was housed in this branch until it was moved to the Department of Labour in 2008.

Corporate Services Branch

The Corporate Services Branch holds the role of ensuring that the SSC has the capability necessary to facilitate and support the achievement of the Development Goals. This includes ensuring that the SSC has the necessary resources, develops the right organisational culture, and has appropriate systems and processes in place, so that it can deliver the right things at the right time, while meeting its statutory obligations as an employer and Public Service department.

Commissioner's Office

The Commissioner's Office acts as the Commissioner's support group. This includes the SSC's legal team. This ensures that the State Services Commissioner has ready access to legal advice concerning the exercise of his statutory powers. Legal advice is also available to all branches of the SSC.

See also

External links


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