NZ Public Service diversity – gender and ethnicity

The State Services Commission Public Service Workforce Data 2018:

This information release offers a snapshot of trends in the Public Service workforce. It uses employee payroll data from all 32 Public Service departments.

This document is a useful tool for shining a light on trends and areas that need to improve and informing public debate about important issues such as the representation of women, the number of women in senior leadership and chief executive roles, progress on gender pay, ethnic pay and health and safety in the workplace. It is organised around five main areas of the Public Service: workforce, diversity, career, workplace, inclusion, remuneration and workplace.

This year’s information release shows the Public Service has made significant progress towards increased representation of women in senior management and chief executive roles.

More women are represented in the top three tiers of leadership, now occupying 44% of chief executive positions, up 22% from five years ago (2013).

It also shows progress in other priority areas including closing the gender pay gap, gender equity for chief executives, pay equity and diversity. For the first time, information is presented on the Rainbow community and workplace injuries. The Public Service is becoming more diverse, with increased representation of Pacific and Asian ethnicities in the workforce.

60.9% women overall and 48.8% women in senior management is interesting.

The ethnic mix varies a lot across department. Melissa Carl-R (@HoneyBeegeek) tweeted

I am shocked that the NZ government’s Social Investment Agency employs only pakeha staff, and that the Ministry of Culture and Heritage is one of the most Pakeha organisations we have (only beaten by SIA and DPMC).

Ministry of Culture and Heritage is 9.9% Māori  which doesn’t seem too bad.

The overall mix doesn’t look bad either, nut ‘New Zealander’ is not represented at all!

Overall ethnic mix in New Zealand (2013 census):

  • European 74.0%
  • Māori  14.9%
  • Asian 11.8%
  • Pacific 7.4%


Leave a comment


  1. Geoffrey

     /  13th May 2019

    Very surprising low incidence of those identifying as Maori in the Ministry of Defence

    • Corky

       /  13th May 2019

      Is it only administration numbers represented in those MOD stats?

      The Security Services make for interesting reading too.

      • Geoffrey

         /  13th May 2019

        I suspect you are right Corky. That said, the meaningfulness of the stats are diminished.

        • Corky

           /  13th May 2019

          Yes, if military personnel are included, the stats would show a large jump in favour of Maori. I know that because I have been to many passing-out ceremonies for soldiers.
          Some intakes are predominately Polynesian.

      • NOEL

         /  13th May 2019

        Your Security Service comment is interesting Corkey. But I don’t believe anyone wants that included in the Royal Commission. “Was gender hire over merit a factor? “

    • Duker

       /  13th May 2019

      “Ministry of Defence” is a different organisation to actual Defence Forces. Also not shown is NZ Police. maybe the reason is these dont come under the States Services umbrella. You can see other groups like ‘Schools and universities’ missing too

  2. NOEL

     /  13th May 2019

    More likely now to attend a Department and find first contact with females.
    Immediate superior a good chance at been female.

    Nagging “sexist” thought. Are they gender hires or merit?

  3. Griff.

     /  13th May 2019

    The numbers are worthless .
    How many refuse to answer European instead write NZ’er?
    Some add up to over 100% others fall well short.


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