Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission leads the public sector in the service of our nation. He arataki, he whakarato | We lead, we serve.

We ensure that the Public Service system is focused on delivering the outcomes and services that New Zealanders want, need and expect while maintaining high levels of trust and confidence.

The Public Service Act 2020 articulates the purpose, principles and values of a unified Public Service, underpinned by the spirit of service as the fundamental characteristic of the Public Service. The Commission provides leadership and oversight of the Public Service, ensuring that it carries out its purpose.

The name Te Kawa Mataaho was gifted to us in 2017 by Professor Pou Temara. The name comes from the Māori tradition Te Hou Mataaho — the place where leaders stand — and reflects the essence and purpose of our organisation.

The Commission appoints Public Service secretaries and chief executives, sets the standards of conduct and integrity expected of public servants, and investigates breaches of the code of conduct. We administer guidance on principles that underpin the work of the Public Service, such as political neutrality, free and frank advice, merit-based appointments, open government and stewardship.

We have 3 main roles in leading on integrity and conduct matters:

  • setting standards of integrity and conduct that apply to most public sector agencies
  • providing advice and guidance to staff on matters of integrity and conduct
  • investigating matters of integrity and conduct in the public sector.

We are committed to strengthening the Crown’s relationship with Māori under Te Tiriti ō Waitangi | the Treaty of Waitangi. Public Service leaders are expected to develop and maintain the capability of the Public Service to engage with Māori and to understand Māori perspectives.