Public Service Act 2020

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Public Service Commission

Version as at 16 March 2023

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Public Service Act 2020

Public Act
2020 No 40
Date of assent
6 August 2020
see section 2

The Parliamentary Counsel Office has made editorial and format changes to this version using the powers under subpart 2 of Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019.

Note 4 at the end of this version provides a list of the amendments included in it.

This Act is administered by the Public Service Commission.


3Purposes of this Act
4Guide to this Act
6References to departments in enactments
7Circumstances where section 6 does not apply
8Transitional, savings, and related provisions
9Act binds the Crown
10Public service defined
12Public service principles
13Spirit of service to community
14Crown’s relationships with Māori
15Who responsibilities are owed to, how these apply, and reporting to Commissioner
16Public service values
17Commissioner may set minimum standards of integrity and conduct
18Agencies must comply with minimum standards unless exception granted
19Guidance on integrity and conduct
20Required content of guidance on political neutrality
21Status of minimum standards and guidance [Repealed]
22Rights and freedoms of public service employees
23Establishment and reorganisations of departments and departmental agencies
24Functions, duties, and powers and working arrangements of departmental agencies
26Establishment and reorganisations of interdepartmental executive boards
27Responsibilities, powers, and working arrangements of interdepartmental executive boards
28Members of board responsible to appropriate Minister
29Selection of board members and designation of chairperson
30Limit on role of independent advisers
31Operating procedures to be published
33Establishment and reorganisations of interdepartmental ventures
34Responsibilities and powers of boards of interdepartmental ventures
35Members of board responsible to appropriate Minister
36Members of board and designation of chairperson
37Operating procedures to be published
38Purpose and effect of joint operational agreements
39Establishment of joint operational agreements
40Implementation and limit on enforceability
41Termination of joint operational agreements
42Public Service Commissioner
43Commissioner’s role
44Commissioner’s general functions
45Duty to act independently when making decisions about public service chief executives
46Other functions and powers of Commissioner in Schedule 3
47Deputy Public Service Commissioners
48Other terms and conditions of appointment in Schedule 4
49Commissioner is chief executive of Commission
50Advisory committees
51Public service chief executives
52General responsibilities of chief executives of departments and departmental agencies
53Functional chief executives
54Duty to act independently in employment matters
55Working arrangements between functional chief executives and host departments
56System leaders
57Standards and guidance
58Other provisions in Schedules 6 and 7
59Public service leadership team
60Purposes of public service leadership team
61Commissioner must develop and implement leadership strategy
63Responsibilities of chief executives and boards
66Public service employees: departments
67Public service employees: interdepartmental ventures
68Public service employees: departmental agencies
69Public service employees: interdepartmental executive boards
70Ministerial staff
71Appointments subject to review
72Appointments on merit
73Chief executive of department and board of an interdepartmental venture to be good employer
74Commissioner’s functions include promoting, developing, and monitoring equal employment opportunities
75Chief executives and boards to promote diversity and inclusiveness
76Application of Employment Relations Act 2000 to public service
77Personal grievances and disputes
78Negotiation of collective agreements
79Collective agreements
80Delegation of Commissioner’s functions and powers to negotiate collective agreements
82Pay equity claims
83Application of section 13K of Equal Pay Act 1972 where more than 1 department or interdepartmental venture involved in pay equity claim
83ACommissioner to enter negotiations in consultation with affected department or interdepartmental venture
83BPay equity settlement binding on chief executive or board affected
84Delegation of Commissioner’s functions and powers to negotiate pay equity claim
85Other employment provisions in Schedule 8
86Power to transfer employees between public service agencies
87No redundancy payment for employee transferred under section 86
88Other restrictions on redundancy payments
89Certain provisions not to apply in relation to transfer or offer of alternative position
90Application of section 91
91Employment in public service continuous for purpose of certain enactments
92Liability of public service agencies for remediation in relation to application of section 91
93Further provision in relation to application of section 91 to annual holidays
94Regulations relating to treatment of employment as continuous under section 91
95Commissioner’s functions in relation to this Part
96Commissioner may draft and submit Government workforce policy to Minister
97Government workforce policy: content
98Rights, obligations, etc, not affected by Government Workforce Policy Statement
99Government workforce policy: approval by Minister
100Government Workforce Policy Statement: process
101Government Workforce Policy Statement: implementation
102Request for information does not limit other enactments
103Offence to solicit or attempt to influence public service leaders
104Immunity for chief executives and employees
105Reorganisations within public service
106Amendments to Clerk of the House of Representatives Act 1988 [Repealed]
107Section 17 amended (Functions of State Services Commissioner in relation to Office) [Repealed]
108Section 22 amended (Review of appointments) [Repealed]
109Section 26 amended (Negotiation of conditions of employment) [Repealed]
110Amendments to Crown Organisations (Criminal Liability) Act 2002 [Repealed]
111Amendments to Official Information Act 1982 [Repealed]
112Amendments to Ombudsmen Act 1975 [Repealed]
113Section 2 amended (Interpretation) [Repealed]
114Section 13 amended (Functions of Ombudsmen) [Repealed]
115Section 32 amended (Power to amend Schedule 1 by Order in Council) [Repealed]
116Schedule 1 amended [Repealed]
117Amendments to Parliamentary Service Act 2000 [Repealed]
118Amendments to Privacy Act 1993 [Repealed]
119Section 2 amended (Interpretation) [Repealed]
120Section 3 amended (Information held by agency) [Repealed]
121Section 23 amended (Privacy officers) [Repealed]
122Section 96C amended (Interpretation) [Repealed]
123New section 120A inserted (Responsibility under this Part for interdepartmental executive board) [Repealed]
124Amendments to Privacy Act 2020 [Repealed]
125Section 7 amended (Interpretation) [Repealed]
126Section 10 amended (Personal information held by agency if held by officer, employee, or member of agency) [Repealed]
127Section 138 amended (Interpretation) [Repealed]
128Section 201 amended (Privacy officers) [Repealed]
129New section 201A inserted (Responsibility under this Part for interdepartmental executive board) [Repealed]
130Amendment to State Sector (Ministry for Primary Industries) Order 2012 [Repealed]
131Amendment to State Sector (New Zealand Food Safety Authority) Order 2010 [Repealed]
132Repeals [Repealed]
133Repeal of certain provisions of this Act
134Legislative instruments revoked [Repealed]
135Consequential amendments to enactments [Repealed]

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows: