Inclusion and Diversity

We are actively building our workforce to reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.

Currently, our permanent workforce includes 1781 full-time and 178 part-time employees across 40 locations in New Zealand, London and Sydney. Our largest locations are in Wellington (including staff at the Parliamentary Precinct) and Auckland. Some locations are co-located with other agencies and may be 1 or 2 employees. Approximately 888 of those roles focus on delivery. Other key roles that are significantly represented include Policy, Corporate and Information Management.

Our employees identify as women in the majority (61%). Ethnically our people are predominantly self-identified as New Zealand European (69.5%), with Māori (11.3%), Pacifica (8.8%) and Asian (12.1%) significantly represented. In terms of our core turnover we have reduced our rate to 10.3% from 11.6% in the last year and just over 3% in the last 4 years.

Details of Internal Affairs workforce profile are contained in Appendix A of this report.

Taura Herenga Waka – Our inclusion and diversity strategy

Embedding an inclusive and diverse culture is an organisational priority. In 2020/21 we finalised Taura Herenga Waka, our Inclusion and Diversity strategy. This strategy reflects the five priority areas of Papa Pounamu:

  • addressing bias and discrimination
  • strengthening cultural competency
  • building inclusive leadership
  • developing relationships that are responsive to diversity
  • supporting and engaging with employee-led networks.

Our vision is to grow and celebrate our people’s mana by being respectful and inclusive in our diversity. Through our mātāpono and Taura Herenga Waka our kaimahi will experience an inclusive, high performing workplace where they are supported to perform at their best, so they can make a difference for New Zealanders.

The Secretary for Te Tari Taiwhenua, Internal Affairs is the sponsor for this work.

As a longstanding Alliance Partner with Diversity Works, Internal Affairs is committed to be a role model of workplace diversity and inclusion best practice.

Addressing bias and discrimination

Our leaders are encouraged to lead by example, completing unconscious bias training and using this learning in their day-to-day activities. Over 110 of our senior kaimahi completed our Unconscious Bias workshop developed by Diversity Works in 2020/21.

Recruitment workshops have been updated to include discussions to help people leaders understand the impact of unconscious bias, and how that bias can be removed or mitigated throughout the recruitment process. People leaders are encouraged to take positive action to mitigate bias when convening recruitment panels, shortlisting for interviews and making recruitment decisions.

Compared to feedback in 2020, the recently completed people survey Whakahoki Kōrero – Your Feedback Survey, showed an average 7.5% increase in people agreeing that they are treated fairly, regardless of their disability, religious beliefs, gender identity and sexual orientation. In addition, fewer people said they have been subject to or witnessed exclusion, bias, bullying, discrimination and/or sexual harassment over the last 12 months.

Unconscious bias e-learning has also been made available to all employees.

Strengthening cultural competency

Our National Māori Hui at Hirangi marae, under the theme of the hui was whai oranga – in pursuit of wellbeing, provided our kaimahi Māori an opportunity to kōrero about issues that affect them and how we engage and partner with them to uplift our Te Ao Māori capability, deliver our Te Aka Taiwhenua strategy and achieve our Tō Tātou Mahi33 strategic outcomes.

People entering Hirangi marae

In January 2021, we held our first Te Reo wānanga. The wānanga enabled 41 of our kaimahi (Māori and non-Māori) to build their confidence and increase Te Reo Māori utilisation in their mahi, with the people they interact with, on a daily basis.

The Mataora programme equips our kaimahi to bring Te Ao Māori ways of working and thinking to their mahi through Mahi ā Atua, an indigenous strategic framework, grounded in indigenous knowledge, active learning and feedback.

In addition, we have begun the roll out of Mana Āki, an intercultural competency learning programme to all kaimahi in May 2021. 977 (37%) of our kaimahi have either completed or begun the programme. All kaimahi are expected to complete the programme by November 2021, and new starters will complete these modules as part of their induction programme.

33 This has subsequently been renamed Ā Mātou Mahi.

Building inclusive leadership

Leaders have a significant role to play in ensuring Internal Affairs is a diverse and inclusive organisation that reflects the communities we serve.

Inclusive leadership is embedded in the core leadership programmes Introduction to People Leadership and Te Hunga Kōhuri. Over the last 12 months 67 of our people leaders have completed these programmes. In 2021, we are extending the inclusive leadership programme to include workshops to support senior leaders to understand the four-factor model of Inclusive Leadership.

Our first cohort of Te Aka Matua, a new Māori leadership programme, aims to increase the number of Māori in leadership roles within Te Tari Taiwhenua and the wider public sector.

The framework to deliver the programme is the pūrākau (story) of Tāne and the three kete (baskets) of knowledge. Te Aka Matua is the parent vine Tāne used on his ascent to retrieve this knowledge and the programme learning modules provide the tools and resources for participants to support them on their journey towards becoming influential leaders and role models.

Internal Affairs has also continued to develop our Pasifika leadership through Avei’a, our Pacific leadership and development programme. This programme focuses on five components: identity, wellbeing, inner strength and outward confidence, understanding Pacific peoples’ context in Aotearoa and achieving career or personal goals.

Developing relationships that are responsive to diversity

There are many ways we build an inclusive and diverse culture, from championing accessibility to encouraging the use of pronouns, we’ve taken steps to be more responsive to diversity.

As a signatory of the Accessibility Charter, we work to ensure the public sector is accessible for everyone and inclusive of disabled people. With sponsorship from our senior leadership team we have appointed to champion for accessibility, and development of a work programme is underway.

To increase the representation of ethnically diverse people and reduce the barriers they face to access employment in the public sector, the Office of Ethnic Communities (now the Ministry for Ethnic Communities from 1 July 2021) developed the Ethnic Communities Graduate Programme. This programme focuses on attracting Middle Eastern, Latin American, African, Asian, or Continental European graduates to start a career in the public service. 450 applications were received, and 23 graduates have been selected to work across 12 participating agencies.

Internal Affairs was a partner agency in the Tupu Tai Pasifika internship programme in 2020/21 through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. This interagency government initiative provides the opportunity for Pasifika students to explore career pathways, build confidence as a Pasifika professional and witness the machinery of government in action. Tupu Tai provides a mechanism for Pacific voices to be present in important decisions that affect Pacific communities and for agencies to utilise the unique perspective and skillsets of Pacific peoples in their own work to benefit all New Zealanders.

Employee-led networks

Internal Affairs’ employee-led network groups include the Authentic Self Network (LGBTQI+), Tangata Whenua Network, Taha Moana Pacific Network, and Women’s Network, These strengthen the voices of rainbow, Māori, Pasifika and women employees.

Kamahi are invited to participate in building their diversity capability through Te Reo workshops, Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, our Leo o Te Pasifika programme (celebrating the languages of Pacific peoples,) taking part in New Zealand Sign Language Week, Pink Shirt Day and other activities that build confidence and celebrate diversity.

Addressing the gender pay gap

We continue to reduce our gender pay-gap measured as the difference between the average salary for women and for men at 30 June 2021, the gender pay gap was 12.1%, a reduction of 1.8% from 30 June 2020. The primary driver for the gender pay gap continues to be the high proportion of women in lower and mid-level positions.


Pasifika Career Broker

Our gender pay-gap analysis helped us identify that our Pasifika people are clustered in lower paying jobs and have a significantly lower average salary of all our ethnic groupings.

At our Pacific Fono in 2019 and through workshops we interrogated the factors that prevent our Pasifika kaimahi from being considered for and moving into different jobs.

In response we have created a Pasifika Career Broker role, who will:

  • help to encourage career development and progression to more senior positions, and to build and develop the skills and confidence of our Pasifika people,
  • provide support and guidance on exploring career and development opportunities, talent management and placement, alongside advice on effective CV writing and interview preparation, and
  • provide advice to managers on improving and adapting their recruitment and interview practices to mitigate unconscious bias to ensure our people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age and disability, experience a fair and positive recruitment process.

In addition, we are reviewing our recruitment processes to ensure that our processes provide our Pasifika people with greater and fairer opportunities for career progression.

This initiative has the support and sponsorship of a Deputy Chief Executive.

Guidance has been implemented to support managers to make appropriate decisions on starting salaries without gender bias. We continue to monitor this by actively tracking starting salary data.