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Closing gender, Māori, Pacific and ethnic pay gaps

Our Kia Toipoto plan outlines activities that will help build fairness, inclusion and representation across our Ministry. This programme aims to achieve pay equity for all with specific focus on wāhine Māori, Pacific women, and women from ethnic communities. Updated November 2023

Our Kia Toipoto Action Plan 2022–2025 is aligned with the Public Service Commission Pay Gaps and Pay Equity.

Pay gaps and pay equity (Public Service Commission)


Kia Toipoto is the Public Service Pay Gaps Action Plan, which focuses on closing gender, Māori, Pacific and Ethnic Pay Gaps to reduce workplace inequities.

Papa Pounamu is designed to strengthen workplace diversity, inclusion and cultural competency with the goal of achieving better outcomes for all diversity groups. These programmes share common goals and are important to our Ministry and to our People. Due to this, we have combined these important focus areas in one plan.

We had a positive and enthusiastic response to the invitation to collaborate on our Kia Toipoto plan. Representatives from our staff networks and the PSA played an active role in the kōrero. These included Ngā Uri o Kiwa – our Māori and Pacific Peoples Network and our Rainbow Network. Their input guided our areas of focus as well as providing new ideas to shape and achieve our goals.


Using data from Q3 2023, Manatū Taonga has a headcount of 185. 78.9% are NZ European and so our numbers limit which ethnicity statistics can be used.

Workforce representation (at 29 September 2023)

All managers
tier 1–2 %
Another gender0.5--
Pacific Peoples4417
Middle Eastern/ Latin- American/ African  - -
Other ethnic group3--

Mean and median pay (FTE salary at 29 September 2023)

 Mean $Median $
All staff120,747115,952
European men131,501124,312
European women118,852114,525
Non-European women114,592109,920

A key driver for our overall gender pay gap is occupational segregation with more women in lower-graded roles. Based on mean FTE salary at 30 June 2023, the overall Ministry has a gender pay gap of 5.3%.

Manatū Taonga Gender Pay Gap

Chart showing a decreasing gender pay gap from 11.10% in 2018 to 5.3% in 2023"

Our gender pay gap fluctuates due to our relatively small size. Whilst lower than the 7.1% Public Service average, it remains a challenge.

Positively, year-on-year results show a downward trend for the gender pay gap at Manatū Taonga since 2018. A key source of the gap is gender imbalance in the lower half of our remunerations grades. (29% male in grades 1-7 and 46% male grades 8-14).

Our ethnic pay gaps will benefit from increased diversity and representation in roles above grade 7. Currently, non-Europeans make up 30% of our people in grades 1-7 but only 18% in higher grades.

We aim to support this trend through regular monitoring of starting salaries to ensure bias is not affecting decisions. We will also build greater diversity at all levels and have set the target of societal representation for the Ministry by 2027. We have good guidance to focus Kia Toipoto activities at Manatū Taonga on:

  1. Te whai kanohi i ngā taumata katoa 
    Leadership and representation; and
  2. Te whakakore i te katoa o ngā momo whakatoihara, haukume anō hoki 
    Eliminating all forms of bias and discrimination


Our successes for 2023 have been:

  • The implementation and embedding of a new remuneration framework enhancing clarity and transparency for our people. The framework accelerates progress through the steps for our people in the lower grades and supports the reduction in our ethnic and gender pay gaps.
  • 21% of our leadership team is Māori, including two Māori Deputy Chief Executives.
  • Delivery of our internal Leadership Development programme which included inclusive leadership and mitigating bias.
  • We held our first wānanga based learning, designed to assist our people understand the importance of strengthening the Māori- Crown relations. This in-house programme, ‘Te Poho Kererū’ is grounded in fundamental iwi Māori cultural philosophies and will continue to be rolled out across the Ministry in the coming year.
  • As an initial phase of our structure review, we commenced a programme of role evaluation and standardization of position descriptions. This helps to build pay equity within role types and across the system.
  • Increased diversity in our tier three Leadership being 55% female and 9% identifying as members of the Rainbow community.
  • An increase in staff based outside Wellington giving us greater access to the diversity we need which predominately sits outside of the region.
  • Most people at Manatū Taonga utilise flexible or hybrid working opportunities and we continue to engage with staff to explore how this can enhance their experience.
  • New DCE Sponsor for our Rainbow Network and DCE Sponsorship for a new Disability Network.
  • Diversity in new starters for 2023 is 11% Asian, 11% Māori, 18% Pacific and 57% European.

We’re proud to present our Kia Toipoto plan.

Kia Toipoto

Eliminating bias and discrimination 
Systems, policies and practices designed to eliminate bias. All staff learn cultural competence.

Leadership and representation 
Plans and targets to improve representation. Be substantially more representative of society.

Flexible work by default 
Equitable access to flexible-by-default working and it doesn’t undermine career progression or pay.

Career and leadership development
Career pathways and equitable progression opportunities.

Equitable pay outcomes 
Salaries are not influenced by bias. Monitoring to ensure gender and ethnic pay gaps do not reopen.

Publish plans and ensure easy access to HR and remuneration policies, including salary bands.

Our activities

  • People structure review.
  • Cultural Competency Development: (Whāinga Amorangi) HR processes recognise Māori Crown capability as a core competency for leadership roles.
  • Identify key policies and consider full review of these with a collaborative group to ensure no bias or discrimination.
  • Embed learning about bias to ensure it is not a one-off tick box experience.
  • Succession programme development with a focus on supporting Māori, Pacific and other minority groups into leadership and/or influencing roles.
  • Recruitment Review underway to better support representation and minimise impact of bias, in process and decision making.
  • Better representation on recruitment panels to support more inclusive recruitment decision making.
  • Quarterly recruitment review panels to discuss applicants and decisions made to ensure bias does not impact us consciously or unconsciously.
  • Ensure our remuneration system and decisions maintain consistency: all roles are evaluated and relativity conversations take place.

Papa Pounamu

Addressing bias 
Have a bias learning solution. Identify and mitigate bias in workplace systems and structures.

Cultural capability
Cultural competence learning. Leaders ‘walk the talk’ and champion cultural competency development.

Inclusive leadership
Systems, policies and practices designed to eliminate bias and their impact is measured.

Building relationships
Focus on people leaders building positive and inclusive relationships with their teams.

Employee-led networks (ELNs)
Support and resource ELNs, leadership sponsors encourage and enable participation.

Our activities

  • Launch a new remuneration approach with bias mitigation education and guides for Leaders.
  • Recognition and mitigation of bias learning included in employee induction.
  • Implementation of Whāinga Amorangi Phase 1: Plan, prioritises learning in racial equity, Aotearoa New Zealand History and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • Leadership development focused on self-awareness; leading and coaching a diverse workforce through meaningful kōrero.
  • Learning by International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) supporting effective stakeholder relationships.
  • DCE sponsors in place to fund and grow networks; promote participation and seek opportunities for meaningful engagement.

What success looks like

  • A ministry that values all people, with bias and discrimination not anywhere in our way of being.
  • Increased societal representation, with a focus on Māori, Pacific and Asian representation.
  • Access to hybrid working opportunities.
  • Diversity and remuneration equity at all levels.
  • A culturally confident workforce.
  • Meaningful leadership representation with a focus on Māori and Pacific.
  • Bias-free digital accessibility.
  • Thriving networks that build communities and positively impact our workplace.
  • A learning culture delivering tangible capability development.
  • All our people feel treasured, safe and a sense of belonging.
  • Cultural capability and indigenous practice is visible and celebrated throughout the Ministry.
  • Confidence that bias does not impact our people.


Equity: Manatū Taonga has an agreed 5-year pay equity plan and is on track to meet targets, by the end of 2024.

Review: People and Culture have a cyclic programme of policy and process review designed to remove bias and build diversity, by end 2023.

Recruitment: Manatū Taonga has a system for quarterly monitoring of recruitment decisions, by end 2023.

Representation: Representation at all levels and outcomes of targeted progression. Aiming for societal representation by 2027.

Accessibility: Government Web Accessibility and Usability Standards and Accessibility Charter are met.