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How we deliver our functions

The following section describes our core functions, how we are organised to deliver them, and how we measure and annually report our service performance.

1.  Executive government advice and support

We provide services to support the effective conduct of executive government, including expert advice on policy and process.

How we deliver this

Our Policy Advisory Group (PAG) provides free and frank advice to the Prime Minister, and on occasion to other Ministers, and leads policy initiatives if needed.

Coordinating across departments, PAG looks for emerging opportunities and risks, and exercises influence as a ‘critical friend’ to shape advice to the Prime Minister so that it is coherent, high quality, and impartial.

PAG currently hosts a dedicated Policy Project that supports the Chief Executive of DPMC in his stewardship role as Head of the Policy Profession. The Project is focused on building a high performing policy system that supports and enables good government decision-making.

PAG also provides a point of liaison with the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor.

The Cabinet Office acts as 'Government secretariat', providing impartial services to the Executive Council, Cabinet, and Cabinet committees. This includes processing submissions, preparing summaries, managing agendas, and recording the decisions.

Measuring Cabinet Office Performance.

It advises on constitutional, policy and procedural matters, including relationships between the Executive, Governor-General, and Parliament; the appointment of Ministers and making of statutory appointments; and assisting the coordination of the legislation programme.

Who we work with

In addition to those named above, our coordination and stewardship roles require us to work across the public service and with other key stakeholders.

How we measure annual service performance

The quality of our advice and support is assessed by satisfaction surveying of the Governor-General and the Prime Minister, with the cost of producing policy used to measure value for money.

Outputs from the Cabinet Office are tracked using a range of indicators (e.g., timeliness, accuracy).

2. Constitution and nationhood

We advise and support key figures in our constitutional arrangements to carry out their roles, including ceremonial ones that build a sense of nationhood.

How we deliver this

The Cabinet Office acts as a channel of communication between the Governor-General and government. It provides advice and support to the government (including any period of caretaker government) over the election and government formation period.

The Honours Unit sits within the Cabinet Office, administering and providing policy advice on the New Zealand Royal Honours System.

Government House in turn provides administrative and support services for the Governor-General, and maintains the official residences and grounds.

Who we work with

As well as advising Ministers, the Cabinet Office is involved in nationhood issues cutting across the public service.

Government House connects the Office of the Governor-General to the wider community and enables more than 20,000 yearly visitors to Government House, Wellington.

How we measure annual service performance

The performance of the Cabinet Office and Government House are assessed through satisfaction surveying of the Governor-General and the Prime Minister.

Statistics on public engagement with the Office of the Governor-General (e.g., visits to Government House, Wellington) are also collected.

3. National security - risk and resilience

The Government has a responsibility to protect national security and advance national interests.

This responsibility is discharged through the National Security System, which DPMC leads with an all hazards/all risks approach. The scope is extensive, including geological, infrastructure failure, drought, biosecurity, pandemics, oil spills, regional instability, counter terrorism, cyber security, and other threats to New Zealand's security integrity.

How we deliver this

Our Chief Executive chairs the Officials' Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination (ODESC), and is the ‘lead official' in the National Security System. The ODESC system has three Chief Executive-level leadership boards: ODESC-G (overall governance), and the Security and Intelligence and Hazard Risk Boards.

DPMC stewards the National Security System and leads cross-government responses to events via our Security and Intelligence Group (SIG). It ensures the National Security System is alert, coordinated, delivers high-quality decisions across complex issues, and communicates effectively with its stakeholders.

SIG also exercises a collaborative leadership role within the New Zealand Intelligence Community (NZIC), and its policy teams provide advice on intelligence, cyber security, and CDEM policy issues. Intelligence and Assessments (which includes the National Assessments Bureau) coordinates all-source assessments for decision-makers.

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) contributes as a member of the Hazard Risk Board, as the lead agency for geological and meteorological hazards and infrastructure failure, and by providing support to other lead agencies.

Measuring National Assessment Performance.

MCDEM leads across the '4 Rs' of comprehensive emergency management, stewards the CDEM Act 2002 and maintains the CDEM strategic framework.

It supports CDEM guidance, planning, and operations; builds the CDEM capability of organisations and individuals; supports the resilience of communities and the public by educating and informing; and manages the central government response to large-scale emergencies.

Who we work with

The National Security System includes many public and private actors with responsibilities for hazard and intelligence-related risks.

We work with each of the government agencies that protect New Zealand as part of their core business (e.g., the NZIC, NZ Customs and the Ministry of Health), and across groups of agencies acting together to respond to an emerging threat or emergency.

MCDEM maintains diverse relationships - 70 agencies have responsibilities in the National CDEM Plan, including departments, emergency services, local government, lifeline utilities, NGOs, and the private sector.

It is an operational principle of CDEM that risks and emergencies are best managed on the basis of act locally, coordinate regionally (in the form of 'CDEM Groups'), and support nationally.

How we measure annual service performance

The quality of assessments, advice, and guidance is measured using surveys of key stakeholders - Ministers, senior officials and other users of this information.

MCDEM collects a range of performance indicators and statistics relating to:

  • Community awareness and readiness (including public surveying).
  • Emergency management support and development (including both measures of output and stakeholder satisfaction surveying).
  • Operational performance measures (e.g., timeliness of the issuing of national warnings).

4. Greater Christchurch regeneration

185 lives were lost in the Canterbury earthquakes and countless homes, businesses, and lives were changed forever. Almost six years on, greater Christchurch is entering a new phase, moving from recovery to regeneration.

DPMC provides leadership and coordination across government agencies, engages with local leadership and the community, and supports the transition of leadership of greater Christchurch regeneration to local institutions.

How we deliver this

For the period of transition to locally-led regeneration our Greater Christchurch Group (GCG) will provide policy and planning advice, including the future uses of the residential red zones, and administer part-funding and joint governance of horizontal infrastructure repairs through to completion.

We will work across government, and with Ōtākaro Limited and Regenerate Christchurch, so Ministers receive consistent and connected advice. We will work to ensure learning and insights from the recovery and regeneration are collated, embedded, and put into action to ensure New Zealand is more resilient.

Once the transition to local leadership is complete, it is anticipated that GCG will be disestablished as a separate Business Group, and its residual policy and monitoring functions incorporated elsewhere in DPMC.

Who we work with

The regeneration of greater Christchurch is a collaborative effort between central and local government, business, insurers, iwi, NGOs, and the wider community.

Key strategic partners are the Christchurch City Council, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahi, Selwyn District Council, Waimakariri District Council and Environment Canterbury.

How we measure annual service performance

Our performance is assessed through satisfaction surveying of the Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration, external reviews of the quality of policy advice, and the timeliness of delivery of key milestones.

Our role in the Central Agencies

The Department works closely with the State Services Commission and the Treasury (the Central Agencies) to lead the public service to deliver outstanding results for New Zealanders.

We are collectively responsible for enabling performance to improve across the State sector. We contribute to this by monitoring progress, and promoting and modelling change.

Corporate support and services

Our Office of the Chief Executive (OCE) supports the Department to achieve its strategic priorities and manage risk through sound strategy, effective governance, and efficient organisational systems and processes.

The Central Agencies Shared Services (CASS) provides corporate shared services (HR, Finance, IT, Information Management and Publishing) to DPMC. The service is provided by the Treasury, with DPMC’s share of costs funded through an annual CASS charge.

Summarising the value we deliver to our key stakeholders

Our Business Groups

Executive government

The Governor-General

The Prime Minister and Cabinet

The public service

Departments and other state sector agencies

The wider community

Individuals, NGOs, businesses, iwi

Policy Advisory Group

We provide free and frank advice to the Prime Minister (and other Ministers when required) and lead special projects.

We coordinate advice from different agencies to ensure decision-makers receive integrated, high quality advice.

We contribute to policy development across complex or cross-cutting issues.

We host the Policy Project, exercising stewardship to lift the quality of the policy system.

We engage with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure policy reflects the perspectives and expertise of an increasingly diverse New Zealand.
Cabinet Office We provide secretariat services and constitutional, policy, and procedural advice so that Executive government continues to function effectively. We are involved with issues of nationhood, when these cut across agencies and the State sector, and provide expert advice and support. We provide information about and access to the New Zealand Royal Honours system.
Government House We provide advice, administrative and support services so the Governor-General can perform her roles and duties effectively. We provide agencies with advice and support about engagement with the Office of the Governor-General. We support community access to and identification with the Office of the Governor-General.
Security & Intelligence Group We provide integrated, all-source advice and assessments on events and developments affecting New Zealand's security interests.

We lead the National Security System to ensure that it is risk-based, community-focused, and integrated.

We coordinate across a very broad range of agencies with a role in maintaining New Zealand's national security, and have specific leadership responsibilities in two sectors: the New Zealand Intelligence Community (via SIG) and Civil Defence Emergency Management (via MCDEM).

We partner with the community on issues of security (e.g., cyber-crime).

We provide communications to build public trust and confidence in the National Security System.

Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management We provide advice on civil defence emergency management. We support access to information, provide public education and seek community participation in building resilience across the '4Rs' of risk management: reduction, readiness, response, and recovery.
Greater Christchurch Group We provide advice on the progress of the regeneration of greater Christchurch, and to support decision-making on interventions and administration of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act. We lead central government's contribution to the regeneration of greater Christchurch. We support local leaders and institutions to lead regeneration over time.