Skip to Content

What drives our work

The Government's priorities

To make sure investment is directed to where it is needed most, the Government currently has four priorities to which we make a significant contribution.

Build better public services that all New Zealanders can rely on

The Better Public Services (BPS) programme aims to meet increasing expectations for the State sector.

The key lies in productivity, collaboration, innovation, and increased agility to provide services. As a Central Agency we need to strive to model this vision of excellence, and work to bed-in the BPS changes, and provide assurance on the BPS result areas.

We lead the National Security System with the intention that it model this new way of working - a diverse sector coming together to be greater than the sum of its parts. Similarly, our policy stewardship role needs to lift the capabilities of the public service to deliver high quality advice that helps shape government priorities.

Build a more competitive and productive economy

The Government's Business Growth Agenda is intended to create jobs and improve New Zealanders' standard of living through economic growth.

As well as contributing through our Central Agency role, our focus on resilience strengthens the institutions needed for sustained economic growth.

By enabling New Zealanders to better manage and reduce their exposure to risk - including external threats, natural hazards, and cybercrime - we will need to provide confidence and security for business to grow, and reinforce our reputation for transparency, integrity, and as a place to do business.

Responsibly manage the Government's finances

We have a value for money focus, looking for ways to meet our cost pressures by being more efficient.

For example, we aim to take a whole of department approach, moving funding across work programmes as priorities change, and actively managing personnel costs.

Rebuild greater Christchurch

With the disestablishment of CERA, we have taken on responsibility for coordination of the Crown's regeneration effort, partnering with central and local agencies to support the transfer of responsibility for leading regeneration back to local entities.

We also monitor the overall progress of regeneration and complete critical short-term recovery functions.

The changing needs of our stakeholders

Given our role at the centre of executive government, and the increasing significance of our system roles, the number and needs of key stakeholders and customers we serve has continued to grow and change.

We now have responsibilities to seven Ministers, and a wide range of individuals, NGOs, businesses, and Iwi. Properly executing these responsibilities requires us to better manage our relationships, exercise influence and system stewardship, and increase our ability to broker solutions and manage change.

The world we operate in

A number of environmental factors can shape, influence, and change our priorities.

Elections and the Government's priorities

The Government has set priorities, but as governments and circumstances change these priorities will change as well.

Unpredictable hazards and risks

As events over the past six years have shown, emergencies and other unforeseen shocks do occur.

DPMC plays an important role in ensuring the response and recovery is well coordinated. This means we need to ensure the resilience of DPMC's staff, systems, and arrangements.

Increasingly complex, interdependent security and policy issues

The globalised world is based on interconnected networks - physical, social, and economic. These provide opportunities, but also risks and complex problems that we must monitor and prepare to respond to.

Cyber security demonstrates this. Those meaning harm may be states, criminal organisations, or individuals. Attribution is difficult, and cyber threats have the potential to affect any New Zealander. It activates forces within the border without a physical presence in New Zealand, challenging how we view protective security.

As the leader of the National Security System, we need to continue to more effectively work across government to identify, reduce, and prepare for shocks and stressors. We will also face pressure to grow our capability to provide decision-advantage through integrated, all-source assessments that take a longer-term view.

Fiscal restraint

A more efficient public service that achieves better results through collaboration remains a top priority for government.

We will continue to work with the Treasury and SSC to seek savings through our CASS partnership, and will be reviewing our ongoing internal corporate service needs as we right-size over the next four years.


New Zealand's demographic landscape is changing - we are becoming more ethnically diverse, the average age is increasing, and technology is changing how we interact. Diverse perspectives - including ethnic, gender, and experiential differences - cultivate different ways of thinking which help address complex issues.

While the diversity of DPMC's workforce has increased over time, there is still room to improve. Our recruitment practices and organisational culture need to support diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and approaches.

Our Challenges and business plan

How we are responding to these drivers - the Government's priorities, the needs of our stakeholders, and our operating environment - is summarised in our Challenges - the five medium term strategic priorities that we aim to achieve through to the end of the 2020/21 financial year.

Underlying the Challenges are 14 goals that frame the work programme and help to focus our efforts on what really matters. The remainder of Part B summarises each of these goals.

Delivery of these strategic intentions is supported by the objectives in our business plan, described in 'Managing our functions - Organisational Health and Capability.'

DPMC's Challenges

Challenges Our goals, and links to Government Priorities   Progress indicators

Challenge One

The public service understands, delivers, and helps shape the Government's priorities

  1. Understanding and delivery - Mechanisms to articulate and align government priorities are stronger; working with Treasury and SSC, we support a seamless execution of the Government's priorities.
  2. Shaping - The quality of policy advice across the public service increases.

How satisfied our key stakeholders are.

The progress of the Better Public Services result areas.

Broad trends in the quality of policy advice.

Challenge Two

Governance for the 21st Century

  1. Integrated Governance - Government decision-making processes and systems are integrated across the public service, support the presentation of high quality advice to Ministers, and facilitate collaborative working.
  2. Knowledge and Support - Newer Ministers have the knowledge and support necessary to carry out their roles and functions.
  3. Ethical Government - Executive government is supported to function in a manner that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards.

Satisfaction with CabNet.

Feedback from new Ministers about the support provided.

Completion of the revised Cabinet Manual.

Challenge Three

New Zealanders understand and celebrate the institutions and processes that contribute to a strong, shared, sense of national identity

  1. Understanding - Increasing numbers of New Zealanders have a better understanding of New Zealand's system of government, including the office and role of the Governor-General and Prime Minister.
  2. Acknowledging and celebrating honours - New Zealanders acknowledge and celebrate the service, achievement, and diversity of recipients of Royal honours.

Tracking comments in the General Social Survey, and other surveys.

Monitoring media coverage of Honours Lists as they are published.

Monitoring the gender balance of the Honours Lists over time.

Challenge Four

Increase New Zealand's resilience through leading and building a risk-based, community-focused, and integrated national security system

  1. Risk-based - Increased use of risk-based approaches to building resilience in New Zealand, including building community resilience.
  2. Community-focused - More New Zealanders - including our priority partners - trust our national security system to manage shocks and stressors, understand their responsibilities, and are prepared.
  3. Integrated - We are increasingly seen as providing leadership across the National Security System – from central government, to local government, to the wider community.

Aggregate national risk levels and profiles.

National preparedness and practices.

How well we are working with our priority partners.

Challenge Five

Leaving residents and agencies confident in the future of greater Christchurch

  1. System Leadership – Support and influence across government to deliver system wide leadership.
  2. Shape the Transition – Support and shape the transition into long term arrangements for greater Christchurch.
  3. Maintain momentum – Ensure recovery continues without loss of momentum.
  4. Lessons and Insights – Learning and insights are collated, embedded, and put into action so New Zealand is more resilient.

Plans for Christchurch's regeneration are in place and progressing.

Trends in the progress of regeneration outcomes.

Government priorities: