Part 4: Delivering effective outputs for Māori

Third report for 1998.



Key indicators of social and economic well-being show that compared to the majority of the population Māori experience poorer health, lower educational achievement, and higher levels of unemployment.

The reasons for the continuing disparity are complex. Contributing factors include the state of the economy, job opportunities, personal determination, educational achievement, and the values and choices of individuals and their families. The Government also influences Māori outcomes1 through its policies and funding and the way that public sector organisations2 (PSOs) prepare policies and purchase and deliver services.

This article sets out processes that we consider PSOs should include in the conduct of their business, in order to be effective for Māori (i.e. have a positive impact on outcomes for Māori).

Why did we undertake this study?

Our reasons for undertaking this study are based on an examination of the Government's policy in relation to Māori, and our view of PSO performance and progress towards achieving this policy.

Key features of the Government's policy in relation to Māori affairs are:

  • That improving outcomes for Māori is the collective responsibility of the state sector. This emphasises the need for PSOs to be responsive to Māori.
  • As part of its strategic direction to the year 2000, the Strategic Results sought in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi include — Significant progress towards negotiating and implementing fair and affordable settlements to well founded grievances arising under the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi; and, consistent with the Crown as Treaty partner, development of policies and processes that lead towards closing the economic and social gaps between Māori and non-Māori.3

We observe in relation to state sector implementation of the Government's strategic direction in relation to Māori affairs that:

  • Māori continue to experience poor outcomes for a number of socio-economic indicators4;
  • policy and service delivery PSOs have varying degrees of capability to be effective for Māori; and
  • Māori continue to be under-represented in the public service.

In 1989 the Government abolished the Department of Māori Affairs and transferred programmes previously administered by the Department to mainstream PSOs.5 In place of the Department of Māori Affairs, the Government established the Iwi Transition Agency and the Ministry of Māori Affairs. These two departments were replaced by the Ministry of Māori Development (Te Puni Kōkiri) on 1 January 1992.

Roles of the Audit Office and Te Puni Kōkiri

Many people will perceive Te Puni Kōkiri as having primary responsibility to review the way PSOs provide services for Māori. Some explanation is therefore needed about the roles of Te Puni Kōkiri and the Audit Office.

Te Puni Kōkiri advises the Government on the policies that affect Māori. Under the Ministry of Māori Development Act 1991 it has responsibilities to:

  • promote Māori achievement in education, training, employment, health and economic development; and
  • monitor and liaise with PSOs to ensure the adequacy of services to Māori.

One of the ways that Te Puni Kōkiri implements its monitoring role is by conducting reviews of PSOs. The purposes of the reviews are:

  • to provide a fair and independent report on the adequacy of services to or for Māori;
  • to provide a commentary that PSOs will find useful in improving their provision of services; and
  • to develop standards with PSOs that they can use to assess their performance on an ongoing basis.

The role of the Audit Office is to act on behalf of Parliament by assisting it to strengthen the effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability of the instruments of Government.6 Section 25(3) of the Public Finance Act 1977 provides that the Audit Office may examine whether:

resources of the Crown... or a local authority have been applied effectively and efficiently in a manner which is consistent with the applicable policy of the Government... or local authority.

Therefore, the roles of Te Puni Kōkiri and the Audit Office are complementary.

Development of the audit model

In September 1996, we consulted with a number of government departments about the systems and processes needed to deliver outputs which are likely to impact positively on Māori. The departments consulted included Te Puni Kōkiri, the State Services Commission, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Treasury.

From the results of our consultation we identified the processes that we expected PSOs to follow when preparing outputs which would be effective for Māori. The processes relate to an organisation's:

We tested our expectations in each of a policy PSO and a service-delivery PSO. As a result of the testing, we added some expectations and modified others.

Although the expectations outlined in this article have been developed independently by the Audit Office, they align closely with Te Puni Kōkiri's review expectations.

Applying the audit model

We expect that the processes would be applicable to all PSOs, and the audit model may be relevant to other organisations such as local authorities. The extent to which the following expectations are applicable to a PSO is dependent on factors such as the impact that an organisation has on the outcomes experienced by Māori, and its role in contributing towards the Government's strategic objectives for Māori.

PSOs are invited to use our audit model to conduct a self-review of their own management processes. We envisage that the self-review will assist PSOs to improve their service provision for Māori and ultimately contribute to positive outcomes for Māori.

Strategic planning


Strategic planning aims to ensure that a PSO is effective in fulfilling its purpose. The results of strategic planning:

  • set the direction of the PSO both in the long and short-term;
  • assist the Minister to determine priority areas; and
  • form the basis for the purchase agreement between the Minister and the CEO, or the Minister and the Board of a Crown entity.

Ultimately the results of strategic planning will be reflected in the PSO's:

  • key result areas;
  • purchase agreement with the Minister;
  • chief executive's performance agreement (in the case of government departments); and
  • corporate plan, business plan or departmental forecast report.

Our Expectations

We expect that a PSO's strategic planning process would:

  • take account of the Treaty of Waitangi, and in particular the Crown's position on Treaty issues;
  • consider how to contribute to the Government's strategic goals with respect to Māori;
  • identify potential Treaty issues;
  • involve Māori as appropriate;
  • require co-ordination and co-operation with other organisations delivering related outputs for Māori;
  • include objectives in relation to Māori, which translate into operational objectives and outputs to fulfil the Government's strategic goals with respect to Māori;
  • produce performance measures to assess progress towards strategic goals, objectives and outputs, and changes in outcomes for Māori; and
  • review, and identify how to improve, Māori-related capability7 and outcomes for Māori.


Considering the Government's strategic goals

The Government's strategic objectives and goals for Māori are set out in the Strategic Result Areas (SRAs) — particularly SRA 8.

The strategic planning process requires a PSO to consider a range of influences on its work. For example:

  • Cabinet decisions on Te Puni Kōkiri's medium to long-term role.
  • Compliance with legislative requirements — such as section 56(2)(d) of the State Sector Act 1988 and sections 6(e) and 8 of the Resource Management Act 1991.
  • Case law relating to the Crown's responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi.8
  • The reports and findings of the Waitangi Tribunal — especially those which explain and develop the principles of the Treaty (for example, Te Whanau 0 Waipareira Report (Wai 414), June 1998) — and the Government's response.
  • Government policy in respect of the Treaty and associated issues.
  • Advice from Te Puni Kōkiri as a monitoring and advisory agency.
  • Guidelines produced by the State Services Commission such as "Towards Responsiveness" and "Partnership Dialogue".
  • Expectations of iwi and pan-tribal groups.
  • Māori demographics and future trends (such as age, gender and geographical location).
  • Potential future scenarios for Māori in New Zealand.

These influences are not static. Expectations about what is possible and what represents good practice in providing services to Māori are changing as experience shows what is both satisfactory and practical.

Identifying potential Treaty issues

A PSO should consider how its role and functions relate to the Crown's obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi, and how the PSO could contribute to meeting those obligations. For example, it needs to consider whether its activities might affect rangatiratanga (control) over resources and taonga (Article II) or influence the degree of quality of access by Māori to services, which affect equity of outcomes (Article III).

A PSO also needs to reflect accurately the collective Crown position on these matters. If in doubt, the PSO should consult, for example, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Te Puni Kōkiri, or the Ministry of Justice (which has responsibility for co-ordinating the Government's position).

Involving Māori in the planning process

A PSO might need to involve Māori to test the assumptions and priorities in the strategic planning process. For example, a PSO might draw on the views of a previous consultative hui or it might build long-term relationships with people who can represent Māori perspectives.

The strategic planning process might also allow for input from Te Puni Kōkiri, which has significant relationships with all departments and provides advice in the areas of most concern — such as justice, education, health, and employment.

Translating strategy into action

A PSO's strategy needs to be translated into specific action plans. For example, plans may include sections on:

  • Objectives for recruiting Māori.
  • Support for Māori employees.
  • Skills relevant to understanding Māori society and values.
  • Procedures to take account of Māori perspectives.
  • Assurance about compliance with legislation, case law and best practice, in relation to Māori.

The plans need to be interpreted by the various sub-groups within an organisation. For example, business units, regional and district offices, and specialist groups such as information services, all need to implement the strategy in their areas. Regions with high Māori populations may need different arrangements to those with low Māori populations. What works in urban areas may not be so effective in rural areas.

Māori comprise about 13% of the total population. There is a risk that in focusing on major risks and priorities the strategic planning might overlook the needs and interests of Māori. PSOs might consider preparing a separate plan on how they intend to work towards achieving the Government's goals in relation to Māori. Any plan should be an integral part of the strategy that drives the business of the PSO.

Monitoring strategy

From time to time, a PSO must review the assumptions on which its strategy is based. It must review whether it is meeting its goals — not only in changing outcomes for Māori, but in other goals such as participation by Māori in the public sector or keeping pace with developments in best practice. As a result of this review, the PSO might need to change its strategy, apply more resources, or review its capability.

Policy advice


Policy advice covers many different types of work, including:

  • exploring a concept;
  • researching an issue to establish prevalence, attitudes, and social and economic consequences;
  • developing new programmes and legislation to address specific social and economic issues;
  • reviewing and evaluating legislation and established policies and practices; and
  • contributing to work being led by another organisation.

The most appropriate policy processes and systems will depend on the purpose of the work, the urgency of the task, the availability of staff and information, the need to act consistently with other policy decisions, or instructions from the Minister or Cabinet about scope and content.

Our expectations

We expect that a PSO's policy development and advice would:


  • Draw on available empirical research and statistical data (including on age, gender, and geographical location) to define disparities that exist between different population groups, in this case between Māori and other groups.
  • Identify gaps in research data.


  • Consider Treaty issues where appropriate.
  • Consider the reasons for the underlying causes of high or low participation by Māori.
  • Consider the reasons for the higher incidence of adverse outcomes for Māori than for other groups, and the causal relationships between different outcomes.


  • Consult with appropriate Māori expertise and/or Māori clients.


  • Develop options to alleviate or overcome barriers experienced by Māori.
  • Consider issues for Māori in relation to service design and delivery, and provider development.
  • Assess for each policy option the possible impact on Māori (e.g. by age, gender, and geographical location).
  • Identify costs/benefits, risks and implementation issues in relation to each option.


  • Review the impact of the policy on Māori.



The amount of research that might be conducted for a piece of policy advice depends on the available time, money, and data.

Policy advice systems need to provide assurance that analysts have made reasonable efforts to locate existing relevant data and consult with people who have an intimate knowledge of the subject area.

One way a PSO can gain independent assurance about its research and problem definition is to refer the completed work for independent review by academics or other suitable professionals.


Analysis is the synthesis of existing research and theory to estimate the consequences of alternative decisions.9 It would usually include one or more of the following steps:

  • interpretation of primary and secondary research data in relation to identified policy issues;
  • analysis of information to identify facts, issues, patterns, inter-relationships and trends; and
  • identification of causal relationships in order to assess policy implications.


An important part of developing policy is to consult with those who are or might be affected. This might include people who understand or have worked in the subject area, and those who represent the people affected by changes in policy.

In practice, several processes might be labelled "consultation":

  • While conducting research a policy PSO may seek assistance to identify the key issues of importance for Māori. It may then approach various groups to sound out their views on the key issues.
  • As a government department prepares a paper it is required by Cabinet rules to consult other departments. This process of inter-departmental peer review and input is also referred to as consultation.
  • After the preparation of policy options, the policy PSO may consult with groups to promote understanding of the rationale behind the policy and to test the acceptability of the options.

Appropriate consultation processes differ for each type of work. To test the effectiveness of the consultation processes, a PSO should confirm that it has:

  • identified people with expert knowledge of the subject area and representatives of those affected by the policy;
  • communicated the nature of the change to those affected; and
  • considered the response and the consequences for those affected by the proposed policy.


A policy PSO continually assesses options. Alternatives and compromises may be proposed and negotiated at any time. There may be several phases of consultation and negotiation to develop the options provided to Cabinet.


PSOs need to know if policy is working. Evaluations may be conducted either by the PSO or by an independent agency.

Some policies take a long time to develop and fully implement. A PSO may conduct a review of work in progress to establish whether its developing experience is consistent with the information and assumptions on which the policy is based.

Service delivery


Service delivery is the implementation of a specific policy. In addition to its usual meaning of providing services to people such as in health, education, or employment, it includes other client-focused work such as collecting fines or enforcing regulations.

Service delivery in some sectors is characterised by a division of functions between:

  • purchasers;
  • funders; and
  • providers.

A "purchaser" is an entity that the Crown has created to specialise in making purchase or funding decisions on behalf of the Crown. There will usually be a contractual relationship between the entity (purchaser / funder) and the provider of the services.

A "funder" is an entity established to distribute grants or other funding.

A "provider" will actually deliver the service(s), and may be a private sector, public sector or voluntary agency.

Some PSOs perform all of the above functions, in that they determine the type of service required, the volume, location, and service delivery standards, and also deliver the service.

Our expectations

We expect that a PSO's service delivery would (within the parameters set by policy — including the collective Crown position on Treaty matters):

Service design

  • Consider Māori as one, or several, of its customer groups.
  • Provide for Māori input to planning, design and purchase decisions.
  • Reflect Māori needs and differences in the design of programmes and customer service decisions.
  • Consider the full range of service delivery options (including management and delivery by Māori), and evaluate the options in terms of likely effectiveness in achieving improved outcomes for Māori.

Service delivery

  • Ensure that accessible, appropriate and effective services are available to Māori.
  • Disseminate information in a manner and form which is capable of being received and used by Māori — for example, by using Māori networks, iwi and Māori organisations, and Māori communication networks.
  • Include appropriate service delivery standards in relation to Māori in contractual arrangements with service providers.

Monitoring and evaluation

  • Monitor and evaluate:
    • service uptake, and impact on Māori (e.g. by gender, region or district, urban / rural);
    • the extent to which the service has met Māori needs and expectations;
    • proposals for improvements to systems, service design and policy; and
    • where appropriate, compliance by service providers with service delivery standards.


Service design

A service-delivery PSO needs to assess its business base by identifying information such as:

  • the total demand for services and whether demand is growing or shrinking;
  • who uses the services and how many of those customers or clients are repeat users; and
  • the characteristics of major customer groups.

In assessing its business base a PSO must reflect the collective Crown position on Treaty of Waitangi issues and the Crown's relationship with Māori. If in doubt, the PSO should consult with one or more of the departments referred to in paragraph 4.026.

From this sort of analysis we would expect a PSO to be able to identify what proportion of its customer or client base is Māori (by age and gender) in different regions or districts.

PSOs should also consider how they can effectively provide for Māori input, or involvement in purchase decisions. One way is to establish an advisory group to provide a Māori perspective of the service.

In designing its services a PSO needs to consider Māori family and social obligations and geographical location, which may affect choices and priorities. Where regional or district relationships are important, the PSO may utilise marae-based services, or form groups representing hapu, iwi, and/ or urban Māori to advise on services or to liaise with Māori about the services.

In considering delivery options, PSOs need to consider the full range available, including management and delivery by Māori. Any evaluation of options should include:

  • an assessment of the likely effectiveness in achieving improved outcomes for Māori; and
  • an analysis of the cost/benefit of each option.

Purchasers of services will also need to assess the "state" of Māori-based service providers, and how this might impact on the achievement of PSOs' objectives in relation to Māori in the future.

Service delivery

An important part of service delivery is disseminating information about service availability and entitlement in a manner and form which is capable of being received and used by Māori. PSOs should consider using iwi, urban and national Māori organisations or networks to disseminate information or Māori-oriented media.

PSOs will also need to ensure that service delivery standards reflect the needs of Māori, and monitor contract arrangements in this respect.

Monitoring and evaluation

A service-delivery PSO needs information systems and processes that monitor service uptake, evaluate effectiveness, and provide feedback — in order to improve both service design and delivery, and to guide policies.

Human resources


A PSO needs to develop the skills of its staff or seek appropriate advice. This section therefore focuses on two imperatives:

  • the obligations of government departments to be a good employer under the State Sector Act and, in particular, their obligations under section 56(2)(d) of that Act10; and
  • the need for PSOs to ensure that their staff have relevant skills and experience in providing services to or for Māori.

Our expectations

We expect that a PSO's human resource practices would:

  • evaluate an appropriate level of Māori participation in relation to client base and workforce;
  • recruit and retain Māori employees;
  • develop relevant skills and competencies such as understanding Māori social structures, cultural practices and values;
  • acquire external expertise where needed; and
  • link to the strategic goals of the PSO.


Evaluating participation

Māori participation in a PSO is important because:

  • it assists in understanding Māori social structures, cultural practices and values; and
  • it may be an indicator of credibility and relevance to Māori.

In addition, government departments are required (under the State Sector Act 1988) to recognise the need for greater involvement of Māori in the public sector and the employment requirements of Māori people. Some Crown entities have a similar provision in their empowering legislation.

There are at least two criteria by which a PSO might assess the appropriate level of Māori participation:

  • compare the percentage of Māori employees to that of Māori in the working age cohort; and
  • compare the percentage of Māori employees to the percentage of Māori clients.

Recruiting and retaining Māori employees

To change the rate of participation by Māori, a PSO needs to develop strategies to recruit and retain Māori staff.

Approaches that may assist to recruit Māori include:

  • stating directly in vacancy advertisements that Māori are encouraged to apply;
  • using Māori communication media and networks to notify vacancies;
  • encouraging applications from Māori students attending relevant training institutions; and
  • using recruitment agencies to find suitable Māori applicants.

The success of any approach can be measured by changes in the participation rate.

An independent study concluded that in order to retain Māori employees, PSOs need appropriate management practices and to provide some specific support. The report suggests that management practices which might appeal to Māori include11:

  • an agency that values openness, integrity, reciprocity, professionalism and consistency;
  • participatory and/ or facilitative management and leadership styles; and
  • investment in the personal and professional development of individuals.

The report also suggested that organisations consider Māori-specific support, including:

  • valuing the input of Māori, whether they be individuals, staff groups or external groups;
  • a critical mass of Māori at senior management levels;
  • a commitment to developing the skills of Māori public servants;
  • a Māori policy framework12 that is developed and sustained sector-wide; and
  • affirming and supporting the priorities of Māori.

Developing skills and competencies

To improve capability to be effective for Māori a PSO needs to improve its staff skills. Two ways a PSO might improve staff skills are:

  • Establishing procedures that identify best practice and adopt/ apply the lessons of experience. For example, the development of guidelines on consultation with Māori, and evaluations of case studies that identify what went well and what can be improved.
  • Training staff in relevant skills.

Plans for development might include:

  • Exposure to Māori society and cultural values — either in specific training or through on-the-job practice.
  • Training in Māori policy analysis skills.13
  • Building Māori networks and contacts outside the PSO, to draw on as needed.
  • Providing opportunities for staff to undertake different types of work which are relevant to Māori.

Using the work programme to extend capability

Skills are best developed through experience. A PSO needs a work programme that continually challenges its capability to be effective for Māori. The work will ensure that the skills of staff are maintained and developed. Lessons from one project can be applied to others.

Purchasing external expertise

Where it is not cost-effective to build and maintain Māori-related skills, a PSO can purchase them. For example, if a PSO has only one or two projects of significance to Māori, it may need to draw on outside expertise to supplement its skills.

To arrange contracts with iwi and Māori organisations, PSOs need to understand Māori society and social structures. As with the engagement of any consultant, the PSO must assess the consultant's skills in relation to the project. For example, a consultant may need certain experience to know the topic, and the credibility to present a Māori view. In some cases a combination of consultants may be required to achieve such a result.



The structure of a PSO determines which groups of staff perform specified functions. For example, a structure is considered decentralised if local offices have reasonably wide powers to respond to clients' needs. A structure is centralised if a central office determines many of its procedures.

Our expectations

We expect that a PSO's structure would allow people with appropriate Māori expertise the authority to:

  • monitor and report on organisational performance with respect to Māori; and
  • control quality to ensure outputs are effective for Māori.


Structures adopted by PSOs vary. A few have established structures that are bi-cultural, giving staff greater autonomy to adopt practices reflecting Māori cultural practices and values. Most major PSOs have established Māori units or Māori advisory positions to act as a source of expertise and advice and to control the quality of outputs that affect Māori. Some PSOs — where the main thrust of business does not have a major impact on Māori — may choose to adopt practices only in districts where the impact on Māori is greater.

Where a PSO decides to establish a specialist Māori advisory position or a Māori unit it is important to ensure that:

  • resourcing is commensurate with the expected or actual workload; and
  • the role is clearly defined and promulgated within the PSO (i.e. that respective roles and responsibilities are clear).

To improve organisational capability to be effective for Māori, the structure has to allow people with expertise in Māori matters to have enough influence to improve procedures. The influence and changes to procedures must be accepted and adopted throughout the organisation.

Evidence of a successful structure is that the PSO:

  • has improved its ability to work effectively with Māori;
  • has improved its recruitment and retention of Māori staff; and
  • is contributing positively to Māori outcomes.

Working environment


The working environment of a PSO is only one part of organisational capability and being effective for Māori. It affects staff motivation and retention, and the public image of an agency. We suggest that PSOs consider enhancements to their working environment after they have addressed issues in relation to strategy, policy and service delivery, structure, and human resources.

Our expectations

We expect that a PSO's working environment would:

  • develop corporate values that are consistent with, and refer to, the values and needs of Māori;
  • develop guidelines for the use of "tikanga Māori" in organisational practices;
  • develop guidelines for the use of "te reo Māori" in publications; and
  • promote practices that present a suitable corporate image — for example, the use of a corporate name and suitable logo in correspondence, letterhead, publications, and advertisements.


A PSO that is effective for Māori will have assessed how its environment affects each of the groups that it deals with. Those groups include Māori:

  • clients;
  • employees; and
  • advisors and representatives of other PSOs.

The PSO needs to be aware of the effects of such things as:

  • Public statements of mission and values.
  • Image as portrayed in publications, correspondence and advertising.
  • Management practices, such as recognising the importance of family obligations and using advisers to review management practices.
  • Ceremonial procedures such as receiving visitors and the celebration of special events.
  • Use of space and decor — such as, providing a gathering place for communal discussion, separation of greeting and eating areas, and expressions of Māori art and culture.
  • Arranging to meet Māori in an appropriate environment, such as a marae.

1: "Outcomes"- As used in the context of the Public Finance Act 1989, the term means the impacts on, or consequences for, the community of the outputs and activities of the Government. In a broader sense, and as used for the purposes of this article, the term "outcomes" refers to results. These may be the results sought by the Government, or the result of Government outputs or lack of outputs. We acknowledge that "outcomes" are influenced by factors other than the outputs produced by the Government.

2: For the purpose of this article, the term "public sector organisations" includes government departments and Crown entities.

3: Strategic Results Area 8 in Strategic Result Areas for the Public Sector 1997-2000, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 1997.

4: Page 6, Progress Towards Closing Social and Economic Gaps between Māori and non-Māori, a report to the Minister of Māori Affairs, July 1998.

5: In this context, mainstream PSOs are those that provide policy advice or services to all New Zealanders as opposed to a specific population group.

6: The Audit Office Forecast Report for the year ending 30 June 1999, parliamentary paper B.28FR(98), page 5.

7: The achievement over time of Māori-related goals through people, systems and technology.

8: For example, New Zealand Māori Council v Attorney-General [1987] 1 NZLR G41; Taiaroa v Attorney General [1995] 1 NZLR 411.

9: Pages 1-3, Policy Analysis — Concepts and Practice, David L, Weimer & Aidan R, Vining, Prentice-Hall lnternational Editions, 1989.

10: Section 56(2)(d) covers: "Recognition of — (i) The aims and aspirations of the Māori people; and (ii) The employment requirements of the Māori people; and (iii) The need for greater involvement of the Māori people in the Public Service;".

11: These practices have been identified in a study conducted for the Ministry of Transport. The study looked at the reasons why 15 Māori left the public service. and what might induce them to return. The study had the support of several chief executives from government departments.

12: A Māori policy framework sets outs the key questions or issues that need to be addressed in relation to Māori at identified points in the policy formulation process.

13: The phrase "Māori policy analysis skills" means the ability to systematically analyse policy issues as they impact on Māori, and develop solutions that take account of factors such as Māori cultural values, demographics, socio-economic factors, and aspirations. These skills would be applied in the conduct of policy analysis and policy development in the public sector.

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