Annual report 2022/23

Our people

Our culture and engagement, skills, and capability enable us to deliver high-quality, professional work.

Image use for Our peopleWe continued to support our people by focusing on:

  • culture and well-being;
  • Māori capability;
  • capability development;
  • leadership;
  • recruitment, retention, and remuneration; and
  • equal employment opportunities.

Culture and well-being

We have an organisation-wide commitment to creating an environment where all differences are valued, practices are equitable, personal well-being is prioritised, and our people-related initiatives lead to a strong and supportive Office culture. Some of the initiatives we worked on included:

  • embedding a “Listen Up, Speak Up” culture, where employees feel confident that when someone speaks up, our organisation listens and responds appropriately;
  • continuing to maintain a Covid-19 response team, including a welfare stream set up to help support the well-being and safety of our staff. This included regular check-ins, resources to support well-being and effective remote working, and up-to-date guidance on applying changing health measures and Covid-19 frameworks;
  • supporting employee-led networks, including He Tāngata (dedicated to improving our people’s well-being and feeling of connectedness), a Pasifika Network, a Rainbow Network, and a Women’s network; and
  • providing professional supervision for our staff working on sensitive audits, such as the Operation Respect audit.

Māori capability

In line with our strategic intention to enhance our impact in te ao Māori, we:

  • are developing a te ao Māori strategy, a capability-building framework, and learning pathways that will be tailored to staff needs;
  • continued to build capability and competence across the organisation by providing te reo and tikanga Māori training opportunities;
  • continued to deliver a coaching-based programme to support our staff who work with Māori and Māori organisations; and
  • partnered with a cultural capability-building organisation to help maximise Māori and Pacific potential in the workplace and build pathways for Māori and Pacific leaders.

Capability development

We continued to develop capability across the organisation by implementing diverse learning opportunities for our people, including:

  • organisation-wide training to enable our desired “listen up, speak up” culture;
  • group-specific training programmes tailored to the role and work our people perform, and aligned to our competency framework;
  • specific training and development opportunities for our Office of the Auditor-General and Corporate Services staff through our Career Boards; and
  • continuing professional development for all staff.

Audit New Zealand’s chartered accountant pathway

Audit New Zealand continues to be a Recognised Training Employer (RTE). We provide our employees with the professional study programme and support needed to gain the chartered accountant qualification, as well as providing on-going development. We also support people with other similar qualifications from other international accounting bodies.

In the reporting period, the pass rate of our staff in the Chartered Accountants Program stands at 88.8%. Of these, there were 13 Merit passes. Merit passes are awarded to candidates who are in the top 5% of all candidates who sit the same exam.


Developing our leaders continues to be a priority. In 2022/23, we:

  • offered training and development opportunities for our people in different stages of their leadership journey, from aspiring leaders to experienced leaders;
  • continued to support our leaders by providing coaching programmes to further develop their leadership skills; and
  • continued to run our Office of the Auditor-General and Corporate Services Group people leaders’ forum to support the development of our leaders.

Recruitment, retention, and remuneration

In a highly competitive job market, we have concentrated efforts to recruit and retain staff by:

  • actively managing workloads and other pressure points within our pipeline to help the flow of our work;
  • dedicating significant extra resource and effort into an international and domestic recruitment drive to help source auditors from overseas due to the domestic shortage of auditors;
  • continuing to implement a modern remuneration and reward system that is in line with market best practice and attracts and retains top talent;
  • exploring the expansion of our employee value proposition to our people through extending the ways we provide benefits and opportunities; and
  • providing varied and engaging work to help lift employee engagement and career development, which also includes international secondment opportunities.

International relationship-building

We dedicated considerable time to building strong and enduring relationships with international audit institutions, to help us meet immediate audit needs and to create an international secondment pathway for our top talent to develop.

Equal employment opportunities

Under the Public Audit Act 2001, the Auditor-General must prepare and publish an equal employment opportunities programme, comply with it, and describe in the annual report how it was met. In our view, the quality of employment opportunity is critical to creating a workplace that enables our people to reach their full potential.

The principles and practice of equal employment opportunities are embedded in our people policies and practice. We provide equality of opportunity throughout the employee life cycle and consider diversity an asset to the Office and the work we do.

After investment by Parliament in our remuneration system, we have been able to build a modern, fit-for-purpose framework, which helps to ensure that gender pay gaps can be minimised.

The gender pay gap currently remains at 17.6%, 10.2% for Office of the Auditor-General/Corporate Services Group and 18.9% for Audit New Zealand. The average gender pay gap in like-for-like roles is 1%. In different remuneration bands, the highest gender pay gap is 6% and the lowest is -3%. A negative gap indicates that female employees are paid more than male employees at the same position level.

Gender pay gap by position level

Gender pay gap by position level

The national accounting industry gender pay gap is 30%, according to a survey by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand at the end of 2022. Audit New Zealand’s gender pay gap is 18.9%. Our challenge continues to be in addressing vertical segregation (where there are more men than women in senior positions, and a higher number of women in administrative roles) and occupational drivers (where traditionally higher-paid roles are held by men).

Gender distribution by position level

Gender distribution by position level

We are currently re-shaping our diversity and inclusion programme to help ensure that we are creating an environment that is supportive and equitable for all employees across the whole employee life cycle. This work includes considering a gender lens through our recruitment processes, for example, more actively profiling the work that our female managers and directors do in Audit New Zealand to demonstrate that the pathway can be both aspirational and manageable for both genders. We are also collecting more information on our workforce to better understand and report on broader diversity indicators and any ethnicity pay gaps.

Although we are challenged by low turnover at senior levels in Audit New Zealand (4% turnover at Audit Director level), we continue to see an increase in women in senior roles across the organisation. In Audit New Zealand, the percentage of women in a manager or director role has lifted from 33% in 2019 to 46% in 2023.

We publish information about our staff numbers and staff diversity in the “About us | Our people” section of our website.