Our resources

The Auditor-General's strategic intentions to 2028.

Base layerThe base of our performance framework shows what functions and operations we must manage well to be able to deliver our services and achieve our long-term outcomes.

Base layer of the triangle

Our independence and reputation

Our independence and strong mandate that underpin all our work and activities

Why this is important to us

Protecting our independence (both real and perceived) allows us to carry out and report on our work without any perception of bias or constraint. Our independence and reputation are critical to maintaining the trust and confidence that Parliament and the public have in our work. This is important for maintaining our position as one of the pillars in New Zealand's national integrity system.1

What we will do

Managing our independence and reputation is an ongoing focus. To support the implementation of our strategic intentions, we will review our strategic risks and ensure that they reflect the risks arising from each of our strategic priorities.

We will improve the technology that supports our independence declarations and monitoring processes to make it easier to manage.

We will also continue to:

  • actively monitor and manage potential conflicts of interest for our staff and for the audit service providers appointed to carry out audits on behalf of the Auditor-General;
  • actively manage and mitigate the risks to our independence and reputation included in our strategic risk register;
  • uphold the organisation's policies and standards on independence and conflicts of interest; and
  • improve our own integrity practices, including developing integrity resources for staff, refining processes, and developing an integrity measurement framework to track progress.

Our people

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

Why this is important to us

A positive culture with strong staff engagement helps our people to work at their best. The reputation of the organisation relies on our ability to attract and retain capable, committed, and highly skilled staff.

What we will do

In 2023/24 we will refresh our People Strategy. Our People Strategy outlines our key priorities for recruiting, retaining, and investing in our people, and creating a positive organisational culture. Refreshing our People Strategy will support our strategic priorities and help maintain our overall organisational health.

We will continue to recruit for highly skilled candidates both domestically and internationally – including through secondments from other audit offices – to ensure that we are able to deliver our core audit work. We will also continue our work on Audit New Zealand's retention strategy and its implementation, including considering the processes, approach, and offerings used to increase employee engagement throughout their employee lifecycle.

We will ensure that our remuneration, terms of employment, and work environment remain attractive and competitive, taking into account market and retention drivers. We will also make changes to address gender pay gaps arising from vertical segregation (where there are more men than women in senior positions) and occupational drivers (where traditionally higher-paid roles are held by men).

In 2021/22 we successfully rolled out our new competency framework. Our next step is to ensure that it is embedded across the organisation and considered throughout the employee lifecycle. We will also enhance the framework to include competencies in te ao Māori tailored to roles where appropriate.

We will continue to develop our people, both in core capabilities and in leadership and management skills. We will continue to improve our learning and development plan to ensure that it aligns with our strategic intentions and to ensure that our strategic priorities are supported by targeted capability building.

Our knowledge, information, and methods

Our collective knowledge and expertise about the public sector, and the processes we use to do our work

Why this is important to us

We have invested in modernising our technology environment since 2019 to ensure that it can meet service demand and complexity – and continue to do so in the future. We are continuing to invest in digital security to protect against cyber-attacks and to continue to ensure that our systems are secure, resilient, and fit for purpose. We have also been investing in increased data and analytics capability to better use the information that we hold to support our work planning and core services with more targeted insights.

We want to make sure that our staff are equipped to do their jobs by providing them with a modern work environment and the tools they need. We also want our staff to be empowered to use data to support their decision-making and advice.

What we will do

We will continue to implement our Information Systems Strategic Plan to modernise our technology environment to enable the transformation of our data, information, and knowledge capabilities and services.

This includes:

  • modernising all key services by replacing them with Cloud-based technologies to ensure that they remain secure, resilient, and fit for purpose;
  • implementing a replacement system to enable better management and monitoring of the audit portfolio;
  • implementing new systems to support Audit New Zealand to increase the resilience, effectiveness, and efficiency of the audit process (including completing the planned deployment of new audit software);
  • deploying a new analytical data platform that includes modern data governance and analytic technologies to better leverage and govern our data, information, and knowledge, as well as changing the management of core system data to both improve its accessibility and usability and to support analytical work and insight generation;
  • using new document management services to increase the accessibility and collaboration in document creation and use; and
  • modernising our financial and human resources systems.

We will refresh our data strategy, which will include further developing our data and analytics approach. We will also develop a modern and integrated central repository of our data, information, and knowledge to support analytical work. Modern analytical tools, strong data management, and governance will enable better and more targeted insights.

Our approach will incorporate data governance principles and ensure that the data, information, and knowledge we hold is more visible, transparent, and accessible to staff, Parliament, and the public. Building channels for better interaction and investing in data literacy capabilities will mean we will be more responsive to the evolving needs of Parliamentary scrutiny and public accountability.

We will also review and improve our processes to support achievement of our strategic priorities, including:

  • enhancing our audit quality management processes;
  • developing new systems and processes that manage audit capacity and delivery;
  • refining our integrity processes; and
  • adapting our working practices to enable effective engagement with iwi, hapū, and whānau Māori.

Our relationships

Why this is important to us

Our mutually productive and respectful relationships with all our stakeholders

We are not the only organisation seeking a high-performing and accountable public sector – others carry out work that directly or indirectly supports these outcomes. Managing our relationships with these stakeholders is important to our ability to influence the public sector, to make a positive difference for New Zealanders, and to contribute to Parliament's and New Zealanders' trust and confidence in the public sector.

Understanding what Parliament and our other stakeholders care about and the risks they are identifying and managing can help inform our work. It also allows us to target our work with public organisations and shape how we communicate to influence improvements.

Our relationships with the Pacific also influence the work we do. As Secretary-General of the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI) and as Auditor-General of Niue and Tokelau, our Office plays an active role in the Pacific region to support good governance of public sector resources. We also have strong relationships outside of the Pacific region and are an active member of the international auditing community.

What we will do

In 2023/24, we will develop our Communications, Engagement, and Relationships Strategy to support our strategic intentions.

The Communications, Engagement, and Relationships Strategy will set out:

  • what and how we will communicate to inform different audiences;
  • the sorts of engagement we need to carry out (for the work that needs to involve others); and
  • the relationships we need to manage well for the individuals or agencies that we need to include.

We will continue to build meaningful relationships with Māori and we will establish an external rōpū Māori to advise and guide us.

We will also continue to actively seek feedback about our work and where we should focus, including seeking input from the public on our annual work programme planning.

We will continue to support Parliament in holding public organisations to account through maintaining our strong relationships with the Speaker of the House of Representatives and with select committee chairpersons and members.

We will continue to support the sharing of good practice, including through chairing our audit and risk committee chairperson forums and good practice seminars.

Internationally, we will continue strengthening our relationships with Supreme Audit Institutions in the Pacific and support them to build their capability and capacity.

Through the Auditor-General's role as Auditor-General of Niue and Tokelau, we will support these nations to bring their annual reporting and audits up to date and to maintain timely annual reporting. We will also work with them to make system and process improvements to improve transparency and accountability.

We will continue to build our relationships with Supreme Audit Institutions outside of the Pacific region where there is mutual benefit to do so.

We will support our people to deliver on this work with tools and training where needed.

Our financial and physical resources

Our use of financial and physical resources to support our work

Why this is important to us

We are mostly funded through audit fees that are collected directly from the public organisations that we audit. We also receive Crown funding for other aspects of our work, such as undertaking performance audits and inquiries, advising select committees, and reporting to Parliament and the public on the results of annual audits.

Covid-19 has significantly affected the fee-funded functions of our Office, particularly Audit New Zealand. This, along with planned investment in essential technology upgrades, remuneration increases to support recruitment and retention of skilled staff, and other initiatives to support further enhancements to audit quality and efficiency, has led to forecast deficits in the Audit and Assurance Services memorandum account in 2023/24 and beyond.

In 2022/23, we completed a review of Audit New Zealand, looking at opportunities to improve the sustainability of its operating model and maximise the benefits of our investment in new technology for audit delivery and practice management.

What we will do

To manage our forecast deficits, we will continue to maintain tight financial controls and carefully monitor spending.

We will seek to increase audit fees (and additional fee recoveries), where appropriate, to cover current operating costs and future investment requirements. We will do this as contracts are reviewed and audit fees are renegotiated.

We will invest in our organisation to support the delivery of our strategic priorities, including by increasing capacity where needed and implementing new tools.

We will continue to manage our physical assets and ensure that our employees have the necessary hardware and equipment to carry out their work remotely or from one of our offices.

Our use of natural resources

Our use of natural resources and managing the environmental impact of our activities

Why this is important to us

Public organisations need to use their resources wisely, including the natural resources they consume, and minimise their impact on the environment.

In 2021/22, we benchmarked our greenhouse gas emissions using the 2018/19 year (pre-Covid-19) as our baseline and began reporting our results. Our reporting does not yet cover all emission sources, such as the emissions incurred by our employees by commuting to and from work.

What we will do

We will report our emissions annually. We will expand our reporting on emissions to cover more data sources and more accurately measure our carbon footprint.

We will continue to look for opportunities to reduce or mitigate the environmental impact of our activities and will develop an emissions reduction plan. This plan will include targets to reduce our emissions by 2025 and 2030. It will also outline emissions sources we intend to review to reduce our emissions, such as travel and the energy efficiency of our property portfolio.

1: See "Impact through independence – Supreme Audit Institutions", at www.transparency.org.nz.