Strategic direction

Last updated: 7 August 2014

The strategic direction of the State Services Commission is defined in the Commission's Statement of Intent 2014-2018.

SSC's purpose is "leading a State sector New Zealand is proud of".

The outcome statement we share with our central agency partners, the Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, defines a State sector New Zealand can be proud of as "a higher performing State sector that New Zealanders trust, delivering outstanding results and value for money".

Realising this vision will require system-wide change to lift the performance of the State services. Leading this change is not something SSC can do alone. As well as working with our central agency partners, functional leads and heads of profession, we are working with chief executives across the State services to provide collective leadership to system reform.

Our role at the centre of the State services is to step up the pace of progress and work with leaders across the system to change the way agencies think, organise and operate, to make a bigger difference for New Zealanders.

Over the next four years, SSC will be focusing its effort in three portfolios; each of which represents a co-ordinated set of services and interventions to lead system change:

  • System stewardship - SSC will ensure system governance and leadership are aligned and focused on developing strong and trusted public institutions that deliver results for present and future New Zealanders. People and resources will be deployed where they are needed most and will have the greatest impact.
  • Collective impact - SSC will establish the right incentives and support for State services leaders to work collaboratively to deliver shared results; ensure that common functions are managed collectively where there are gains from doing so; and system design supports the delivery of common results
  • Learning culture - SSC will support agencies to design and deliver policy and services from a customer perspective; make better use of information for maximum impact; and ensure learnings from successes and failures are shared widely and used to drive innovation and continuous improvement.

These three strategic portfolios will provide the framework for everything SSC does to lift system performance. A fourth portfolio, better every day SSC, represents the key initiatives SSC will be taking within the organisation to implement an operating model that supports delivery of business strategy.

SSC is funded through one multiclass appropriation covering State services policy advice and management of the public management system.




Success for SSC in 2018 will be a State services that:

  • works as a collective system in its thinking, operation, governance and organisation
  • is led by a collective leadership team of chief executives focused on system reform for a better New Zealand
  • focuses people and resources where they will have greatest impact on shared results
  • designs and delivers policy and services with and for the people who use them
  • innovates, takes informed risks and applies a continuous improvement approach
  • has capability and resilience to meet today's tasks and flexibly adapt to the challenges and opportunities of the future
  • is highly capable in the use of technology to provide better services and increase efficiency
  • drives improvement by transparently measuring and reporting on performance.