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Government and Local Government Jobs

About the Government and Local Government Sector in New Zealand

Local government promotes the well-being of local communities. Government officials are appointed by the public, but there are many branches of government that employ people internally to help with the formation and implementation of policies and processes.

There are 78 local authorities in New Zealand comprising 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities (unitary authorities, city and district councils).

 

Government workers sometimes meet with the public to get ideas for policy and services. As members of the government, they are representative of the wider population, so it’s important for them to be in close contact with the public.

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Government may be for you if you are interested in:

Politics, current events, and law

Writing, researching, analysing and evaluating information

Public speaking

Negotiating

Planning and organising.
 

Locations of Government Jobs

Local authorities vary considerably in size. At the previous Census (March 2013) the largest regional council was Environment Canterbury (population 539,433), the smallest was West Coast Regional (population 32,148).

 

The largest proportion of the Public Service workforce (42.7%) is located in the Wellington region which comprises both regional and head office based staff. The Beehive is also located in Wellington, which is responsible for this high concentration.

 

Other regions have 57.3% of the workforce, led by Auckland (20.4%), Canterbury (9.0%) and Waikato (8.0%). The regional distribution of Public Service employees has been relatively stable in recent years.

Within the state sector lies the state services, and within this lies the core public service.

The Composition of the Wider Public Sector

The public sector employed around 403,000 people (headcount) in 2018, 18% of New Zealand’s total workforce (2,238,000), as measured by Stats NZ’s Business Demography data. The majority (88%) work in the State sector (354,000) and 12% in local government (49,200).

Over the last five years, the overall public sector workforce increased by 8% (with the State sector up 7% and local government up 11%). This compares with a 16% growth in the private sector over the same period.

The sector composition of workforce varies amongst the regions.

Permanent and Fixed-Term Employment

At 30 June 2018, 92.5% of Public Service employees were on permanent employment contracts with the remaining 7.5% of employees on fixed- term contracts. 

 

There are a number of agencies with a high proportion of staff on fixed-term employment contracts, including: Pike River Recovery Agency (100%), Social Investment Agency (66.7%), Ministry for Culture and Heritage (27.3%), Ministry for Women (20%) and the Department of Conservation (18.9%). These are usually in response to short-term requirements as the result of emergencies or social pressures. 

 

Fixed-term employees are employed on a full-time or part-time basis for a specified period of a project or event. The proportion of fixed-term employees has remained stable over the last three years.

 

Public Service employees are engaged in a wide range of jobs spread across 252 different occupations in 2018.

 

The two largest groups are ‘Inspectors and Regulatory Officers’ and ‘Social, Health and Education Workers’ accounting for 39% of the Public Service workforce.

Broad Occupational Groups for Government Jobs

  • Inspectors and Regulatory Officers

  • Information Professionals

  • Managers

  • Contact Centre Workers

  • Social, Health, and Education Workers

  • Clerical and Administrative Workers

  • Policy Analyst

  • Legal, HR, and Finance Professionals

  • ICT Professionals and Technicians

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