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The EY New Zealand Productivity Pulse - Government - EY - New Zealand

The EY New Zealand Productivity Pulse


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Workers put industrial relations policy and immigration at the bottom of the list

There is strong agreement among all groups that the Government is a key partner in lifting the nation’s productivity, with only 21 % of all workers disagreeing.

The Pulse respondents see the government’s most important roles as:

  • Reducing red tape and the regulatory burden and the cost of doing business
  • Implementing infrastructure projects to enable more efficient and effective supply chains, people and information and to promote economic development

They place refining industrial relations policies second to last on a long list, before immigration.

Senior public servants report slightly lower productivity levels

While overall productivity levels of workers in the public and private sectors are similar, a picture emerges from The Pulse of managers and professionals in the public sector being somewhat less productive than their private sector counterparts. Seventy percent of public sector professionals reported feeling productive overall, compared to 78% in the private sector.

However, these overall results mask a more complex picture. While public sector managers and professionals are less productive, community and personal service workers and labourers are significantly more productive than their peers in the private sector. These groups also report higher skill utilisation than peers in the private sector.

While both sectors score well on productivity, reasons as to why the more senior groups of public servants feel somewhat less so are complex. More public servants strongly agree they are motivated to do the best at their jobs, and applaud their employer for providing satisfying work, work/life balance and salaries. However The Pulse reveals they are less happy about job security. Certainly, public sector employees overall reported being less satisfied with their current work situation then counterparts in the private sector. Lack of security and satisfaction drag down productivity. Thirty-five percent of public sector respondents say they are planning to leave their organisations in the next 12 months, compared to 29 % of private sector respondents.

The notable exception is community and personal service workers who work in the public sector – this group is the most satisfied across all employee roles and is also among the country’s most productive groups.




  • Braden Dickson
    New Zealand Performance Improvement Leader
    Tel: +64 9 308 1064
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