About us

The principal purpose of the Commission is to provide advice to the Government on improving productivity in a way that is directed to supporting the overall well-being of New Zealanders, having regard to a wide range of communities of interest and population groups in New Zealand society.

Our work

The New Zealand Productivity Commission - Te Kōmihana Whai Hua o Aotearoa (the Commission that pursues abundance for New Zealand) - is an independent Crown Entity that began operating on 1 April 2011 after the

New Zealand Productivity Commission Act was passed in December 2010. Our core responsibilities are to:

Our work across these three areas is largely at what we call the ‘framework level’, considering whether laws, policies, regulations and institutions best support the wellbeing of New Zealanders. This is different to workplace or individual productivity, which given our name some assume (understandably, but incorrectly) is our focus. 

While the Commission is an independent body, its work programme is set by Ministers, with the Minister of Finance as our Responsible Minister. Find out more: read our 2020 Briefing to the incoming Minister, 2021 Letter of expectations from the Minister and 2019 Enduring letter of expectations to statutory Crown Entities.


Our vision

Productivity growth for maximum wellbeing.
Our vision reflects the fact that more wellbeing is better than less, as growing productivity creates more wellbeing options for New Zealanders, whether that be economic, social, environmental or cultural.

Our value

The Commission informs debate and makes recommendations that contribute to improved public policy with the aim of lifting productivity and the wellbeing of New Zealanders. To do this effectively, our policy advice must be both rigorous and trusted. Our value lies in our:

  • Independence - We are an independent research and advisory body. We do not run nor implement policies or programmes. We can test ideas and challenge the status quo in the interests of improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders.
  • Comprehensive engagement - Central to our impact and influence is our comprehensive public engagement process. Stakeholders can have a direct input in our inquiries and can influence our recommendations.
  • High-quality research and analysis - Our people have well-developed research and analytical skills, and the ability to undertake high-quality analysis and shape that into influential policy advice.

Our commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and Te ao Māori

The Commission is committed to being responsive to Māori and recognising the Treaty of Waitangi as New Zealand's founding document.

As a Crown agency, we acknowledge the status of Māori as tangata whenua – the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand – and as partners with the Crown in the Treaty of Waitangi. This acknowledgment includes:

  • Working to achieve the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi in our work programmes.
  • Engaging with Māori in a Treaty-based partnership by actively seeking Māori input into inquiry processes and so bringing a Māori perspective to our work.
  • Further developing and maintaining our capability to engage with Māori and to understand Māori perspectives as they may relate to our inquiry and research work.

To achieve these objectives we are focused on providing our team with the knowledge and skills to appreciate and understand the Treaty of Waitaingi, and Māori language, culture and protocols.