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Boost productivityHelp achieve New Zealand's productivity potential by joining the Productivity Commission whānau.

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About us

What we do

The New Zealand Productivity Commission - Te Kōmihana Whai Hua o Aotearoa - is an independent Crown entity that provides evidence-based advice to the Government on improving productivity in a way that is directed to supporting the overall wellbeing of New Zealanders, having regard to a wide range of communities of interest and population groups.

We conduct in-depth inquiries on a diverse range of topics selected by the Government, carry out productivity-related research and promote better understanding of productivity issues.

In the coming years, our work will look beyond traditional measures of economic success, such as GDP, and have greater emphasis on intergenerational wellbeing outcomes. We will also be extending our engagement to interact with a wider range of New Zealanders and explore new communications activities to increase the impact of our work (as per our Letter of expectations).

Find out more about what we do:

Annual report  Statement of performance expectations Statement of intent

What is productivity?

Productivity is about getting more output for less input. How productive we are as a country impacts us all - how much we get paid, the quality of teaching for our children and the quality of healthcare available.

New Zealand’s productivity record is poor. Over time New Zealand’s productivity growth has been overtaken and outperformed by most countries in the OECD and it has now fallen to a below average position. No initiatives have had the cut-through to lift New Zealand’s productivity. Working more hours and putting more people into work continues to be the main way that GDP has grown.

The Commission’s work focuses on identifying the drivers of, and the barriers to, improved productivity. Our inquiries put forward detailed policy recommendations to the Government to improve productivity performance in specific areas. Our work has been influential on many fronts.

For more on productivity, read Productivity by the numbers.

Why work with us?

  • We look at the big picture to influence high-level decisions about the economy.
  • We engage with a diverse range of people, groups and communities across Aotearoa to make sure we understand the issues.
  • We are known for our rigorous quantitative and qualitative analysis.
  • Our independence enables us to work across government agencies and policy portfolios to give advice on difficult and often politically sensitive topics.
  • Our inquiries are diverse and often topical, addressing the big opportunities and challenges facing Aotearoa.
  • Our work contributes to significant policy reform that leads to improved economic, social and environmental outcomes for all New Zealanders.

What we can offer you

  • We offer a friendly and intellectually stimulating workplace, working with some of the top economists in New Zealand.
  • We are passionate about the work that we do.
  • We value and embrace differences and diverse ways of thinking and being.
  • We support staff to develop to their full potential eg, via study assistance, secondments, training courses and mentoring.
  • We aim to increase staff knowledge and appreciation of Te Ao Māori eg, via Te Reo courses and our kapa haka group.
  • We care for your wellbeing, offering flexible working arrangements and a range of wellbeing support eg, vision care, flu injections and an employee assistance programme.
  • We are committed to becoming an equal opportunities employer who knows equity, diversity and inclusion lead to stronger organisational performance.

The ProdCom way

Ambitious – Like our Māori name says, whai hua, we pursue abundance. We are passionate about a better standard of living for New Zealanders and will strive to maximise our impact. We build others’ awareness of how productivity supports their ambitions and aspirations.

Productive – We produce great work that is evidence-based, robust, workable and well-communicated. We practice what we preach by being innovative, prioritising and spending no more than needed to do our job well. To add more value in the future, we keep lifting the analytical bar and stretching our own skills.

Real-world – To help our work be relevant and credible, we get out-and-about to understand views and impacts of our work. Our door is always open. Message is only as good as delivery so we talk to people in their language. An international outlooks helps us learn the best from others.

Supportive – Lifting productivity is a team game. Internally, we share knowledge, and value and support each other. Our work informs and supports others, so we understand their needs and how best to meet them.

Even-handed – Impartiality and integrity are the backbone of our success. We work in a principled and robust way, using fair and open processes to understand issues and different views. Respectful of others, we play the issue and not the player. We are influenced by argument, not association.

Our commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and Te Ao Māori

The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand's founding document and the Commission is committed to upholding the mana of the Treaty and its principles. 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 as relevant in our work.
  • 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 work.

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

What staff say

Jenesa Jeram

Senior Advisor
Why did you choose to join ProdCom?

I’ve been a fan of ProdCom’s work since I started my career: there’s a real art to producing quality analysis that the general public can understand and find compelling.

Jenesa Jeram

Senior Advisor

Why did you choose to join ProdCom?

I’ve been a fan of ProdCom’s work since I started my career: there’s a real art to producing quality analysis that the general public can understand and find compelling. I chose ProdCom because I wanted to work for an organisation that values quality work and public understanding.

What do you like most about working at ProdCom?

I’m interested in doing deep work on issues that matter, and ProdCom is perfect for that style of work.

Ben Temple

Principal Advisor
How would you describe the ProdCom culture?

Really open and inquisitive. I would almost say academic, but there is urgency to most of the issues we are tackling, so every task needs to have a genuine ‘real-world’ action in mind.

Ben Temple

Principal Advisor

How would you describe the ProdCom culture?

Really open and inquisitive. I would almost say academic, but there is urgency to most of the issues we are tackling, so every task needs to have a genuine ‘real-world’ action in mind.

Why work on improving productivity?

Improving overall productivity is one of the best anti-poverty measures around. You can imagine any problem in the world, and productivity – true productivity – will make solving that problem easier. It isn’t everything, since it doesn’t guarantee happiness and it doesn’t improve lives equally, but it makes a massive difference to livelihoods, especially over long timeframes.

What kinds of problems do you work on?

Complex ones! Typically we get topics that may be well covered internationally, but which don’t always map well onto Aotearoa’s particular circumstances. Sometimes this is because of real differences like geography (size and distance from other countries) and unique colonial history. In other cases, New Zealanders have been convinced that we are different, yet there are still overseas experiences and insights that suggest a possible solution regardless. Can we invite and attract immigration in a way that works for everyone? Can we better prepare young people and better enable mid- and late-career workers for a rapidly changing economy? Which regulations or public services are helping us and which ones are inadvertently stopping us from trying things differently?

Geoff Simmons

Principal Advisor
Why did you choose to join ProdCom?

The independence is a real drawcard. It means we have the freedom to look at what works, and tackle some of the tough issues that are holding us back as a country.

Geoff Simmons

Principal Advisor

Why did you choose to join ProdCom?

The independence is a real drawcard. It means we have the freedom to look at what works, and tackle some of the tough issues that are holding us back as a country.

What’s it like working at ProdCom?

The Commission has smart people working on interesting issues. There is plenty of variety in the job, but also enough time to do a deep dive into issues. It’s a great balance.

Hilary Devine

Principal Advisor
Why did you choose to join ProdCom?

We look at some of the most interesting and topical issues facing the economy and New Zealanders. 

Hilary Devine

Principal Advisor

Why did you choose to join ProdCom?

We look at some of the most interesting and topical issues facing the economy and New Zealanders. 

What’s it like working at ProdCom?

ProdCom is flexible workplace with a small-dedicated team of people.  We have the opportunity with our research to look in-depth at issues, to find out what’s going on and how we can do better.