Our work considers whether laws, policies, regulations and institutions best support the wellbeing of New Zealanders. To help achieve our vision, our three core responsibilities are to:
- undertake in-depth inquiries on topics referred to us by the Government;
- carry out productivity-related research that assists improved productivity over time; and
- promote understanding of productivity issues.
Go to Our performance for more information about our work programme and performance.
The Government chooses inquiry topics to ensure our work is relevant, and that our advice pertains to issues the Government has an interest in addressing. The Treasury website contains information about the process of setting inquiry topics and government responses.
Once topics are set, we are required to act independently as we go about our work. Inquiries are big pieces of analysis, generally taking 12 months. The time allowed recognises the importance of engaging extensively with those with an interest in the topics, to ensure we are exposed to all points of view, get the best available information, understand different perspectives and test ideas.
Completed inquiries to date
- Urban planning
- New models of tertiary education
- Using land for housing (October 2015)
- More effective social services (September 2015)
- Regulatory institutions and practices (July 2014)
- Boosting productivity in the services sector (June 2014)
- Opportunities to improve regulatory performance in local government (May 2013)
- The impacts and benefits of further economic integration between Australia and New Zealand (November 2012)
- Housing affordability (April 2012)
- International freight transport services (April 2012)
Research on productivity issues
One of our core roles is to undertake research on productivity-related matters. We also work with other government agencies through the Productivity Hub, which we convene and chair. The Hub plays a coordination role which helps inform the research choices of each participating agency, and advance collaborative research projects.
Another of our core roles is to promote understanding of productivity-related matters. Like the research function, this is a broad, enabling role, and includes:
- our inquiries, with each inquiry being an opportunity to promote understanding of inquiry-specific productivity issues as well as the importance of productivity more generally;
- our research work; and
- our corporate communications - including our corporate documents, speeches, presentations and articles that share information and build understanding of our role and work.