Boosting services sector productivity

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New Zealanders deal with services daily, whether they are banking, going online, dining out, or buying and selling a home. As well as accounting for over 70% of New Zealand’s GDP, the services sector is a key enabler of productivity for other sectors through the supply of technical, logistical and other business services. Over 70% of jobs and businesses are in services, ranging from tourism and travel, accountancy, law and ICT, to scientific and technical services.

Given the size, breadth and significance of the sector, improving the productivity of services can have positive effects for the whole economy and for the wellbeing of New Zealanders. The Government has asked the Productivity Commission to investigate ways to lift the productivity of the services sector.

The inquiry will consist of two phases. The first phase will produce a high level overview of the services sector, its characteristics and productivity performance. Building on these insights, the second phase will conduct in-depth assessments and develop policy recommendations for a small number of key issues or services areas that have the potential for the biggest productivity gains.

The Commission will shortly be asking for public views to contribute to the future development of this important part of the economy.

Read the full Terms of Reference. See the Treasury website for information about the process of setting inquiry topics and government responses.

Key inquiry dates

Terms of reference issued: March 2013

Final report to government: 28 April 2014 (revised in July 2013 from original final report date of 28 February 2014) 

Inquiry contacts

For further information about the inquiry please contact:

Administrative matters

T: (04) 903 5150


Other matters: Geoff Lewis, Inquiry Director

T: (04) 903 5157