Key people metrics and core capacity

Over the past four years our percentage of policy staff has continued to rise, from 51 percent in 2010/11 to 66 percent in 2013/14. This reflects the effort we are putting into increasing our policy capability, while doing more with the resources we have.

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As at 30 June 2013/14 2012/13 2011/12 2010/11

Number of employees

Policy development 102 91 89 82
Management 18 20 21 22
Administration 34 34 36 56
Total headcount 154 145 146 160


10% 15% 15% 18%


Women 47% 49% 53% 58%
Men 53% 51% 47% 42%

Ethnicity distribution

NZ European 66% 72% 73% 67%
NZ Maori 5% 5% 1% 2%
Pacific peoples 1% 1% 3% 3%
Asian 8% 8% 6% 7%
Other European 13% 7% 14% 18%
Other ethnic groups 3% 5% 3% 3%
Undeclared 4% 2% 0% 0%

Sick leave taken – average days for each employee

5 5 5 7

Age distribution (permanent staff)

20 – 29 22% 19% 23% 19%
30 – 39 17% 20% 22% 21%
40 – 49 28% 31% 27% 33%
50 – 59 23% 20% 16% 15%
60+ 10% 10% 12% 12%

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Equal employment opportunities

The Ministry is committed to inclusive work practices and culture. As a member of the New Zealand public service, the Ministry bases appointments on merit, while recognising the employment aspirations of Maori, ethnic and minority groups, women, and people with disabilities.


Cost-effectiveness is a measure of how well an organisation uses its inputs to achieve its desired outcomes. For policy agencies, such as the Ministry, demonstrating cost-effectiveness remains a challenge as it is difficult to establish the causal relationship between our outputs and progress towards our outcomes. Outcomes in the transport sector are frequently impacted by the actions of numerous organisations and individuals.

The Ministry is constrained in its ability to affect transport outcomes in a number of ways. Firstly, the Ministry is only one player in a very large transport system. The Ministry is responsible for approximately $30 million of transport expenditure a year, out of total government transport expenditure of around $3 billion a year. Secondly, while the Ministry has an important policy advice role, it does not have service delivery levers with which it can influence transport outcomes. Finally, the Ministry does not have complete control over the work it undertakes. The choices of the government of the day rightly have a significant influence on our annual work programme.

For the Ministry, the question that we must be able to answer is, ‘Are we doing the best job that we can with the resources available to us?’ To answer this question, the Ministry focuses on:

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Input management

Staff time, along with their skills, experience and knowledge, is the Ministry’s main resource. We need our staff to value their time and get the most from every hour. To support this approach, we apply project management disciplines to our policy projects. We establish project timeframes and identify milestones against which we can manage projects to ensure they do not consume more resource than is needed.

Quality management

We manage the quality of our work through our quality of policy advice standards. Each year we have a sample of our policy advice papers independently audited by the NZIER. This audit not only provides us with an independent view on the quality of our advice and areas that we could focus on for improvement, it also enables us to see how the quality of our advice compares with other government agencies. We also carry out continuous self assessment of our quality to further establish a culture of delivering excellent advice.

In addition to these audits, we assess the quality of our advice using the following measures:

  • 90 percent of regulatory impact statements are assessed as ‘meets’ or ‘partially meets’ the required standards
  • 75 percent of policy advice briefings are accepted first time by the Minister.

Work programme management

Our annual output plan is a statement of the results that the Minister wants from the Ministry. We manage the Ministry as a single resource to deliver on the whole output plan, and record the actual percentage delivered in our annual reports.

Delivering on the individual projects in the output plan enables the Ministry to achieve its intended impacts and, through them, make our contribution to the intermediate and long-term outcomes. Our intervention logic sets out the links between our outputs, impacts, intermediate and long-term outcomes.

Outcomes management

The Ministry monitors the progress that the whole of the transport sector is making towards the identified outcomes. While our impacts contribute to this, it is not always clear whether the Ministry’s contribution can be singled out from other factors and, even if this analysis was possible, it is likely to be too costly to undertake. We use our outcome indicators to focus on the overall progress being made, and use a range of mechanisms to identify opportunities for us to make further contributions where needed.

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Key Ministry performance management measures 2013/14

The key performance management measures that the Ministry established for 2013/14 are set out in the table below, along with our 2012/13 performance against those measures, where available.

Input management

2013/14 result 2012/13 result
Percentage of policy projects managed within timeframes and allocated resources 150% 75%
Percentage of policy project milestones delivered each quarter 78% 63%
Percentage of staff time allocated to the Minister’s priority projects 30% 27%

Quality management

90% of regulatory impact statements are assessed as ‘meets’ or ‘partially meets’ the required standards 93% 100%
75% of policy advice briefings are accepted first time by the Minister 76% 85%
Total cost of an hour of professional staff time devoted to policy advice and other policy unit outputs $157 New measure
2Total cost of an hour of professional staff time devoted to policy advice and other policy unit outputs (updated) $175 New measure
New Zealand Institute of Economic Research’s audit of policy advice papers assesses average score for papers as 7.5 or better Mean score of 7.4 Mean score of 7.3

Work programme management

95% or more of output plan delivered as agreed with the Minister 385% 96%
95% or more of Ministry impacts achieved through delivering underpinning projects 100% 100%

Outcomes management

Results of transport sector progress on intermediate and long-term outcomes published at least annually Published annually in the Ministry of Transport annual report. Refer to the progress towards outcomes and Statement of objectives Published annually in the Ministry of Transport annual report
Ministry reviews outcome indicators that show less progress is being made and considers whether further Ministry action is needed 4Achieved Not achieved

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1 Policy work is fluid and difficult to accurately forecast. This figure shows that 50 percent of our projects were delivered within our 25 percent tolerance for resource use and timeframes. New project management tools and training, delivered towards the end of 2013/14, should ensure that our performance improves during 2014/15.

2 The total cost per output hour formula has recently been updated by Treasury to better align it with their amended definition of policy advice costs. Performance measures calculated using both the original and updated formulae have been provided to help readers understand how this change has affected the assessment of performance.

3 Output plan milestones are often subject to external influences that delay their delivery. The Ministry needs to ensure that in future milestones are expressed as matters within our control. New project management tools and training, delivered towards the end of 2013/14, should ensure we better express milestones and therefore improve performance during 2014/15.

4 The Ministry monitors outcome indicators as the data is produced. Where necessary, changes in trends are escalated for review. This has not been required in 2013/14.