Government achieves more ethnic diversity, more women on public sector boards

Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Pacific Peoples Women

The Government has achieved its target of 50 percent women on public sector boards and committees, Minister for Women Jan Tinetti, Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, and Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities, Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced today.

“Our success in hitting our target for 50% women on public sector boards shows that this Government is building the foundations of a better future,” Jan Tinetti said.

Public sector boards are now made up of 50.9 percent women, up from 45.7 percent in 2017.

“More diverse boards make better quality decisions – and better representation of our diverse communities will be critical in securing our recovery from COVID-19 for all New Zealanders,” Jan Tinetti said.

This is the second year the Stocktake of Gender, Māori, Pacific and Ethnic Diversity on public sector boards and committees measured ethnicity data – now received for 98.6 percent of board members.

The report found:

  • 71.4 percent of board members are New Zealand European (down from 71.6 percent in 2019)
  • 22.3 percent are Māori (up from 21.1 percent last year),
  • 5.4 percent are Pacific peoples (up from 4.6 percent last year)
  • 4 percent are Asian (up from 3.6 percent last year)
  • 0.8 percent are Middle Eastern, Latin American or African (up from 0.6 percent last year).

Wāhine Māori currently hold 12.2 percent of public sector board roles.

“We can see there are considerable gaps in representation for our Pacific, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American, and African communities, and that there’s more work to do,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.

It is vital that the Boards of today reflect the communities they serve. Just as our communities are multi-cultural, and come from many walks of life, we must gain the same varied perspective on our boards to ensure that diversity is achieved,” Aupito William Sio said.

“Now that we have met our initial target, Minister Sio, Minister Radhakrishnan and I are working together to build on our progress, and to increase ethnic diversity across all public sector boards and committees,” Jan Tinetti said.

“We are also working on how data can be collected on representation for the disability community to further increase diversity of our public sector boards.

“I invite women who are interested in serving on boards to join the Ministry for Women’s nominations database. We are always looking for more women to develop and proactively nominate for board roles,” Jan Tinetti said.