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Annual Report 30 June 2013

Our organisational capability

We have implemented the change programme announced in May 2012. The changes have established a new business model that modernises the way MFAT operates and supports the deepening of expertise and specialist knowledge.

Implementing a new business model

We have established a Strategy and Governance Group to drive the strategic framework and development of strategic policy. This includes the whole-of-government NZ Inc country and regional strategy programme. A new Executive Services Division has centralised executive and ministerial services functions previously dispersed around MFAT. A Visits and Events Logistics Unit was also created to coordinate MFAT sponsored and assisted visits and events onshore and offshore.

In addition, internal reviews of corporate functions were completed in 2012/13, resulting in structural and operational changes to increase efficiency and effectiveness across our global networks and to align more closely with public sector best practice.

Our new business model has produced savings of $10 million in 2012/13, with further savings anticipated in out years.

Adapting our global footprint

We are operating more flexibly and adapting our global footprint to make the most of new opportunities. We have expanded our diplomatic footprint and strengthened our presence in Africa. We have also shifted resources from Europe to Asia to reflect new priorities.

Highlights include:

Leading NZ Inc coordination

We continued to lead NZ Inc cross-agency work, on and off shore, to develop and implement the NZ Inc country and regional strategies to strengthen our economic, political, and security relationships.

Engaging stakeholders

We need to understand the drivers and perspectives of New Zealand organisations and business, and work closely and collaboratively with other NZ Inc agencies, in order to achieve our vision of giving New Zealand an edge internationally.

In mid-2013, we invited selected businesses and government and non-government stakeholders to participate in a short pilot of NZ Inc research on international diplomacy and negotiations, with a view to understanding how well we engage, and how we could engage more effectively to improve our work overall. Overall satisfaction with MFAT service is at a high 91 percent of respondents.

Embedding culture and values

Our people are working together and engaging more effectively in our business. In April 2013, the Leaders' Meeting in Wellington brought together all our leaders from around the world. This saw leaders thinking collectively about MFAT's strategy, goals, and objectives.

Almost 80 percent of our staff participated in our recent engagement survey and overall engagement levels have lifted.

Building people capability

We have supported people capability by scoping management development needs, introducing coaching, establishing a quality panel of providers, developing our HR intranet resources, introducing talent management, and starting initial planning on career pathways.

We launched a new Foundations Programme for foreign policy staff. The aim of this programme is to develop foreign policy capability over the first two years of employment for entry-level staff within MFAT. Additional modules are progressively being developed and rolled out under this programme.

We introduced a comprehensive induction programme including resources for managers and new staff.

We developed a robust approach to reassignment and recruitment to ensure that MFAT maintains the skills and capability it requires now and in the future.

Equal Employment Opportunities

We place a strong emphasis on fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. In representing New Zealand it is important we have a strong internal culture that respects and reflects New Zealand's diversity.

We are committed to the principle and practice of equality. We base appointments on merit, while recognising the employment aspirations of Māori, Pacific people, ethnic and minority groups, women, and people with disabilities. We ensure fairness in employment for all persons and groups of persons.

Improving systems and processes

With the structural changes completed, the focus has been on improving systems and processes to support our new structure and ambitious work programme offshore. These improvements are anchored in changes to core business processes and practices, and the technologies that support them.

There are six priority projects underway:

We have focused on lifting our overall capability in the use of core systems and processes. Highlights include:

A new planning process has been introduced for the 2013/14 financial year that is expected to drive closer alignment between strategy and delivery and to encourage greater focus. We also began work on a performance measurement system, and updated our risk management framework to align with our outcomes and strategic priorities. We have also enhanced and redeveloped executive services' systems and tools.

Capital investment

Over the past 12 months our major capital projects have included the following.


At the direction of the Minister of Foreign Affairs the moratorium on all non-essential capital expenditure remains in place.

Significant capital expenditure projects completed in the last 12 months include:

Significant projects currently in progress include:
Measures and standards for monitoring organisational capability



Result 2012/13


Financial management

Financial management

No appropriations were exceeded

Ministry's appropriations not exceeded


Successful implementation of key change programmes

Eight projects under way with significant progress on Transfers, LES payroll, Finance (Phase 1) projects



Improve our staff engagement scores

Engaged 17.3%, ambivalent 61.8%, disengaged 20.9%

Engaged 14.4%, ambivalent 57.2%, disengaged 28.4%

Maintain our low sick leave

Sick leave: 5.24 days per person in the 12 months to 31 January 2013

Sick leave: 4.7 days per person in the 12 months to 31 January 2012

Maintain low turnover

Turnover: 10.59% unplanned turnover in the 12 months to 31 January 2013

Turnover: 10.49% unplanned turnover in the 12 months to 31 January 201233

Reduce our outstanding annual leave balances

Number of staff with annual leave balance over 30 days: 292 or 37% of staff (at 31 January 2013).

Number of staff with annual leave balance over 30 days: 284 or 33% of staff (at 31 January 2012)33


Reliability: maintain a high level of availability (>98%) of core systems


99.4% in the 12 months to 28 February 2012

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[33] Original SOI Baseline has been amended in line with the SSC methodology. This methodology will be adhered to in future.

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