Code of Conduct for employees, contractors and consultants

MBIE staff, contractors and consultants are bound by the standards outlined in the MBIE Code of Conduct (the Code).

The Code focuses on acting fairly, impartially, responsibly and in a trustworthy manner, all of which are key to our work as public servants.

The Code aligns with relevant employment agreements, legislation, other internal policies and Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission’s Standards of Integrity and Conduct:

Integrity and conduct(external link) — Public Service Commission, Te Kawa Mataaho

Who the code applies to 

The Code applies to (and creates enforceable obligations on the part of) all MBIE employees, including managers, people working on a full time, part time or temporary or casual basis and covers locally engaged employees working offshore. It should be read in conjunction with employment agreements and MBIE’s policies and procedures.

The Code also applies to MBIE’s consultants and contractors and will form part of those contractual arrangements to the extent specified in the contract between that person/company and MBIE.

Breaches of the code 

Breaches of the Code may, following investigation, result in disciplinary action, up to and including a first formal warning; a final warning or dismissal either with or without notice.

If you have any questions about this Code or what might be considered unacceptable behaviour under the Code or before you take a course of action that you are not entirely sure complies with the Code, please discuss these with your manager. If you are aware of behaviour occurring within MBIE that could contravene the Code, you must also raise this with your manager or another appropriate person.

As a state servant you are also expected to read, understand and adhere to:

Integrity and conduct(external link) — Public Service Commission, Te Kawa Mataaho

Specific Code of Conduct requirements

The following requirements are not an exhaustive list. Breaches of these requirements may amount to misconduct or serious misconduct depending on the nature and severity of a breach.

Being fair

We strive to make a positive difference to the well-being of New Zealand and all New Zealanders:

  • You will undertake the duties of your position diligently and to a satisfactory standard to help MBIE meet its purpose.

We work to make our services accessible, efficient and effective for all:

  • You will not access or use MBIE information and systems for your personal gain, curiosity, or interest or for the unauthorised gain, curiosity, or interest of another person.

We respect the backgrounds, differences and perspectives of all those with whom we work and serve:

  • You will refrain from physical, verbal, written or psychological violence or bullying of any kind, racial or sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination.
  • You will value and support the contribution of all colleagues.
  • You will treat our customers and other people you have dealings with in your role with courtesy and respect.

We share our knowledge, experience and information to help others to be successful:

  • You will work constructively and positively with your colleagues.

We act in the public interest and with a spirit of service to the community:

  • You will share relevant knowledge and information with your colleagues to achieve MBIE’s objectives and goals.
  • You will contribute to a healthy and safe workplace.

Being impartial

We respect the authority of current and future governments:

  • You will be politically neutral in all of your dealings in the workplace, irrespective of what your personal views may be.
  • You can be a member of a political party however you will not reveal advice given to the Government and you will abide by your duty of confidentiality to MBIE.

We accept that our official responsibilities may affect the ways we engage in activities outside of work:

  • You will not publicaly criticise or comment in a personal capacity on policies with which you have been professionally involved or associated.
  • You will make it clear to others when you are commenting as a private individual.
  • You may communicate privately with a Minister or MP about matters outside of your role at MBIE, but if you are in a senior position or work closely with Ministers, you should exercise particular care in doing so.
  • If you wish to communicate directly with Ministers and MPs in your personal capacity about matters concerning MBIE you will first raise the matter with the Chief Executive.
  • You will not participate in a political event that advertises your official capacity within MBIE.
  • You will not approach a Minister or MP about an employment relationship problem. The process for addressing such issues is outlined in your employment agreement.
  • We maintain the political neutrality required to enable us to work constructively with current and future governments:
  • You will provide full, frank and impartial advice to the Government if required in the course of your duties.
  • You will ensure that your contribution to any public debate or discussion on policy matters maintains the discretion and neutrality appropriate to your position.
  • If approached directly by an MP, you will ensure that any such dealings are addressed and seen to be addressed impartially.

We are inclusive, respectful and responsive in our dealings with all people regardless of their position, personal characteristics or situation:

  • You will not unlawfully discriminate against any person.
  • You will work collaboratively with your colleagues and external stakeholders.

We carry out MBIE’s functions and provide impartial, robust and comprehensive advice and delivery of service that is unaffected by personal interest, values, beliefs and/or political bias:

  • If you are in a position where you are required to give advice to the Government you have a responsibility to provide such advice honestly, impartially and in a full and frank manner, drawing attention to the possible consequences of policies or proposals.

We act professionally at work and in our dealings with those with whom we work and serve:

  • If you find that your personal views or beliefs on an issue are in conflict with the Government to an extent that you cannot perform your duties in a politically neutral way, you will immediately raise this with your manager.
  • You will not make a personal attack on any person.
  • You will follow all lawful and reasonable instructions.

Being responsible

We strive to improve MBIE’s performance and efficiency:

  • You will familiarise yourself with and adhere to all relevant MBIE policies, procedures and practices.

We are mindful that MBIE’s resources are publicaly owned and funded and we will act responsibly in our use and management of them:

  • You will not use MBIE’s systems to access, download, store or send any pirated or unlawful software, images, offensive or otherwise inappropriate material.
  • You will not use MBIE’s work phones, vehicles, internet or email inappropriately or excessively. This includes your use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and websites such as Trade me. If you have questions about what is inappropriate or excessive use, please refer to the relevant policy or speak to your manager.
  • You will not possess or access objectionable, offensive or pornographic material at work or while using MBIE’s facilities.
  • You will not use MBIE’s networks to stream video or audio for personal use.

We are professional and objective in our language, actions and interactions:

  • You will not be present at work in an unfit state, for example being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicants. 
  • You will maintain standards of behaviour, language and dress that are appropriate to the workplace and that uphold a positive image of MBIE. 
  • When posting online (for example on Facebook or Twitter) you will not say anything that will bring MBIE into disrepute or compromise your ability to do your job.

We listen to and provide feedback openly, reconsider the ways ‘we have always done it’ and where appropriate suggest new ways of doing things:

  • You will act in good faith.
  • You will maintain open communication and share information.

We act lawfully:

  • You will obey the law of the country in which you are working.
  • You will disclose past criminal convictions not covered by the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 or any other convictions that you are legally required to disclose.
  • You will disclose new convictions and/or pending criminal charges.
  • You will not unlawfully take abuse or misuse MBIE’s property.

We treat information with care, and use and disclose it only for its intended purpose:

  • You will maintain confidentiality in relation to work matters at all times, including after your employment has ended.
  • You will not use MBIE’s assets (which include property, systems, equipment, funds and
    information) for personal gain or for the personal gain of another person.
  • You will not use MBIE’s systems to access information on individuals or organisations where you have no business reason to access the information (this includes family, friends, acquaintances and people in the public eye).
  • You will not pass on or sell MBIE information or information held by MBIE to a third party, for example to a family member or a collection agency, or share information about a tender process with a company participating in that process.
  • You will not store or use MBIE information on unapproved ICT systems or services such as personal email accounts and cloud web services.

Being trustworthy

We work to the best of our ability at all times:

  • You will carry out your duties efficiently and use your skills and resources to the best of your ability and be present at and available for work as required.
  • You will perform your role in line with the performance and behaviour expectations set by your manager
  • You will not ask for, accept or offer a gift, bribe, benefit, payment or other favour in return for the provision of MBIE’s services, unless specifically permitted to do so by MBIE’s policies.

We ensure our actions are not affected by our personal interests or relationships:

  • You will not access or work on matters for your family, friends or acquaintances, nor provide them with unauthorised advice or assistance.
  • If you feel that a personal relationship means that you cannot be objective in the performance of your duties, you will raise the matter with your manager immediately.

We undertake personal and professional development to improve the performance of ourselves and MBIE:

  • You will be active in your own self-development and take opportunities to enhance your performance.
  • You will ensure that you remain up to date with any continuous professional development that may be required for you to perform your role.

We are open with MBIE and disclose any commercial activities, financial, employment, personal interests or relationships that might cause an actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest:

  • You must perform your duties honestly and impartially and avoid any personal, financial or professional situations which may compromise (or be seen to compromise) your integrity. For example, giving preferential treatment to an organisation in which you have an interest.
  • You will ensure that your personal views do not impact on your work at MBIE. This includes ensuring that any personal adherence to or work for a particular political or moral cause or movement does not impact your work performance, discredit MBIE or jeopardise its relationship with clients and/or the Minister.
  • You will disclose all conflicts of interest (including potential and perceived conflicts) to your manager. For example, a family involvement in a company tendering for business with MBIE, ownership of a rental property during a dispute with tenants, when a family member appears on your recruitment panel, acting on behalf of others in tribunals or processing the application of a person known or related to you (for example processing an immigration application for a family friend). This can also include conflicts of interest arising from being a member of a club, society
    or association, having a professional or legal obligation to someone else (such as being a trustee) and owning a beneficial interest in a trust/land.
  • You will declare any secondary employment or contracting/consulting or business ventures that you are involved with.
  • You will advise MBIE if you are made bankrupt or enter into a No Asset Procedure.
  • You will disclose if you hold another public office.
  • You will disclose all gifts you accept over the value of $50 that are offered in the course of your employment, such as prizes, tickets to sporting events, fees, discounts, upgrades, free travel, products, services, entertainment and hospitality or any other form of benefit, favour, reward or inducement.

We act with fairness, impartiality, courtesy, integrity and honesty in everything we do:

  • You will carry out all lawful and reasonable instructions.
  • You will ensure that you don’t incur any liabilities without proper authorisation.
  • You will not use your position as an employee of MBIE to obtain information not normally required by you in the course of your employment.
  • You will respect others’ privacy.
  • We make sure our actions can withstand public, legal and parliamentary scrutiny and will enhance MBIE’s reputation
  • You will not bring MBIE into disrepute. For example by making statements to the media without authorisation, or making public criticism of or comments on (including on social media) MBIE and/or policies with which you have been professionally involved or associated.
  • You will ensure any communications you make, whether internally or externally, are professional and respectful.
Last updated: 08 August 2023