Tā mātau anga whakahaere e kīnaki ai i ngā whakataunga Our governance model supports strong decision-making

Our governance arrangements support Te Pae Tawhiti. We ensure the focus is on what we want to do, that is on helping New Zealanders to be safe, strong and independent. Discussions and decisions actively consider the impact on and outcomes for Māori, acknowledging our role as a partner in Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

We have embraced best practice governance principles as a foundation for our governance system. These include:

  • openness and transparency
  • integrity and accountability
  • effectiveness and delivery
  • leadership
  • strong decision-making
  • strategic thinking
  • working with agility.

Our Leadership Team is responsible for the overall management of MSD

The Leadership Team is led by our Chief Executive and comprises eight Deputy Chief Executives. It meets weekly during the year. In 2020/21 its responsibilities included:

  • leading our COVID-19 response
  • overseeing organisational risk and assurance
  • directing our organisational strategies
  • directing organisational performance
  • driving organisational priorities and our future operating model
  • overseeing organisational finances
  • leading a positive organisational culture.

A centralised declarations of interest register is maintained for all those in a governance role. The Leadership Team also completes annual Related Parties Transactions declarations, and a standing item on all governance meeting agendas supports acknowledgement of any emerging interests.

The Leadership Team is supported by two new governance committees

Two governance sub-committees assist the Leadership Team to deliver on its long-term strategic vision for the Ministry. Each committee is chaired by a member of the Leadership Team, and can make decisions on behalf of the Leadership Team in specific areas of responsibility.

The interim Business Committee, set up in March 2020 to address the most pressing governance and COVID-19-related matters, was disestablished in November 2020. The previous Investment, Organisational Health and Transformation committees were paused during this time, and the Leadership Team took the opportunity to review the governance arrangements. A new fit-for-purpose governance structure to support the changing needs of the organisation was designed.

In December 2020, two new governance committees were established: the Organisational Health Committee and the Transformation and Investment Committee. Memberships of these two committees are drawn from across the organisation and bring significant strategic, financial, operational and governance expertise to support whole-of-MSD decision-making.

Diagram showing changes in the Leadership Team’s governance committees from July 2020 to June 2021

•	The Business Committee is disestablished in November 2020 and replaced by the Organisational Health Committee and the Transformation and Investment Committee.

Transformation and Investment Committee

The purpose of the Transformation and Investment Committee is to ensure investments are robust, strategic and effective, and that organisational transformation and performance supports delivery of strategic outcomes.

Committee meetings started in December 2020 and are held fortnightly. In 2020/21 the Committee’s key responsibilities included:

  • ensuring sound investment decisions through setting priorities for investment
  • providing advice and direction on delivery of organisational strategies
  • overseeing the Transformation programme, ensuring alignment with organisational strategies
  • overseeing organisational performance and accountability by ensuring integrated planning
  • driving investment and performance maturity and capability.

Organisational Health Committee

The Organisational Health Committee focuses on the high-level design and health of key corporate services, systems and capabilities, and ensures that infrastructure aligns with and supports organisational performance. Meetings started in December 2020 and are held fortnightly. In 2020/21 the Committee’s key responsibilities included: 

  • championing staff wellbeing, organisational values, and a positive work culture
  • overseeing of organisational integrity, risk, assets and infrastructure
  • overseeing of corporate strategies and our policy framework
  • driving system capability and maturity
  • managing oversight of our approach to the Carbon Neutral Government Programme.

Our Chief Executive is supported by three independent advisory groups

Māori Reference Group

The Māori Reference Group provides a strategic reference point and advice on the design and implementation of social strategies and policies that impact Māori. It advises the Leadership Team on matters relating to positively transforming outcomes for Māori and the implementation of our policies, services and initiatives that impact Māori.

The Group comprises the following Māori leaders who have specialist skills, knowledge and expertise in areas such as kaupapa Māori/te reo Māori, family violence, policy, legal, and social service infrastructure:

  • Roku Mihinui (Chair) – Roku is Project Manager at the Te Arawa Lakes Trust, the post-settlement entity established in 2009 in relation to a co-management framework for the restoration of the Waikato. Roku has held senior management positions in the forestry, tourism, justice and education sectors and in social services organisations in the community, public and private sectors.
  • Tā Mark Solomon KNZM – Tā Mark is an experienced and respected leader of his hapū, his iwi and the wider New Zealand business community. As a strong supporter of the E Tū Whānau kaupapa since its inception, Tā Mark is an outspoken advocate for violence-free whānau.
  • Katie Murray MNZM QSM – Katie is the Kai Arahi of Waitomo Papakāinga, a whānau-based and focused kaupapa Māori social service agency in Kaitāia. Katie is actively involved in her community of Te Hiku o Te Ika and is a former Deputy Chair of Te Rūnanga O Te Rarawa.
  • Toa Faneva – Toa is Te Ahurei, Chief Executive of NorthTec in Tai Tokerau, and was formerly CEO for five years of Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa, which provides a range of services to the community including emergency housing, financial capability and social services. Under his leadership, the rūnanga developed an innovative emergency and transitional housing complex on Whangaroa Harbour and an ambitious ‘Violence-Free Whangaroa/Kaeo’ kaupapa.
  • Donna Matahaere-Atariki MNZM – Donna is Deputy Chairperson of the Ōtākou Rūnanga and Chair of Ōtākou Health Ltd. She is also a member of the University of Otago Council, a Trustee of Well South Primary Health Network, Representative for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, a Gambling Commissioner, and Chair of the Independent Children’s Monitor Kāhui Group.
  • Richard Steedman – Richard has over many years held a number of governance and management roles for the furtherance of the rangatiratanga of hapū and iwi o Mōkai Pātea. He is Chair of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whitikaupeka, and a member of three iwi councils – Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Hauiti, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Tamakōpiri, and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Te Ohuake. He is heavily committed to the kaupapa of Whānau Ora and was a member of the Taihauāuru Regional Leadership Group and the Whānau Ora Partnership Group and continues as a member of the National Iwi Chairs Forum – Whānau Ora Iwi Leadership Group.
  • Haami Piripi ONZM – Haami is the Chair of Te Rūnanga O Te Rarawa. He has spearheaded key Māori development projects in the public sector and served as Chief Executive of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission). He is an inaugural member of the Hiku o Te Ika Social Wellbeing and Development Accord, which monitors the delivery of social services in the Far North by 16 statutory agencies.
  • Merepeka Raukawa-Tait – Merepeka is an elected member of the Rotorua Lakes Council and the Lakes District Health Board and Chair of the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency. She is a passionate advocate for women and children living in violence-free homes, and believes Māori must be given every opportunity to determine and control their own futures.
  • Ruahine (Roni) Albert QSM JP – Roni has worked in the area of family violence and sexual violence since 1986. She has been involved with numerous agencies, panels, and groups in key lead roles with implementation of regional and national programmes and projects. She is experienced in relationship management with iwi, refuges and community, and was recently appointed to the role of iwi representative in the Tainui rohe, specifically regarding family violence and sexual violence.

Fees for the Māori Reference Group fall under the category Group 4, Level 2 body of the Cabinet Fees Framework.

Pacific Reference Group

Our Pacific Reference Group was established in 2019 to ensure that actions and initiatives that come out of our Pacific Strategy and Action Plan, Pacific Prosperity, are effective for Pacific peoples. It recognises opportunities to work more innovatively to drive the implementation of Pacific Prosperity.

The Pacific Reference Group is made up of external Pacific community leaders whose primary role is to provide advice to the MSD Leadership Team – and in particular our Māori, Communities and Partnerships group – on matters relating to the wellbeing of Pacific peoples, families and communities. At 30 June 2021, the Group comprises the following Pacific leaders who have specialist skills, knowledge and expertise in policy, legal, and social service infrastructure:

  • Tevita Funaki (Chair) – Tevita is the CEO of the Fono Health Trust (The Fono) and Chair of the Pacific Business Trust Board, the ProCare Health Ltd (PHO) Board and the Oceania Career Academy Board. Prior to joining The Fono, Tevita was the Pacific Health Manager for ProCare Health Ltd and was the National Pasifika Liaison Advisor for Massey University. He has also managed an employment consultancy and project management services firm and worked in health services.
  • Malia Hamani QSM JP – Malia is a Tongan-born New Zealand citizen who had embraced community work in Wellington in the 1970s and in Auckland from the early 1980s. Malia is the founder and Chief Executive of TOA Pacific Inc and a member of the Carers NZ Board and the Carers Alliance NZ Executive Committee. Malia also sits on advisory committees for research on Pacific older people and caring for older people during the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • Pati Umaga QSM – Pati is a disability advocate who is passionate in advocating for all people with disabilities and has a particular interest in the Pacific disabled community and leadership. He is a Senior Pasefika Engagement Advisor with the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry, and a former Chair of the National Enabling Good Lives Leadership Group. He is also a musician and an arts advocate, and in 2015 received an Arts Access Leadership Award and released a music video, SIVA (Dance).
  • Meleane Burgess – Meleane is the founder and chairperson of the Waikato Pacific Business Network, an organisation with a vision to grow more sustainable, more profitable and well-connected Pacific owned businesses in the region. Meleane is of Samoan heritage and an alumni of the University of Waikato School of Management. Meleane is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Hillcrest High School, and an accountant by profession.
  • Sai Lealea MNZM – Sai is Fijian and is Principal of SDL Consultancy, a Wellington-based Pacific public policy and community development consultancy. Sai was recently honoured as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to the Pacific community. He has around 20 years’ experience as a senior manager in the New Zealand Public Service and as a public policy consultant with graduate and postgraduate qualifications from Victoria University of Wellington.
  • Dr Falaniko Tominiko – Dr Falaniko studied Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland and is currently the Director of Pacific Success at the Unitec Institute of Technology. His interests are in Pacific leadership, history, languages, arts and culture.
  • Danny Mareko – Danny is the Manager Community Participation for He Whanau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association and Co-founder of the Etu Ao Early Childhood Education Homebase Service in Porirua. He is a member of Te Pae Whakahou Hapori – Eastern Porirua Advisory Panel, and founder of the Lavalava A Samoa Trust, O A’u O Le Samoa.
  • Lui Poe – Luiis the Chief of Operations for The Cause Collective, and has worked in the social sector for two decades, primarily in child protection and youth justice. He has had experience at practitioner, management and governance levels. Lui has served on a number of charitable boards, and over the years has been involved with various Pacific communities.
  • Kathleen Tuai-Ta’ufo’ou – Kathleen brings 18 years of extensive experience in community development and has led the growth of Pacific health and social services through partnerships, acquisitions and subcontracting, as well as supporting services through accreditation. Kathleen is an executive director of the Siaola Vahefonua Tonga Methodist Mission Charitable Trust.
  • Pesio Ah Honi – Pesio is of Samoan and Chinese descent. Born in Samoa and raised and educated in Auckland, he is National Director Pacific Services, Mapu Maia. Prior to this role he was the National Public Health Manager of the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand. Pesio represents the Pacific sector on the NGO Health and Disability Council of New Zealand and is Deputy Chair of DRUA, the National Network of Pacific Mental Health and Addiction Practitioners of NZ.

Fees for the Pacific Reference Group fall under the category Group 4, Level 2 body of the Cabinet Fees Framework.

Risk and Audit Committee

The Risk and Audit Committee has a crucial role in our governance system. It provides independent advice to the Chief Executive on risk assurance and auditing requirements for MSD.

In September 2020, the Risk and Audit Committee Charter (Terms of Reference) was refreshed. As previously, in 2020/21 the Committee met quarterly and provided advice and assurance on:

  • MSD’s priorities
  • financial reporting
  • MSD’s complaints process
  • risk and assurance reporting
  • COVID-19 Wage Subsidy performance
  • housing and income portfolios
  • legislative compliance.

The four independent external members of the Committee are appointed for three years and may be reappointed for a further two years. Two members (Kristy McDonald ONZM QC and Ian Fitzgerald) left the Committee in 2020/21, being replaced by Lisa Tipping and Sandra Alofivaae.

The members at 30 June 2021 are:

  • David Smol – David was Chief Executive of the Ministry of Economic Development from 2008 to 2012 and of MBIE from 2012 to 2017. He currently holds several governance roles in the public and private sectors. David succeeded Kristy McDonald as Chair in March 2021.
  • Donna Flavell – Donna is the Chief Executive of Te Whakakitenga o Waikato Inc, the iwi organisation for Waikato-Tainui where she holds key responsibilities for providing leadership on a wide range of complex issues. Before this, Donna led the Waikato–Tainui team that provided technical and administrative support to the co-negotiators for the Waikato River Claim and subsequent settlement with the Crown.
  • Lisa Tipping – Lisa is the Chief Finance and Operations Officer for Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand. She is a Trustee of the Springboard Arts Trust and a former independent member of the Finance Assurance and Risk Committee for Philanthropy NZ. Lisa’s experience spans over 30 years across the public and private sectors, and she has been a chartered accountant since 1989. Lisa joined the Committee in March 2021.
  • Ali’imuamua Sandra Alofivae – Sandra is a barrister and co-founder of a legal practice in South Auckland that is well known for its advocacy and support for children and young people in the Family and Youth Courts. A former Families Commissioner, Sandra’s wide-ranging governance roles have included Chair of the South Auckland Social Wellbeing Board, the board of Housing New Zealand, Counties-Manukau District Health Board, and numerous boards of community organisations. She is a commissioner on the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry. Sandra joined the Committee in June 2021.

Fees paid to the independent members of the Risk and Audit Committee fall under the category Group 4, Level 3 body of the Cabinet Fees Framework.

The annualised daily fee for independent members of the Committee is considered as an exception to the Framework with ministerial approval.

Managing risk in a challenging environment

We work in an environment of ongoing change that provides both opportunities and challenges in terms of delivering services and meeting the expectations of our clients, the Government and the public. Good risk management and a strong control environment are key factors in navigating the changing environment in which we operate.

We support our people to make decisions in a risk-aware way, so that as an organisation we can take advantage of opportunities while managing their associated risks. This provides ongoing assurance that the key systems and processes we rely on to deliver our services and safeguard our people are operating effectively and efficiently.

Our Risk Services and Assurance team supports the Leadership Team by:

  • overseeing the process for managing Ministry-wide risks
  • ensuring that the risk framework remains fit for purpose through engagement with our stakeholders and governance groups
  • providing support and advice in applying the risk management framework across our corporate and operational business groups
  • providing objective advice that enhances our organisational risk management and assurance capability
  • maintaining our organisational relationship with Audit New Zealand and the Office of the Auditor-General.

This year the Risk Services and Assurance team:

  • reviewed and updated our consequence criteria to support the appropriate assessment and management of risk
  • updated our collateral to ensure it is easy to apply by all staff and supports consistent risk assessments within the current operating context.

During the COVID-19 response, the pace, scale and complexity of responding to the pandemic meant that getting the fundamentals right, which includes robust risk management, was and remained important. We supported the recording and subsequent review of decisions made during this time that could impact on our control environment.