Machinery of government refers to the structures of government and how they work.

System-design ToolkitOur system-design toolkit for organising around shared problems is now available. This toolkit organises and presents a range of models to give those grappling with cross-agency problems an easy way to find the types of solution that might be most appropriate.


Machinery of government refers to the governance and structures of government and how they work. It includes the changing set of organisations within government, their functions and governance arrangements, and how they work together to deliver results for Ministers and the public. Traditionally, changes to the machinery of government have been understood as structural changes (requiring legislation or Orders in Council to affect). In this guidance we are taking a wider view of the term and now include system-design changes that are non-structural in nature as well.
The State Services Commissioner is responsible for reviewing the governance and structures of government and providing advice on proposed changes. The State Services Commission should be consulted on all proposed machinery of government/system-design changes early in the process.

The following guidance and information has been developed by SSC to assist public servants and other employees in the state services navigate the process of developing advice on machinery of government and implementing change.

Contact us at with any comments, questions, suggestions or if you’d like to be kept informed of any updates.

Introduction to Machinery of Government Process Guides Shared Problems Organisational Forms New Zealand's State sector - the organisations Machinery of Government Resources

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