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What value is there for the public in the code of conduct?

New Zealanders’ trust in and respect for government is based on the integrity of public institutions, including agencies in the State Services.

The State Services is collectively responsible for putting the law into practice, implementing policies of the Government, and administering a wide range of public functions and services. State servants are guardians of what ultimately belongs to the public; New Zealanders expect State servants to serve and safeguard their interests.

Every State servant has a part to play in maintaining public confidence in the State Services. New Zealanders expect government agencies to comply with the letter and the spirit of the law.  They expect decisions to be made fairly and impartially.  They expect that public money will be spent prudently and public assets will be used and cared for responsibly.  They expect that State servants will behave ethically, and be conscientious and competent in their work.

While the code of conduct is not a charter setting standards that the community may demand of the State Services, it displays the standards State servants set for themselves in serving the community.  Because the code of conduct applies equally across the State Services, people using public services will not find themselves in the position of receiving different kinds of treatment from different agencies.

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