Today I have issued fresh guidance outlining the principles and processes to help public servants do the right thing and uphold the principle of political neutrality in the run up to the Election and immediately following the Election.
New Zealanders go to the polls on 19 September.
A general election is not only New Zealand's biggest community event, it is vital to our democratic form of government.
It’s important to note upfront that public servants have the same rights to freedom of speech and political activity in their private lives as other New Zealanders. This is explained more in the guidance.
The guidance also covers the Government's right to govern in the pre-election period as there is no caretaker convention prior to elections in New Zealand.
You can read further guidance about government decision-making in the pre-election period, which starts on 19 June, in this Cabinet Office circular.
We as public servants have a crucial role in elections. It is our job to uphold the political neutrality of the public service.
I encourage all public servants to take the time to look over this guidance and think about how it applies to you and plan the conversations you need to have in your teams to prepare for the election.
We all have a role to play to ensure the integrity of our electoral process and the smooth transition between one term of government and the next.