Te Mahere Mahi Rerekētanga Ira Tāngata,
Pay Gaps Action Plan

We're committed to giving effect to Te Mana o te Wai and upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Partnership and participation, as intended by Te Tiriti o Waitangi, promotes inclusive practice, a culture of equity, opportunity and achievement for Māori, and for all people.

We've developed our detailed Pay Gaps Action Plan to ensure pay equity. Our Action Plan focuses on the six Kia Toipoto milestones along with a Taumata Arowai specific milestone of building a sense of belonging. 

You can read about our Pay Gaps Action Plan in the sections below or download it here.  

Our Pay Gaps Action Plan

Horopaki I Context

Launched in November 2021, Kia Toipoto, the Public Service Pay Gaps Action Plan 2021–2024, has three goals, which are to:

  • Make substantial progress towards closing gender, Māori, Pacific, and ethnic pay gaps
  • Accelerate progress for wāhine Māori, Pacific women, and women from ethnic communities
  • Create fairer workplaces for all, including disabled people and members of rainbow communities.

Kia Toipoto identifies clear milestones through to 2024, which are:

  • Te Pono - Transparency.
  • Ngā Hua Tōkeke mō te Utu - Equitable pay outcomes.
  • Te whai kanohi i ngā taumata katoa - Leadership and representation.
  • Te Whakawhanaketanga i te Aramahi - Effective Career and leadership development.
  • Te whakakore i te katoa o ngā momo whakatoihara, haukume anō hoki - Eliminating all forms of bias and discrimination.
  • Te Taunoa o te Mahi Pīngore - Flexible-work-by-default.

Te Mahere Whakarite i Ā Tātau Wehenga Utu 2023-24 I Our Pay Gaps Action Plan 2023-24

Taumata Arowai was established in 2021, as the water services regulator for Aotearoa New Zealand. Being a young organisation means we can focus on fostering equitable and inclusive practices and policies from the outset.

We believe fair and equitable pay is a fundamental human right. Our goal is to employ a diverse pool of kaimahi (employees). This diversity includes gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, ability, marital status, education, caring responsibilities, national origin, cultural background and many more characteristics which means we reflect the communities we serve.

We are committed to upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi and giving effect to Te Mana o Te Wai. Doing so will support us to cultivate an equitable and inclusive organisational culture.

We considered the lived experiences of our kaimahi throughout the development of our Pay Gap Action Plan 2023-24.

Monitoring for and identifying pay gaps show us if there is an imbalance within our systems which may unjustly favour or disadvantage kaimahi due to their diverse characteristics.

Our Pay Gaps Action Plan 2023-24 will help us to identify and close any existing pay gaps and prevent pay gaps in the future.

Ko wai mātou | Who we are

The tikanga of Taumata Arowai are the base for our actions: The tikanga of Taumata Arowai are the base for our actions: 

  • Kāwanatanga | We will model positive partnerships and behaviours in our relationships.
  • Kaitiakitanga | We will protect the health of water as it applies to our functions, powers and duties.
  • Manaakitanga | We will act to support a mana-enhancing way to achieve intergenerational sustainability.

We are committed to being a fair and equitable employer. To do this, we are guided by our three whakataukī:

  • Karangahia ngā ope | Be the voice of welcome.
  • Whāngaia te iwi | Sustain the people.
  • Ka hoki kōmuri ngā whakaaro kia anga whakamua te titiro | Turn our minds to the past to determine our way forward.

Te mōhio ki ā tātau wehenga utu I Understanding our pay gaps

Analysing our workforce data through an equity and diversity lens has allowed us to build an understanding of where we need to focus. As a small organisation, each appointment strongly impacts our workforce. Analysing our workforce data through an equity and diversity lens has allowed us to build an understanding of where we need to focus. As a small organisation, each appointment strongly impacts our workforce.  

Our gender pay data shows we are well positioned. However, we do have pay gaps for Māori and other ethnicities. We will place a strong focus on maintaining our gender pay position and reducing our Māori, Pacific, and ethnic pay gaps. 

While we are too small to record robust data for other pay gap indicators, we are committed to designing systems which enable equitable outcomes and building an inclusive environment for all. We will consider how other identity markers, and the intersectional effect of multiple identity markers, may impact our kaimahi. 

Our workforce data shows:

  • Our workforce is predominantly female.
  • At -2%, we are below the public service gender pay gap average of 7.7%.
  • We have achieved a 50% minimum representation of women in leadership.
  • The most represented ethnicity is Pākehā / New Zealand European.
  • Our most ethnically diverse cohorts are our entry-level and advisor roles.
  • We have a relatively even cover of ethnic diversity across each of our business groups.

Our gender pay gap drivers:

  • Female representation is higher for roles across our lowest pay bands. These are typically considered point of entry roles. We are seeing a higher proportion of female employees paid below the median pay for these pay bands than their male counterparts.
  •  We have a greater representation of females across our higher-pay bands. There are three distinct subsections within this group, and we are seeing females paid at a higher rate across our senior advisor roles. Males are paid at a higher rate for both our lower and upper subsections of our higher pay bands.
  • Overall, we have greater representation of females across our organisation and within our recruitment rounds, due to a high volume of applications from female candidates.
  • We are in a healthy position. We have considered pay equity as part of our recruitment and selection processes which has led to good progress through the implementation of interventions such as real-time pay gap analysis for hiring managers and starting salary guidance.
  • We need to emphasise and strengthen our approach to ethnic and gender balanced recruitment and selection, particularly as our organisation continues to grow. 

Kia Toipoto - Public Service pay gaps action plan 2021-24 focus areas

Te Pono | Transparency

Focus areas:

  • Agencies/entities publish annual action plans based on gender and ethnicity data and union/employee feedback.
  • Agencies/entities ensure easy access to Human Resources (HR) and remuneration policies, including salary bands.

Current state:

  • We monitor and record demographic data (gender, ethnicities, disability).
  • We report data on Māori representation and pay.
  • We display salary bands on our position descriptions, which are accessible via Pātaka Mauri (our intranet).
  • Our pay gap and remuneration policies are easily accessible.


  • Continue to record and monitor demographic data.
  • Provide pay gap and demographic reports to our senior leadership team each quarter.
  • Share people metrics where possible.
  • Continue to make salary bands and position descriptions available on Pātaka Mauri.

How we will measure progress:

  • Ongoing monitoring of people metrics against the demographic data of the communities we serve.
  • Ongoing running and review of engagement surveys relative to Kia Toipoto focus areas.

We will know we are successful when:

  • We have published our Pay Gap Action Plan 2023-24 and continue to monitor our focus areas.
  • All position descriptions, with salary bands, are accessible.
  • Kaimahi have a clear understanding between pay relativity and career and pay progression.

Nga hua tōkeke mō te utu | Equitable pay outcomes

Focus areas:

  • Agencies/entities ensure that starting salaries and salaries for the same or similar roles are not influenced by bias.
  • Agencies/entities monitor starting salaries and salaries for the same or similar roles to ensure gender and ethnic pay gaps do not reopen.
  • Pay equity processes are used to address claims and reduce the impact of occupational segregation.

Current state:

  • We apply a capability focused approach to job design to support equitable pay outcomes.
  • During recruitment and selection, the impact of appointments on our gender pay gaps is assessed.
  • We use an equitable and transparent process when applying annual salary adjustments.
  • We’ve implemented the Public Service Pay Adjustment.
  • We’ve implemented an annual wellbeing allowance, paid to all kaimahi at the same rate across the organisation.


  • Continue to use our pay gap calculation tools during recruitment, selection, and salary reviews.
  • Review our position descriptions in consultation with kaimahi and resize where necessary.
  • Monitor the distribution and outcomes of higher duties allowances and career development opportunities.

How we will measure progress:

  • Monitor our demographic data and insights to identify pay gaps and pay gap drivers at all stages of the employee journey, with focus on remuneration, pay progression and development opportunities.

We will know we are successful when:

  • There are positive results from engagement and exit surveys across our organisation, especially relating to pay, progression, and feeling valued and supported.
  • There are no unjustifiable pay gaps.

Te whai kanohi ngā taumata katoa | Leadership and representation

Focus areas:

  • By the end of April 2023, agencies/entities have plans and targets to improve gender and ethnic representation in their work force and leadership.
  • By the end of 2024, the Public Service workforce and leadership are substantially more representative of society.

Current state:

  • We published the Ngā Mahi Careers page on our website in 2022, which features stories from diverse kaimahi.
  • We are developing a Te Ao Māori Capability Strategy.
  • Our vacant roles are advertised on a range of platforms including those which focus on attracting Māori candidates.
  • We are updating our induction process to improve the onboarding experience and support kaimahi to connect with the organisation and each other.
  • We are developing kaimahi-led network guidance.


  • Implement our Te Ao Māori Capability Strategy.
  • Review our recruitment and selection policies and practices to ensure mitigation of bias.
  • Continue to focus on attraction, recruitment, and retention of Māori.
  • Run training for people leaders, focused on mitigating bias throughout the employee lifecycle.
  • Review the accessibility of our workplace, systems, procurement criteria and website against the Web Accessibility Standards and Accessibility Charter.
  • Support kaimahi to establish networks to celebrate and advocate for diversity.

How we will measure progress:

  • Measure the progress of kaimahi cultural capability.
  • Review recruitment and selection data to identify any biases during the selection and appointment of Māori and female candidates.

We will know we are successful when:

  • Engagement scores increase across Kia Toipoto focus areas.
  • The gender and ethnicity of our workforce reflects the communities we serve.
  • Te Ao Māori capability of our leadership and kaimahi is strong.

Te whakawhanketanga i te aramahi | Effective career and leadership development

Focus area:

  • By mid-2023, agencies/entities have career pathways and equitable progression opportunities that support women, Māori, Pacific, and ethnic employees to achieve their career aspirations.

Current state:

  • We support development and career progression through opportunities including acting positions and secondments.
  • We are focused on professional development opportunities through our Managing for Performance System.
  • We’ve established graduate positions.
  • We’ve implemented phase one of our leadership programme.


  • Implement a regulatory capability framework.
  • Provide people leaders with bias training and leadership tools to focus on equitable career outcomes.
  • Introduce talent and succession planning for all kaimahi.

How we’ll measure progress:

  • Monitor and report on completion of Professional Development Plans.
  • Monitor and measure rates of internal career progression and uptake of development opportunities with a focus on developing Māori, women and diverse kaimahi through recording and tracking career and development approvals.
  • Review engagement survey data regarding career and development opportunities, and support from people leaders, with a focus on equitable outcomes for Māori, women and diverse kaimahi• monitor use of one-to-one hui.

We will know we are successful when:

  • Equitable development opportunities exist across all roles and kaimahi.
  • Surveys show increased engagement scores for development and career opportunities.

Te whakakore i te katoa o ngā momo whakatoihara, haukume anō hoki | Eliminating all forms of bias and discrimination

Focus areas:

  • By the end of 2023, agencies/entities have remuneration and HR systems, policies and practices designed to remove all forms of bias and discrimination.
  • Agencies/entities embed and monitor the impact of bias-free HR and remuneration policies and practices.• Agencies/entities ensure leaders and employees learn about and demonstrate cultural competence.

Current state:

  • We have designed systems and processes to mitigate bias and discrimination.
  • We have gender diverse, and when possible, ethnically diverse, interview panels.
  • Kaimahi report that people leaders are empathetic, and people centered.
  • Kaimahi are supported to take a bicultural approach to planning and executing their mahi.
  • We have launched the online learning module. ‘Including the Rainbow Community’.


  • Engagement surveys include questions specific to wellbeing, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
  • Mitigate bias and discrimination from the Managing for Performance system through embedding ā mātou tikanga.
  • Review key practices, systems, and policies to mitigate bias.
  • Explore opportunities to strengthen cultural capability, beyond Te Ao Māori, to uplift Pacific and other ethnic minorities.

How we will measure progress:

  • Analyse engagement survey data for cultural capability, inclusion and belonging across the organisation.
  • Gather and analyse feedback from kaimahi who complete the Mitigating Bias training.
  • Review our remuneration system to ensure it functions without bias.

We will know we are successful when:

  • Our demographic data reflects the diverse demographics of Aotearoa.
  • We have positive engagement scores and comments, particularly from kaimahi Māori, relating to cultural capability, inclusion, reward, and recognition.

Te Taunoa o te mahi pīngore | Flexible work – by default

Focus area:

  • By the end of 2024, agencies/entities offer equitable access to flexible-by- default working and ensure it does not undermine career progression or pay.

Current state:

  • Kaimahi view flexible working as one of their strongest employee benefits.
  • All kaimahi can request flexible working arrangements and most have formal or informal arrangements in place.


  • Review our flexible working arrangement policy and process to ensure it provides equitable opportunities and outcomes and does not hinder career development or pay.

How we will measure progress:

  • Record and monitor flexible working arrangements with gender, ethnicity, disability, and geographical lens.
  • Analyse engagement survey responses relating to flexible working.

We will know we are successful when:

  • Flexible working arrangements are requested and granted equitably.
  • We have positive responses relating to flexible working, wellbeing, career and pay progression from our engagement survey.