Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (New Zealand)

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Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Coat of arms of New Zealand.svg
Agency overview
Jurisdiction New Zealand
Headquarters Executive Wing, Parliament Buildings, Wellington
41°16′40″S 174°46′36″E / 41.277899°S 174.776714°E / -41.277899; 174.776714
Minister responsible John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand
Agency executive Andrew Kibblewhite, Chief Executive

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet of New Zealand (often known by its acronym, DPMC) is the department charged with supporting the Prime Minister of New Zealand and their Cabinet. The department is one of three agencies responsible managing the public service in New Zealand, the others being the State Services Commission and the New Zealand Treasury.

The Department's overall area of responsibility is in helping to provide, at an administrative level, the "constitutional and institutional glue" within New Zealand's parliamentary democracy.

The Chief Executive since June 2012 is Andrew Kibblewhite (previously Treasury, Deputy Chief Executive). Maarten Wevers stepped down as Chief Executive on 13 June 2012.[1]


The Department serves the Executive branch of government (the Governor-General, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet) through the provision of impartial advice and support services.

In addition to serving the Executive, a major role of the department is to help co-ordinate the work of the core public service departments and ministries.

Supporting the Prime Minister and Cabinet[edit]

The department supports the Prime Minister's twin roles as leader of the government and chair of Cabinet, and provides three kinds of direct support to the Prime Minister:

  • Support for constitutional issues, including those associated with the formation of governments; and issues associated with the operation of the Cabinet system.
  • Overview of government activity and access to information on any and all issues that arise.
  • Administrative support to the Prime Minister (and also to the Governor-General). This includes services to the Prime Minister – such as preparing replies to Parliamentary questions, and dealing with Official Information Act 1982 requests and other correspondence.

Supporting the Governor-General[edit]

The department also supports the Governor-General of New Zealand in carrying out his or her functions to represent Her Majesty the Queen of New Zealand.


The department formally came into existence on 1 January 1990, as a result of a report which recommended establishing structures to provide two separate streams of advice to the Prime Minister; one, a new Government department to supply impartial advice and support to the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), and another, a Prime Minister's Private Office (which is not part of DPMC), to provide personal support and media services, and advice of a party political nature.

Government House was added to the department in August 1990. The External Assessments Bureau became part of the department on 1 July 1991.

The department consists of six units.

The Cabinet Office[edit]

The Cabinet office produces a number of publications and documents that are crucial to the effective functioning of central government including the Cabinet Manual, Step by Step Guide, Cabinet Office Circulars and Cabinet Office Forms. The Cabinet office is also responsible for the administration of honours, and oversees the development of the honours lists. The Secretary of the Cabinet and Clerk of the Executive Council heads the Cabinet Office and is responsible directly (as Secretary) to the Prime Minister and (as Clerk) to the Governor-General for policy advice and secretariat functions.

Government House[edit]

Government House is responsible for providing administrative and support services for the Governor-General to enable him or her to carry out the functions of the office. This includes the maintenance of Government House and its grounds in Wellington, as well as the smaller Government House in Auckland. Government House is managed by the Official Secretary, who reports to the Clerk of the Executive Council.

Policy Advisory Group[edit]

The Policy Advisory Group (PAG) is responsible for providing advice on issues of the day directly to the Prime Minister and to other ministers. A part of its job is to co-ordinate the advice coming in from different government departments, so that the Prime Minister is given coherent and impartial advice.

National Assessments Bureau[edit]

The National Assessments Bureau (formerly the External Assessments Bureau) is one of New Zealands intelligence agencies, and provides assessments on developments overseas in support of informed policy decision-making in New Zealand's external relations.

Domestic and External Security Group[edit]

The Domestic and External Security Group co-ordinates central government action aimed at protecting New Zealand's domestic and external security, including intelligence, counter-terrorism preparedness, emergency and crisis management, and defence operations.

Corporate Services Unit[edit]

The Corporate Services Unit co-ordinates recruitment for the department and is responsible for the development and implementation of Human Resource policies and procedures. It provides accounting services and financial reports including Annual Reports and is responsible for listing the department’s contract tenders on the ISO GETS website. It has planning and organisational development responsibilities including the production of Departmental Forecasts and other reporting requirements under the State Services Act 1988. The unit also plays a significant role in information systems development, information technology management and provides a range of support services.

Head of DPMC[edit]

Heads of the DPMC (formerly Secretary, now the Chief Executive) are:

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Small, Vernon (29 May 2012). "New head of PM's department named". Stuff. Retrieved 29 May 2012.