Diversity and Inclusion

We aim to reflect the diversity of New Zealand and the countries we're in. That's why we’re actively working to grow the diversity of our workforce and are committed to building an inclusive workplace where everyone can be their ‘true’ selves.

To help achieve this, we’ve developed a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy to help us deliver a more diverse workforce and inclusive workplace. 

Our organisational values help drive the behaviours needed to achieve our goal.

MFAT Diversity + Inclusion Strategy


Gender and Ethnic Action

In 2020 we published our Gender Action Plan 2020-2021 which showed our roadmap to support the Ministry’s goals of gender equality and greater inclusion of women.

The plan complements our People Strategy, our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and our organisational values. Its overarching objective is to help us continue to remove barriers and create opportunities for women to advance their careers at MFAT.

We have now published the Ministry’s new Gender and Ethnic Pay Action Plan for 2022/2023  which follows the guidance of Kia Toipoto and focuses on Gender, Māori, Pacific and Ethnic pay gaps. We’ve made some great progress and our new plan highlights what we’ve done so far, what we’re working on, and new areas of focus.

Sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI)-related rights

Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI)-related rights, and demonstrating leadership on the global stage is a top priority under our International Human Rights Action Plan.

To highlight the way in which people of diverse SOGIESC have always had a place in indigenous culture in our region, the editors of this booklet have produced this glossary of reo Māori terminology for people of diverse SOGIESC. In this way, we celebrate the place of rainbow communities in Aotearoa New Zealand as part of the diversity of the peoples of Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa.

Indigenous Language Diverse Sexuality and Gender Booklet.pdf

Staff Networks

We recognise the important role staff networks play in helping us implement our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. Each of the staff networks has a Senior Leadership Team member to support and champion the Networks’ goals and plans.

Our staff networks include:

  • Te Pou Māori  (support group for Māori employees)
  • Vaka Pasifika (Pasifika network)
  • Ethnic Network 
  • Women’s Network
  • Rainbow Network
  • Disability Network
  • Solo Parents Network
  • Flexible Work Network
  • Kaitiaki Network (Sustainability/carbon neutrality) 

Flexible Working

Flexible Working

The Ministry recently launched a refreshed Flexible Work policy. Although we have had flexible working in place for a while, flexibility is now our default position. MFAT is committed to workplace flexibility so that we can be agile and fit for the future with talented staff who can meet the types of challenges we face.

Flexible working is available to all staff. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for creating the best flexible working environment. As our value of kotahitanga describes, we draw our strength from our diversity and we can find all sorts of ways of making flexible working work.

Inclusion of our rainbow communities

MFAT’s Rainbow Network has been operating for 25 years and has a proud history of representing and advocating for the interests of its members. Our staff organise education and awareness sessions in Wellington and some of our overseas posts. Many of our staff at overseas posts, including our leaders, participate in pride parades in various cities around the world.


In April 2021, as part of the Ministry’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, we became Rainbow Tick certified. We look forward to further improving our rainbow awareness and inclusion to maintain our certification.