Welcome to the GDS Index homepage. Here you can read about the 2018 GDS Index and learn about the McGuinness Institute’s GDS Index research.

Q1: What’s new in the 2018 GDS Index (launched May 2019)?

On 2 May 2019 the Institute launched the 2018 GDS Index. For the first time the Institute also published the Government Department Strategies Handbook – He Puna Rautaki (right). The Handbook can be purchased for $20 on the Institute’s online store.

At the launch Wendy McGuinness discussed why government department strategies (GDSs) are important corporate documents, the process the Institute took in conducting the research, and the obstacles and challenges experienced in conducting this research. This work is intended to contribute to a broader discussion about how to build strategic capability in the public service. See Wendy’s presentation slideshow from the launch here.

Q2: What was the highest-scoring GDS in the 2018 GDS Index?

The highest-scoring GDS on the 2018 GDS Index is A Biosecurity Science Strategy for New Zealand (October, 2007), published by MPI. The Institute found 148 GDSs in operation as at 31 December 2018 and scored each of these against the Scorecard. PDFs and their final scores can be found on Table 1 below. A table of the archived GDSs can be found on the Archive Register here. The Institute has recognised and recorded 413 GDSs as published since July 1994.

Q3: How are GDSs scored?

The GDS Index ranks each of the GDSs in operation by content of essential information. The GDS Index does not rate the strategy, it rates the extent to which essential information is provided in the strategy document so readers can go on and assess the quality of the strategic approach for themselves. Each GDS is reviewed against the Scorecard (see left and here) to determine how well it articulates each of the six elements. These are:

  1. Opportunities and Threats (what is the external environment?)
  2. Capabilities and Resources (what are the internal strengths and weaknesses?)
  3. Vision and Benefits (what is the purpose?)
  4. Approach and Focus (what choices and trade-offs have been made?)
  5. Implementation and Accountability (who is responsible for what?) and
  6. Alignment and Authority (how does the strategy align with the machinery of government?)

Q4: Why does the Institute undertake GDS Index research?


The GDS Index aims to illustrate how New Zealand might strengthen GDSs to make them more effective, responsive, measurable, comparable and durable through public consultation, engagement and ownership. The assumption is that if government departments work hard to make the content of GDSs more useful, users of these strategies will be better able to assess their quality and, where appropriate, work with government to deliver better outcomes more quickly.

Q5: Where can I find the working papers and other 2018 GDS Index publications?


The 2018 GDS Index publications include the following:

  1. Government Department Strategies Handbook – He Puna Rautaki (May, 2019)
  2. Working Paper 2019/01 – Methodology for the Government Department Strategies Index New Zealand (May, 2019)
  3. Working Paper 2019/02 – Lists of Government Department Strategies Between 1 July 1994 and 31 December 2018 (May, 2019)
  4. Working Paper 2019/03 – Scoring Tables Collating and Ranking Government Department Strategies in Operation as at 31 December 2018 (May, 2019)
  5. Working Paper 2019/04 – Analysis of Government Department Strategies Between 1 July 1994 and 31 December 2018 (May, 2019)

Q6: When was the GDS Index last updated?

In 2015. The Institute regularly updates the GDS Index so that information can be measured, analysed and tracked over time. The 2014 GDS Index can be found here, and the 2015 GDS Index can be found here.

A total of 413 GDSs have appeared on the GDS Index; of these, 265 have been archived (see Table 2 on the Archive Register here). The remaining 148 GDSs are operational and can be viewed in Table 1 below.

Q7: Where can I find PDFs of operational GDSs?

Table 1 below lists the 148 GDSs operational as at 31 December 2018. A PDF of each GDS document can be accessed by clicking on the title of the GDS you are interested in. Key information on each GDS can be accessed by clicking on the GDS number [GDSXXX]. The table can be arranged alphabetically or by government department, ranking, sector or GDS number.

Table 1: Table of all 148 operational GDSs as at 31 December 2018 

Ranking (out of 148)GDS NumberGovernment Department Strategy (GDS)Date GDS Published (Month/Year)DepartmentSector
1GDS030Biosecurity Science Strategy for New Zealand – Mahere Rautaki Putaiao WhakamaruOctober 2007Ministry for Primary IndustriesPrimary Sector
2GDS092Rising to the Challenge – The Mental Health and Addiction Service Development Plan December 2012Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
3GDS070Tau Mai Te Reo – The Māori Language in Education Strategy June 2013Ministry of EducationEducation and Workforce Sector
4=GDS071Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success: The Māori Education StrategyJuly 2013Ministry of EducationEducation and Workforce Sector
4=GDS125Safer Journeys: Road Safety Strategy 2010–2020 March 2010Ministry of TransportEconomic Development and Infrastructure Sector
6GDS056Strategy to 2040: He kai kei aku ringaNovember 2012Ministry of Business, Innovation and EmploymentEconomic Development and Infrastructure Sector
7GDS028Cultural Sector Strategic FrameworkAugust 2014Ministry for Culture and HeritageSocial Services and Community Sector
8GDS108 Faiva Ora 2016–2021 – National Pasifika Disability Plan August 2017Ministry of Health
Health Sector
9GDS073Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri I Te Mahara: A National
Strategic Plan for Science In Society (jointly held between MBIE and MoE)
July 2014Ministry of EducationEducation and Workforce Sector
10GDS062National Statement of Science Investment
October 2015Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Economic Development and Infrastructure Sector
11GDS067Defence White Paper 2016
June 2016Ministry of Defence
External Sector
12=GDS043 Urban Design ProtocolMarch 2005Ministry for the EnvironmentEnvironment Sector
12=GDS046Clean Healthy Air for All New ZealandersAugust 2011Ministry for the EnvironmentEnvironment Sector
12=GDS137Youth Justice Work Programme (previously called Youth Crime Action Plan)October 2013Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for ChildrenSocial Services and Community Sector
15GDS094National Health IT Plan UpdateNovember 2013Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
16GDS061Pacific Economic Strategy
August 2015Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Economic Development and Infrastructure Sector
17GDS140Transforming the New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings April 2012Statistics New ZealandFinance and Government Administration Sector
18GDS059Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri I Te Mahara: A National Strategic Plan for Science In Society (jointly held by MBIE and MoE)
July 2014Ministry of Business, Innovation and EmploymentEducation and Workforce Sector
19GDS133 Government Policy Statement on Land Transport June 2018Ministry of Transport
Economic Development and Infrastructure Sector
20GDS128Intelligent Transport Systems Technology Action PlanMay 2014Ministry of TransportEconomic Development and Infrastructure Sector
21GDS079 Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2018–2028June 2018Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
External Sector
22=GDS005Information Systems Strategic Plan April 2015Department of ConservationEnvironment Sector
22=GDS039Primary Sector Science Roadmap – Te Ao Tūroa June 2017
Ministry for Primary IndustriesPrimary Sector
24=GDS111Mental Health and Addiction Workforce Action PlanApril 2018Ministry of Health
Health Sector
24=GDS117Youth Development Strategy AotearoaJanuary 2002Ministry of Social DevelopmentSocial Services and Community Sector
26=GDS001Biodiversity StrategyFebruary 2000Department of ConservationEnvironment Sector
26=GDS087Suicide Prevention StrategyJune 2006Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
28GDS120Disability Strategy 2016 (jointly held between MoH and MSD)
November 2016
Ministry of Social DevelopmentSocial Services and Community Sector
29GDS107Disability Strategy 2016 (jointly held between MoH and MSD)
November 2016
Ministry of Health
Health Sector
30=GDS006Mātauranga Whakauka Taiao – Environmental Education for Sustainability (jointly held between DoC and MfE) July 2017Department of ConservationEnvironment Sector
30=GDS134Customs 2020
September 2015New Zealand Customs Service
External Sector
32=GDS044National Implementation Plan Under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic PollutantsDecember 2006Ministry for the EnvironmentEnvironment Sector
32=GDS096‘Ala Mo’ui – Pathways to Pacific Health and WellbeingJune 2014Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
34GDS068 Strategic Defence Policy Statement July 2018Ministry of Defence
External Sector
35=GDS069Pasifika Education PlanNovember 2012Ministry of EducationEducation and Workforce Sector
35=GDS084Health of Older People StrategyApril 2002Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
37GDS026 Outcomes FrameworkDecember 2017Land Information New Zealand
Primary Sector
38=GDS019Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2017–2020 (jointly held between GCSB and NZSIS)April 2018Government Communications Security BureauFinance and Government Administration Sector
38=GDS022Cadastre 2034 February 2014Land Information New ZealandPrimary Sector
38=GDS146Thirty Year New Zealand Infrastructure PlanAugust 2015The TreasuryFinance and Government Administration Sector
41=GDS129Safer Journeys: Action Plan 2016–2020
March 2016Ministry of Transport
Economic Development and Infrastructure Sector
41=GDS131Transport Research StrategyJuly 2016Ministry of Transport
Economic Development and Infrastructure Sector
43=GDS020Our Corporate Strategy

May–September 2016Inland Revenue Department
Finance and Government Administration Sector
43=GDS099Disability Support Services Strategic Plan June 2015Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
43=GDS110Where I Live; How I Live – Disability Support Services Community Residential Support Services StrategyMarch 2018Ministry of Health
Health Sector
43=GDS114Te Rautaki Reo Māori – Māori Language StrategyJuly 2014Ministry of Māori DevelopmentMāori Affairs Sector
47=GDS037Biosecurity 2025 Direction Statement
November 2016
Ministry for Primary IndustriesPrimary Sector
47=GDS066Defence Capability Plan 2014June 2014 Ministry of DefenceExternal Sector
49GDS047Hitting the Mark – Our Strategic Plan to 2045
December 2015Ministry for the Environment
Environment Sector
50=GDS016National Civil Defence Emergency Management StrategyMarch 2008Department of the Prime Minister and CabinetFinance and Government Administration Sector
50=GDS124Sign Language StrategyOctober 2018Ministry of Social DevelopmentSocial Services and Community Sector
52GDS139 Open Government PartnershipOctober 2016State Services CommissionFinance and Government Administration Sector
53=GDS090National Plan for Child Cancer Services in New Zealand
December 2011Ministry of Health
Health Sector
53=GDS118Caring for the Carers – He Atawhai i te Hunga Ngākau Oha o AotearoaFebruary 2014Ministry of Social DevelopmentSocial Services and Community Sector
55GDS100Implementing Medicines New ZealandJune 2015Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
56GDS064Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy 2017–2022June 2017Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Economic Development and Infrastructure Sector
57=GDS009Our Drug and Alcohol Strategy Through to 2020
March 2016Department of Corrections
Justice Sector
57=GDS036Science Strategy – Rautaki Putaiao
October 2015Ministry for Primary Industries
Primary Sector
59=GDS003Hector’s and Maui’s Dolphin Threat Management PlanAugust 2007Department of ConservationEnvironment Sector
59=GDS103Living Well with Diabetes
October 2015Ministry of Health
Health Sector
59=GDS135Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2017–2020 (jointly held between GCSB and NZSIS)April 2018New Zealand Security Intelligence ServiceFinance and Government Administration Sector
62=GDS017 Cyber Security Strategy 2015December 2015Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Finance and Government Administration Sector
62=GDS089Ambulance Service StrategyJune 2009Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
62=GDS116Positive Ageing StrategyApril 2001Ministry of Social DevelopmentSocial Services and Community Sector
65GDS055Energy Strategy August 2011Ministry of Business, Innovation and EmploymentEconomic Development and Infrastructure Sector
66=GDS025Topographic Strategy March 2015Land Information New ZealandPrimary Sector
66=GDS032Cadmium and New Zealand Agriculture and HorticultureFebruary 2011Ministry for Primary IndustriesPrimary Sector
66=GDS072Tertiary Education Strategy 2014March 2014Ministry of EducationEducation and Workforce Sector
69=GDS021 Power of 'Where' Drives New Zealand's Success November 2013Land Information New Zealand
Primary Sector
70=GDS045Waste StrategyOctober 2010Ministry for the EnvironmentEnvironment Sector
70=GDS054Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy 2011–2016 August 2011Ministry of Business, Innovation and EmploymentEconomic Development and Infrastructure Sector
72=GDS002 Subantarctic Islands Research StrategyMay 2005Department of ConservationEnvironment Sector
72=GDS098Cancer Plan
December 2014Ministry of Health
Health Sector
74GDS075International Education Strategy – He Rautaki Mātauranga A AoAugust 2018Ministry of EducationEducation and Workforce Sector
75=GDS081Palliative Care StrategyFebruary 2001Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
75=GDS115Māori Housing Network Investment StrategyOctober 2015Ministry of Māori DevelopmentMāori Affairs Sector
77=GDS097He Korowai Oranga – Māori Health StrategyJune 2014Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
77=GDS105Pharmacy Action Plan
May 2016 Ministry of Health
Health Sector
77=GDS119Disability Action PlanMay 2014Ministry of Social DevelopmentSocial Services and Community Sector
80GDS102National Drug Policy 2015
August 2015Ministry of Health
Health Sector
81=GDS024He Whāriki Maurua – Business with Māori Strategy
September 2014Land Information New Zealand
Primary Sector
81=GDS053Oil Emergency Response StrategyJuly 2008Ministry of Business, Innovation and EmploymentEconomic Development and Infrastructure Sector
81=GDS091Whāia Te Ao Mārama – The Māori Disability Action Plan for Disability Support Services August 2012 Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
84=GDS048Mātauranga Whakauka Taiao -
Environmental Education for Sustainability (jointly held between DoC and MfE)
July 2017Ministry for the EnvironmentEnvironment Sector
84=GDS085Youth Health 2002September 2002Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
86GDS029Pacific Languages FrameworkOctober 2012Ministry for Pacific PeoplesSocial Services and Community Sector
87GDS058He Whare Āhuru He Oranga Tāngata – The Māori Housing StrategyJuly 2014Ministry of Business, Innovation and EmploymentSocial Services and Community Sector
88=GDS023Positioning StrategyMay 2014Land Information New ZealandPrimary Sector
88=GDS082Primary Health Care StrategyFebruary 2001Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
88=GDS143Open Data Action Plan July 2017Statistics New ZealandFinance and Government Administration Sector
91GDS086 Cancer Control StrategyAugust 2003Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
92GDS113 Our Māori Strategy – Te Haerenga September 2017Ministry of JusticeJustice Sector
93GDS080Reduced Waiting Times for Public Hospital Elective ServicesMarch 2000Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
94=GDS015Archives 2057 Strategy
May 2017
Department of Internal AffairsFinance and Government Administration Sector
94=GDS148 He Puna Hao Pātiki – 2018 Investment Statement March 2018The TreasuryFinance and Government Administration Sector
96GDS130Transport Domain Plan July 2016Ministry of Transport
Economic Development and Infrastructure Sector
97=GDS052Vision MātaurangaJuly 2007Ministry of Business, Innovation and EmploymentEconomic Development and Infrastructure Sector
97=GDS077Antarctic and Southern Ocean ScienceApril 2011Ministry of Foreign Affairs and TradeExternal Sector
97=GDS088Medicines New Zealand
December 2007Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
97=GDS104Health Strategy 2016
April 2016Ministry of Health
Health Sector
97=GDS106 Strategy to Prevent and Minimise Gambling HarmMay 2016Ministry of Health
Health Sector
97=GDS121Social Housing Investment StrategyAugust 2017Ministry of Social DevelopmentSocial Services and Community Sector
103GDS122Youth Investment Strategy
September 2017
Ministry of Social DevelopmentSocial Services and Community Sector
104=GDS010Health and Safety Strategy 2016–2020
May 2016Department of Corrections
Justice Sector
104=GDS093Suicide Prevention Action PlanMay 2013Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
106GDS065Health and Safety at Work Strategy
December 2018Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Education and Workforce Sector
107GDS078Our People Strategy July 2017 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
External Sector
108GDS138 Leadership Strategy for the State Services November 2013State Services CommissionFinance and Government Administration Sector
109GDS123Employment and Social Outcomes Investment StrategyOctober 2018Ministry of Social DevelopmentSocial Services and Community Sector
110=GDS013Change Lives Shape Futures: Wahine - E rere ana ki te Pae Hou – Women’s Strategy
June 2017Department of Corrections
Justice Sector
110=GDS050 Essential Freshwater (jointly held between MPI and MfE)October 2018Ministry for the EnvironmentEnvironment Sector
110=GDS063Tourism Strategy 2016
August 2016Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Economic Development and Infrastructure Sector
113GDS083Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy – Phase OneOctober 2001Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
114GDS031 Harvest Strategy Standard for New Zealand Fisheries October 2008Ministry for Primary IndustriesPrimary Sector
115=GDS034Aquaculture Strategy and Five-year Action Plan to Support AquacultureApril 2012Ministry for Primary IndustriesPrimary Sector
115=GDS109Whāia Te Ao Mārama – The Māori Disability Action PlanMarch 2018Ministry of Health
Health Sector
117=GDS011Change Lives Shape Futures: Investing in Better Mental Health for OffendersMarch 2017Department of Corrections
Justice Sector
117=GDS147He Tirohanga Mokopuna – 2016 Statement on the Long-term Fiscal Position
November 2016The TreasuryFinance and Government Administration Sector
119=GDS041 Essential Freshwater (jointly held between MPI and MfE)October 2018Ministry for Primary IndustriesPrimary Sector
119=GDS049Our Science Strategy – Rautaki Pūtaiao May 2018Ministry for the Environment
Environment Sector
121GDS141 2018 Census Strategy September 2016Statistics New ZealandFinance and Government Administration Sector
122=GDS012Change Lives Shape Futures: Reducing Re-offending Among MāoriMarch 2017Department of Corrections
Justice Sector
122=GDS076International Development Policy StatementMarch 2011Ministry of Foreign Affairs and TradeExternal Sector
124=GDS035Animal Welfare Matters
May 2013Ministry for Primary Industries
Primary Sector
124=GDS038Campylobacter Risk Management Strategy 2017

May 2017Ministry for Primary IndustriesPrimary Sector
126GDS027Crown Property Strategy June 2018Land Information New Zealand
Primary Sector
127GDS112 Public Housing Plan August 2018Ministry of Housing and Urban DevelopmentSocial Services and Community Sector
128GDS074International Student Wellbeing StrategyJune 2017Ministry of EducationEducation and Workforce Sector
129=GDS004National Education Strategy 2010–2030March 2011Department of ConservationEnvironment Sector
129=GDS008National Historic Heritage StrategyOctober–December 2013Department of CorrectionsJustice Sector
129=GDS042National Blue Cod StrategyDecember 2018Ministry for Primary IndustriesPrimary Sector
129=GDS126National Airspace Policy April 2012Ministry of TransportEconomic Development and Infrastructure Sector
133GDS144Empowering Agencies to Use Data More Effectively March 2018Statistics New ZealandFinance and Government Administration Sector
134GDS132Framework for Shaping our Transport SystemJune 2018Ministry of Transport
Economic Development and Infrastructure Sector
135GDS136Children’s Action PlanOctober 2012Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for ChildrenSocial Services and Community Sector
136GDS145Data Strategy and Roadmap for New ZealandOctober 2018Statistics New ZealandFinance and Government Administration Sector
136=GDS057Refugee SettlementDecember 2012Ministry of Business, Innovation and EmploymentEducation and Workforce Sector
138GDS101Cancer Health Information Strategy
July 2015Ministry of Health
Health Sector
139GDS007 National Compliance Strategy August 2017Department of ConservationEnvironment Sector
140GDS014Te Huri Mōhiotanga Hei Uara: Nga Tohutohu Rautaki Ki 2030 – Turning Knowledge into Value: Strategic Directions to 2030
December 2016Department of Internal AffairsFinance and Government Administration Sector
141GDS1422018 Census Data Quality Management Strategy July 2017Statistics New ZealandFinance and Government Administration Sector
142GDS060Investment Attraction Strategy
July 2015Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Economic Development and Infrastructure Sector
143GDS018Pacific StrategyJanuary 2013Education Review OfficeEducation and Workforce Sector
144GDS040Growing and Protecting New Zealand
July 2017Ministry for Primary IndustriesPrimary Sector
145GDS033Research and Science Information Standard for New Zealand Fisheries
May 2011Ministry for Primary Industries
Primary Sector
146GDS095Care Closer to HomeFebruary 2014Ministry of HealthHealth Sector
147GDS051 Shared Interests in FreshwaterOctober 2018Ministry for the EnvironmentEnvironment Sector
148GDS127International Air Transport Policy August 2012Ministry of Transport
Economic Development and Infrastructure Sector


Q8: How does the GDS Index work fit in with the McGuinness Institute’s work programme?

G
DS Index research contributes to the McGuinness Institute’s StrategyNZ project. This in turn supports the Project 2058 work programme. To learn more about the Project 2058 Methodology, please see the link here.