Code of Conduct

Chief Executive Introduction

Tēnā koutou e te whanau

The role of the Education Review Office is to ensure the integrity of the education system and that it  contributes to the success of New Zealanders and New Zealand. That is an important responsibility. Independent and objective monitoring and evaluation by ERO is critical to the integrity of the New Zealand education system. Through our institutional reviews, and our system-wide evaluation programme we aim to ensure that New Zealanders can have confidence in our early learning services, kōhanga reo, kura and schools, and to lift performance in those areas and of those providers that need it most.

To discharge that responsibility successfully we must earn the trust and confidence of those with whom we work and we must provide credible and authoritative reports that support high quality decision making about the education system. All of us must always behave in ways that builds trust and confidence and ensures that our advice is respected.

We are a small organisation with a big responsibility, and it is important that each of us is able to make our best contribution to the work of the Office. We all have a critical role to play in ensuring that our own actions are consistent with our shared values and the standards required of us as public servants.

We are a public sector agency and are bound by the specific legal obligations relevant to the public sector. We are also part of the Crown we have a responsibility to act at all times in accordance with our obligations as a Treaty partner.

My expectation is that each of us is accountable for behaving at all times in a way that is consistent with this Code of Conduct and that we are also each responsible for holding to account those with whom we work to ensure that their behaviour is also consistent with this Code.

To achieve and maintain this behaviour I believe we need to keep a focus on maintaining respect in all our relationships and dealings within ERO and externally. A respectful relationship is one of mutual respect, trust, good communication, understanding and honesty. It should aim to be a positive experience for both.

I believe this focus on respectful relationships will continue to make ERO a great place to work.

My commitment is to work with you all to ensure that you:

  • get the support you need to make your contribution to the success of the Office
  • understand what is required of you
  • can be confident in the process we use to ensure accountability for any behaviour that is not consistent with this Code.

Scope of the Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct sets out what is expected of you when you are doing your job. It applies to anyone who is responsible for contributing to the work of the Office and for all work undertaken on behalf of the Office. It is separate from the Professional Standards that apply to the work we do to discharge our statutory role, which ensure that we appropriately discharge our statutory powers. It is also independent of the Ethical Standards we have developed to guide the work we do that is not part of our statutory role to review and report but which supports our ability to provide high quality advice on matters relevant to the overall performance of the education system.

This Code of Conduct adopts the SSC Standards of Integrity and Conduct - Ngā Paerewa mō te Ngākau Tapatahi me te Whanonga and sets out the Values and Principles that we have all agreed should guide our behaviour at ERO and which should define the working environment we create for each other. 

In addition to the Code of Conduct ERO has approved policies and processes to ensure that the Office is able to meet all its legal obligations and the unique expectations on it as a public sector agency. Those policies and processes are not part of the Code of Conduct but they are consistent with the content of the Code.

A list of EROs policies and procedures is set out in Appendix One to the Code to support your understanding about policies and processes that are relevant. There is also information there about how you can seek support or help in relation to any issues covered by the policies and procedures.

Values and principles

We are a public sector agency, so our core values are those set out in the Public Service Code of Conduct.  At all times we must be:









We are also part of the Crown and a party to the Treaty of Waitangi and we committed to honouring our obligations of partnership, participation and protection under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Our role is challenging. To succeed it is important that those we work with trust us and respect the integrity of our work and the processes we use to do our work. We must be trusted to deliver the best value we can from the resources available to us and be open to new ways of doing things and learning from our own experience and that of others.

As a small agency with a big responsibility we know and understand that we work best when we work with a strong sense of team and agree on how we can deliver the best possible value from the resources we have. Together we can support each other to succeed, celebrate our successes, and take pride in the contribution we make to New Zealand being a safe and prosperous nation that supports the well-being of New Zealanders and their families.

Together, we have identified the values and principles specific to us that define how we should all act when doing our jobs and those that best define the environment that will support each us make our best contribution to the success of the Office.

We have agreed that as staff of ERO we are individually and collectively contributing to an environment that is:

  • Responsive to the Treaty of Waitangi
  • Open and Inclusive
  • Professional
  • Safe
  • Collaborative and co-operative
  • Efficient and Effective
  • Responsive
  • Accountable

To achieve the above environment, we should be at all times:

  • Respectful and Tolerant
  • Open and Honest
  • Flexible and Co-operative
  • Solution focused
  • Courageous
  • Respectful of diversity
  • Able to give and receive feedback

This Code of Conduct has been developed to support each of us understand how to make our best contribution to the work of the Office and to discharge our responsibilities as public servants and representatives of the Crown Treaty partner.

The Appendix to the Code provides information about how to seek help or assistance if you experience behaviour that is not consistent with this Code. Anyone who behaves in a way that is not consistent with this Code will be held accountable.

Nicholas Pole

Te Tumu Whakarae mō te Arotake Mātauranga Chief Executive and Chief Review Officer

Whiringa-ā-nuku 2021 I October 2021


Appendix A

The Code of Conduct relevant policies:

Unwelcome Behaviours including:

  • Positive Workplaces Behaviours Guides
  • Bullying – prevention and responding to workplace bullying
  • Prevention and response to Sexual Harassment Policy Guidelines
  • External Education Evaluation Principles of Practice
  • Board of Trustees Policy
  • Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy
  • Human Resource and Financial Delegations
  • Personal Safety & Security Policy
  • Wellness Policy
  • Education Review Office – Policy on bullying, harassment and discrimination
  • Stand up Speak out
  • Internal Complaints Policy
  • Leadership Strategy
  • Māori strategy
  • Whistleblowing policy