LINZ's code of conduct

The LINZ Code of Conduct sets out what LINZ as an employer expects from its employees and what employees can expect from LINZ.

The Code applies to everyone who works for LINZ. It is not intended to be a definitive document that sets out every possible requirement or situation that can arise in the course of employment at LINZ but sets standards for behaviour. It should be read in addition to the State Services Commissioner's Standards of Integrity and Conduct, and the "Understanding the code of conduct - Guidance for State servants" and "Other guidance on integrity and conduct" (available on the SSC website www.ssc.govt.nz/government-expectations); together with other LINZ Policies, Standards, Guidelines and Procedures.

Set out below are:

 

The State Services Commissioner's Standards of Integrity and Conduct

The State Services Commission produces a State Services Code of Conduct. This code sets minimum standards of integrity and behaviour that are binding on all state servants. There are four principles of behaviour that need to be observed.

LINZ employees must be:

  1. Fair
  2. Impartial
  3. Responsible
  4. Trustworthy

The State Services Commissioner's Standards of Integrity and Conduct forms the basis of our relationships with Government, the Chief Executive, our colleagues and the public. All LINZ employees should be familiar with the code and are required to comply with it. The code can be found in full on the State Services Commission website.

 

Expected conduct at LINZ

1. Employer / employee relations

The organisation’s (LINZ) responsibilities are to:

  • provide clear leadership and direction;
  • communicate clear and reasonable directions and expectations to all employees in an honest and impartial manner;
  • provide and apply necessary and appropriate policies, procedures, standards and guidelines;
  • share information and involve employees in decision making;
  • support and encourage employees in their careers by enabling them to take appropriate opportunities for individual career development;
  • provide honest feedback on performance, including good and poor performance;
  • reward employees for exceptional effort;
  • value diversity, creativity and innovation that supports and contributes to LINZ’s business;
  • be fair in dealing with employees;
  • model the behaviours expected from employees;
  • behave in a manner and provide the means to allow employees to reasonably perform their duties.

As an employee your responsibilities are to:

  • carry out your duties as a public servant competently and efficiently and use skills and resources to the best of your ability;
  • demonstrate a commitment to LINZ, concern for public interest and maintain proper standards of integrity and good conduct;
  • grasp opportunities to enhance your performance and achieve objectives in your performance plan;
  • act in compliance with the law and any ethical rules that apply to your profession;
  • assume personal responsibility and accountability for your own actions;
  • act in a professional manner at all times;
  • maintain standards of dress, language and behaviour that will uphold a positive image of LINZ and the Public Service;
  • be trustworthy, act honestly and impartially;
  • be aware of and comply with all LINZ policies, procedures, standards and guidelines;
  • manage your own conduct and bring to your manager’s attention any areas where you need support or training.

2.  Work environment and property

The organisation’s responsibilities are to:

  • provide a safe and secure work environment, with equipment and resources that meet health and safety requirements;
  • give reasonable notice and consult on changes in the work environment and work processes;
  • make employees aware that periodic audits may be undertaken on their use of LINZ email, internet and any other electronic communication and storage device.

As an employee your responsibilities are to:

  • look after your own and others’ safety in the workplace;
  • be careful with, use as intended and be economical with LINZ property and assets, including internet, email and telephone usage;
  • be aware that your use of LINZ email, internet and any other electronic communication device may be monitored;
  • act promptly to protect LINZ property;
  • respect the privacy, rights and property of colleagues and act in a manner that does not interfere with their ability to carry out their work;
  • value the difference of colleagues and actively prevent harassment and discrimination at all times;
  • show respect for the cultural background and beliefs of other people;
  • ensure that workplace relationships do not adversely affect official conduct;
  • never intentionally download, transmit or purposely view any sexual, pornographic, racist or other offensive material from the Internet or any other source (See Human Rights Act 1993);
  • never take illegal drugs or consume alcohol or other substances that reduce your ability to perform your duties. No alcohol may be consumed on the LINZ premises except for official functions or with authorisation.

3.  Information

The organisation’s responsibilities are to:

  • keep personal information confidential;
  • ensure employees dealing with requests for information under the Official Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 1993 are familiar with these Acts and have an opportunity to seek legal advice.

As an employee your responsibilities are to:

  • comply with the laws of New Zealand in gathering and using information for the purposes of LINZ’s business;
  • treat information acquired during the course of employment with LINZ as confidential and not disclose it except to the extent required or permitted by law;
  • never use information acquired during your work for personal advantage;
  • inform authorised people or your manager of requests for information under the Official Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act 1993, in accordance with OIA and Privacy Act policies;
  • ensure the secure management of information in your control;
  • keep your user ID password and other passwords, confidential to you;
  • take all reasonable care to ensure that LINZ’s computer systems are not used in any way that may corrupt or disrupt their normal operation;
  • obtain authorisation for the introduction of any software or hardware to any LINZ computer systems;
  • Access computer systems or networks only by authorised means.

4.  External/client relationships

The organisation’s responsibilities are to:

  • provide support and advice to employees in situations where the performance of their duties and the standing of LINZ and relationships with the public, stakeholders, clients or Ministers could be directly or indirectly compromised;
  • determine the final disposal of any gift or reward of a significant nature given to a LINZ employee, taking account of the intent of the donor.

As an employee your responsibilities are to:

  • respond promptly to customer requests in a polite and helpful manner;
  • respect the rights and property of customers;
  • not give preferential treatment to any person or organisation, especially one with whom you have a personal relationship;
  • not accept gifts or favours that could be seen by others to place the department under an obligation to third parties.

5.  Parliamentary relationships

The organisation’s responsibilities are to:

  • provide policies and guidelines on communications with the Minister.

As an employee your responsibilities are to:

  • ensure that personal, political or ideological convictions do not influence or appear to influence your obligations as a public servant to carry out Government policy, or to provide free and frank advice;
  • restrict private communications with any Minister or MP to matters outside your employment or direct area of work;
  • restrict comment on government policy to matters outside your employment and as a private citizen rather than as a public servant.

6.  Private activities – conflicts of interest or integrity

The organisation’s responsibilities are to:

  • place no impediment in the way of an employee’s personal interests or beliefs where there is no conflict with LINZ’s integrity or work (see the State Services Commissioner's Standards of Integrity and Conduct - "Understanding thecode of conduct - Guidance for State Servants") for the definition of conflict of interest).
  • provide the opportunity for employees to be able to raise or discuss conflict of interest or integrity issues.

As an employee your responsibilities are to:

  • avoid any conflict of interest between your private and working lives that may prejudice your ability to be impartial in official department business;
  • not undertake paid or unpaid private employment, duties or activities which could conflict with official duties without the consent of your manager;
  • inform your manager of any conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest.

7.  Teamwork

The organisation’s responsibilities are to:

  • develop an environment of team co-operation and support.

As an employee your responsibilities are to:

  • work co-operatively as a team member where teamwork is required or requested by LINZ.

 

Reporting breaches of the Code of Conduct

If you become aware of a breach, or possible breach, of either the State Services Commissioner's Standards of Integrity and Conduct or the LINZ Code of Conduct, LINZ encourages you to:

  • think carefully about how you can deal with the situation responsibly, avoiding casual conversations and complaints to people who cannot address the issue;
  • take responsibility to discuss the issue or situation with the person concerned or your manager in the first instance, in an open and non-confrontational manner. Give fair consideration to any alternative point of view or additional information you might have been unaware of;
  • refer the matter to any LINZ Manager if, after careful consideration, you consider that you cannot approach the person or your manager and the situation remains unresolved;
  • utilise the support mechanisms in place for LINZ staff (e.g. Employee Assistance Programme, Management, and HR/Legal for issues surrounding the Protected Disclosures Act) if you would like guidance on how to deal with a Code of Conduct issue.

Note 1: The above process may be used to report breaches of other LINZ Policies, Procedures, Standards, and Guidelines unless another process is specifically provided in that Policy, Procedure, Guideline or Standard.

Note 2: In some circumstances a breach of the LINZ Code of Conduct or the State Services Commissioner's Standards of Integrity and Conduct (the Codes of Conduct) may also be serious wrongdoing under the Protected Disclosures Act 2000. In such circumstances you may use the LINZ Protected Disclosures Act procedure to report the serious wrongdoing and receive the protections of the Act. Please refer to this policy and its guidelines.

How breaches by employees will be dealt with

The Chief Executive and Managers who are advised of a breach or possible breach of either the New Zealand State Service or LINZ Code of Conduct will deal with the breach in the manner that they consider to be appropriate. They will keep in mind principles of natural justice when investigating and investigating and dealing with breaches or possible breaches of the Codes of Conduct.

The principles of natural justice mean that employees alleging a breach of the Codes of Conduct and employees being investigated for a breach of the Codes of Conduct will be given adequate notice of meetings, have the opportunity to be heard and have the right to representation or a support person. In addition the person undertaking the investigation must be unbiased and act independently.

Employees who breach the Codes of Conduct may face disciplinary action. Note employees may face disciplinary action for breaches of other LINZ policies too. If disciplinary action is undertaken it will be in accordance with LINZ’s Disciplinary Policy.

When an employee’s expectations of LINZ have not been met

Employees are encouraged to follow the reporting process set out above (under reporting breaches of the Codes of Conduct) when they feel that their expectations of LINZ under the Codes of Conduct have not been met.

LINZ responsibilities, once advised by an employee that the employee’s expectations of LINZ have not been met, are to:

  • treat the employee’s concerns seriously, investigate them promptly and appropriately and take action as necessary;
  • where appropriate, inform the person who is subject to an allegation of the nature of the allegation and seek their explanation;
  • consider using a neutral, third party to resolve the issue if appropriate;
  • where an investigation or action has been initiated advise the employee who raised the concern that it has been initiated and remain in regular contact with that person;
  • advise the employee who raised the concern of the outcome of any investigation where appropriate or that action has been taken.

 

When expected conduct is not met

If the principles set out in the LINZ Code of Conduct or State Services Commissioner's Standards of Integrity and Conduct are not followed, or expected conduct set out above is not met, it will be considered a breach of the LINZ Code of Conduct.

 

Last Updated: 21 March 2018