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​​Government Procurement Rules

The Government Procurement Rules support sustainable and inclusive procurement through the promotion of good practice for procurement planning, approaching the supplier community and contracting.

Why have rules

The Government Procurement Rules help to support good market engagement, which leads to better outcomes for agencies, suppliers and New Zealand taxpayers.

A key focus of the Rules is the importance of open competition – giving all businesses the chance to participate, and giving them enough time to respond to opportunities properly. They also help to:

  • align New Zealand procurement practice with international best practice
  • encourage more strategic procurement approaches
  • foster competition and innovation, resulting in better solutions
  • promote broader environmental, social, cultural and economic outcomes.

Who the Rules apply to

Anyone can use the Rules to help drive good procurement practice. You must follow the Rules if your procurement is worth more than $100,000 (or $9 million for new construction works) and you're from:

  • a government department
  • New Zealand Police
  • the New Zealand Defence Force, or
  • most Crown entities.

All other government agencies are encouraged to follow the Rules.

Check whether the Rules are mandatory for your agency

What the Rules cover

The Rules focus mainly on the process of sourcing — sourcing covers:

  • planning your procurement
  • market research
  • approaching the market
  • evaluating responses
  • negotiating and awarding the contract.

These Rules also align with the Government’s expectations that procurement can be leveraged to achieve broader outcomes. They focus on promoting public value, and include explicit requirements for agencies to incorporate or consider the priority outcomes as part of their procurement opportunities.

The priority outcomes are:

  • increase New Zealand businesses’ access to government procurement;
  • increase the size and skill level of the domestic construction sector workforce;
  • improve conditions for workers in government contracts; and
  • support the transition to a zero net emissions economy and assist the Government meet its goal of significant reduction in waste.

Broader outcomes

Each rule should be considered in the context of the Principles, the Charter and the rest of the Rules, as well as how it relates to your particular procurement.

Guide to procurement

Exemptions from the Rules

In some circumstances, you can get an exemption or opt out of following some of the Rules.

Rule 11: Non-procurement activities

Rule 12: Opt-out procurements

Rule 14: Exemption from open advertising

Rule 48: Contract award notice

If you're not sure whether an exemption or opt-out applies, check with us or with a procurement specialist at your agency. You must document your reasoning for the exemption and get approval from a senior manager.

Tools and resources

Download the Government Procurement Rules. To request a previous version of the Rules, please email us.

Government Procurement Rules, 4th edition

Changes to the Government Procurement Rules

On 24 May 2021 Cabinet approved two new Rules:

Rule 12A: Procurement response measure

Rule 18A: Quality employment outcomes

Government Rules of Sourcing, 3rd edition

Throughout our website, there may still be references to the Government Rules of Sourcing. Please interpret these references as the Government Procurement Rules.

The Government Rules of Sourcing (3rd edition) are still available for reference purposes. To request a copy email us.

We also have a table outlining the substantive changes to the Rules of Sourcing between the 3rd and 4th edition. To request a copy email us.