A performance check on the public service has found that the agency responsible for trade development has weak strategy, values and workforce development.
The State Services Commission released five reports on Friday, as part of an ongoing review of agencies in the state sector.
Agencies are measured on their leadership and direction, external relationships, people development and financial and resource management.
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise's vison, strategy and purpose, its culture and values and leadership and workforce development were classed as weak.
The reviewers said the organisation needs to be less defensive and risk averse and more focused on fixing problems rather than working around them.
The State Services Commissioner, Iain Rennie, says NZ Trade and Enterprise has a new chief executive and there changes are already going on.
The Ministry of Social Development had the best report card, scoring mostly strongs or well placed, followed by the Transport Agency and Inland Revenue.
But the Treasury was found to need development in its leadership and direction, the way it manages external relationships, staff development and financial and resource management.