The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation

 

Archived 'What has happened' stories

SmartGate investment improves Auckland capacity

 

June 2016

(The following stories were provided by agencies in previous reporting period)

  • Applying for a Visa – the most recent Customer Satisfaction Survey showed that 92 per cent of online applicant respondents would use the digital service again
  • The overall number of passengers (all eligible nationalities) using SmartGate continues to increase. New gates at Auckland departures have faster processing times, a drop in queues, and greater passenger satisfaction.  
  • Pay for Vehicle Licence – Internal statistics indicate that once a person renews their vehicle licence online they continue to use this service
  • Over 550,000 passports have now been issued through the online channel sonce the launch in November 2012.
  • Apply for Financial Assistance – Nationwide promotion has helped to significantly increase the number of MSD registrations by 195% (for a total of 40,722) in a three-month period. MSD clients are using My MSD to:
    • Check payment and debt details
    • Manage appointments
    • Declare weekly wages
  • Enhancements to MyStudyLink Mobile were implemented on 31 January, enabling students to update their personal information including declaring income and applying for course-related costs on their mobile device.
  • Over 90% of birth registrations through DIA also request an IRD number for the baby

December 2015

(The following stories were provided by agencies in previous reporting period)

  • The investment completed for SmartGates in Auckland addressed the capacity constraints that were beginning to impact users, as more and more passengers became eligible; the current facilities were adequate to cope over the peak Christmas/New Year period, with significant growth in passenger numbers.
  • Applications for a Visa through Immigration ONLINE are performing well with nearly 50,000 applications received since its deployment just over six-months ago.
  • 58.1 per cent of Police fines were paid using digital methods in the quarter ending December 2015, comprising online banking and credit card payments.
  • Over 1.9 million New Zealanders and businesses are now registered users of myIR which is a much better way for customers to manage their tax matters with us.
  • The Inland Revenue website is now “smart phone friendly making it accessible and more easily readable on the customers' device of choice – smartphone, tablet and desktop. Pages automatically re-size to best fit their displayed environment – menus and other 'action' links are easier to use on small displays. Customers visiting our website on mobiles and tablets is constantly on the rise:
    • In September 2014, 79.4% used their desktop, 14.6% used their mobile phone, and 6.1% used tablets.
    • In September 2015, 73.1% used their desktop, 20.6% used their mobile phones and 6.3% used tablets.

  • Voice Enabled Technology (VET) is the over-the-phone service in MSD’s ‘Go Online’ digital product suite. The family of products, including MyMSD and My Account, provide opportunities for clients to self-serve. VET provides an alternative channel for clients with barriers to transact with our other online services due to lack of capable device or limited internet access.  On 29 September 2015, the Work and Income contact centres went live with enhancements to VET. Highlights include:
    • The new self-services – check appointment and notification of Medical Certificate expiry – added through VET Phase II enhancements have received over 80,000 transactions since go-live.

    • Over 30 new banner messages playing, with variable hangup rates. To date, just over 214,000 instant info messages have been played to clients – of which, almost 10,000 clients have hung up after listening to the message. These messages are very cost effective to operate; even the modest hangup rate of 4.6% is very cost effective considering the staff time saved.
    • The most effective individual info message is our “End of School Year” message – played to 5,068 clients, 3,451 hung up after listening (68%).

Supporting clients to DIY online

July 2015

The Ministry of Social Development is enhancing its support services so people feel more confident using their digital services. At the Wellington Service Centre they’re testing the function of the Digital Assistant and different self-service technology.

Three temporary staff have been brought on board to support clients signing up to Online Services using iPads in the self-service area.

MSD is aiming to learn more about client behaviour and preference for online services, how the Digital Assistant function fits into the service centre, potential training and gaining insights directly from clients that will inform any roll out of this change.

The Digital Assistants are signing clients up to RealMe and My Account and helping them to become confident to use My Account on their own.

The Assistant Service Centre Manager says the new service is beginning to feel more and more like ‘business as usual’. It’s great to see the Case Managers all getting in behind this, handshaking clients to the Digital Assistants. “This is because staff are more aware of the value provided by the trial.”

Other news

  • Customers can now use their favourite device (computer, tablet or smartphone) to complete their transactions to pay for their vehicle licence (rego). This is thanks to NZTA's refreshed online process with clearer ‘responsive’ webdesign. And customers no longer need to authenticate with a driver licence when buying a rego.
  • Inland Revenue customers can make digital tax payments via Westpac bank's new smart ATMs
  • Submitting photos for renewing an adult Passport online is now easier, thanks to DIA's new image assessment software.

Online Renewal makes it easy

The Online Renewal Service is making it easy for New Zealanders to apply for a passport from within New Zealand and abroad by making the service simple, convenient and fast.

“Hey guys just wanted to say how impressed I was by the new online passport renewal tool. Being able to check my photo before submission, and then being able to do an electronic submission was a real time saver and made the process incredibly easy. And, having the application completed in 10 or so days over the Christmas period is amazing. So congratulations, you guys rock”

“On Monday 22nd December we applied to renew our passports online – and the new items arrived this morning by courier! We just wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ for your extremely efficient service with which we are very impressed – and also to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2015.”

“Hi just wanted to say that the service from the passport office had been fantastic. I was in a bit of a panic with some last minute business travel and an expired passport just before Christmas, but rang your helpdesk and was reassured that it would be done in time. I submitted the application online at 5 pm on 23 December, and my new passport was completed by 2pm on the 24th.  Less than one working day! Thanks so much for the great service.”

MSD provides support for DIY online

The Ministry for Social Development is working on enhancing its support services so that people feel more confident to use their digital services. At the Wellington Service Centre they’re testing the function of the Digital Assistant and different self-service technology.

Three temporary staff have been brought on board to support clients signing up to Online Services using iPads in the self-service area.

They’re aiming to learn more about client behaviour and preference for online services, how the Digital Assistant function fits into the service centre, potential training and gaining insights directly from clients that will inform any roll out of this change.

The Digital Assistants are signing clients up to RealMe and My Account and helping them to become confident to use My Account on their own.

The Assistant Service Centre Manager says the new service is beginning to feel more and more like ‘business as usual’. It’s great to see the Case Managers all getting in behind this, handshaking clients to the Digital Assistants. “This is because staff are more aware of the value provided by the trial.”

SmartGate Plus

September 2014

The SmartGate Plus prototype was unveiled in June in the premiere departure check-in at Auckland Airport. It uses biometric ‘face-on-the-fly’ technology to photograph the passenger as they approach the scanner and matches it to their passport, eliminating the kiosk and ticket part of the current process.

  • The SmartGate Plus proof of concept trial at Auckland ended on 14 October. SmartGate Plus processed over 42,000 passenger movements over the 18 week trial period.
  • The developers, Morpho, improved hardware and software for a very stable gate environment. 
  • Feedback from passengers and staff has been very positive. Lessons learned are being fed back into the design and delivery of a production gate.
  • New Zealand Customs is developing a business case to replace the current two-step kiosk and gate process, with the new one step process.

Reintroducing Work and Income Self-Service Kiosks

The September Quarter saw a nationwide roll-out of self service kiosks at Ministry of Social Development sites. The kiosks help MSD clients:

  • check their eligibility for Financial Assistance and apply online
  • search for work and apply for jobs on websites such as Trade Me Jobs and Seek
  • access services through their My Account or MyStudyLink personal online account
  • declare their income and
  • access other helpful websites

On average there are around 1,800 kiosk sessions per day with users spending approximately six minutes per session. The kiosks are being used as intended with the top ten websites visited including the major job search sites, and Work and Income and StudyLink online services.

Service transformation to a digital environment

  • New Zealanders get help to help themselves: The New Zealand Government Office opened in Christchurch in February. This cross-agency office in Sydenham gives access to a range of direct and online services from MSD and IR. Self-service work stations are now up and running – customers can look up information and complete simple online transactions themselves. Office staff support customers, especially people unused to technology, to navigate systems and gain confidence in using online government services. From day one customers began registering for MyIR online services and/or making applications to MSD.

  • Proving it’s you online with RealMe: In June 2013, MSD StudyLink clients who were existing users of the igovt service heard that the system for proving who they are online was rebranding to RealMe. StudyLink clients comprise more than a quarter of the igovt (now RealMe) population. Clients generally understood things and the transition went smoothly with no significant issues or impact on call volumes. The RealMe service continues to maintain high levels of security and privacy, just as the igovt logon service did for six years previously. Thirteen government agencies currently use RealMe login to offer 43 services across central and local government.

  • Smart passengers get smarter: SmartGate usage topped 6 million in July 2013. Of the 120,673 passengers who used SmartGate on arrivals in June 2013, two-thirds were repeat users. Comparing year-on-year, use of SmartGate saw the greatest increase in raw customer numbers; up by 851,662 passengers, from 1.78 million in the year to June 2012 (29.6% digital) to 2.63 million in the year to June 2013 (42.7% digital).

  • Websites: Numerous agencies upgraded their websites during the quarter, improving usability, and increasing the capability of agencies to deliver better service (eg, web analytics to understand customer behaviour). Agencies are planning further website and mobile technology upgrades to encourage online transactions and remove administrative barriers that prevent or slow online payment uptake.

Renewing an adult passport online

New Zealand Passport

June 2013

The Department of Internal Affairs understands that a Passport is more than what might be obvious. When it issues an ePassport, that little book represents much more than that for ordinary Kiwis the world over; it delivers freedom of travel and easier access to a world of new experiences.

DIA commits to deliver within 10 working days from receipt of all correct information and the department sometimes beats its own deadlines:

"I applied online for my passport renewal after business hours Friday 17th May 2013. You advised me per email Monday 20th May 2013 of receipt, issue and dispatch from Wellington the SAME DAY! AND you provided me with DHL tracking facility so I could monitor transit of the Courier item along its entire journey. I received my new passport today 22nd May 2013 at 1145 hrs in Launceston Tasmania Total cost A$91 – and no charge for courier!! I do not have enough superlatives to sing your praises …you are indeed a breath of fresh air. Please accept this email as my personal thanks to you all as your names and faces are unknown. Keep up the amazing work."

          Mike S, Launceston, Tasmania, May 2013

New Zealand Government Office, Christchurch

The New Zealand Government Office opened in Christchurch in February. The popular cross-agency office in Sydenham gives access to a range of direct and online services from the Ministry of Social Development and Inland Revenue. People who have used the service have been positive about it. Asked what they thought about the self-service work stations and staff help, they've said:

“Good to see all Services under one roof”

“Treated with respect, not rushed despite loads of needs”

“Reception – smiling, relaxed, confident, interested. Case worker also competent and helpful”

“I’m leaving feeling more informed and able to manage the situation”

“Was seen promptly and was dealt with in a helpful manner, wasn’t treated like a number”

Ministry of Social Development – End of School Year

An End of School Year online form was introduced to give clients another way of letting the Ministry of Social Development know near the end of the school year whether they would still be supporting children aged 16 and 17 years included in their benefit or Working for Families assistance.

  • This form was available online from 29 October – 21 December.
  • Of 21,274 clients who received a letter asking them to contact the Ministry, one third of clients accessed and completed the online form. This enabled clients to complete the form in their own time and avoided them having to wait for the Contact Centre to be available.

Renewing an adult passport online

19 March 2013

The number of New Zealanders renewing their adult passport online continues to grow steadily. There have also been positive stories of how this more cost effective service is helping New Zealanders, as these anecdotes show:

“My grateful thanks for the quick response to my application to renew my passport. Having only submitted my application a few days ago I am simply blown away with the easy format of the online application process and the speed with which the application was processed and the new passport dispatched to my door.

“Congratulations to you all for being the most user-friendly government department in New Zealand.”

David M, Queenstown

“Just wanted to thank whoever deals with online passport applications. I sent mine in about 14 December, and with Christmas coming and going away on holiday, I didn't expect to see it until the middle of January.

“Imagine my delight when the courier delivered it the following Tuesday – 18 December!

“Very pleased and impressed with the speed of the service.”

Many thanks

Lisa A, Auckland

Link for further information

http://www.passports.govt.nz/Adult-passport-renewal---form

Ask a Question Tool

Senior citizens

19 March 2013

The Ministry of Social Development has experienced positive feedback with its Ask a Question tool on the Seniors page of www.msd.govt.nz, which allows visitors to search for seniors-related information and type in a question if the information is not found.

In 2012, 13,771 clients used this tool to make 7,241 searches for information and view 25,017 answers. Only 421 specific questions were submitted by clients to be answered by a staff member. This would indicate that a high percentage of clients found the information they were looking for at the site. Outside of the Ask a Question tool a further 9,857 clients emailed MSD’s Seniors team to make enquiries or to provide changes in circumstance or contact details. 

Many people commented on Seniors’ prompt and helpful online channels. One wrote, “Thanks for the information. If I had to rate your service level on a scale of one to five stars, you get five stars”. Another wrote: “Used on-line service for NZ Superannuation application. Used it for my wife’s application. Very straightforward and easy to use. No problems encountered. Excellent service”.      

www.seniors.msd.govt.nz/

Renewing an adult passport online

29 January 2013

While falling outside the current reporting period, of note is the successful launch on 2 November of Internal Affairs’ service of renewing an adult passport online. This service is being used by more than 1000 people each week, with customers reporting the application process taking less than five minutes, and passports received within three days. New Zealand is the only country where applicants can complete the entire passport renewal process online, which costs up to $28 less than a paper-based application. Results on this service will be included in the next quarter result (Oct-Dec 2012).

One member of the public who applied to renew her adult passport using the online service, Claire Eichler, told the Dominion Post that she felt confident using it, particularly because the person who took her passport photo was knowledgeable about the online service. Claire described her experience as “good” and found the service “easy to use”. She applied on a Monday and received her passport three days later.

And, in a letter to the editor of the Dominion Post, Peter Graczer of Te Aro said the online passport service “beat all his expectations”. He added the whole application took less than five minutes – “much less time than it takes to get broadband or Sky TV connected. How times have changed”.

Link for further information

http://www.passports.govt.nz/Adult-passport-renewal---form

 

SmartGate improves passenger service

ppt-home-smartgate.jpg

10 December 2012

Getting a better night’s sleep is just one of the ways in which SmartGate is helping New Zealanders!

According to one Auckland taxi driver, the introduction of NZ Customs’ SmartGate system, which provides electronic self-processing for international arriving and departing passengers, has ensured a speedier journey for passengers through Customs and Immigration.

The taxi driver noted that passengers were quicker to get to his taxi, particularly those who had only carry-on luggage, which meant they got home earlier than in the past.

This was, he added, better for his business, providing him with less down time and extra sleep.

Result – happier passengers and happier taxi drivers!

Since its introduction in August 2009, not only has the age of eligibility been dropped from 18 to 16 but SmartGate has also proved popular with people of all ages, including the elderly  – eg in August 2012, 378 people aged 82-89 and five people aged 90-93 used SmartGate on arrival at Auckland International Airport.

Link for further information