The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation

 

Resource material › Corporate Publications › Section 3

Year in Review


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Introduction
Strong, Sustainable Communities/Hapu/Iwi
Safer Communities:


New Zealand and International Communities Trust the Integrity of New Zealand’s Records of Identity
Executive Government is Well Supported
Reducing Inequalities
Capability


Introduction

The Department of Internal Affairs contributes to the following key Government goals for the public sector:

  • Strengthen national identity and uphold the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi
  • Grow an inclusive, innovative economy for the benefit of all
  • Maintain trust in government and provide strong social services.

Our purpose is to serve and connect citizens, communities and government to build a strong, safe nation.

Towards this purpose, we focus on the following outcomes (states or conditions of New Zealand society that we are able to influence to varying degrees).

    Strong, sustainable communities/hapu/iwi. Safer communities. New Zealand and international communities trust the integrity of New Zealand's records of Identity
    We also have a key Departmental objective:

    Executive government is well supported


The following sections outline how we have worked towards this objective and these outcomes during 2004/05. The Year in Review section also includes details of how we have contributed to the Government’s goal of reducing inequalities and concludes with a section on managing capability.

Strong, sustainable communities/hapū/iwi

The Department of Internal Affairs contributes to building strong, sustainable communities. We work with central government, local government and communities, hapû and iwi to identify, plan for and realise their futures.

Our interventions focus on:

  • strengthening capability building
  • addressing barriers and enhancing social inclusion
  • influencing the regulatory environment in which institutions and communities operate
  • providing assistance and resources.

We have a range of skills, knowledge, relationships and responsibilities through which we can achieve this. Our strong networks of community and ethnic advisors work with community groups to help them set their own priorities and develop their own resources.

Various initiatives have been pursued during 2004/05 to enhance the Department’s services and contribute to this outcome, as outlined below.

Strengthening capability building

During the year we continued to implement Te Whakamotuhaketanga Hapû, our Mâori community development framework. The framework aligns with our “sustainable communities” development work, and emphasises an approach where the strengths of the particular whänau, hapü, iwi and Mäori organisation are used as the catalyst for ongoing development.

Part of that framework is Te Kete Äwhina, a toolkit developed to provide advisors with a practical means to achieve the outcomes of Te Whakamotuhaketanga Hapü. It contains a collection of kaupapa Mäori knowledge, understandings and methods drawn from experience of best practice in working with whänau, hapü, iwi and Mäori. Te Kete Äwhina was launched in June 2005, and a series of regional workshops are planned in 2005/06 to train advisors in the use of the kete.

One of the ways we are encouraging sustainable community development is by implementing community-specific initiatives. Projects in Waitakere, Kaikohe, Papakura and Raetihi are using creative ways to get people in touch with their local communities, deal with community issues and develop community outcomes.

Contributing to a strong self-directed ethnic sector

For New Zealand to have thriving, safe and sustainable communities, ethnic communities must settle well, feel included and contribute to the prosperity of the country as a whole. The Office of Ethnic Affairs builds community development support for ethnic communities to help them set their own priorities and develop their own resources.

The Office contributed to the development and subsequent implementation of the Government’s National Settlement Strategy. The Strategy addresses the issues that many people face when settling in New Zealand. These include access to education, language services, health, housing and employment, as well as cultural integration and community involvement. The Strategy also aims to improve coordination among government agencies.

The Office has continued to work with government agencies to develop and promote ways they can improve their responsiveness to ethnic diversity in policy and services delivery, based on the Government strategy Ethnic Perspectives in Policy. Examples include:

  • working with New Zealand Police, who launched their strategy Working Together with Ethnic Communities in February 2005
  • supporting consultative forums on key government issues such as the Mental Health Strategy, the Housing Strategy and the review of the Residential Tenancies Act
  • working with officials to identify ways to provide better information about ethnic groups, particularly those who may be at risk of disadvantage
  • developing a training programme to promote intercultural awareness and communications within the public sector.


    Collage of pictures of young people, overwritten "Portraits: Youth"
    “Portraits” is aimed at all people in New Zealand, to raise awareness about the various ethnic communities living in New Zealand and what these communities contribute to New Zealand.
The Office held two further Ethnic Listening Forums in Manukau and Palmerston North, enabling people from ethnic communities to speak directly to the Minister for Ethnic Affairs and other government representatives. Over 1,000 people have now attended forums held around New Zealand. A publication will report the issues raised, which will be promoted to government agencies that work with ethnic communities.

To help raise the visibility of ethnic communities, the Office:
  • marked Race Relations Day on 21 March 2005 by hosting a special evening event in Wellington in conjunction with the Human Rights Commission
  • published a poster to promote strength in diversity, and the first in a series of profiles – Portraits: Youth – aimed at host communities.

    The Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust was established and the trustees met for the first time in January 2005. The Trust was established as part of Chinese poll tax descendants’ reconciliation package and is administered by the Department.

    Reviewing the concept of citizenship

    The concept of citizenship is dynamic and must respond to both national and international developments. As part of an ongoing work programme into 2005/06, the Department launched a major review of the concept of citizenship. As well as the principles underpinning New Zealand citizenship policy and legislation, the review will address:

  • the relevance of the concept of citizenship in today’s world
  • the rights and responsibilities of citizens
  • the distinction between citizens and residents
  • whether there is a need in New Zealand for promotion of citizenship
  • whether citizenship is a measure of successful migrant settlement.

    Developing effective and accountable local government institutions

    The Department advises Ministers, government agencies and local government on appropriate legislation and monitors the local government system. We also work in partnership with local government to implement new legislation and to develop tools and knowledge for effective local government performance.

    Influencing the regulatory environment
    During the year we participated in a joint central/local government review of the ways in which local authorities implement and enforce government’s regulatory initiatives. We also completed the initial stages of a review into the funding needs and funding sources available to local authorities.

    We have also completed a draft strategy for evaluating the impact of changes to local government legislation and assessing the extent to which the legislation is achieving its intended outcome – including the Local Electoral Act 2001, the Local Government Act 2002 and the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002.


    Supporting community participation and best practice
    In the 2004 local authority elections, single transferable voting (STV) was introduced for the election of all District Health Boards and 10 councils. The Department supported local authorities, providing a certified calculator to count STV votes and a public education exercise to tell voters how to cast a single transferable vote. Post-election evidence showed that the overwhelming majority of voters were in fact able to cast a vote effectively.

    Difficulty in the counting of STV votes in the majority of elections was outside the direct responsibility of the Department because local elections are operated locally. However, the Department took a leadership communications role in explaining the situation to the public and issued regular updates on the situation based on reports from electoral officers, local authorities and the companies contracted to do the counting.

    The Department of Internal Affairs’ Effectiveness for Mäori Strategy 2004/05 priority actions signalled the intent to work with local government. A key focus was to assist in the successful implementation of the provisions of the local government legislation in respect of Mäori. During 2004/05 we:

  • presented to Mäori local authority employees on the Local Government Act 2002 in workshops at Taranaki and Rotorua
  • consulted with Mäori community representatives on the district plan for Motiti Island.

    Local authorities are required to develop Long-Term Council Community Plans, based on community outcomes processes The community outcomes processes, due to be reported by local authorities in 2006, require local authorities to consult widely with their communities. (COPs), and the Department supports central/local government interaction in these COPs. During the year, we provided information and support to territorial authorities and regional councils on COPs, including participating in, and facilitation of, meetings and workshops. We led a regular central government forum where Departments could discuss common issues and themes developing around COPs, and we ran a workshop for central/local government to share best practice.

    The Department will coordinate the organisational arrangements for New Zealand’s hosting of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum in 2007 –an opportunity for local government to share best practice internationally.



      Providing access to information and assistance

      The Department provides information and assistance to local government, communities and individuals. During the year, this included developing accessible information about the local government sector and local authorities to:

      • improve public awareness of local government issues
      • encourage public participation in local government decision-making processes
      • act as a resource for local authorities.

      This work culminated in a dedicated website, with this information being launched by the Minister of Local Government in August 2005.

      From 1 July 2005 the Department has been responsible for the Connecting Communities Strategy (part of the Government’s Digital Strategy), aimed at increasing the uptake of information and communications technology (ICT) within communities, hapû and iwi. We are responsible for the Community Partnership Fund, to fund initiatives that improve people’s capability and skills to use ICT and develop digital content.

      Elderly man uses computer as woman looks on
      SeniorNet throughout New Zealand has received
      Lottery Grants totalling $13,520 to assist older
      people access information technology.

    Through our Office of Ethnic Affairs we manage Language Line, a telephone interpreting service for clients with limited English who are seeking advice and services from participating agencies. The service operates in 37 languages, and has handled 30,000 calls since its inception in 2003.

    Preparatory work was undertaken for the transfer of the Charities Commission to the Department from the Ministry of Economic Development. From 1 July 2005, the Commission has been responsible for registering and monitoring charities. The Department will administer the Charities Act and monitor the Commission’s performance. The transfer acknowledges the Department’s experience in the community and voluntary sector.

    Providing access to resources through grants to community groups

    The Department helps communities access resources through our administration of, and support for, the mechanisms by which grants are made to community groups.

    For example, we supported the implementation of a new committee structure for the Lottery Grants Board, designed to bring decision making closer to the community and to introduce an outcomes approach to grant funding.

    We also implemented enhancements to the Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS). The election process for new COGS Local Distribution Committees was completed during 2004/05, with 37 new committees established. Committee members received training on their roles, application assessment, codes of conduct and managing conflicts of interest.

    We began establishment of the Significant Community-Based Project Fund, which will distribute grants to community projects of national significance.

    Safer communities – reduced vulnerability of communities to hazards and their risks

    Consistent with this “safer communities” outcome, the Government’s vision for civil defence and emergency management (CDEM) is “Resilient New Zealand” – achieved when New Zealanders understand and routinely act to reduce and avoid the adverse effects of hazards.

    A key mechanism for achieving a “Resilient New Zealand” is the framework established under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002.

    The February 2004 storms and Lower North Island floods created the largest emergency management event in the last 20 years, and was the first major event since the 2002 Act was passed. There was further flooding in the Bay of Plenty in July 2004 and again in May 2005.

    These flood events shaped the work of the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM). Ministry staff were also involved in international response efforts following the South East Asian tsunami on Boxing Day 2004.

    Our interventions focus on:

    • increasing community awareness, understanding and participation in CDEM
    • reducing the risks from hazards in New Zealand
    • enhancing New Zealand’s capability to manage emergencies
    • enhancing New Zealand’s capability to recover from disasters.

    Evaluating capability needs

    Given the significance and timing of the February 2004 floods, the Department commissioned a review of the management of the response and initial recovery efforts at local, regional and national levels. In addition to the review of this specific event, the State Services Commission, at the request of the Ministers of State Services and Civil Defence, led a review of MCDEM.

    These reviews concluded that the Act provided an appropriate structure and methodology for dealing with large-scale emergency events and that good progress was being made towards implementation. There was concern about sector capability and a need was identified in some areas for additional support. There was also concern about a lack of public understanding of the new civil defence environment and the public’s role in it.

    Also, there was concern about the capacity and capability of MCDEM. The reviews identified the need to:

    • enhance MCDEM’s capability and capacity to develop its role as the sector leader, capable of developing and maintaining strong relationships
    • strengthen MCDEM’s national coordination role during events, including the management of the National Crisis Management Centre.

    In response to these issues the Department prepared a resource bid for additional resources and for a comprehensive public education programme for the 2005/06 year and beyond. In response to our resource bid, the Government has agreed to:
    • increase the permanent staffing of MCDEM by 70% over the next two years
    • provide a further $6.1 million over the next four years for national public education programmes, to increase awareness and preparedness among individuals and communities.
    The 4 Rs
    The new approach, embedded in the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, can be broken down into four areas of activity, known as the “4 Rs”:

    Reduction: Identifying and analysing long-term risks to human life and property from natural or man-made hazards; taking steps to eliminate these risks where practicable, and, where not, reducing the likelihood and magnitude of their impact.

    Readiness: Developing operational systems and capabilities before an emergency happens. These include self-help and response programmes for the general public, and establishing structures, arrangements and relationships between the key agencies with disaster management roles.

    Response: Taking actions immediately before, during or directly after an emergency to save lives and property, as well as helping communities to recover.

    Recovery: The activities required to regenerate communities following a disaster.

    Increasing community awareness, understanding and participation

    In 2003 MCDEM worked with stakeholders to develop the National Public Education Strategy. The Strategy envisages resilient communities that are aware of, and acknowledge, the hazards they face and take action to be prepared to look after themselves.

    In support of this strategy during the year, MCDEM began a “CDEM in Schools” package, encouraging children to deliver the CDEM preparedness message into homes. The resources will be produced in phases over the next few years.

    Work has also started on developing a New Zealand version of the international Talking about Disasters guide. This guide will provide a standard language to ensure that consistent messages are being delivered within the CDEM sector to promote awareness and preparedness.

    Reducing the risks from hazards in New Zealand

    It is impossible to completely remove the risks from all hazards. Communities and government must therefore manage a host of variables that affect the acceptability of risk, from economic costs to the country’s international reputation.

    While a comprehensive framework for government’s involvement in risk reduction is still being developed, MCDEM supported a number of risk mitigation initiatives for the Government.

    The Government contributed a multimillion dollar package to an integrated flood management plan for the Thames Coast, bringing local and central government agencies together for the first time in an integrated approach to flood management in New Zealand.

    A science report and a preparedness report are being developed by MCDEM and the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences to provide a single integrated view of the risk of tsunami in New Zealand. The reports will provide the basis for significant local, regional and national planning.

    Enhancing New Zealand’s capability to manage emergencies

    The various agencies with statutory responsibilities must plan an integrated and cooperative approach to responding to emergencies.

    The year has seen significant planning activity occur at both the local and national level. All CDEM groups have completed their first group plan, a requirement of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002. All groups have gone through a detailed process to develop the plans, including consultation with their local communities and other stakeholders. The development of the plans has enabled CDEM stakeholders to better understand what is required to more effectively manage emergencies.

    MCDEM led the development of the Proposed National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan, which was presented to the House of Representatives and publicly notified in August 2005. The Plan sets out how government will manage a national emergency and how it will support CDEM groups in their management of local events. MCDEM also supported a series of initiatives to improve training and professional development opportunities for the sector:

    · redeveloping national courses, unit standards, and the Certificate in Emergency Management run through the Auckland University of Technology
    · assisting in a number of regional initiatives for emergency management controllers
    · developing, with the Local Authority Industry Training Organisation, Project RAPID (Response and Preparedness in Disasters) – a comprehensive training programme to enhance emergency response capability of communities.

    Enhancing New Zealand’s capability to recover from disasters

    Good recovery planning increases the speed at which communities can resume normal activities – and its importance cannot be overstated.

    We issued a Director’s Guideline on Recovery Management in May 2005. The Guideline is the first time a comprehensive attempt has been made to identify the various components of recovery to provide a basis for recovery planning at the national, CDEM group and local level.

    We also published an information series document, Focus on Recovery, a Holistic Framework for Recovery in New Zealand, in March 2005.

    These documents were developed following the successful International Recovery Symposium held in July 2004 and four regional recovery workshops undertaken in October and November 2004.

    flood waters rushing past a house
    Flooding in May 2005 left Matata, in the Bay of Plenty,
    with millions of dollars worth of damage
    and a long clean up ahead.
    men using a firehose to fill a red tank
    Flood barriers being tested as part of a RAPID flood training course.

    Reviewing the provision and funding of fire services in New Zealand

    The Department is undertaking a major review of the provision and funding of fire services in New Zealand.

    The overall objective of the review is the development of comprehensive new legislation to replace the Fire Service Act 1975 and the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977. We have released the first of two public discussion documents for the review, generating a great deal of interest in the fire sector. A second public discussion document is planned for release in late 2005.

    Safer communities – gambling activities are fair and lawful, and harm has been prevented and minimised

    Over the last 12 months the Department has continued to focus on ensuring that the Gambling Act 2003 is successfully implemented.

    Regulations were introduced during the year covering:

    • harm prevention
    • licensed promoters
    • the net proceeds of Class 4 (gaming machines in pubs and clubs) gambling
    • infringement notices.

    We have continued to develop our working relationship with the Ministry of Health. The Department and the Ministry recognise that a “whole-of-government approach” to preventing harm is required. We have progressed a number of joint initiatives during the year. In particular, the Department and the Ministry have been working together to establish an Expert Advisory Group on Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm. This Group will consist of expert stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds including problem gambling services, research and gambling operations.

    Game rules for Class 4 gambling and limits on Class 4 venue expenses were also introduced during the year.

    From March 2005 no venues, other than the six licensed casinos, can brand themselves as casinos.

    Our goal over the next three to five years is for the gambling sector to achieve a significant level of voluntary compliance as it understands the rules, recognises the risks of not complying, and sees the Department as a strong and effective regulator capable of dealing with any issue as it arises.

    In support of this goal we are pursuing the following key objectives:

    • increasing compliance in the non-casino gaming sector
    • increasing returns to the community from non-casino gaming machines
    • preventing and minimising the harm caused by gambling.

    Non-casino gaming machines are allowed in pubs and clubs as a form of community fundraising only, and at 30 June 2005 there were more than 22,000 such machines at more than 1,800 separate venues around New Zealand. In New Zealand, non-casino gaming machine operations last year made a profit of $1.035 billion from a turnover of more than $8.6 billion.

    Since the Gambling Act 2003 was passed, the number of both venues and machines in use has gone down. From June 2003 to June 2004 machine numbers went down by 11%, but the amount players spent on those machines went up by 10%.

    During the year we worked towards the implementation of an Electronic Monitoring System (EMS). Electronic monitoring of gaming machines is standard practice throughout the world because of the large cash turnovers. EMS will allow the Department to monitor how much money is gambled on each machine, how much each machine pays out to gamblers and how much money should be banked. We are on track for all machines to be connected by the statutory deadline of March 2007.

    What is problem gambling?

    Problem gambling is gambling that causes or may
    cause harm. Gambling can, and does, hurt people
    close to the gambler (friends, family, whanau), as
    well as the gamblers themselves.
    Signs of problem gambling

    Does your gambling stress you out?

    Are you spending more time gambling than you
    mean to?
    Are you gambling with more money than you
    can afford to spend?

    Do you gamble as a way of escaping problems?

    Do you lie to family or whanau and friends to
    hide your gambling?

    Would you, or do you, steal to get money for
    your gambling?

    Do you ever feel guilty or depressed about the
    way you gamble?

    Do you gamble to try to win back
    past losses?

    Do your friends, family or whanau have concerns
    about your gambling?

    Safer communities – harm from restricted and objectionable material has been minimised

    The Department’s censorship interventions are focused on:

    • achieving full compliance with censorship laws
    • monitoring, investigating, and prosecution of offences involving, objectionable material
    • promoting consumer awareness.

    Besides its regulatory and enforcement role, the Department also contributes towards safer communities by facilitating the operation of the publications and classifications decision-making regime.

    Recent changes to the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 gave the Department broader investigative powers and increased penalties for objectionable publication offences. The Courts have also handed out tougher sentences.

    Until 2002, the Department’s cases brought before the courts resulted in, on average, 22 convictions a year. Of those, only five in total resulted in jail terms. In 2003 there were 26 convictions with eight offenders being jailed, and in 2004 there were 24 convictions with seven jail terms imposed.

    The Department’s inspection programme of retail outlets and suppliers continues to show that, overall, the industry’s compliance with the censorship regime is high. In 2004/05 the percentage found to be non-compliant was 10%, in comparison with the initial standard set of 15%, and 12% for 2003/04.

    The major risk to the achievement of the outcome of minimising harm is child pornography over the Internet, and this area continued to receive considerable focus from the Department. We continue to work closely, and share information, with many overseas jurisdictions, as well as nationally with the Police and New Zealand Customs. We research developments in technology, including forensic investigation techniques, and maintain direct relationships with key sector groups such as Internet service providers and the computer game industry.

    In 2004/05 the Department continued its research to establish profiles of censorship offenders, in order to improve the way in which offenders are identified, processed and treated, and gain insights into preventing offences of this nature.

    The Department and the Office of Film and Literature Classification have jointly commissioned research, by way of a youth-based survey, on the effectiveness of the classification regime with respect to the current age restrictions on computer games. Anecdotal information suggests that young people are playing restricted games and, in many cases, obtaining such games from their parents or other adults.

    The Department will use the information gained from the survey, which will be available in 2005/06, to review the enforcement approach to such activities. The survey will also indicate whether additional focus is required on promoting community awareness by education, and communicating the purpose and nature of the classification regime as it applies to computer games.

    New Zealand and international communities trust the integrity of New Zealand’s records of identity

    The Department is responsible for the creation, stewardship and integrity of records of, or relating to, New Zealanders’ identity. Our success is dependent on the records being trusted by the public, the government sector and internationally.

    Safeguarding the integrity of identity products remained a key priority for the Department over the year in the face of rising international security issues, organised crime threats and increasingly complex operational issues.

    There were three areas of focus for Identity Services in 2004/05:

    • enhancement of security and integrity of identity data, systems and documents
    • leadership in identity management
    • supporting service delivery in a changing society.

    Meeting performance standards despite high demand

    Passport application volumes have been at a record high for much of last year, with more than 400,000 passports issued – a first for New Zealand.

    Citizenship demand was also very high over several months, as changes to the citizenship qualifying conditions were initially expected to come into effect from 1 January 2006 and many people were keen to apply for citizenship before then. Despite this increase in demand, the Department has continued to meet performance standards.

    During 2004/05
    • 411,986 passports and travel documents were issued
    • 111,242 births, deaths and marriages were registered
    • 241,097 birth, death and marriage certificates and printouts were issued
    • 23,251 applications for grant of citizenship to foreign nationals were recommended to the Minister.

    Eight out of 10 surveyed customers were satisfied with the products and service they received from Identity Services in 2004/05, with five out of 10 customers saying they were “very pleased”.

    Enhancing the security and integrity of identity data, systems and documents

    This year has seen significant developments in the security of New Zealand’s passport.

    International travel document security standards have been raised, as a result of heightened international focus on security. New Zealand passports must meet certain requirements set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the United States Visa Waiver Programme (USVWP). From 26 October 2006, this will include a requirement for all USVWP countries, including New Zealand, to issue “e-passports”. The e-passport incorporates biometric information in an embedded chip.

    Development of New Zealand’s e-passport has continued throughout 2004/05, including completion of design of the e-passport book and system. The Department is currently participating in live trials in the United States and expects to introduce the e-passport in 2005/06. We are also involved in the development of international standards for travel documents within ICAO.

    In October 2004, the Department launched the Emergency Travel Document (ETD), replacing lower-security manual passports previously issued from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade posts overseas. The ETD incorporates a number of modern security features, is machine readable and is valid for a maximum of 12 months. It enables New Zealanders overseas who do not have a valid passport to travel in urgent circumstances.

    In April 2005 the Passports Amendment Act was passed. This Act reduced the validity of the New Zealand passport to five years, helping New Zealand retain a technological edge over fraudsters.

    The Passports Amendment Act also allowed for the disclosure of New Zealand travel document information for the Advanced Passenger Processing system, which was launched in June 2005. This system prevents unauthorised people from entering New Zealand, by enabling airlines to check the validity of passengers’ travel document details against passport and visa information before their departure on a flight bound for New Zealand. The new system effectively extends New Zealand’s ability to manage its border security offshore.

    Since September 2001 the New Zealand government, along with a number of other western democratic governments, has moved to tighten border controls. Within this context, Parliament has exercised its sovereign right to determine who may have access to the benefits that accompany citizenship. The Citizenship Amendment Act 2005 came into force on 21 April 2005, giving effect to very significant shifts in policy.

    • The requirements for the grant of citizenship, most notably the residence requirements, have been made more difficult to meet.
    • The provision for differential treatment of applications on the basis of marital status has been repealed.
    • New provisions have been introduced for dealing with applications from people with criminal convictions.

    The Citizenship Amendment Act 2005 also increases the qualifying period of entitlement to New Zealand citizenship to five years. This, combined with the Passports Act amendments, tightens the security of the New Zealand passport, as New Zealand citizenship is required before a New Zealand passport can be issued.

    Parliament has also amended the long-standing provision for citizenship by birth in New Zealand. From 1 January 2006, a child born in New Zealand will be a New Zealand citizen only if at least one of his or her parents is a New Zealand citizen or is entitled, in terms of the Immigration Act 1987, to be in New Zealand indefinitely. From that date, a New Zealand-born child who is not a citizen will be deemed to have at birth the same immigration status as the mother or father, whichever is the most favourable for the child.

    Providing leadership in identity management

    We have continued to take a leadership role on cross-government initiatives relating to identity verification, with the aim of encouraging better understanding and processes across the public sector. During 2004/05 we worked closely with the State Services Commission to design solutions for the all-of-government Identity Authentication Programme.

    One of two projects we are responsible for within the Programme is the development of an Evidence of Identity standard. The standard will provide greater detail about good practice processes for agencies to establish the identity of customers. Consultation and release of the standard will take place in 2005/06.

    As custodians of the largest and most complete record of New Zealanders’ identity, we have provided authorised government agencies with information-matching services. Benefits include reduced public compliance costs, improved integrity of agency databases, and fraud reduction.

    For example, since September 2004 we have provided weekly data on deaths to the Ministry of Social Development. This assists the Ministry to identify clients who have died, to help families of the deceased with necessary processes, and to identify cases of fraud where benefits were being claimed in the name of people who have died.

    Other agencies receiving data for matching or test purposes this year have included the Ministry of Education (births data) and the Department of Labour (citizenship data). Agreements have been progressed to establish matches with two more agencies.

    Supporting service delivery in a changing society

    Over 2004/05 a number of other legislative changes have had significant impacts on our business processes and service delivery.

    The Civil Union Act was passed in December 2004 and came into force at the end of April 2005. We successfully developed the systems and processes to provide civil union services, ensuring that licences, registration services, appointment of civil union celebrants and registry ceremonies were in place when the Act came into force.

    Proposals to enhance and modernise the operational provisions of the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995 have been incorporated into an Amendment Bill, which is almost ready for introduction. Among the changes envisaged by the Bill is an enabling framework for online access to certain registration information.

    A pilot for online notification of deaths was ready for implementation as the year ended. This is Identity Services’ first fully transactional service on the Internet, and development of this service has triggered further hardening of system security to ensure safety of all Identity Services data and systems.

    The Department has continued to collaborate with the Department of Labour on developing a “single customer view” to better integrate immigration and citizenship processes. Both agencies have jointly developed a high-level strategic framework that encompasses a range of current and future initiatives, such as the Regional Movement Alert List which will provide regional alert information about lost and stolen passports.

    Becoming New Zealand Citizens
    Helen Clark flanked by Afghani refugees

    In April 2005, Identity Services facilitated citizenship ceremonies for the Tampa refugees, a group of Afghani refugees rescued in 2001 from a sinking Indonesian fishing boat. The Prime Minister spoke at the Manukau ceremony, where 76 Tampa refugees became New Zealand citizens. Another 56 Tampa refugees became citizens over a week later in a Christchurch ceremony. The Minister of Internal Affairs attended both ceremonies, along with the mayor of each city. These events attracted both national and international media attention.

    Executive Government is well supported

    “Good government” depends on the effective functioning of Executive Government processes. We provide the Executive Government with the environment, support and advice to carry out its duties effectively.


    Enabling Ministers to work effectively

    During 2004/05 we completed initial work to improve the delivery of information technology services to our clients and staff and thus enable Ministers to work more efficiently. This included a Department-wide Information Systems Strategic Plan which sets the basis for more robust systems within Executive Government Support, and an information strategy developed jointly with the other parliamentary agencies.

    We commenced a programme of upgrading security for Ministers’ residences and our transport services. A review of the property portfolio has resulted in a long-term maintenance plan for each property.

    In the second half of the year, most parts of Executive Government Support were involved in planning to ensure they could respond quickly and efficiently to any changes to the Executive arising from the 2005 General Election.


    Helping to maintain New Zealand’s international reputation

    We contributed to helping maintain New Zealand’s international reputation by arranging and supporting visits by overseas dignitaries and ceremonial events. Working in close cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Visits and Ceremonials Office of the Department arranged 90 such events in 2004/05. These included visits by the Prince of Wales and HRH Prince William, and three Presidential and nine Prime Ministerial visits.

    Ceremonial events included the programme related to the return of the Unknown Warrior, the 60th anniversary of VE Day and the 50th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. These events were organised in close cooperation with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

    Two officers marching with the gun carriage
    The funeral procession with the Unknown Warrior on the gun carriage passes DIA Head Office enroute to the National War Memorial, Thursday 11 November 2004.


    Facilitating interaction between New Zealanders and the Executive

    A significant focus for us during the year was the support we gave to the Commission into Police Conduct, the Confidential Forum for Former In-Patients of Psychiatric Hospitals and the Ministerial Review into Allegations of Abuse at the Waiouru Cadet School.

    We also provided a series of ancillary services:

    • publishing the New Zealand Gazette, the official newsletter of the Government of New Zealand
    • providing translation services in more than 70 languages to Ministers and third parties
    • authenticating New Zealand documents for use overseas.

    Reducing Inequalities

    The Department of Internal Affairs contributes to the Government’s goal of reducing inequalities for disadvantaged people.

    We do this through developing community capability and through efficiently and effectively delivering community funding.

    We concentrate on interventions that support the Departmental outcome of strong, sustainable communities/hapû/iwi, and allow disadvantaged communities to identify, plan for and realise their futures.

    The Office of Ethnic Affairs contributes to reducing inequalities for ethnic communities through its advisory and information functions. It provides capacity building both for communities (enabling them to participate more effectively) and for departments (enabling them to better identify and respond to ethnic communities’ needs). The Office does this through:

    • promoting ethnic perspectives in policy advice and service delivery
    • working with ethnic communities and community forums
    • operating Language Line
    • developing a programme to promote intercultural awareness, for delivery in 2005/06.

    The Department, through the Local Government and Community Branch, administers the following schemes that contribute directly to the Government’s goal of reducing inequalities.

    Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS)

    COGS is a community-based scheme providing grants to community organisations that deliver social services to people from one or more of the COGS priority sectors, namely people with disabilities, Mâori, Pacific, other ethnic and migrant communities, rurally isolated communities, older people (seniors), youth and children, families/whânau and unemployed people.

    To Mâori community groups or projects, 373 grants totalling $1.981 million were made (16% of the total funds granted).

    To community organisations identified as Pacific community groups, 111 grants totalling $559,703 were made (4% of the total funds granted).

    To community organisations with the major purpose of supporting women, 184 grants totalling $883,754 were made (7% of the total funding). This excludes a large number of grants for “parent” and “family” support, where women may be major beneficiaries as well.

    Lottery Grants Board: Lottery Marae Heritage and Facilities Committee

    The Lottery Marae Heritage and Facilities Committee funds the development and conservation of marae facilities in recognition of their pivotal role in the promotion of their communities’ spiritual, cultural, physical and social well-being.

    Applicants are whânau, hapû, iwi and Mâori organisations. The $5.528 million available to this Committee was allocated in 2004/05.

    Lottery Grants Board: Pacific Provider Development Fund Subcommittee

    The Pacific Provider Development Fund Subcommittee distributes funding to assist the development and strengthening of Pacific community groups and social service providers to Pacific people in New Zealand.

    The Pacific Provider Development Fund was reviewed in 2004/05. During this period no funds were distributed. It has been undergoing modifications to strengthen the support and advice it offers applicants and will be relaunched in November 2005.

    Other Lottery distribution committees fund Mâori and Pacific community organisations. However, the above are the only two committees dedicated to Mâori and Pacific groups.

    Mâori Community Development Worker Scheme

    A government capacity-building initiative, this Scheme was designed to transfer skills to enable Mâori communities to solve their own problems and thus increase self-reliance. The Department currently funds three community organisations to employ Mâori community development workers to trial the effectiveness of this approach, in Muriwai, Taumarunui and Moerewa.


    Community Project Worker: Community Development Scheme

    This Scheme supports community organisations to employ community development workers – key people who can be agents for change in their communities. Community development workers funded through the Scheme work to facilitate social change in which youth development and community development can flourish. They do this by facilitating a wide set of youth-driven community and government initiatives. Twenty-four workers are funded under this Scheme, nine of whom are Mâori and one Pacific.

    Community Internship Programme

    The Community Internship Programme builds organisational capacity through placing experienced people from the public, private and community sectors with host community organisations. Internships range from three to six months. Each host agency receives a contribution towards salaries and resource costs associated with the placement: $23,000 for a six-month internship and $11,500 for a three-month internship.

    Of the 13 internship placements available in 2004/05, six were with Mâori organisations and two were with mental health and special needs organisations.

    Community Project Worker Scheme: Crime Prevention

    This Scheme provides three-year to five-year salary and programme funding to support youth development projects aimed at reducing youth offending.

    The projects funded use a community development approach to strengthen community support and services for youth. Funding is targeted to areas of high youth crime and youth aged 14 to 20 years.

    Two of four projects are in areas of high Mâori youth population, working mainly with Mâori. A Mâori provider is also managing a third project. In each case, services will be accessible to youth from all cultures.

    There were no applications from Pacific youth project providers this year. Therefore, local community development advisers will target Pacific providers with the potential to apply for funding in future.

    Community-Based Youth Development Fund

    This Fund contributes to the New Zealand Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, focusing on providing youth development opportunities to lessen risks of self-harm. Of the six projects funded, three are Mâori, two are Pacific and one is gay/lesbian.

    Support for Volunteering Fund

    This Fund reflects the diversity of volunteering approaches and the distinct needs of the various sectors. There are Mâori, Pacific and ethnic funding streams, as well as support for Volunteering New Zealand and nine regional volunteer centres.

    For 2004/05, one “for Mâori, by Mâori” recruitment and training project for volunteers has been approved. Two further projects are under development.

    Five Pacific youth volunteering and volunteer training projects are under way. Stage two of a national capability-building volunteer training project through regional ethnic council networks has commenced.

    Outcome Evaluation

    The outcome of strong, sustainable communities/hapû/iwi is broad, and is one that the Department is not able to achieve by itself. Indeed, our role is often to enable communities, hapû and iwi to identify and work towards their own well-being themselves.

    The Department has implemented a research and evaluation framework for 2005/06. The framework will make sure that our outcomes and strategic direction determine our research and evaluation programme and provide a growing evidence base for reviewing the effectiveness of our interventions.

    We expect that this evidence base will allow us to make more informed decisions about the cost-effectiveness of our interventions and schemes. A research and evaluation work plan and timetable are being developed. Some of this research and evaluation work will be conducted within the Department and some will be undertaken by independent researchers.

    Capability

    To maximise our outcome contribution and continue to improve services to our customers and clients, we are continually seeking to enhance the capability of the Department.

    Managing organisational change

    In 2003/04 we reviewed our policy functions and established a new branch structure, designed to reflect key areas of strategic focus for the Department. During 2004/05, we continued implementing the recommendations of the review:

    • investing in our policy capability and capacity to ensure we have the right people, systems and processes, and training to improve the quality of policy advice
    • developing a policy-focused evaluation and research function to support an evidence-based approach to managing for outcomes.

    During 2004 we reviewed our corporate functions, recognising that excellent business services are essential to the success of the Department’s policy and service delivery outcomes. As a result of this review, in April 2005 two new corporate groups were established. The Office of the Chief Executive provides key advice and support to the Chief Executive and to the Department in the areas of strategic planning, legal, risk management and effectiveness for Mäori. The Business Services Branch provides professional support to business groups in the areas of finance, human resources, communications, information management and technology services, property management, and research and evaluation services.

    During 2004/05 we gained additional funding through Budget 2005 to enhance the capability and capacity of the Department in future years.
    • We received funding to complete projects flowing out of the review of policy and corporate functions. The investment is being used to improve personnel capacity and capability and to upgrade the Department’s information technology infrastructure.
    • The Government provided funding for the next five years to enhance capability in Vote Emergency Management work.
    • Funding was provided to enhance services provided by the Office of Ethnic Affairs.

    During 2004/05 the Department acquired a number of new responsibilities. The most substantial of these are the Community Partnership Fund of the Digital Strategy, the Significant Community-Based Project Fund and administration of the Charities Act 2005. Implementing these new responsibilities is a current priority for the Department.

    Developing our people

    Our success depends on maintaining and developing a talented workforce and making full use of their experience and expertise. Our People Strategy outlines the people capability we need to be a high-performing organisation, what we will do to develop this capability, and the infrastructure and mechanisms we will put in place to support it. We are focusing on three areas:

    • developing leaders
    • building our people capability
    • creating a high-performing, inclusive work environment.

    graphic showing DIA people strategy 2004-8


    Developing leaders
    The Department continues to invest time and resources to develop a pool of people with the leadership/management competencies required now and in the future.

    In February 2005 we launched a new development programme for all Departmental managers and team leaders. One of the foundation tools for the programme is a 360o feedback process for managers and team leaders to identify their strengths and areas for development. To enhance their skills as coaches and make best use of the feedback process, managers and team leaders also participate in coaching skills workshops. This new development programme will assist managers and team leaders to manage their own growth, and will equip them to develop their staff to contribute effectively.

    Nominated managers have participated in activities run by the Leadership Development Centre (LDC). A number of managers have also been encouraged to participate in government-wide capability development initiatives such as the LDC Leadership Development Programme and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government’s Executive Master of Public Administration Programme.

    We also held a series of in-house leadership forums for senior managers, where invited guests talked about issues such as strategy and managing for outcomes.


    Building our people capability
    We have continued to provide learning and development opportunities for our staff.

    Many of our people are engaged in a variety of individual short- and long-term study programmes to further their own professional and personal development. We value and facilitate these efforts where we can through the provision of study leave and support. We also provided targeted training to support the needs of our various business units, such as training about integrity and security issues for our Identity Services staff.

    The Chief Executive Awards provide opportunities for further work-related study, and staff from across the organisation are encouraged to apply. Twelve awards were offered in 2004, which supported a wide range of study options.

    A LEARNING EXPERIENCE

    Being awarded a Chief Executive’s Award for 2004 provided a unique opportunity for learning, with benefits for the individual and the Department.
    • The award helped David Kingi to complete a Professional Legal Studies course, enabling him to obtain admission to the bar after many years of hard work studying part-time for his law degree. “Successful completion of the course consolidated my knowledge and experience and makes it possible for me to practice as a barrister and solicitor.”
    • Gena Moses, a Community Development Advisor in our Hamilton office, received the award to undertake a Diploma in Facilitation and Coaching. “I have expanded my understanding of tikanga Mäori and facilitation, which I use nearly every day in my work with Mäori communities. I am also coaching people to grow their leadership potential within their communities.”
    • For Craig Nicholson, an Ethnic Advisor in Wellington, it was an opportunity to attend the Summer Institute of Intercultural Communications in the United States and discuss the challenges of intercultural and diversity training with world leaders in the field and professional cross-cultural trainers. “It was a great privilege to attend and learn about the latest training methodologies, tools and resources”. It enabled Craig and the Office of Ethnic Affairs team to develop an expanded ‘toolkit’ comprising a CD, to promote awareness about cultural and linguistic diversity, and an Intercultural Awareness and Communication Training Programme for government officials.

    During 2004/05, we implemented a set of Departmental competencies for use in recruitment, training and development, and performance management that support achievement of the Department’s Statement of Intent (SOI). A comprehensive Department-wide induction process was introduced during the year, which supports our focus on developing a more integrated single organisation.

    To help ensure that we can maintain our people capability for the medium term, preliminary work has commenced on developing a workforce-planning tool that will enable us to forecast capability and capacity requirements in the medium and long term.

    At the business unit level, managers have been reviewing capability needs over the medium term and putting in place strategies to address those needs. Some examples include: recruiting and developing specialist professional staff to support the organisation; training staff to deliver grants online; building expertise to work with Mäori, Pacific Island and ethnic communities; recruiting the skills necessary to implement new legislation; and developing specialist skills in emergency management.

    Creating a high-performing, inclusive work environment
    Our aim is to provide a work environment that attracts the capability needed, that supports people to contribute their best, and that recognises and makes the best use of a diverse range of skills, knowledge and talents. Achieving this means focusing not just on leaders and staff individually but also on the broader work environment.

    As part of being a good employer we continue to promote diversity/equal employment opportunities (EEO). During 2004/05, we developed a Diversity/EEO Plan to 2010. The Plan aims to increase and support a diverse workforce so that we can meet the needs of the people we serve. As part of this Plan we will be reviewing EEO expectations of our business groups.

      chart showing EEO group representation
    While Departmental staff are reasonably representative of the New Zealand population as illustrated in the graph, progress towards the employment of EEO target groups has been mixed. A positive result is the increased proportion of Mäori in senior management roles, from 7% in June 2004 to 8% in June 2005 (2005 target 12%). However, over the last two years the overall proportion of Mäori in our workforce has remained static at 13% (2005 target 16%).

    The Department of Internal Affairs’ Effectiveness for Mäori Strategy identified as a priority for 2004/05 building our staff capability to contribute to the key government goal on the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. During 2004/05 the Department made significant progress through training achievements in te reo, tikanga and Treaty of Waitangi relevant to job requirements.

    We have continued to support and fund five EEO network groups which are operating effectively. Highlights in 2004/05 included holding a fono for Pacific Island staff and a national hui for Mäori staff.

    We have continued our investment in health and safety. For the ACC’s Workplace Safety Management Practices Programme, we achieved ACC primary status and we are near to completing the requirements for achieving tertiary status.

    Enhancing our information and technology capability

    Information and technology (I&T) is integral to the Department’s operations. Arising from the Business Services Review was a separate review of the Department’s I&T capability. It found that a number of the Department’s long-serving I&T systems needed modernising, and that delivery of the Department’s outcomes could be enhanced through upgrading our technological infrastructure. During 2004/05 we gathered information on organisational needs and technology options, and then developed strategies and priorities based on stakeholder needs and the state of the existing system. This resulted in the development of a new Information Systems Strategic Plan that will:

    • support the Department’s “one organisation” ideal
    • take advantage of technology-based opportunities to improve business performance and services to stakeholders.
    The Department has now commenced a major work programme to implement the Information Systems Strategic Plan. This will involve significant investment to deliver new corporate technologies over the next two to three years and give Departmental staff access to state-of-the-art systems. It will also involve organisational change as we expand the corporate I&T group to support the new systems.

    Improving access to information

    The Department’s Internet website continues to be a source of information for people in New Zealand and around the world seeking information on New Zealand identity information, passports and other services. The section of the website devoted to civil defence and emergency management (CDEM) information was renewed and upgraded, and support continued for specialist websites such as the Office of Ethnic Affairs, CommunityNet Aotearoa and the dog safety campaign site. The usefulness of the Department’s website to those seeking information about grants has been enhanced.

    Building on the success of our dog safety website www.dogsafety.co.nz, a resource including an animated video, a game and print material was prepared for distribution to schools. Work also progressed during the year on a public education campaign on CDEM awareness, to be commenced in 2005/06.

    The effectiveness of our external electronic communications began to be matched during the year by improvements in our internal electronic communications, including the development of an extensive Intranet linking information, data, workplace and public service news, and personal staff and management information.

    To improve trust and access, the Office of Ethnic Affairs Language Line has recently produced a compact disc and enhanced its website www.languageline.govt.nz with accurate up-to-date information for people from non-English-speaking backgrounds.


    Managing Stakeholder Relationships

    To be effective in its varied responsibilities, the Department requires strong relationships with stakeholders and the ability to exercise strategic and operational leadership with other departments and agencies where there are overlapping or related responsibilities.

    We have continued to build strong links with local communities, including ethnic communities and iwi/hapü, and to develop relationships of trust and respect among the stakeholders in central and local government on whose cooperation the Department’s success depends.

    The six-monthly Te Atamira Taiwhenua national hui were a chance to update everyone on the work of the Department, and an opportunity for ongoing dialogue and discussion. Te Atamira Taiwhenua is made up of kaumätua and representatives nominated by häpu, iwi and Mäori organisations from those areas around the country where our regional offices are located.

    We have worked more closely with other agencies, particularly where there are opportunities for integrated government service delivery.

    • In June 2005 we signed a significant Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Labour to provide the New Zealand Immigration Service with access to New Zealand travel document data. This means that all New Zealand travel documentation can be screened prior to an overseas traveller’s departure, thereby preventing unauthorised people from entering New Zealand.
    • The Office of Ethnic Affairs continues to work collaboratively with agencies with a similar purpose, such as the Human Rights Commission.
    • Our Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management has an ongoing role in helping promote understanding and cooperation by central and local government agencies in the area of CDEM.
    • The Executive Government Support Group continues to develop its relationship with other agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, to ensure the success of guest-of-government visits and commemorative events.

    We have continued to develop effective international networks.
    • As a member of the International Association of Gambling Regulators, the Department hosted a meeting of international casino and other gambling regulators in April 2005.
    • The Department has a strong presence in the international development of best practice for travel documentation, participating in Five Nations passport and International Civil Aviation Organisation group meetings during the year. We are preparing for a meeting of the Five Nations Anti-Fraud Working Group, which New Zealand is hosting in November 2005.
    • The Office of Ethnic Affairs has begun to develop networks in Australia with similar agencies in New South Wales and Queensland.

    Managing for outcomes

    The Department has a strong commitment to managing for outcomes. This involves a sustained and critical focus on what we do, why, how well and with what results. It requires a high level of understanding among managers and staff about the nature of the problems to be addressed, the merits of our actions to address them and the value created as a result. Through a number of initiatives, we have been making sure that staff understand the importance of managing for outcomes and that our business processes are well integrated with this approach.

    The Public Finance Amendment Act 2004 recognises that not all department functions are to achieve outcomes as they are not directly targeting societal, economic or environmental effects. In light of this new definition we reclassified one of our outcomes, “Executive Government is well supported”, to become a key Departmental objective.

    In 2004/05, we focused on developing a consistent approach for managing our outcomes and measuring the progress we are making. Our SOI for 2005/06 shows our approach. The approach identifies the “outcome enablers”, which are the mechanisms that help outcomes occur. Our main influence is at the enablers level, and by measuring “enabler indicators” we can build an evidence base to assess the effectiveness of our actions.

    In 2004/05 we developed a comprehensive indicator measurement framework for our “strong, sustainable communities/hapû/iwi” outcome, and similar frameworks are under development for our other outcomes. In 2004/05 we also began to align our evaluative activity with our enabler indicators. For example, evaluations of Crown-funded grant schemes are helping us to understand to what extent this assistance to communities is enhancing the enablers of sustainable community development. Other examples of this work are in our SOI for 2005/06, and we will be continuing this approach and reporting progress in our next SOI.

    We continue to seek feedback from Ministers on their level of satisfaction with the quality of policy advice provided. During the year we introduced a new process for the Chief Executive to obtain feedback from Ministers on our performance.

    Risk management

    The Department continued to enhance risk management capability during 2004/05. In addition to implementing a comprehensive set of risk management policies and guidance material across the Department, which helps business groups identify and manage operational risks, we introduced additional components to improve risk management in the information and technology (I&T) area. For example, in order to support and extend project management capability we established an I&T Project Office with a cross-Departmental role in supporting and advising business groups on standards and methodologies for best practice I&T project management. We also introduced a new governance mechanism, an I&T Governance Committee, to provide further assurance that risks and uncertainties arising in the strategic, project and operational areas of I&T are recognised and responded to in a timely and effective manner.

    Next: Section 4