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the department of internal affairs statement of intent 2008-11

Managing in a Changeable Operating Environment

As a multi-purpose Department, the timely recognition and effective management of any potential risks that might arise from either the external or internal operating environments is critical in order for the Department to successfully deliver on its broad-ranging set of outputs, work programmes and outcomes.

Risk arises from uncertainty. Risk is the potential for an event to occur that could have an impact on the objectives of the Department and, as a result, on the outcomes expected to be achieved for its stakeholders.

The Department views and considers "risk" at a strategic level; at a project/programme/portfolio level; and at a business operations level.

The Department operates a set of risk management practices and methodologies that are applied across the department, within a number of management and planning processes. These risk management processes are designed to provide the managers and senior management with a sufficiently comprehensive, timely identification and evaluation of any relevant and significant risk to the objectives and outcomes of the Department.

The strategic planning processes require each business area to undertake current sector, stakeholder and operating environmental context scanning. From these, an understanding of the external risk context is derived, for each business area, and for the Department as a whole.

Current opportunities are determined and strategic initiative and key business programmes of work are developed.

A further strategic risk evaluation can then be applied, via the integration of Departmental planning information and milestones. Analysis of critical business resource and financial management requirements, dependencies and assumptions enables the Department to identify, early on, any potential risk in its current capability and capacity to deliver. Specific mitigations can then be developed to manage any uncertainty.

The Executive Leadership Team has scheduled four strategic planning sessions across the year to review and refresh the past assumptions and evaluations of the external operating context and associated risks. In this way, the Department aims to continually re-evaluate the potential for any adverse external event to impact on the Department's strategic priorities and objectives.

All key projects and programmes of work that underpin the Department's strategic initiatives are monitored through a number of standardised and formalised reporting and tracking processes. Potential risks relating to the non-delivery of a project or programme, arising from scope, quality, timeliness, cost or benefit realisation uncertainties, are continually tracked by tools that require progress against expected or forecast positions to be detailed. Any project or programme shown to be at risk is escalated to more detailed scrutiny and deliberation. Mitigation and management of any potential adverse impacts are made in real time, and are themselves tracked and monitored.

Alongside its set of key strategic initiatives and programmes, the Department must also deliver its business-as-usual set of services and outputs, across a number of Votes.

As with the key strategic and business projects, these departmental outputs and Statement of Service Performance measures are tracked through standard and formal reporting requirements. All business groups must provide current progress against expected targets and milestones at monthly intervals. Any at-risk target or project requires an explanation and corrective strategy to be identified for review by the Executive Leadership Team.

For any organisation, there is the potential for uncertainty and therefore risk to arise from within any of its operations and business processes. Business groups are required to give consideration to the potential for any risk to arise from the following generic sources: Governance processes, General Management, Finance, Property, Contract Management, Human Resources, Technology, Service Delivery processes; as well as from the current external environment. Risks arising from these areas have the potential to adversely impact on a business group capability or capacity to deliver on its work programmes.

Business groups maintain risk registers, which must be reviewed and reassessed regularly by senior management. Risks that have a significant potential impact are reported to the executive management, who can provide a departmental perspective and consideration as to the adequacy of current risk mitigation and management strategies.

The Department has established the IT Governance Committee, the Project Office and the Audit Advisory Committee, to augment and support the governance activities of the Department's Executive Leadership Team. These forums are positioned within the management and reporting structures so that key performance and risk information is continually and effectively monitored. The forums provide the Chief Executive with a second level of consideration and evaluation as to the appropriateness and effectiveness of risk mitigation decisions and actions.

The following table summarises key risks for the Department.

Key Risks for the Department


Strategic leadership opportunities for the Department are not recognised or maximised.

  • Advancing leadership areas for the Department (pages 8-9)
  • Planning for new areas of responsibility (page 7)
  • Executive leadership and developing integrated planning (page 14)

Competing priorities within agencies can create risks to progressing cross-government initiatives.

  • Ongoing relationship management with key agencies we work with (pages 15, 29, 33, 38, 42, 47)
  • Early engagement and formal arrangements such as memorandums of understandings

Accessibility and responsiveness of services to the public is not maintained.

  • Improving ICT infrastructure and capability (page 56)
  • Improving business processes and service delivery, for example:
  • Responsiveness to diversity (pages 26-28)
  • Support for the Digital Strategy (page 20)
  • Learning from customer and stakeholder surveys

Security and integrity of people, systems and/or information is compromised.

  • Maintaining and applying codes of conduct
  • Maintaining and enhancing departmental security and HR policies and practices
  • Improving business processes, for example:
  • Identity Verification Services (page 44)
  • Passport System Upgrade (page 44)
  • electronic monitoring of gaming machines (page 35)

Technology infrastructure and capability is unable to support ongoing organisational and business IT systems and services.

  • Enhancing ICT capability (page 56)
  • I&T Governance Committee, Programme and Project Office functions and supporting services

Expectation for improved financial forecasting and asset management are
not met.

  • Developing integrated planning (page 14)
  • Implementing our property strategy (page 56)
  • Improving capital planning (page 57)

Unable to recruit, retain and develop the staff necessary to deliver agreed outputs.

  • Implementing the People Strategy (page 54)

Assessing Organisational Health and Capability

We aim to be a high-performing, trusted organisation working as one to maximise our outcome contribution for citizens, communities and government. We will develop our capability accordingly.

Continuous capability development is a basic responsibility for any department. The Development Goals for the State Services, updated by the State Services Commission (SSC) in November 2007, aim to create a world-class professional State service for New Zealand. They emphasise a culture of continuous learning, with organisations using technology to deliver coordinated, accessible and networked services for New Zealanders and value for money.

The Department has been pursuing a strategy of "one organisation", where the whole is more than the sum of the parts. During 2006/07, the Executive Leadership Team has worked to define more clearly what "one organisation" means in practice. This involved reviewing the key drivers for departmental change and developing a high-level pathway to 2010, with some initial priorities. The Vision for 2010 is outlined on page 7 and reinforces the key messages in the Development Goals.

The strategic direction developed by the Department's senior managers recognises that we can provide much more effective service if we operate as one organisation rather than as a collection of independent functions. By operating as one organisation we can make more efficient use of our resources, take actions based on a broader and richer understanding of stakeholders' interests, and deliver services designed around stakeholder needs, not functions and portfolios. Much of our existing capability development is directed towards achieving our aspiration to be one organisation, trusted and respected by stakeholders for high performance.

The priority areas for change include strengthening our shared vision and values and building a shared culture. We also have a focus on establishing a strong, well-functioning and cohesive centre for the Department. Part of this involves strengthening our information and technology (ICT) capability across the Department and providing more integrated corporate and financial services. As outlined below, a number of initiatives are underway to address these issues.

Managing organisational change

The Department continues to take on new areas of responsibility as required by government. In March 2008, following a Cabinet decision, the State Services Commission announced that the all-of-government ICT operations, currently based with the Commission, will move to the Department of Internal Affairs. The new group will involve more than a 100 people who manage all-of-government 24/7 services. The timing of the move will be agreed with the Chief Executive of the Department of Internal Affairs to ensure that the service delivery function is ready to move and the Department is ready to host it.

Planning work has commenced to look at how the new group will fit into the Department and a change management process will be put in place to ensure a smooth transition.

The Department has commenced a number of organisational change initiatives during 2007/08 which will require ongoing implementation.

  • The Department is in the process of centralising our ICT services to achieve full and comprehensive centralised management and oversight of the information and technology group. This change has involved approximately 120 staff and contract staff.
  • Local Government Services is being moved from our Regulation and Compliance Branch to the Local Government and Community Branch, to provide better alignment and integration with the wider outcomes of the Department.

Developing our people

Our People Strategy, which was revised in August 2006, will enable us to recruit, retain and develop the people we need to deliver on our outcomes and strategic objectives through to 2010 and beyond. It will also help us contribute to the Development Goals for the State Services (an employer of choice with excellent state servants).

The four areas of focus are:

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

Building a "one organisation" culture

In March 2007 we undertook a staff engagement survey and have used this information to better understand the levels of engagement of the Department's staff. We have also identified areas for improvement and developed business unit improvement plans for implementation. The Department undertook a staff engagement survey in March 2007 using the unlimited/JRA "Best Places to Work" survey and this will be repeated in 2008/09. Staff engagement is a key measure for the organisation.

We expect our managers to be actively promoting our workplace principles and building understanding and commitment within their teams for a "one organisation" culture and the outcomes the Department is seeking to achieve. Staff are reminded of the workplace principles and the "one organisation" message through induction, through planning and reporting documents and through communication of achievements across the Department.

Workplace principles

workplace principles

We value people

We act with integrity

We provide outstanding service

Developing leaders

To provide outstanding service and policy advice we need leaders who are capable managers and strategic thinkers, able to inspire their people to achieve desired outcomes. The Department will continue to invest time and resources to develop a pool of people with the leadership/management competencies required now and in the future.

We have created a management and leadership development framework to better target development initiatives for managers and prospective managers. The framework has four levels: aspiring, new, existing and senior managers. During 2007/08 we have continued to develop training for senior and aspiring managers and will continue implementing this in 2008/09.

A regular Managers' Forum has recently been instituted which will be held immediately following the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) Quarterly Strategic Management meetings. The ELT quarterly meetings focus on renewing the Department's strategic direction and monitoring organisational performance, and the Managers' Forum is an opportunity for senior managers to gain a better understanding of the Department's purpose and direction and build senior manager capability.

Building our people capability

With increasing competition for a limited pool of experienced, skilled people, we need to build the capability of our staff to successfully deliver our services and policy advice. We must ensure we have a diverse range of people with the competencies to successfully undertake their current roles, and prepare them for future roles within the Department and the wider State services. The Department has an established competency framework that is used during recruitment, for performance agreements, performance management, and as a basis for development. Key measures we monitor are turnover and average length of service.

We carried out some high-level workforce planning in 2006/07, and are in the process of implementing a revised workforce-planning framework that will enable us to better forecast capability and capacity requirements in both the medium and long term. This data will inform the Department's recruitment and training and development plans.

The Department has begun work on developing a mature employment strategy. This strategy looks at ways to better retain and attract skilled, mature workers.

We are continuing to provide learning and development opportunities for our staff and to pursue a Department-wide training and development strategy.

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 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.

A Department-wide targeted employee wellbeing programme has been sourced and launched, providing for comprehensive employee medical testing and advice. The Department continues to provide a number of programmes that are valued by staff, such as the school holiday programme and Employee Assistance Programme. We also continue to work with managers and staff to improve understanding of State sector standards of integrity and conduct and the Department's Code of Conduct.

As part of being a good employer we continue to promote diversity and equal employment opportunities (EEO). Our Diversity/EEO Plan to 2010 aims to increase and support a diverse workforce so that we can meet the needs of the people we serve. Since May 2006 we have also been providing training in intercultural awareness to support our work with ethnic communities. We will be reviewing our EEO targets, to be consistent with the outcome of a review being undertaken by the SSC. In the meantime we monitor EEO numbers for staff and senior management. We continue to support five EEO network groups.

The Department of Internal Affairs' Effectiveness for Māori Strategy 2006-09 identifies, as a priority, building our staff capability in te reo, tikanga and Treaty of Waitangi, as they are relevant to job requirements. During 2007/08 we have commenced implementing refresher training courses across the Department to help staff keep their skills up to date and will continue to do so in 2008/09. In the medium term, we will evaluate Te Whakamotuhaketanga hapū, a programme designed to improve the awareness and skills of departmental staff working with hapū and iwi.

The Department continues to invest in health and safety, and a key measure of our success was achieving tertiary status in ACC's Workplace Safety Management Practices Programme in 2007. Maintaining this is part of being a good employer, but also brings cost savings for the Department through lower ACC premiums.

Enhancing our information and communications technology capability

Information and communications technology (ICT) is integral to the Department's strategic capability and operations. We are in the process of implementing a programme of initiatives identified in the Information Systems Strategic Plan to support the Department's "one organisation" ideal, and take advantage of technology-based opportunities to improve business performance and services to stakeholders. The programme of work involves upgrading core ICT systems to improve:

  • resilience and reliability of technology
  • disaster recovery capability, removing reliance on legacy technologies and replacing out-of-life equipment
  • staff productivity, through enhancement of applications and systems.

We are also continuing to build the corporate Information and Technology Group capability to support the new systems. This includes implementing a centralised model for the management of ICT. It is intended that achieving full centralisation will reduce fragmentation, make better use of resources, improve skill levels and overall critical mass and help create a stronger and more resilient Department. A key performance measure is business group satisfaction with service delivery.

Centralising ICT resources also provides an opportunity to rationalise and consolidate the Department's infrastructure into a consistent model. A strategy and architecture team has been established and will develop a plan to reduce underlying complexity.

The aim is to move progressively to a consistent architecture in which the technology, information and process management principles allow fast reaction to business change requirements, without imposing maintenance overheads that reduce resources available for delivery. This approach will better enable us to use technology to transform the provision of services for New Zealanders.

Establishment of enterprise architecture and consolidation of ICT resources into a single group will enable the Department's Executive Leadership Team to take a broad view of requirements across the organisation, with a more accurate assessment of resources and the potential impacts of change. Enterprise Architecture is closely aligned with Asset Management, as it informs decisions for investment, allowing the Department to get best return from its ICT assets.

During 2008/09 we expect to implement a standard suite of management tools. In the medium term, as resources permit, we expect to implement an enhanced document management system, centralised time recording and redevelopment of websites and intranet.

The Department will remain focused on delivering core services and this will need to be balanced with business-driven need for change and the associated considerations regarding available resources and the ability of the organisation as a whole to manage change.

Implementing our property strategy

We are implementing a medium-term property strategy that supports our vision of "one organisation" and will provide us with accommodation options to meet our current and anticipated business needs. This will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our property portfolio and make sure it is meeting the changing needs of the organisation. The agreed strategy gives consideration to "Green Building" issues, in line with the Government's focus on sustainability.


The Department is fully committed to the Govt3 sustainability initiatives. Our Sustainability Action Plan identifies a number of practical steps that will:

  • enhance the Department's sustainable procurement practices
  • move the Department towards carbon neutrality
  • minimise waste.

A "Green Taskforce" consisting of representatives of each business area has been established to act as champions of the Plan, enhancing it over time through the implementation of practical measures and fostering a culture of sustainable business practice. The following chart outlines our areas of focus and key measures.

Government Directive

Our Focus


Enhanced sustainable Government procurement

Sustainable procurement office consumables and equipment

Contract Management System incorporates compliance reporting at vendor level

Print Supply Tenders incorporate sustainable print measures

Sustainability Tender Clause incorporated in all goods and services tenders

Procurement practices aligned with Ministry of Economic Development Standards and Guidelines for Core Public Service departments

Towards a carbon neutral public service

Sustainable buildings

Vehicles and travel

Greenhouse gas emission reduction

Building leases and works meet Government direction and Ministry for the Environment commissioning guidelines

Work Place Travel Plan implemented by 2010

Waste minimisation and management

Recycling and waste minimisation

Waste Minimisation Plan implemented by 2009

Financial Management


The Department projects departmental expenditure will rise from $214.711 million in 2008/09 to $226.329 million in 2011/12. Revenue is from both Crown funding and Third Party funded fees and services. Revenue from third parties is forecast to increase from 56% to 63% of total revenue.

Non-Departmental expenditure managed by the Department is between $129.492 million and $139.988 million, including two multi-year appropriations which expire in 2008/09. These appropriations mainly fund grants schemes and expenses for past and present Executive Council and Ministers.

The Department operates memorandum accounts[4] to assist in managing fees for the larger third party-funded activities, in particular where these fees are established through regulations. Other fees are charged for services that are not regulated through specific statute. The majority of fees are generated for passport production with a significant increase in the volumes predicted over the next five years as a result of the duration of passports being reduced from 10 years to five years.

The Department has the following memorandum accounts:

  • identity service products, principally passports, citizenship, birth, death and relationship certifications and other products
  • administration of non-casino gaming
  • New Zealand Gazette
  • use of facilities and access to Lake Taupo by boat users.

Capital Management

The average capital expenditure over the past three years has been approximately $8.8 million and this is expected to increase over the next five years. The ability of the Department to implement the capital plan is dependent upon the availability of adequate project management and technical capability.

The Department is implementing significant infrastructural asset projects over the next five years including the replacement of the passports processing and recording system, an Emergency Management Information System and an upgrade of the Department's infrastructural IT assets. In line with the Government's sustainability goals the VIP fleet of vehicles will be replaced and building upgrades are scheduled in line with the Department's property strategy.

Overall the Department is aiming at maintaining the capital asset base in order to meet the outcomes of delivering quality services and advice to stakeholders. Forecast capital expenditure for the Department of Internal Affairs over the period 2008 to 2013 is shown in the table below.

Departmental Capital Intentions ($ million)







Property, plant and equipment
























Seventy per cent of the capital plan over the five years is for intangible assets, which are mainly IT systems. The major reinvestments are:

  • investment in operational systems $51.974 million
  • vehicle replacement, $8.210 million
  • building upgrades, $3.168 million.

The following measures are used by the Department to monitor its financial management.

Operating Expenditure

Expenditure variance
(excluding demand-driven third party expenditure) is:

within 5% of budget

Working Capital

Liquid Ratio


Current Ratio


Average Debtors Outstanding

10 days

Average Creditors Outstanding

40 days

Working Capital

Occupancy Rate (m² per FTE)


Investment in assets is:

equal to or greater than depreciation over a five-year period

[4] Memorandum accounts are notional accounts to record the accumulated actual surpluses and deficits of particular activities with the objective of breaking even over the medium to long term.

Legislation We Administer

As at 31 March 2008, the following is a list of legislation we administer, classified by Vote.

Internal Affairs

Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995

Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration (Fees) Regulations 1995

Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration (Prescribed Information and Forms) Regulations 1995

Boxing and Wrestling Act 1981

Citizenship Act 1977

Citizenship Regulations 2002

Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982

Civil Union (Prescribed Information, Fees, and Forms) Regulations 2005*

Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908

Commonwealth Games Symbol Protection Act 1974

Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006

Fire Service Act 1975

Fire Service Levy Order 1993

Fire Service Regulations 2003

Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977

Forest and Rural Fires Regulations 2005

Gambling Act 2003

Gambling (Class 4 Banking) Regulations 2006

Gambling (Class 4 Net Proceeds) Regulations 2004

Gambling (Fees) Regulations 2007

Gambling (Forms) Regulations 2004

Gambling (Harm Prevention and Minimisation) Regulations 2004

Gambling (Infringement Notices) Regulations 2004

Gambling (Licensed Promoters) Regulations 2005

Gambling (Problem Gambling Levy) Regulations 2007

Gambling (Prohibited Property) Regulations 2005

Human Assisted Reproductive Technology (Fees) Regulations 2005*

Marriage (Fees) Regulations 1995*

Marriage (Forms) Regulations 1995*

New Zealand Daylight Time Order 2007

New Zealand Fire Brigades Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (1981) (Royal Warrant)

Official Appointments and Documents Act 1919

Passport (Fees) Regulations 1996

Passports Act 1992

Queen's Fire Service Medal Regulations 1955 (Royal Warrant)

Royal Titles Act 1974

Rural Fire Fighting Fund Regulations 1992

Seal of New Zealand Act 1977

Seal of New Zealand Proclamation 1977

Time Act 1974

Emergency Management

Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002

Civil Defence Emergency Management Regulations 2003

National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order 2005

Local Government

Bylaws Act 1910

Bylaws Regulations 1968

Chatham Islands Council Act 1995

Counties Insurance Empowering Act 1941

Dog Control Act 1996

Dog Control (Microchip Transponder) Regulations 2005

Dog Control (National Dog Control Information Database Levy) Order 2006

Dog Control (Prescribed Forms) Regulations 1996

Impounding Act 1955

Impounding Regulations 1981

Lake Taupo (Crown Facilities, Permits and Fees) Regulations 2004

Land Drainage Act 1908

Libraries and Mechanics' Institutes Act 1908

Litter Act 1979

Local Authorities (Members' Interests) Act 1968

Local Authority Reorganisation (Property Transfers) Act 1990

Local Electoral Act 2001

Local Electoral Regulations 2001

Local Government Act 1974

Local Government Act 2002

Local Government (Infringement Fees for Offences: Navigation Safety Bylaws) Regulations (Various) 2002-2007

Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987

Local Government (Rating) Act 2002

Local Government (Watercare Services Limited) Order 2007

Local Legislation Acts 1926-1992

Municipal Insurance Act 1960

Public Authorities (Party Wall) Empowering Act 1919

Public Bodies Contracts Act 1959

Public Bodies Leases Act 1969

Rangitaiki Land Drainage Act 1956

Rates Rebate Act 1973

Rates Rebates Order 2006

Rating (Fees) Regulations 1997

River Boards Act 1908

Waimakariri-Ashley Water Supply Act 1961

Community and Voluntary Sector

Charities Act 2005

Charities (Fees, Forms, and Other Matters) Regulations 2006

Community Trusts Act 1999

Community Trusts (Fees) Regulations 2000

Trustee Banks Restructuring Act Repeal Act 1999

Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Act 1965


Racing Act 2003

Racing (Harm Prevention and Minimisation) Regulations 2004

Ministerial Services

Executive Travel, Accommodation, Attendance, and Communications Services Determination 2003**

* Regulations made under legislation administered by the Ministry of Justice.

** Regulations made under legislation administered by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Contact Information

The Department maintains and administers the following websites:


Providing Information on:

Departmental Websites

Department of Internal Affairs information and services

This website includes direct URLs to the following sections:

Births, Deaths and Marriages information

Censorship information

Citizenship information

Community Development information

Apostille Certification information

Document Authentication information

Information about the Electronic Monitoring System for gaming machine societies

Gambling information

New Zealand Gazette information

Passports information

Information about the Rates Rebate Scheme

Translation Service information

Office of Ethnic Affairs information and services

This website includes a direct URL to the following section:

Information about Language Line - an interpreting service

Official website of the Government of New Zealand

Grants Online website - for online Community Organisation Grants scheme and Lottery Grants applications

Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management information and services

Identity services online transactions (currently death registrations and certificates only)

Information about what councils do, to encourage public participation in local council processes

Directory of central government agencies, to help local authorities make contact for community outcomes processes

Public Information

CommunityNet Aotearoa - an Internet resource to support communities

Public safety information about dogs

Get Ready, Get Thru - civil defence public information website

Single transferable voting information website

Civil defence public information for young people

Independent Agency Websites

Ministerial Review into Allegations of Abuse at the Regular Force Cadet School

Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct

Confidential Forum for Former In-Patients of Psychiatric Hospitals

New Zealand Gambling Commission

Local Government Commission

Local Government Rates Inquiry

Royal Commission on Auckland Governance

Urban Search and Rescue information for emergency sector groups

Joint Working Group on Concerns of Viet Nam Veterans

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Part three - Managing the department

Last updated: 19/05/2008