Part Two: Outcome Contribution

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.

We have identified three "outcomes"1 that we believe contribute to goals and priorities for the Government and the community. These are key outcomes for the Minister of Internal Affairs and Vote/portfolio Ministers. They are:

We also contribute to the objective:2

More integrated planning

During 2006/07 we have continued to advance the outcome framework initially presented in the 2005 Statement of Intent (SOI).

In 2005/06 we simplified our approach to managing for outcomes in response to feedback from staff and other agencies. In 2006/07 we have focused on getting better clarity for our intermediate outcomes and on deepening our frameworks to better link them to our front-line activity. Staff in our 16 regional offices have been involved directly in discussions about how they can maximise their contribution to the Strong, sustainable communities outcome. The focus has also been on looking at where, working as one organisation, we can better integrate our interventions to maximise our contribution to the various outcome areas.

In planning for 2007-10 we are seeking to better demonstrate how our work contributes to the Government's three themes and the Development Goals for the State Services, and the cost-effectiveness of what we do. We presented all of our Vote Ministers with proposed work priorities for the coming three years and sought their feedback on where we should be focusing our efforts. This has been used to clarify their expectations of the Department and to shape the following outcome sections.

Enhancing our measurement processes

Typically, our outcomes do not have immediately quantifiable measures of impact. The outcomes are realised incrementally over a period of years from a cumulative series of interventions by the Department and by other agencies. It is no easy task to isolate the impacts and effectiveness of the Department's outputs, especially within the time period of an SOI.

During 2006/07 we have developed proposed measurement frameworks for most of our outcome areas (Strong, sustainable communities; Safer communities - gambling and objectionable material; and Trusted records of New Zealand identity). These are being tested internally to agree key measures for our next SOI. Development work is also under way in the other areas, and in all areas we have measures that we monitor. The outcome sections which follow report on the information available for these existing measures and how this is shaping our choice of interventions.

We use a range of tools to measure and evaluate our progress and refine our choice of interventions across all the outcome areas.

Our monitoring process includes seeking feedback from our Ministers as part of a feedback/feed-forward exercise led by the Chief Executive. In 2005/06, all our Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the quality of policy advice. Since 2003/04 the Department has also implemented a series of initiatives to improve the Department's policy capability. During 2006 a formal policy evaluation exercise was undertaken which showed that the quality of policy advice had improved. There had been a clear shift away from the reactive policy advice evident in 2003, with a number of well regarded examples of policy leadership by the Department.

Assessing cost-effectiveness

Changes to the Public Finance Act 1989 in 2004 introduced a requirement to report on the cost-effectiveness of interventions the Department delivers or administers.

It is challenging to develop useful measures of cost-effectiveness - particularly where the impact we are seeking is broad in nature and consequently not easily quantifiable. However, we have a number of processes to test the effectiveness and efficiency of current and proposed interventions.

In this SOI we have provided examples to show how the Department is assessing cost-effectiveness in the work we do. Our aim is to develop, where feasible, more specific measures of cost-effectiveness for inclusion in our next SOI.

Our outcome plans for 2007-10

The remainder of this Part of the SOI provides details on the nature of each outcome (or objective), our role and the way we contribute to the outcome.

To aid the reader, each principal section is headed by a diagram indicating how our outputs and activities contribute to the delivery of outcomes for the community. Although the subtleties of interconnection between the parts cannot be captured in a simple diagram, the diagrams demonstrate the logic and consistency of our approach. (The many outputs we undertake to achieve our outcomes are set out in detail in the Statement of Service Performance in Part Four)

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Strong, Sustainable Communities/Hapū/Iwi



Strong, Sustainable Communities/Hapū/Iwi

Our Intermediate Outcomes

Communities are empowered and able to help themselves

Communities recognise and enjoy the economic, social and cultural benefits of diversity

People engage with and participate in their communities

Communities are supported by fair and responsive local government and other local groups and organisations


Our Contribution

Providing advice on community development

Helping communities place a positive value on fairness and diversity

Providing communities with access to resources through grant funding and services

Providing advice and information on the system of local government

Promoting effective relationships between local government and communities

Encouraging responsive organisations that seek community feedback

Our Outputs
and Activities

Policy advice

Facilitating interaction between ethnic and host communities

Administration of local government legislation, community grants, local government grants and rates rebates, and other resources

Information and advice to individuals, community groups, local authorities and central government

Design and delivery of community development programmes

Facilitating central government/local government interaction, and interactions within communities

Evaluating and reporting on the Department's community and local government activities

Our Output Expenses

Vote Community and Voluntary Sector

Policy Advice

Vote Internal Affairs

Policy Advice

Vote Local Government

Policy Advice

Vote Internal Affairs

Services for Ethnic Affairs

Vote Community and Voluntary Sector

Administration of Grants

Vote Community and Voluntary Sector

Community Advisory Services

Vote Local Government

Information, Support and Regulatory Services


We Work With

Central government agencies

Local authorities

Local Government New Zealand

Local Government Commission

Society of Local Government Managers

Ethnic communities


Race Relations Conciliator

Pacific Islands Consultation and Advisory Group

Te Atamira Taiwhenua

Volunteer groups


Sports bodies

Community organisations

Community groups


Communities are networks of people, groups or organisations, linked together on the basis of shared identity, location, ancestry or interest. A community can be a geographic identity like a town or a district, or it can be a group bound by common ties of interest or blood or faith.

The Māori people live and operate within strong traditional (including hapū and iwi) and contemporary (including taurahere) arrangements and structures. We acknowledge and work with these broad structures in developing effective services.

Strong, sustainable communities, hapū and iwi are an important building block for achieving positive social, economic, cultural and environmental wellbeing. The positives for a community are that:

Many government (including local government) and non-governmental agencies contribute to this outcome. To establish the areas where we can make the best contribution, the Department has identified four intermediate outcomes:

These are all important elements in developing strong, sustainable communities. The diagram below shows how they are interrelated. The work we do contributes to all four, and often the things we do to promote one intermediate outcome will have positive effects on the others.

Diagram illustrating how the work of the Department contributes to strong, sustainable communities

By working with communities and local government, the Department is actively promoting all the Government's themes. We are also enabling communities to recognise and contribute to the issues promoted by the themes. Our actions include:

To better understand the role the Department plays in promoting the intermediate outcomes, we are continuing a programme of monitoring and evaluation. We are able to determine progress in a number of areas.

Over the past year, the Department has been further developing research and evaluation strategies to cover this outcome area. We are in the process of consulting on these strategies, before implementing them during 2007/08. The aim is to:

  • make greater use of existing regular monitoring and reporting mechanisms
  • revise existing customer satisfaction surveys and evaluation of programmes, to better capture information about managing for outcomes
  • better coordinate research and evaluation funding across the organisation
  • supplement existing information with specially commissioned surveys to address information gaps, where necessary.

The resulting research and evaluations will provide information about the impact we are having and how this might be improved.

People engage with and participate in their communities

People living in a strong and sustainable community are more likely to have a sense of belonging to that community. This means that both new and existing members participate in and support their local groups and organisations. They are also more likely to undertake some kind of voluntary activity and to get involved in local decision-making.

These aspects of communities are recognised by the Government. "Community participation and the value of volunteering", "participation in the institutions of civil society" and "building a cohesive society" are all important contributors to national identity. Our work to encourage greater public engagement and participation in communities includes:

Evaluating progress

The decision to engage in a community is an individual choice. We can gain a high-level understanding of how people are participating through information provided from the Quality of Life survey, turnout at local government elections and some general trends from the census about the unpaid work people do. While available only infrequently, this information does permit a portrait of progress to be developed over time.

Providing access to information

CommunityNet Aotearoa is an Internet resource that supports communities throughout New Zealand by providing them with access to good-quality information and an opportunity for them to share information. The Department provides funding and technical support for this service. This site currently receives over 25,000 web visits per month. In 2006 it was the winner of an inaugural AccEase Accessibility Award. The Department regularly surveys users of this site and the results are used to shape our future service delivery. Recent changes have included the provision of information by region so as to make it easier for local users to identify local groups.

The Department also provides a range of current information to the public on local government and local government activities through the website. This website provides access and links to information from a range of sources and directly contributes to our work to raise public understanding of, and participation in, local government.

Enhancing access to facilities for non-English speakers

To be able to fully participate in society, and in some cases to access State services, people need to be able to communicate and access information. Language Line is our telephone interpreting service that provides over 24 participating agencies (including the New Zealand Police, the Special Education Division of the Ministry of Education and the Employment Relations Service) with specialist interpretation functions. The service is free to clients and has made many government activities significantly more accessible for a range of ethnic communities.

Uptake of the service by the general public and participating agencies has increased steadily since it began in April 2003. We have revised our Statement of Service Performance indicators to include more information about Language Line in the future. In the 2008/09 year, it is our intention to review and report to Cabinet on the current scope and success of Language Line.





Language Line total calls




Cost-effective interpreting services

Language Line is a highly cost-effective innovation that uses technology to overcome distance and human resource shortages. This was recently evidenced by the following two examples:

  • One health provider undertook a cost comparison between the Language Line service and its existing interpreting arrangements. The comparison revealed that the agency could save at least 20% by using Language Line.
  • Another health provider in a geographically remote location has noticed improved health outcomes because Language Line is able to provide female interpreters, who are not otherwise available in the local area. As a result, patients who have been unaware of the need for treatment, or avoiding treatment because of communication barriers, are now presenting. In one case, the availability of a female interpreter meant a woman could give informed consent and be fully aware of the process from diagnosis to treatment of a potentially life-threatening illness.

Language Line has now taken over 70,000 calls.

Participation in local government

Voter turnout at local elections is a way to gauge general participation in local governance. Although turnout is still favourable compared with local government elections internationally, overall the average voter turnout at New Zealand's 2004 local authority elections decreased on previous years.

The Government is concerned about this trend. In its 2006 financial review of the Department, a parliamentary select committee believed more work could be done to encourage community involvement in local democracy. We are working to address this issue in two areas.

The results from the 2007 local elections will guide future work by the Department in this area.

Understanding the value of being a New Zealand citizen

The Department administers the Citizenship Act 1977. In 2005/06, 27,780 applications for grant of citizenship to foreign nationals were recommended to the Minister. However, the vast majority of New Zealand citizens have acquired their citizenship by virtue of birth in New Zealand or to New Zealand citizen parents overseas. These citizens tend to have relatively little understanding of the nature of citizenship and the rights and obligations that accompany it. The Department is considering whether there would be benefits in terms of social cohesion if information about citizenship were to be more widely disseminated in the community.

Challenges and opportunities

Participating in a community is an important way for individuals to work towards the things that are important to their wellbeing. As communities change, so do the ways in which people might choose to engage.

It is therefore important that the Department is aware of how communities are changing. These changes can be reflected in measurable ways such as trends in demographics and family structures. They can also be reflected in less easily defined, but equally important, aspects such as how people prioritise and use their time, and whether they feel included in their community.

By understanding international research and trends, and consulting with staff working with communities, we have identified a range of challenges facing communities. We have used this information to identify opportunities and priorities for us to work with them.

People feel they belong to a community

The fact that people live close to one another does not necessarily mean they have much to do with each other. A significant aspect of "community" is the nature of the relationships between people and the social networks they belong to. International research illustrates a number of benefits from people being involved in their local communities. These include reduced impacts from crime and other antisocial behaviour, increased educational attainment, and better outcomes for housing and our urban environment.

For many newcomers, New Zealand citizenship is an important part of their identity as a New Zealander and they feel it gives them a sense that they belong and are committed to New Zealand. Our response to this challenge lies mainly in the work we do across all the intermediate outcomes, as together they combine to support people who want to play a part in their communities.

People participating in community governance and decision-making

Local government is based on democratic principles. To be effective, councils therefore require input and participation from across the community, not only in elections but also in strategic planning and direction-setting activities. Active community involvement in local democracy is also a key concept of the Local Government Act 2002, administered by the Department. We therefore have an interest in ensuring there is a high level of public understanding and participation in local government processes.

This interest in public participation is shared by organisations such as Local Government New Zealand and individual councils. We are working with these and other interested parties to look at opportunities for joint work programmes aimed at enhancing understanding of opportunities for participation in local government processes. These include:

There are also a growing number of communities across New Zealand, many of which contain a large number of new residents, migrants or refugees. Consideration will have to be given to how these people might be made aware of opportunities to contribute to their local councils. The OEA's Ethnic Women's Networkis an example of a potential model for disseminating this information to ethnic communities.

The Department also administers the Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS), which distributes funds to local groups. Elections are held every three years to select members for the various committees. We will be encouraging people to take this opportunity to participate in their communities in the forthcoming COGS elections in 2008.

Civic participation - starting young
  • Kids Voting is a programme that has previously been run by the Auckland City Council for Auckland City schools. Kids Voting gives school students the opportunity to look at the issues and vote for the real candidates alongside the local government and national elections.
  • An expanded nationwide programme is now being coordinated by Local Government New Zealand in conjunction with the Department of Internal Affairs, Auckland City, Tauranga City, Christchurch City, Kapiti Coast District, Wellington City, Waitakere City, the Electoral Commission, and the Ministries of Education and Youth Development.
  • Publicity for this programme will begin with information for teachers and local government staff in April 2007.

People participating in their communities

Voluntary activity and volunteers play a critical role in communities. More than one million New Zealanders are involved in some form of regular volunteer work and approximately 60,000 New Zealand organisations rely on their contributions. These millions of unpaid voluntary hours allow groups in areas such as sport, social service, the arts and the environment to benefit people and their communities. Volunteers also help to provide a range of essential firefighting, civil defence, ambulance, and search and rescue services.

Many communities confront the challenge of how they can continue to benefit from voluntary activity in the face of changing demographics and personal commitments. Issues also remain around recruitment and retention of volunteers in some communities, particularly those experiencing rapid demographic change. Given the importance of active participation in strong, sustainable communities, the Department needs to ensure that its advice and assistance to organisations enable them to face these changes in a positive manner.

Getting involved in the community involves more than simply providing people with an opportunity to participate. It is about ensuring people have the knowledge, skills and confidence to be able to take part in their local communities. It is also about understanding the ways people choose to participate, whether this is through a formal organisation or in a more informal setting such as caring for a disabled family member.

The Department supports voluntary activity in a range of ways, from grant funding of agencies to providing advice to help groups that need volunteers. This is a cost effective way for the Government to invest in communities. In many cases, providing support and funding for the administrative and equipment needs of voluntary organisations allows communities to benefit from the time and skills these people are able to contribute. The challenge for the Department is to ensure communities can continue to benefit from such active participation.

Planned outcome contribution

In the next three years we will:

Communities are empowered and able to help themselves

Strong and sustainable communities build on their inherent strengths. They should be able to identify a vision and plan for their own economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing. They should also be able to access the resources they need to create positive change, and to look at collaborative solutions to identified problems. In this case, the emphasis shifts from one of dependency to one of self-reliance and mutual benefit.

The ability of communities to identify and work towards their own goals makes a positive contribution to all of the Government's themes. The Department plays an important role in this process by working to provide:

Evaluating progress

The Department provides a range of services to communities. We currently monitor the uptake and the level of satisfaction with our advice, information and funding services to them. This performance information is supplemented by monitoring, evaluation and research.

Access to information and advice

Through our community and ethnic advisors and other staff, the Department helps community groups and voluntary organisations to access essential advice, information and resources. We have already indicated the value of the CommunityNet Aotearoa resource to communities. The 2005/06 customer survey for our community advisory services indicates that our advisors are playing an important role in helping communities to access the information and advice they need, with respondents indicating:

Our community development advisors and Crown-funded (community development) schemes also have a positive impact on communities. Examples include:

This type of flexible approach is appreciated by communities, as it enables us to help them achieve their own priorities and maximise use of their resources.

Advancing the national Digital Strategy

The Government's Digital Strategy aims to connect people to the things that matter to them. This approach enables communities to get what they need. At the same time, it enables the provision of networked State services. The Department has a significant role in supporting the Digital Strategy through a range of initiatives and resources, such as the Community Partnership Fund (CPF), the Connecting Communities Programme and the provision of CommunityNet Aotearoa.

The CPF is part of the Digital Strategy. This fund aims to improve people's access, capability and skills to use information and communications technology (ICT), and to develop digital content by contributing to grass roots, innovative community projects. The Department successfully administered the first round of CPF funding, which distributed $7.4 million to over 56 communities across New Zealand. Examples of the wide range of projects that were supported included:

Innovative projects like these will help to ensure that no New Zealander is denied access to the skills and knowledge that ICT can provide. The Department has reviewed the operational policies and practices of the fund to guide the second round of funding. To date, 167 expressions of interest have been received for the second round of the CPF.


UPLIFT is a free, four-day course for community project workers that builds skills in ICT, to enable these people to further develop capacity in their own communities. This programme is a collaborative public/private sector approach that utilises funding from Microsoft New Zealand, delivery from Whitireia Community Polytechnic and administrative support from the Department of Internal Affairs.

Providing communities with access to resources

Grant funding is an effective way to leverage resources and provide an enhanced return on government investment into communities. It also provides communities with an opportunity to determine and work towards their own goals.

The Department supports communities by administering a range of grant funding available to community groups. In 2005/06 the Department allocated $122 million of grant funding for communities. In 2006/07 we plan to allocate $136 million.

We are continually working to improve the administration and monitoring processes of grants, and with it the cost-effectiveness of what we do, by:

Creating real value for communities

The Department's work with communities provides some excellent examples of how a modest dollar allocation can lead to significant results.

  • The Community Internship Programme enables the release of a skilled employee from a well-established organisation (or business) to work with a developing community group for six months, to assist in capacity-building and to develop relationships between the organisations.
  • The Support for Volunteers Fund supports volunteer centres and provides a volunteer for development projects. For example, $4,000 spent training 20 volunteers might provide a pool of skilled volunteers to work with specific communities (eg, with refugees or new migrants, or in isolated areas) and increase the capacity of existing volunteer centres or other community organisations, producing a significant multiplier effect.

As a customer-focused organisation we also undertake an annual survey of clients (applicants) for Lottery Grants Board funding, whether they were successful or not. Our surveys indicate clients continue to be satisfied with the services provided by the Department.




Digital Strategy Community Partnership Fund

Significant Community-Based Projects Fund

Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS)

Community Development Scheme

Community Internship Programme

Community-Based Youth Development Fund

Youth Worker Training Scheme

Community Project Worker Scheme:Crime Prevention

1 national committee

11 regional community committees

2 national subcommittees

5 other national committees supporting specialist areas (eg, outdoor safety)


SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand)

Creative New Zealand

New Zealand Film Commission

Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust

New Zealand Winston Churchill Memorial Trust

Norman Kirk Memorial Trust

Pacific Development and Conservation Trust

Peace and Disarmament Education Trust

Disarmament Education UN Implementation Fund

Supporting board members

Our role in providing communities with access to grant funding includes supporting the committees making the decisions about allocation. The 2005/06 survey for lottery committee members indicated that:

To support effective grant-making we are also expanding the training we provide. This year we provided training for lottery committee chairs on decision-making, people management and how to be fair in the distribution of their grants pūtea (pot). Next year, the training will be extended to committee members. Regional planning sessions will also be actively seeking opportunities for committees to support various ethnic and community groups.

Challenges and opportunities

In many cases, the most powerful resource for creating positive change within communities is the community itself. Internationally, agencies are looking to focus on promoting community strengths and capabilities as a way for them to promote positive development. Successful community-driven development depends on communities having the appropriate tools and assistance - backed by appropriate support, training and resources, delivered in a manner that is flexible enough to account for differences. By working with communities to help them develop their own capacity and skills the Department is making a positive contribution to the wellbeing of the people of New Zealand.

Communities have strong vision and leadership

Community visioning and leadership is often about having the courage, creativity and capacity to inspire participation, development and sustainability for strong communities. Having a vision is important as it provides focus and a goal for members of the community. The Department supports the process by providing information through sources such as our website.

Community leaders should look to involve and learn from their community, by being prepared to make things happen as a group or by recognising that collaborations may be required. Effective leadership and governance should also be accountable and based on sustainable practices. Helping groups establish more formal leadership and governance structures can also help them access our grant funding if they choose to.

How to ....

We have launched the first of three planned "How to" guides:

The Community Resource Kit is now available on the CommunityNet Aotearoa website.

Good Practice Principles for Working with Government Agencies is currently under development.

Community groups are working effectively together where there are common goals

Working together is an effective way to make use of resources. This is why the Development Goals for the State Services identify coordinated State agencies as an important way to deliver services into communities. It is also why it is important that community groups have the skills and support to be able to work together effectively.

Collaboration and partnerships can increase local commitment to getting results, as responsibilities for decision-making and management are shared. They are a good way to make the best use of community knowledge and resources. Unfortunately, community groups are not always aware of groups with similar goals.

The Department recognises that networking and bridging between communities and organisations is an effective way for them to achieve their identified goals. We are able to contribute in a number of ways, including:

Community advisors collaborate with other central government, local government and community funders to coordinate funding expos, providing a one-stop-shop approach for the community. These events:

  • provide information about the range of funding streams available to communities
  • develop understanding of application criteria and processes for various funding streams
  • capture, for future development work, issues which hinder the participation of communities in funding processes.

Communities have access to resources

Grant funding is an effective way to build community capacity. Grants administered by the Department provide support for a number of important - often essential - community services across New Zealand. If the Government were to totally fund these and other types of community support services, the cost would be far greater due to the need to provide for direct salaries. On the other hand, if they were simply not provided, community wellbeing would be adversely affected and in some cases significant costs could result to communities and taxpayers. Support for programmes that enhance capacity also has the potential to reduce dependence and the need for direct provision of some government services.

The role of the Department is to ensure that people are aware of the range of grants available to them, and that these grants are administered effectively. We continue to monitor and streamline Grants Online and examine how the various grants are serviced throughout the regions. Ethnic advisors play an important role in supporting ethnic communities to develop their capability and access resources.

We are also supporting the Lottery Grants Board in its move towards establishing an outcomes basis for considering grant applications.

Reaching and resourcing communities

In 2005/06:

37 COGS committees:

  • provided grants to 110 community-based development projects
  • supported more than 3,800 community activities

1 National and 11 Lottery Community Committees:

  • over $110 million allocated to the community

High-quality customer service continues to be a priority. We will be looking at how we can reduce compliance costs for community organisations applying for our funding. To do this, we need to understand the range of investments made by government into communities and how some of this assistance can be better aligned. This work will require close cooperation with other agencies such as the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector (and the wider Ministry of Social Development). These agencies collectively have an important contribution to make to the Strong, sustainable communities outcome.

The proceeds from non-commercial gambling provide significant funding for a wide variety of community purposes spanning local groups, organisations and activities. If well directed, these funds can undoubtedly enhance empowerment, participation and the quality of life across all types of communities. Thus, while gambling can have negative community impacts from a public health and criminal law perspective, it also has a role to play in achieving positive community impacts. Both casino and non-casino gambling also generate employment opportunities and other economic benefits.

The Department's role in the regulation of gambling is to seek to reduce gambling-related harm and criminal activity, while ensuring that the proceeds of gambling are applied (as required by the Gambling Act 2003) for the benefit of communities. The Department continues to monitor and evaluate the outcomes achieved by the Gambling Act 2003. This is likely to include, in the future, looking more broadly at the role and place of gambling activities in society, and providing advice to Government to ensure that the policy settings maximise the benefit to communities while minimising the negative impacts of gambling activity.

Planned outcome contribution

In the next three years we will:

Communities are supported by fair and responsive local government and other local groups and organisations

Communities are not always able to achieve, unaided, all that they require for their wellbeing. For this reason, communities often need support from a range of groups and organisations.

Councils provide their communities with a range of essential facilities and services. They also undertake a range of support and community enhancement activities. Effective local government provides communities with a greater say over their resources and the decisions that affect them. Councils should act in a clear and accountable manner, showing consideration for sustainable management and the diversity of communities.

Communities also benefit from cooperation and partnership with a range of groups and organisations. These organisations need to be working with and for their respective communities, and have the appropriate skills and capacity to achieve their goals. They need to be aware of the issues facing communities.

The ability of councils and organisations to work with communities makes a positive contribution to all of the Government's themes. In most cases the Department provides these organisations with the tools and advice to help them make a difference. The Department does this by:

Evaluating progress

The Department has a supportive role with respect to local government by providing councils with appropriate legislative frameworks. We also work to promote general understanding of, and participation in, council activities as a way to enhance their decision-making. Our ability to directly impact on these trends is limited. The same is generally true of our work with organisations. Nevertheless, we monitor trends in local government from a range of data sources, for instance, election statistics and candidate surveys. We also receive feedback on our performance from Ministers.

Leading local/central government interface work

The Department has a Cabinet-mandated responsibility to manage the interface between central and local government. To do this we actively support contact between local authorities and central government agencies involved in the community outcomes process, particularly at local and regional levels. A review of this interface function in 2006/07 indicated that the Department has successfully implemented a range of necessary initiatives, including:

These interface activities appear to have created an enhanced sense of connection and understanding among central government agencies involved in the community outcomes process. This role has also provided local authorities, where they choose, with a smoother interaction with central government agencies. Evaluation indicates the Department is providing good results for the Government, local government and communities. It provides us with a clear focus for continued leadership in this area.

Working with councils and communities

Preliminary evaluations of a Sustainable Communities project in Papakura indicate that the work the Department is involved in with communities is producing positive interactions between councils and their communities.

Preliminary results indicate:

  • the involvement of the Department has encouraged more robust community involvement in council planning
  • iwi and the council are now making a commitment to regular hui as a platform to build closer relationships
  • involvement of the council in the project has opened the council up to greater engagement with local communities and encouraged it to play a leadership role. It has also provided the council with enhanced access to government agencies.

Providing information on local government

The Department's local councils website ( was launched by the Minister of Local Government in August 2005 and significantly updated in 2006. This website provides a range of information, to promote better understanding of local government and the ways in which people can get involved. We also provide a website directory of central government agencies (, to help councils contact people in central government who might have a role in the community outcomes processes.

In 2006 the Department undertook a high-level analysis of community outcomes identified by local government. This highlighted the range of relative priorities identified by local government in its community outcomes process. The Department published this information on the website and has shared the findings with interested local and central government agencies.

Reviewing the system of local government

The Department has commenced the review of the local government legislation, based on the Strategy to Evaluate Local Government Legislation, available on our website Based on a published strategy, we are formulating a work programme for this review that will enable us to detail the impacts of these major legislative changes on the sector and on communities. Work on this key project will continue in consultation with the sector from 2007/08 and will cover the period 2003-13. The Department is also supporting the Local Government Commission in its review of local government legislation (required by the Local Government Act 2002).

Administering the Rates Rebate Scheme

The Rates Rebate Scheme administered by the Department was enhanced by increasing the threshold for rebate entitlement and the amount of subsidy available to low-income homeowners on the cost of their rates. From 1 July 2006 the annual income level above which rebates are abated rose from $7,400 to $20,000.

Our online system for transmitting claims data from local authorities to the Department went live on 8 August 2006. In the first two days of operation of the Department's online system, local authorities submitted claims from 3,135 applicants. By 31 January 2007, more than 92,000 applications had been received, for a total of $41.5 million in rebates. This compares to the 2005/06 rating year, in which some 4,200 households received around $700,000 in rates rebates. The online system demonstrates a successful application of new technology to provide a more timely and highly cost-effective service for our customers.

Building trusted local groups and organisations

The Department manages the process of ministerial appointments to community trusts, which distribute over $60 million per annum to support community initiatives and developments. For example, in 2005/06 there were 29 reappointments and 12 new appointments across the 12 community trusts.

The Charities Commission was established on 1 July 2005 to register, educate, report on and monitor charities that wish to retain or obtain exemptions from income tax. The Department provides policy advice and monitors the performance of the Charities Commission. The charities register opened on 1 February 2007, with the initial registration period through to 1 July 2008. A review of the charities sector will be undertaken following completion of registration.

Challenges and opportunities

The Department works with councils and community organisations to help them better understand and provide for their particular communities.

Communities are supported by effective local government that is responsive to their needs

Local government supports local communities by providing them with a range of essential infrastructure facilities and services. Councils also carry out a range of regulatory functions on behalf of central government. Issues are therefore likely to arise in the future regarding the relationship between local and central government. Local government has expressed a desire to have an increased involvement in policy processes.

There is also concern over the ability of some councils to provide for the future infrastructural needs of their communities. The Department has already been involved in a joint programme looking at local government funding issues. The resulting analysis by the Department of rates and rating decisions made by local government has provided a basis for informed debate by communities and interested parties.

Demand is likely to grow from local government for funding from central government to support major infrastructure. This will have to be balanced against councils' desire to retain local control. These issues will need to be dealt with in a climate of increased scrutiny of the mechanisms by which local government is funded. This has already resulted in the setting up of the rating inquiry. The Department will support the Government's response to the findings of this independent inquiry when they become available.

Rating inquiry

In November 2006, the Minister of Local Government Hon Mark Burton released the terms of reference of the independent inquiry into local government rates.

The inquiry's objective is: "to consider issues relating to current local government rating, and to other revenue-raising mechanisms, and provide recommendations to the Government for enhancing rating and other funding mechanisms for local authorities."

The inquiry will look into (among other matters): the level of rates and related trends; drivers of local authority expenditure; the sustainability of rates as the major revenue-raising tool; the impact of government assistance initiatives, such as the Rates Rebates Scheme; and the impact of exemptions from liability for rates.

The inquiry commenced work in November 2006 and will report to the Government by 31 July 2007.

The Government has already indicated that developing Auckland as a world-class city is a priority as part of its focus on economic transformation. Coordinated strategic planning across the Auckland region is critical if this is to be achieved. The Department is playing an important role in helping to identify and implement effective local governance solutions for Auckland. We are involved in determining options for a stronger regional governance structure with enhanced funding mechanisms and appropriate resources for the provision of regional facilities.

The Department has also undertaken considerable work, in cooperation with officials from Auckland's local authorities, on the feasibility of an overarching regional strategic plan.

Community organisations working with communities

Community organisations are looking for a clearer idea of the direction the Government intends to take in terms of future funding models and distribution. Like councils, they too will be looking for involvement in the policy development process. As part of this process the Department, as an agency that provides community funding, is working with the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector, the Ministry of Social Development and Statistics New Zealand to collect information on the Government's funding of non-profit organisations.

Planned outcome contribution

Over the next three years we will be undertaking an evaluation of local government legislation and of issues facing local government, particularly around funding. We will be working with local government to develop good-practice models for service delivery and governance, and with central government agencies to better define their role in community outcomes.

We will undertake the following specific activities:

Communities recognise and enjoy the economic, social and cultural benefits of diversity

New Zealand is an increasingly diverse country. We have welcomed many new communities to our country in recent years. We have also experienced significant change in the make-up of our population. This is diversity in its wider context, including ethnicity, age, sexuality, disability, lifestyle and a host of other factors. Our work with communities aims to see that they benefit from this range of diversity. As a Department we continue to contribute to various government strategies which seek to ensure that the needs of diverse groups are recognised, in relation to reducing inequalities, effectiveness for Māori, Pacific peoples, positive ageing, ethnic responsiveness and the New Zealand Disability Strategy.

The Department, particularly through the OEA, is a recognised point of contact between government and ethnic people, and provides information and advice about and for ethnic communities. The OEA empowers people to fully participate in New Zealand society, through helping them to make themselves seen, heard and accepted. We also enhance understanding of integration by working with host communities to help them accept and include ethnic people, and with government agencies to ensure that government services are responsive to their diverse needs.

The Department has a range of roles in relation to diversity, which reach across the organisation. These include:

Building Bridges

The Building Bridges initiative was based on previous local and international programmes and events, to develop participation of the Muslim community in broader New Zealand society and to empower individuals and groups to bring about democratic enhancements in their communities and between communities and government.

This style of programme was chosen over some international programmes that did not focus on broad participation and empowerment models. The intervention logic was tested through consultation with the communities concerned prior to the programme commencement.

Early indications from the programme are that it is meeting all, and exceeding some, expectations. Its success has also encouraged other communities to take a similar approach to dealing with community issues.

Evaluating progress

Delivering programmes that recognise and support ethnic diversity

Given its small size, an important role for the OEA is providing policy advice to other agencies, to help them find solutions to issues they have identified. This work often consists of identifying gaps and leading the development of solutions. For example, the Ethnic Perspectives in Policy (EPP) framework developed by the OEA assists other State sector agencies to be more responsive to ethnic diversity. We have subsequently identified a need for assistance in implementing this framework, so we have developed a training package to assist delivery of the service.

This year the OEA, in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Development, has developed a strategy and work programme for a whole-of-government approach to strengthening relations between diverse communities. We have also held discussions with the Ministry of Economic Development about the economic integration of Chinese migrants.

We are promoting whole-of-government research to evaluate and measure various aspects of social cohesion, cultural and social wellbeing. In collaboration with Statistics New Zealand, we are leading a Foundation for Research, Science and Technology-funded study to improve the ways in which departments can use data gathered about and with ethnic communities. The results of this study will be available in July 2007.

Supporting diversity across the community

The Department's interest in promoting the benefits of diversity is not limited to recently arrived ethnic communities. Through the provision of community advisory services and grant funding we offer a range of support for diversity in communities:

Implementing programmes that encourage communities to recognise the benefits of diversity

Over the past two years the OEA has undertaken extensive consultation with ethnic communities and government stakeholders to confirm its outcomes framework. Indications from all stakeholders, supported by local and international research, suggest the OEA is making a positive difference. Over the next three years OEA will continue to target our work in the three areas of:

In addition to quantitative measures and indicators, evaluations, client surveys and international comparisons, the Department undertakes community forums in all main centres twice yearly. These forums are designed to enhance the capacity and skills of ethnic communities. They engage the community in discussions that ensure our services are meeting needs. Feedback from communities on these forums is consistently positive.

Challenges and opportunities

New Zealand society continues to evolve. This is reflected in the diverse, and in some cases rapidly changing, characteristics of our communities. As a responsive organisation the Department continues to monitor a range of changes in our communities, so that we are well placed to help these communities achieve their desired outcomes.

We have a special responsibility for ethnic communities. The number of people who identify with an ethnic heritage that is different from the majority has increased significantly.3 The OEA leads the Department's contribution to target those who have been in New Zealand longer than two years. Issues remain in ensuring these groups can preserve their own heritage and culture, in harmony with other New Zealand values.

Changes in New Zealand's Ethnic Composition

Projected growth rates of ethnic minorities in percentages by 2021

Chart showing Changes in New Zealand's Ethnic Composition

The aim of this work is for all New Zealanders to be able to enjoy the benefits of diversity. A risk to the success of this work is the perception that our work with minority groups only serves a narrow segment of the population (refugees, migrants and ethnic communities) and that the benefits only accrue to that segment of the population. We need to ensure this perception does not take root.

Responding to demand

Demand for ethnic services provided by the Department is growing.

This attests to the value of our services and products, and demonstrates that each product and service has an impact on those who receive it. In the past 12 months the OEA has experienced a 45% increase in requests for information and support from ethnic communities. With additional investment from the Government through Budget 2007, we will be able to support a programme of intercultural awareness across the State sector and strengthen regional support for ethnic communities.

Participation in the implementation of the Settlement Strategy

We are a participant in the implementation of the Government's New Zealand Settlement Strategy and Settlement National Action Plan at national and local levels. We provide assistance to those new settlers who have been in New Zealand for more than two years. A draft work programme was put to Cabinet late in 2006. The Auckland Regional Settlement Strategy and the Auckland Settlement Action Plan were launched in January 2007.

The OEA will contribute to a number of the initiatives in the Settlement National Action Plan, including:

Our challenge is to ensure the effective implementation of these initiatives for immigrants who have already made their initial adjustment to New Zealand society.

Connecting diverse communities

The OEA will jointly lead a cross-agency work programme with the Ministry of Social Development that aims to achieve outcomes in the following areas:

We must work to ensure that this coordinated agency initiative wins the trust of its target audiences and promotes an effective message of cultural harmony amid diversity.

Planned outcome contribution

During the next three years we will continue to target our interventions to raise awareness, encourage interaction and build institutional responsiveness.

Specifically, we will:

Maintaining and developing capability

Three major areas have been identified where we will work to increase our capability to deliver effective performance to support the strong, sustainable communities outcome area.

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Safer Communities

Communities are more resilient to hazards and their risks



Safer communities

Communities are more resilient to hazards and their risks

Our Intermediate Outcomes

The overall risk from hazardous events has been reduced to a level acceptable to the community

Individuals and communities are resilient and self-reliant through being well informed of hazards, their consequences and how best to manage and prepare for them

CDEM stakeholders are prepared for emergencies and can respond effectively

Communities can recover faster from emergencies, minimising negative long-term impacts




Creating a sound CDEM and fire policy environment

Strengthening CDEM planning across the "4Rs" (risk reduction, readiness, response, recovery) to foster increased community resilience

Building a culture of community safety and self-reliance, through participation in CDEM

Raising the public's awareness and understanding of the risks associated with New Zealand's hazards

Building the capacity and commitment of CDEM stakeholders

Our Outputs
and Activities

Policy advice

Building and maintaining readiness for national emergencies

Monitoring of emergency events and preparedness

Research, information and education

Sector support and sector professional development

Coordination of central government response and recovery support

Our Output

Vote Emergency Management

Policy Advice

Vote Internal Affairs

Policy Advice

Vote Emergency Management

Management of National Emergency Readiness, Response and Recovery

Vote Emergency Management

Support Services, Information and Education


We Work With

Central government services

Emergency services

Crown research institutes

Local government

Regional agencies

Lifeline utilities

Community groups

Welfare agencies

Non-governmental organisations

International agencies

United Nations

International CDEM sector


A fundamental responsibility of the Government is to protect the people of New Zealand. New Zealand's dynamic physical environment exposes us to a wide variety of hazards.

The Department has a leadership role in developing structures and processes to support individuals and communities in reducing risk, and preparing and managing the response and recovery from civil defence emergencies. The Department also has responsibility for fire policy. Our overall aim is for communities to be more resilient to hazards and their risks.

Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Act 2002, the National CDEM Strategy 2003-06 sets the Government's vision for CDEM as a "Resilient New Zealand, A Aotearoa manahau, communities understanding and managing their hazards". The Strategy is the foundation which underpins work to ensure that New Zealanders will understand, and will routinely act to reduce and avoid the adverse effects of, hazards because they value the enduring social, economic, cultural and environmental benefits of doing so. Realising this vision requires action from all areas of society.

To help communities become more resilient to hazards and their risks, the Department has set itself four intermediate outcomes:

The Department's work on CDEM and fire policy makes an important contribution to the Government's key theme "families - young and old", through the sub-theme "safer communities".

The CDEM framework consists of:

  • the Act
  • the National Strategy
  • the National CDEM Plan and the Guide to the Plan.

Evaluating progress

Strengthening the CDEM framework

The Department's focus over the past three years has been on implementing and consolidating the CDEM planning framework created by the CDEM Act 2002. The Department has an ongoing responsibility for monitoring and evaluating this work, and is now starting to review aspects of the framework in light of recent experience.

The Department made good progress during the past year in developing a monitoring and evaluation programme to assess the CDEM sector's compliance with the CDEM 2002 Act, performance, and progress towards high-level CDEM outcomes. Implementation of the programme will begin in June 2007. The programme will provide assurance that the system is operating as planned, and enable targeted effort to rectify any problem areas. The Government provided additional funding in Budget 2005 for Vote Emergency Management to enhance CDEM capability and increase staff numbers in the CDEM area. During 2006/07 we have largely completed recruitment for the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM). At March 2007 staff numbers had increased from 28 to 40. The full complement of staff will be appointed by June 2007.

Recent reviews had identified shortcomings in MCDEM's information management, and recommended improvements to backup facilities, communications and information management systems. In response, we have commenced studies on a proposed alternative emergency operations facilities and management information system, which will be implemented with funding support through Budget 2007.

Reviewing lessons identified

MCDEM continues to undertake comprehensive reviews of its performance after every significant emergency. Lessons identified from events in New Zealand (for example, the South Island snow event 2006) are key drivers in determining the way forward for the Ministry. Lessons are also taken from events overseas (for example, Hurricane Katrina in America and the threat of a global pandemic influenza).

In 2006 MCDEM and the Wellington CDEM group led the biggest civil defence exercise ever undertaken in New Zealand. Exercise Capital Quake 06 was based on a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in Wellington, and was designed to test New Zealand's all-of-nation arrangements for responding to a major civil defence emergency. Over 50 agencies and nearly 1,000 people were involved in the exercise, which took place over two days in October.

A review of Exercise Capital Quake 06 was completed in early 2007. The exercise provided an invaluable opportunity to see how the local, regional and national processes and connections would play out in a real emergency, and helped identify areas for improvement. Lessons identified included issues such as the sheer scale of consequences, logistical challenges, and the need for clarity of roles between government and the private sector. The lessons identified are being incorporated into future planning and operational activities.

National Hazardscape Report

The successful future social and economic development of New Zealand depends on recognising and accepting that New Zealand's many hazards will always need to be taken seriously by individuals and communities, and local and central government. A National Hazardscape Report (NHR) was completed over the past year. It will assist with identifying and assessing hazards of national significance. The NHR draws on CDEM group plans. Cabinet approval of the final NHR will be sought following completion of the consultation process. It is expected that the NHR will be officially launched during 2007/08.

Tsunami reports

In response to the Asian tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the Government asked for more information on the risk of tsunami for New Zealand and our preparedness to deal with them. Initial reports concluded that the potential tsunami risk for coastal communities in vulnerable areas is significantly greater than previously understood. The reports concluded that preparedness can reduce the potential risk of death and injury from tsunami by 90-95%. However, if a tsunami did strike there could be significant loss of life, comparable to that predicted for earthquakes.

During 2006, the Government made the decision to improve arrangements for managing New Zealand's tsunami risk, and a Tsunami Working Group was established to commence an investigation into a national tsunami alert capability. Additional funding through Budget 2007 will enable enhancements to the National Warning System. The Tsunami Working Group will continue investigating options for a tsunami alerting system.

Raising public awareness

In 2005 the Government invested $6.1 million in a four-year national public education programme to raise awareness. During 2006 two education programmes were launched: the schools' programme "What's the Plan Stan?", and the public awareness programme "Get Ready Get Thru". Both programmes take a long-term approach to building understanding and awareness among individuals, families, businesses and communities of the risks affecting New Zealanders, as well as giving people the skills to get ready for, and be able to get through, a civil defence emergency.

The educational package has been provided to approximately 3,000 primary and intermediate schools. Of those that used the resource, 95% reported it to be either very useful or useful. In a similar manner, a survey was conducted by Colmar Brunton to assess the effectiveness of the public education programme. The survey showed that, in six months, preparedness at home4 has increased from 21% to 29%. Preparedness at work and home has increased 2% to 9% and, of those who had seen the material, 75% said they were motivated to take some action.

During 2007/08 the national public education programme will evolve from building a general awareness (the focus in 2006/07) towards generation of higher levels of preparedness. The programme will be regularly monitored, reviewed and tested to ensure it continues to reflect the areas of need.

Review of the country's fire services

During 2005/06, the Department developed proposals for a new organisational structure and funding system for the country's fire services. A new Act is planned to replace the Fire Service Act 1975 and the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977. The proposed new legislation will provide for the establishment of a new Crown entity, the Fire and Rescue Service. A key priority for the Department during 2007/08 will be to finalise the detailed policy content of the new legislation and work with the Parliamentary Counsel Office to develop the Fire and Rescue Bill.

The Fire and Rescue Service

The Fire and Rescue Service will be a national organisation with responsibility for attending a range of non-fire incidents throughout the country. It will be responsible for all fire suppression services except in areas that remain under the control of:

  • an existing rural fire authority
  • the Department of Conservation
  • New Zealand Defence Force or
  • private providers (such as a large forestry company).

Challenges and opportunities

New Zealanders have been, and will continue to be, at risk from a broad range of natural and man-made hazards. The most common natural hazard in New Zealand is flood, the potentially most damaging and disruptive is an earthquake or tsunami, and the most underrated is a volcanic eruption. In addition, accidental release of a hazardous substance, introduced organism or disease may affect New Zealand's environment, health and economy. Terrorism is a further threat to public safety and national security. Technological hazards, increasing reliance on key infrastructure, urbanisation, more intense land use generally, and climate change all compound New Zealand's exposure and vulnerability to damage, death and injury, and social and economic disruption.

Globally, climate change is causing an increase in the frequency and intensity of weather-related events, with disastrous consequences. New Zealand can expect to continue to experience these dramatic changes in weather-related events, and CDEM planning will therefore need to monitor and meet the challenge of these changes.

Future editions of the National Hazardscape Report will provide more information on hazards of national significance, as CDEM groups, MCDEM and other agencies carry out further hazard and risk investigations, research and assessments. MCDEM will work with the CDEM sector, at the national and local levels, to strengthen policies and programmes that lead to the reduction of risks and hazards.

Our challenge is to enhance CDEM. The next phase of the Department's work will be in strengthening the CDEM framework, strengthening the capability of the CDEM sector, continuing to raise awareness, and closely monitoring changes in the global environment to identify and respond to the implications and threats to New Zealand. We will also be looking to strengthen international relationships. Through the development of reciprocal arrangements, New Zealand can learn from the experience of others and draw on international support in the event of a national event.

Planned outcome contribution

Over the next three years the Department's focus will remain on the CDEM framework, the "4Rs", and an integrated and multi-agency approach to CDEM. We will drive the achievement of outcomes by directing our endeavours in the following areas.

The "4R's" of CDEM are:

  • reduction of risk
  • readiness
  • response
  • recovery.

These four elements of community resilience represent the cornerstone of the work MCDEM undertakes.

Strengthening the CDEM framework

Enhancing CDEM stakeholders' capability

As awareness increases of the risks and hazards facing New Zealand, stakeholder and public expectations of the Ministry will also increase. Over the next three years, we will focus on building and maintaining CDEM capability. This is to ensure we have the capability to meet expectations and deliver our core role of coordinating, supporting and monitoring CDEM arrangements and local emergencies, and managing states of national emergency and civil defence emergencies of national significance. We will also continue to work with our stakeholders to ensure that expectations are met and that there is a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities. An all-of-government approach to emergency management will be advocated. Specific areas we will be focusing on include:

Developing CDEM initiatives for hazard risk reduction

The successful future social and economic development of New Zealand depends on recognising and accepting that hazards will always be an issue that needs serious consideration by individuals, communities, and local and central government. The Department will undertake activities to identify national hazards and risks, and establish robust, defensible and sustainable national hazard and risk indicator assessment frameworks. Work will focus on:

Raising public awareness

Public education is a key priority. The Department will continue to roll out the four-year national public education programme and monitor its impacts. In addition, we will undertake strategic long-term national programmes to raise individual and community awareness and preparedness, and work collaboratively with CDEM groups to support regional public education initiatives. The programme will be regularly monitored, reviewed and tested to ensure it continues to reflect the areas of need.

Fire and rescue services

Over the next three years the Department will focus on the development of the proposed Fire and Rescue Bill and on supporting the passage of the Bill through Parliament to enactment. The creation of the proposed new Crown entity, the Fire and Rescue Service, will result in enhanced service delivery, which in turn will mean safer communities.

Maintaining and developing capability

Over the next few years MCDEM will continue to strengthen capability through improving and refining systems and processes for professional staff development, business continuity planning, performance measurement and information management. A key focus over the next three years will be improvements in backup facilities, communications and information management systems.

In addition, there is an ongoing need to supplement resources within MCDEM during major emergency events. The Department's "one organisation" strategy is designed to facilitate the flow of knowledge (people and information) and resources to areas of need. We will also continue to strengthen relationships with outside agencies, to extend the pool of available resources during emergency events.

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Safer Communities

Gambling activities are fair and lawful, the growth of gambling has been controlled and harm has been prevented and minimised



Safer communities

Gambling activities are fair and lawful, the growth of gambling has been controlled and harm has been prevented and minimised

Our Intermediate Outcomes

Growth of gambling is controlled

Responsible gambling is facilitated

Vulnerable persons are protected

Opportunities for crime are limited


Our Contribution

Ensuring a supportive gambling legislative and regulatory environment

Encouraging voluntary gambling compliance

Ensuring the integrity and fairness of games

Monitoring and enforcement of the legislative framework

Our Outputs and Activities

Gambling policy advice and research

Gambling advice, education and information

Gambling stakeholder strategy and communications

Gambling legislation and subordinate regulations

Gambling licensing

Audits, investigations and monitoring of gambling

Enforcement of gambling regulations

Our Output Expenses

Vote Internal Affairs

Policy Advice

Vote Racing

Policy Advice

Vote Internal Affairs

Gaming and Censorship Regulatory Services


We Work With

New Zealand Police

Combined Law Agency Group

Ministry of Health

Gambling Commission

New Zealand Lotteries Commission

New Zealand Racing Board

Local government

Electronic monitoring system operators

Casino sector

Gaming machine operators

Other gambling operators

Gaming machine manufacturers

Problem gambling groups

International gaming regulators


The proceeds from non-commercial gambling provide significant funding for a wide variety of community purposes spanning local groups, organisations and activities. If well directed, these funds can enhance empowerment, participation and the quality of life across all types of communities.

"Commercial" gambling also, arguably, provides general economic benefits. The proceeds from race betting support the racing industry. Gambling can be a harmless entertainment activity. However, gambling can and does also have adverse effects on many individuals, their families and their communities.

The substantial growth experienced within the gambling sector in recent years has heightened community interest in gambling's negative social and economic impacts, the effects of illegal gambling, the need for community involvement in decisions about the location and provision of gambling, and the manner in which gambling proceeds are applied to community purposes.

The complexity of gambling products and the constant potential for gambling-related crime also mean that consumers and the wider community are subject to significant risk unless there is effective regulation and enforcement.

The outcome Safer communities contributes to the Government's priority "families - young and old", which incorporates sub-themes of "strong families" and "safer communities". Ensuring that "gambling activities are fair and lawful, the growth of gambling has been controlled and harm has been prevented and minimised" through effective regulation and enforcement contributes directly to a safer community.

The Department's role is to act as a policy advisor to the Government and to administer the requirements of the Gambling Act 2003 (the Act). We also act as a regulator, monitoring and enforcing the compliance of gambling activities with the Act.

The legislative framework is pioneering in that, in many instances, it undertakes a precautionary approach to gambling initiatives. The Act reverses earlier approaches by prohibiting all gambling unless specifically approved, enabling society to balance gambling opportunities against the prevention and minimisation of gambling harm.

The Department works in partnership with other government agencies, nationally and internationally, to detect and investigate crime associated with gambling. Agencies share resources, skills and knowledge to more cost-effectively target those individuals and groups whose illegal activities cross several agencies' jurisdictions and areas of responsibility.

To achieve our gambling outcome, we have derived from the Act four intermediate outcomes:

Our interventions focus on ensuring the gambling industry achieves a significant level of "voluntary compliance" because it understands the rules, recognises the risks of not complying, and sees the Department as a strong and effective regulator, willing and able to take strong and effective action where necessary. Increased voluntary compliance contributes directly to achievement of our outcomes, and lowers the extent and cost of regulatory intervention.

Evaluating progress

The Act came into force in 2003. However, most of its provisions did not come into force until 1 July 2004, and some have lengthy lead-in times. It is still early therefore to evaluate our results, but overall the Act seems to be ensuring that the inherent tensions in gambling (between harm and benefit and between commercial and charitable interests, for example) are being reasonably well balanced.

Early indicators - such as the reduction in the number of gaming machines and gambling expenditure; community and sector support for our activities; and excellent approval ratings for our information services - suggest that initiatives we have adopted to achieve our outcomes are having their desired effect.

Prioritising our effort

Available evidence, including a risk profile of the sector, shows us that gaming machines are the form of gambling most commonly associated with harm in New Zealand. As a result, we continue to direct a significant proportion of our resources and intervention efforts towards the regulation of this high-risk area of the gambling sector and other high risk forms of gambling such as casino table games.

To obtain accurate information, the Department routinely monitors a set of core indicators relating to gambling, some of which we generate ourselves (for example, quarterly statistics on the number of non-casino gaming machines and venues by type of society) and some of which is derived from other sources (for example, the data from the Problem Gambling Services funded by the Ministry of Health). The Department also undertakes some less routine monitoring (for example, the Gaming Machine Profits survey for 2005, planned for publication in 2007).

Fees review

It is incumbent on the Department to ensure that compliance costs on the sector offer value for money and are consistent with maintaining and building the capability to achieve our outcomes and objectives as the regulator. The Department undertakes a review every three to five years of the fees it charges to the sector.

The first full review since the introduction of the Act is currently under way. The review will encompass a fundamental examination of our cost structure and the way services are delivered, to ensure value for money while we maintain and build our effectiveness as a regulator.

The majority of our activities under this outcome are funded from fees charged to the gambling sector. The Department maintains a memorandum account to record third-party fees. The memorandum account ensures transparency in fee-setting and provides for stability in fee levels over the medium term.

Public attitudes

Every five years since 1985, the Department has commissioned a survey of people's participation in, and attitudes towards, gambling. The 2005 survey figures were not available in time for last year's SOI but have since been analysed. They showed that:

The four most important factors that respondents thought should guide the Government when reviewing gambling legislation were:

These findings also support the Department's work.

By seeking public comment, the Department offers people the opportunity to be heard in an area that has significant impacts on the community. This opportunity enhances public access to the ongoing policy process, and enhances the Department's responsiveness and effectiveness.

Funds available to the community

Gaming machine societies seem to be allocating their gaming machine profits a little more evenly across several categories of authorised purpose. In 1999/2000, societies operating machines in commercial venues allocated around 60% of their profits to sport. In 2005, they allocated similar percentages of their profits (around 40%) to sport and to social/community services.

In addition, the misapplication of gaming machine profits appears to be reducing. The largest cases now seem to involve $1 million to $2 million, rather than several million dollars as in the past.

The Gambling (Class 4 Net Proceeds) Regulations 2004 require that a minimum of 37.12% of gaming machine operators' gross proceeds be distributed for authorised purposes every year. This outcome is reflected in our performance measures.

Preventing and minimising harm

The Department is working closely with the Ministry of Health (which is responsible for the Government's problem gambling strategy) to construct a problem gambling monitoring framework, which will include monitoring research from overseas jurisdictions. This specifically includes the prevalence and incidence of problem gambling.

One of the key initiatives to arise out of our work with the Ministry of Health was the formation of an Expert Advisory Group on Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm. The group meets to help raise and discuss issues related to gambling that contribute towards the Safer communities outcome. The work with the Ministry of Health is an example of how coordinated work between State agencies can contribute to desired outcomes.

As part of its compliance role, the Department also routinely monitors levels of operator compliance with harm prevention and minimisation requirements. Gambling operators have started voicing a degree of commitment to harm prevention, and many workers in the sector have had harm prevention training.

Treatment providers and problem gamblers have both said publicly that the Act's self-exclusion provisions can be effective and helpful.

Gambling expenditure

We regularly monitor gambling expenditure levels for racing, New Zealand Lotteries Commission, non-casino gaming machines and casinos. Over time, expenditure levels provide a snapshot of gambling player trends and tell us how much the community is spending on gambling, which also acts as an indicator of gambling harm.

Until recently, statistics showed a gradual, and at times significant, increase in all forms of gambling spending. Overall expenditure surpassed $2 billion for the first time in 2004. However, in 2004/05, expenditure declined for the first time (by 0.6% overall), as a result of the new regulatory environment introduced by the Act, evidently complemented by the smoke-free legislation that came into force in late 2004.

The latest results, for 2005/06, show a further decline of 2.5% overall but, most importantly, a large decline of 11.8% in expenditure on non-casino gaming machines, the form of gambling most commonly associated with harm (refer table below). However, we cannot be sure this pattern will continue.

Gambling Product

2005/06 Spending (Player Losses)

Increase / Decrease from 2004/05

Racing and sports betting



Lotteries Commission products



Non-casino gaming machines






Total spending

$1.977 billion


While non-casino gaming machine revenue dropped to around $906 million in 2005/06, that figure is still more than double the amount spent on non-casino gaming machines in the year 1999/2000. We also believe that the percentage return to the community was higher in 2005/06 than in 1999/2000.

Number of gambling operators, venues and machines

The Department monitors the number of non-casino gambling operators, venues and gaming machines as a further measure to determine whether we are achieving our outcome of controlling the growth of gambling (which does not mean reducing the level of gambling or preventing completely any growth in gambling, but ensuring that any growth is consistent with the overall purposes of the Act).

Many non-compliant societies and venues have chosen, or been required, to exit the non-casino gaming machine sector. As a result, the sector has become smaller. The societies that remain have become larger on average, and seem to have become more professional and efficient as they have grown. The number of non-casino gaming machines has continued to decline since the introduction of the Act, reversing the growth experienced between 1988 and 2003. Combined with this is a trend towards fewer gambling operators operating at fewer venues.

Casinos continue to operate at or near their approved maximum number of gaming machines. Approximately 2,800 machines currently operate in casinos.

Line graph showing the Number of Gambling Operators, Gambling Venues and Gambling Machines over the period December 2001 to December 2006 .

Levels of compliance

The Department controls and monitors compliance through its licensing and auditing functions. The full implementation of an electronic monitoring system (EMS) was completed in March 2007. The monitoring will provide accurate and comprehensive information against which to assess whether all gaming machine money has been accounted for and whether gaming machines operate as they are intended to.

Over the past three years the Department has commissioned a survey of gaming machine operators, to measure levels of satisfaction with the information services the Department provides. Our overall performance ratings continue to be very high with approval by more than 90% of respondents, suggesting that our targeted advice and information is helping stakeholders to voluntarily comply with gambling requirements. This measure is not directly related to the levels of compliance, but, by providing an assessment of satisfaction levels, it gives an indirect indication of compliance.

In measuring satisfaction, the Department offers the sector the opportunity to be heard, enhancing access, responsiveness and effectiveness.

Using technology to monitor compliance

EMS enables the Department to track and monitor the operation of gaming machines in pubs and clubs, ensuring the integrity of games and limiting opportunities for dishonesty.

EMS will monitor:

  • how much money is gambled on each machine
  • what each machine pays out in prizes to gamblers
  • how much money should be banked
  • the number and location of gaming machines
  • the potential of gaming machines for problem gambling
  • machine faults
  • tampering.

The Department of Internal Affairs commenced this complex $35 million project with the passing of the Act . The first venues were commissioned in May 2006 and the last of some 20,000 machines in more than 1,600 venues was installed one week ahead of schedule in March 2007.

The system will control the operation of every gaming machine and collect, store and publish information for the Department and gaming machine operators, instead of having to rely on time-consuming manual collection of data. The system will also ensure that all software being used on the machines is identical to the approved versions, and will assist in detecting tampering with a machine or software.

Increasing the effectiveness of our regulatory and compliance strategies

In 2006/07 we conducted a major review of our compliance strategies and how a range of stakeholders perceive the Department as it undertakes its compliance activities. The results of this analysis will be used in 2007/08 to ensure that our regulatory strategy of maximising voluntary compliance, underpinned by effective enforcement, is implemented in an integrated way within the Department. We are intending to repeat the analysis in outyears to benchmark the extent to which we have been successful.

Responding to the recent performance audit report about controls on non-casino gaming machines

The recent performance audit by the Office of the Auditor-General (Effectiveness of Controls on Non-casino Gaming Machines) reported that, although the Department's strategic approach to compliance is still emerging, the fundamental elements were in place. However, the Office of the Auditor-General noted that the systematic monitoring of compliance outcomes being achieved requires some improvement.

The Department had already identified many of the issues raised in the report and commenced action on a number of them. Key actions undertaken, under way or planned in response to the issues include:


The key focus for the Department in the racing area of the gambling sector is the provision of policy advice and information on matters relating to race and sports betting, and on the racing industry generally. During 2006/07, to support the Minister for Racing, we worked with Inland Revenue to introduce a reduction in gaming duty for racing and an accelerated write-down regime for bloodstock. We will continue to direct our resources in the racing area to meet the requirements of the Minister. This will include supporting the establishment of a contestable "$1 for $1" fund (provided through Budget 2007) to enhance workplace safety and to raise the quality of facilities at racecourses.

Challenges and opportunities

Regulation and compliance issues

The Act was a response to growing concerns about the negative impacts of gambling on society. It introduced more stringent compliance requirements, and gave the Department wider powers and increased resources to undertake its compliance activities. Industry concerns, following the introduction of the Act, about the increased regulation and associated compliance costs have been heightened by the imminent implementation of an EMS.

EMS will enable the Department to more tightly monitor and control the use of non-casino gaming machines. EMS will control the operation of machines, the configuration of the machine and the games that are played. EMS will also provide information about the amount of money gambled and to be banked, which provides a solid basis for ensuring that returns to the community are maximised.

The full introduction of the electronic monitoring of non-casino gaming machines from March 2007 will provide enhanced, comprehensive information that will be useful to operators and the Department in monitoring operator compliance (as well as providing core information such as expenditure levels and gaming machine numbers) and in deterring crime. It will also provide richer information for policy and evaluation purposes.

Implications of falling machine numbers, venues and operators

The Act introduced a much stricter licensing regime and reduced limits on machines allowed in venues. The number of gaming machines was 20,518 as at December 2006, a drop of 4,703 (or approximately 19%) since the peak number of 25,221 in June 2003.

We are forecasting machine numbers to remain constant at approximately 20,000 in 2007/08 and beyond. This is a fall from 21,000 machines at the time the 2005 fees for EMS were introduced. Decreases in machine numbers as well as venues and operators will shrink the base upon which costs can be recovered, while not necessarily impacting on the cost of regulating the sector.

Managing expectations

To perform our functions successfully we rely upon the cooperation of gambling operators and organisations. Increased resistance from the industry could prejudice the effective regulation of gambling.

The Department will ensure its role as the regulator remains clear and understood by the sector, but will balance that by seeking a level of dialogue and feedback from all stakeholders that provides a greater level of understanding of respective positions on regulatory issues and supports the outcome of increased voluntary compliance.

Over the past two decades community groups have increasingly relied on gambling funding to help support their activities. A reduction in the amount of funding could lead to community concern about the level of support which groups will receive in the future.

To mitigate the effects of this we will focus on ensuring effective stakeholder and media communications. This will emphasise the Department's initiatives to ensure that, as much as possible, money from gambling benefits the community.

Changes in technology

The development of more sophisticated approaches to criminal activity, both nationally and internationally, will have an impact on the gambling sector over the next three years, particularly within the casino environment. We are also likely to face difficulties regulating gambling online if the growth in Internet gambling continues. To combat these trends we will need to rely on our strong audit and investigative responses, intelligence capability and broader legislative powers to target the detection and prosecution of offenders.

There is also a move by the casino industry to introduce electronic versions of traditional table games. There is an expectation that the Department will be knowledgeable about these developing technologies and responsive to industry representations.

The Department is also exploring the feasibility of developing an integrated technology platform, with the EMS network as its base, with the objective of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of gambling compliance activities and reducing costs for the gambling sector.

Enhanced information-gathering

In the future, improved information on expenditure levels and gaming machine demographics derived from the introduction of EMS could be combined with Ministry of Health data to provide enhanced information on harm associated with machine use.

There is potential to align expenditure information with other data (such as welfare benefit payment patterns, socio-economic data and grants information) to gain a more detailed understanding of the impact of gambling in respect of expenditure, harm and community benefit.

Improved regulation of money-laundering

The Ministry of Justice has recently released its third discussion document on money-laundering for consultation. The discussion document proposes the Department as the agency responsible for ensuring that casinos comply with regulatory requirements designed to counter money-laundering and terrorist-financing, which will assist in meeting New Zealand's international responsibilities. Legislation to implement these decisions is planned to be introduced to Parliament in late 2007.

Planned outcome contribution

In the years ahead we will look to consolidate the significant change that has occurred as a result of the implementation of the Act. We aim to drive the achievement of our gambling outcomes by:

Maintaining and developing capability

The Department's capability strategies are a response to the following drivers:

We have identified the following areas of strategic focus in response to those drivers:

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Safer Communities

Harm from restricted and objectionable material has been minimised



Safer communities

Harm from restricted and objectionable material has been minimised

Our Intermediate Outcomes

Vulnerable persons are protected

Communities are informed and aware

Freedom of expression is limited only where necessary

Opportunities for crime are limited


Our Contribution

Ensuring a supportive censorship legislative and regulatory environment

Proactive shaping of community opinion on censorship

Encouraging voluntary compliance

Encouraging national and international inter-agency cooperation on censorship enforcement

Monitoring and enforcement of the legislative framework

Our Outputs
and Activities

Censorship policy advice and research

Censorship advice, education and information

Censorship media strategy and communications

Facilitating the operation of the publications and classifications regime

Inspections, investigations and monitoring of censorship compliance

Enforcement of censorship regulations and prosecution of censorship offenders

Our Output Expenses

Vote Internal Affairs

Policy Advice

Vote Internal Affairs

Gaming and Censorship Regulatory Services


We Work With

Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Women's Affairs

Ministry of Consumer Affairs

New Zealand Police

New Zealand Customs Service

Department of Corrections

Office of Film and Literature Classification

Film and Video Labelling Body

Film and Literature Board of Review

Commissioner for Children



Internet safety groups

Film societies

Community groups

Overseas authorities


Overseas non-governmental organisations


As censorship issues are largely value-based, the community is required to balance the need to preserve freedom of expression against minimising the harm from restricted and objectionable material.

Objectionable material can be harmful on two fronts. It is intrinsically harmful because of the nature of the material. It is also harmful because such material, particularly when involving minors, may be derived from situations in which harm is intended or actually caused.

The outcome Safer communities contributes to the Government's priority "families - young and old", which incorporates sub-themes of "strong families" and "safer communities". Ensuring that "harm from restricted and objectionable material has been minimised" through effective regulation and enforcement contributes directly to a safer community.

The Department contributes to safer communities through the work we do in enforcing the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 (the Act). In our role, we carry out investigations and prosecutions involving the making, distribution and possession of objectionable material. In addition, we ensure that the legitimate publication industry complies with the Office of Film and Literature Classification's (OFLC) classification decisions.

The Department also provides administrative support to the Film and Literature Board of Review and monitors the performance of the OFLC on behalf of the Minister.

To minimise harm, we have set ourselves four intermediate outcomes:

Our interventions focus on helping the New Zealand public understand what is meant by "objectionable material" and why it is important that young people are protected from objectionable and restricted material. This enables us to achieve a significant level of voluntary compliance, supported by targeted investigation and enforcement activity where cooperation is not forthcoming.

Evaluating progress

Our goal in the period covered by this SOI is to consolidate the legislative and operational changes that have occurred since the enactment of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Amendment Act in 2005. Progress to date in our key areas of focus is outlined below.

Maintaining a supportive censorship legislative and regulatory environment

We continue to facilitate the operation of the publications and classifications decision-making regime by providing administrative support to the Film and Literature Board of Review, reviewing the performance of the OFLC and providing advice to the Minister. We also work closely with the Ministry of Justice, which is responsible for administering the Act.

Voluntary compliance

We measure the effectiveness of our regulatory approach by assessing the level of voluntary compliance within the publications industry. Monitoring the number of breaches helps us to identify whether our work, education, information and inspections programme is achieving its intended target of increasing voluntary compliance with censorship laws. Our strategic goal is to maintain the number of instances of non-compliance with censorship laws to within 15% of all inspections. We continue to achieve this target, with the level of non-compliance in 2006 at approximately 6% - an improvement on the 2005 level of 10% and the 2004 level of 12%.

Indicators, such as the increased number of Internet-based prosecutions and continuing improvements in the level of compliance within the publications industry, suggest that our current intervention mix of education and persuasion is appropriate, and we will continue to build on this regulatory approach over the short to medium term.

Our research shows that the Internet continues to be used as the primary vehicle for censorship offending. As a result, the Department invests up to 80% of its resources on the detection of offenders online. In the short term we will focus on persons trading and downloading files from peer-to-peer applications.

Our statistics show that 53% of our prosecutions result from proactive investigations undertaken by the Department; 23% from intelligence from international agencies; 23% from the New Zealand public, including referrals from New Zealand agencies (New Zealand Police and New Zealand Customs); and 1% from investigations into legal New Zealand-based publications.


The Department has had success achieving increased convictions for objectionable publication offences, brought about by prosecutions under the Act. The courts have also handed out tougher sentences. In 2004/05 there were 24 convictions with seven offenders being jailed, and in 2005/06 there were 32 convictions with nine jail terms imposed. With the amendment to the Act in 2005, the penalty for possession was increased to a custodial penalty. Penalties for making and distributing objectionable material were increased from one year's imprisonment to 10 years' imprisonment. The impact will be monitored in the upcoming year.

Research and profiling

The targeted detection of Internet traders of objectionable material helps to increase our knowledge and understanding of these types of offenders and their associated behaviour. Consequently, we are able to refine our intervention activities and contribute to better-informed policy advice. The study on Internet Traders of Child Pornography: Profiling Research showed there has been a distinct movement of New Zealand offenders away from Internet relay chat to peer-to-peer applications.

As a result of this research we have developed, in-house, a software program that is used on peer-to-peer networks to assist in the detection of offenders distributing the material.

The research also provides critical information about the age of offenders, the relationship between viewing child pornography and sexual offending, and the number of offenders who have access to the subjects of their collections of objectionable material.

Harnessing technology advances

The development of the new detection software for peer-to-peer networks is proving cost-effective in a number of ways.

Internationally, we are looking at providing similar software to other enforcement agencies, providing a valuable contribution to the work of the international enforcement community.

Increasing public awareness

As part of our role we are able to highlight the impact censorship offending has on the community. We continue to inform the public about Internet and censorship offending through proactive media releases relating to court cases and national and international investigations. We also continue to update the Department of Internal Affairs' website in relation to censorship issues, and provide information leaflets and other information resources freely to the public.

Challenges and opportunities

We anticipate that the following external factors will have the biggest impact on achieving our Safer communities outcome.

Demographics of computer users

New Zealand is among the top 10 countries in the world with regard to computer usage. As a result, we are experiencing greater availability of, and exposure to, objectionable material, especially to a younger audience. By continuing to update and develop our stakeholder relations and media strategies, and further enhancing our working relationship with censorship lobby groups, it is hoped we will further increase general public awareness of censorship issues at both the community and national levels.

Advances in technology

Rapid development of technology creates risks and opportunities in the censorship area and underpins the need for us to maintain strong international networks. The most recent significant development in Internet offending is the ability to share large numbers of objectionable publications through peer-to-peer applications. This creates challenges due to the large amount of material, the relatively small number of New Zealand users and the fact that the identity of the users is not readily detectable.

Increasing numbers of New Zealanders are accessing the Internet via broadband connections. Broadband enables much faster downloading of material from Internet websites and peer-to-peer networks, potentially increasing the availability of objectionable material.

The Department has developed a technology strategy to mitigate the potentially adverse effects of advanced Internet offending. We will continue to invest in resources to ensure inspectors receive the most up-to-date training and have access to the latest software. In particular, we will work with domestic and international partners to implement and publicise an Internet website blocking system in New Zealand. The system, based on software utilised by international agencies, will help prevent New Zealanders from accessing objectionable material on the Internet. Internet service providers will be able to employ filter software that checks website requests against an established list of objectionable sites.

We predict that the level of censorship crime will continue to increase, with offenders taking advantage of the relative anonymity and security that both the Internet and new technology offer. In particular, we expect to take on a leadership role in the training and development of our partners in relation to forensic computer analysis.

Working with others to target potential offenders

With the Internet blurring the traditional distinctions between offences, offenders can now, for example, commit censorship, importation and soliciting offences online. This type of combined offending requires a joint enforcement approach. We believe this will lead to even stronger cooperation between the Department, New Zealand Police and New Zealand Customs in the future.

We will also utilise national and international inter-agency cooperation, via such channels as active membership of international enforcement Internet list servers6 (HTCC, HTCIA, ULLE), to further enhance information-sharing. We will continue to monitor the number and quality of intelligence reports received and will consider international agreements with selected agencies.

In its work under the Act, the Department of Internal Affairs engages with a wide range of interested and affected parties








Department of Corrections

Office of Film and Literature Classification

Crown Law

Publications industry

Computer specialists




Ministry of Justice

Film and Video Labelling Body

Crown solicitors

Motion Picture Association

Internet service providers

Stop Demand


New Zealand Customs Service


Solicitors specialising in trial defence




New Zealand Police






End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, Child Sex Tourism and Trafficking in Children for sexual purposes.


High Technology Crime Investigation Association.


Name of the group put together to create a European list server for sharing information on computer-related crime (not an abbreviation as such).


US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (formerly US Customs).

Legal issues

The February 2005 amendment to the Act requires the Department to manage the effects of the changes on a number of aspects of the work we do. For making and distribution charges, the maximum imprisonment term went from one year to 10. For possession, charges went from a fine-based penalty to a maximum five-year imprisonment per charge.

In the past we have attracted criticism from judges for delays in bringing cases to trial caused by the backlog of forensic work for analysis. To mitigate this we will prioritise case workloads, reassess our prosecution process, and implement an education strategy to raise the judiciary's awareness of the complexities of forensic analysis.

Resource requirements

An increased workload for censorship investigators is placing heavy demands on our resource capacity. Increased detection of offending, and enhanced capacity and capability among overseas law enforcement agencies, are contributing to more investigations being carried out by the Department. Offenders are also utilising improved encryption, password protection and deletion software, meaning that more time is required to perform forensic analysis on a suspect's computer. In addition, the size of the files is increasing, with some at one terabyte.

As a result, a risk-based methodology is being applied to cases to prioritise the work we do. In the future we will need to assess staff numbers and locations, and ensure that we increase the competency level of all inspectors to enhance the capability of existing staff and ensure we are not reliant on specialists.

We are also looking at the impact of the higher penalties and imprisonment terms in relation to the number of defended hearings and associated costs. Legislative changes that came into effect in February 2005 have resulted in an increasing number of defended hearings, which involves greater costs for the prosecution. In addition, inspectors can now execute search warrants for possession-only offences. This has increased the Censorship Compliance Unit's workload, both from internal detection and from receipt of intelligence internationally.

Planned outcome contribution

The increasing availability of objectionable material, as well as the level of Internet offending, means that the Department faces significant challenges to ensuring that harm from criminal activity has been minimised. To ensure that our outcomes are achieved over the next three to five years, we will continue to:

Maintaining and developing capability

The most critical capability issue facing the Department over the next three years is continuing investment in our people and our systems to ensure they have the tools and skills to do the job. The greatest risk to minimising harm from restricted and objectionable material is in the area of Internet safety, particularly given recent advances in technology and the scope these allow for illegal activity. Enhancing the Department's capability through inter-agency partnerships and a focus on technology developments helps to mitigate this, and aligns with the Government's Development Goals for the State Services.

The second major risk stems from censorship workload expectations. The increased level of Internet offending has placed significant time and resource constraints on our inspectors. To mitigate this we have applied a risk-based methodology to cases to prioritise workloads. We do not anticipate significant resourcing implications as a result of our planned outcome contribution, although we expect increased prosecution and other associated costs as the number of defended hearings increases.

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Trusted Records of New Zealand Identity



Trusted records of New Zealand identity

Our Intermediate Outcomes

Identity management is consistent and well regulated across government

Identity data and identity management processes, systems and people are known for integrity and excellence

Identity services are reliable and accessible, and meet New Zealand and international standards

Identity records are secure and protected from fraud


Our Contribution

Maintaining a supportive legislative and regulatory environment for identity management

Providing leadership in identity management across government

Providing high-integrity processes, systems and people

Providing accurate registration and recording of identity information

Providing reliable, timely and accessible identity services

Producing secure and reliable identity products that meet international standards

Contributing to enhanced detection and prevention of identity fraud

Our Outputs
and Activities

Identity policy advice

Stewardship of identity including Evidence of Identity standard

Provision of authorised access to identity information

Birth, death, marriage and civil union registration and services

Citizenship services

Passport services

Collaboration with New Zealand and international agencies

Audit, risk management and investigations

Our Output Expenses

Vote Internal Affairs

Policy Advice

Vote Internal Affairs

Identity Services


We Work With

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Ministry of Social Development

Ministry of Education

Department of Labour

Inland Revenue Department

State Services Commission

New Zealand Police

New Zealand Security Intelligence Service

Office of Ethnic Affairs

Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Statistics New Zealand

Ministry of Health

New Zealand Customs Service

Combined Law Agency Group

Officials Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination

Citizens Advice Bureaux

Local authorities

Overseas jurisdictions

International Civil Aviation Organisation

Border control agencies

Immigration consultants

Health providers

Funeral directors

Travel industry

Marriage and civil union celebrants


Records of identity are important to New Zealanders because they provide the basis for determining individual entitlements, help individuals to trace their lineage and establish their identity, facilitate economic activity, and ease international travel.

Birth, death, marriage, civil union and citizenship information provides important input to official statistics and to social services planning and research. Trusted records also allow New Zealanders to travel overseas with a maximum of ease. Many agencies use the information to verify customers' identity and/or their entitlements to a service or benefit.

The Department provides leadership in identity management across the public service, in collaboration with our partner agencies, and, as the information in this section indicates, the Department has a number of initiatives under way to facilitate a coordinated public sector response to identity issues.

It is essential that the Department be recognised as a trustworthy steward of records of identity, to ensure that the public willingly provides this information. This contributes to the Government's Development Goal of "trusted State Services".

The outcome contributes primarily to the Government's theme of "national identity". Records of identity form the basis of New Zealand citizenship, which is a key part of our identity as New Zealanders. New Zealand citizenship determines a person's eligibility to a range of individual entitlements, including the New Zealand passport.

In an indirect way this also contributes to the "economic transformation" and "families - young and old" themes, as it enables New Zealanders' access to a number of economic and social benefits, and facilitates our ability to travel internationally for personal or business reasons.

The Department is responsible for the processes and records that establish New Zealand citizenship. In this way, our Trusted records of New Zealand identity outcome also supports the Department's outcome for Strong, sustainable communities/hapū/iwi' by assisting the integration of migrants into New Zealand society. The Department's approach to achieving the Trusted records of New Zealand identity outcome also contributes to the Safer communities outcome, since the high integrity of our people, data and systems helps to protect New Zealanders against identity fraud and unnecessary privacy intrusion, and is an essential component of national security.

An important factor behind the provision of identity services is the need to balance customer responsiveness against ensuring that robust processes are in place to check and protect the integrity of identity information. We aim to provide professional, responsive and efficient services, while at the same time ensuring that high standards are in place for checking new identity information (for example, a request for a passport) and protecting existing records. This same balance applies between encouraging the use of online services and protecting the privacy of data.

Our contributions to the outcome Trusted records of New Zealand identity fall into four key areas:

Evaluating progress

Our framework to measure performance

Measuring and evaluating its progress provides the Department with feedback on how well it is achieving its outcomes. We have developed a measurement framework that provides us with a consistent and comprehensive picture of how we contribute towards trusted records of New Zealand identity. This will provide us with a better picture of where new measures might be needed to better evaluate our performance against outcomes, particularly as new products and services are developed.

Our framework begins with our four intermediate outcomes and the statements of how our Department contributes to those outcomes. It then extends to identify a series of indicators that will enable us to have confidence that our interventions are achieving their aim, and finally attaches a series of measures to those indicators. Some of these measures are included in the Statement of Service Performance. Other measures remain as internal measures (for reasons of security or because they are detailed management-related measures). We are currently developing cost-effectiveness measures, which will complete the framework.

Outcome Evaluation Framework - an example

To demonstrate effectiveness, Identity Services uses a combination of clear intervention logic (showing how services contribute to outcomes) and robust measures at outcome, delivery and management levels. For example, we evaluate our performance in providing reliable and accessible services on the following basis:

Intermediate Outcome

Identity services are reliable and accessible, and meet New Zealand and international standards

Contribution we make

Providing timely, reliable services

Providing accessible identity services

Outcome measures we use

Customer satisfaction (by survey)

Customer satisfaction (by survey)

Output/delivery measures we use

Timeliness measures

Customer satisfaction

  • web access
  • Language Line
  • forms

Management/activity monitors we use

Business continuity events

Business continuity plans in place


Our Statement of Service Performance measures include volumes, quality and timeliness standards. We measure performance against these standards in citizenship, passport, birth, death, marriage and civil union activities. We use a combination of delivery performance measures like quality and timeliness, together with customer perceptions, to evaluate our performance.

We focus on customer responsiveness as well as producing accurate documents and protecting the integrity of identity records. Customer perceptions about the management of New Zealanders' identity information are useful indications of service performance, and are measured through a twice-yearly customer satisfaction survey.

The key performance indicators from the survey are:

We also ask customers to rate the dependability of our services and whether they believe we are doing a good job of preventing identity fraud.

Past surveys have consistently indicated that we provide an outstanding service and that people trust our work. The following chart shows our performance from 2002-06.


Source: June 2006 Customer Satisfaction Survey

Note: Annual results are an average of two surveys carried out in June and November each year.

The decrease in overall satisfaction in 2005 was largely a result of the increase in passport fees, which was necessary to improve the security of the New Zealand passport.

The decline in "Products delivered on time" results from a new question introduced in 2006, which gave respondents the option to note 'No date promised'. Around 15% of respondents choose this option

The majority of our activities under this outcome are funded from fees charged to members of the public using our services. The Department maintains memorandum accounts to account for third-party fees. New Zealand is unusual in funding its identity services on a full cost recovery basis, and this means it is unrealistic to benchmark costs with the five-nation group of which we are a member. The memorandum accounts ensure transparency in fee-setting and provide for stability in fee levels over the medium term. Fees reviews are undertaken periodically and ensure external scrutiny of any proposed changes.

Identity management is consistent and well regulated across government

So much of modern government, and international trade and movement, depends on the provision of personal data that effective identity management has become an essential element of government. Demand for data - correct, electronically transferable and secure - grows with each passing year. The Department, as custodian of New Zealand's identity records, must ensure that high standards of data integrity are in place.

The Department of Internal Affairs works collaboratively with other government agencies to promote consistent and high-quality practices in identity management. The Department is also custodian of the Evidence of Identity standard, and is working collaboratively with other agencies to develop an Identity Verification Service as part of the All-of-government Authentication Programme, led by the State Services Commission. These initiatives provide a coordinated approach to managing identity information, enabling agencies to confidently verify New Zealanders' identities.

Evidence of Identity standard

As part of the Department's role in enhancing identity verification across government agencies we are custodian of the Evidence of Identity standard. The standard is being progressively piloted with government agencies over the next one to two years before being implemented across government, as part of the E-government Interoperability framework.

The standard will:

  • provide a good-practice guide for government agencies offering services that have an identity-related risk (for instance, individuals seeking to enrol at a university, obtain a social security benefit, obtain a drivers licence or obtain citizenship)
  • over time, lead to an improved experience for New Zealanders accessing services, as common practices develop among government agencies
  • raise awareness within the State Services of identity fraud, and support a more joined-up approach to tackling this issue.

By providing clear frameworks and consistency, the Department gives stakeholders confidence in its stewardship of identity information.

The costs of identity services products, such as passports, are recovered through fees charged to the public using these services. While the Department aims to be a cost-effective delivery organisation, it must also ensure high standards of data verification and protection. Introduction of the e-passport ensured that New Zealand met the requirements for the United States Visa Waiver Programme from 26 October 2006. Visa waiver entry allows passport-holders from New Zealand to enter the United States for a period of up to 90 days for travel or work purposes without the need for an entry visa. This is a significant saving in time and money for New Zealanders travelling to or via the United States.

Birth, death, marriage, civil union and citizenship information provides important input to official statistics and to social services planning and research. Many agencies use the information to verify customers' identity and/or their entitlements to a service or benefit.

Identity data and identity management processes, systems and people are known for integrity and excellence

Integrity and excellence are about maintaining a very good reputation for integrity of processes, systems and people, to ensure that our stakeholders trust the services we provide. We continue to manage identity information in ways that enable New Zealanders to trust that their identity information is in safe hands. Our satisfaction surveys show that we consistently maintain the trust of our customers. Our accuracy measures show that nearly all identity-related documents were issued without error (99.8%) or registered without error (99.7%) in 2005/06.

The international community also values the work we do, and seeks our advice in the international forums in which we work. The international community acknowledges the quality of our work through the visa waiver status of our passport. New Zealanders enjoy visa waiver access to over 50 countries worldwide.

Identity services are reliable and accessible, and meet New Zealand and international standards

New Zealanders must be able to trust that they can access identity services when they need them and that they will be provided in a timely fashion. We continue to meet our timeliness standards, as outlined in the Statement of Service Performance, for our core products and services relating to births, deaths, marriages, civil unions, passports and citizenship.

We are constantly looking for improvements and efficiencies in our services. As part of our drive for cost-effective service, we are implementing greater standardisation and use of common business processes and systems between business units.

The Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Amendment Bill will be considered by Parliament this year. We have undertaken preparatory work for this event and we will continue to support its passage through the legislative process. The Bill, when enacted, is expected to allow us to provide new services and to take better advantage of the social and technological developments that impact on our work.

The Passport Redevelopment Programme will replace ageing technology and implement a new, robust system to handle the progressive increase in passport application volumes that will result from the move to a five-year passport.

The "Flying Squad" - a cost effective option

Like any well-run business, the Department is always looking to gain extra value for money. The Flying Squad is an initiative that provides value to our business by reducing the need for agency temporary staff while delivering additional benefits to the Department.

The Flying Squad is a flexible team of permanent staff that provides trained, high-quality support to all areas of Identity Services by backfilling gaps in production teams, supplying additional resources to cover workflow peaks or providing flexibility to deal with the impact of unforeseen events.

Experience suggests that Flying Squad officers offer higher levels of work performance and commitment to the Department than agency temporary staff.

The cost of employing a Flying Squad officer is up to 26.6% less than equivalent agency temporary staff. In addition to cost savings, the Flying Squad initiative retains staff, skills and knowledge within Identity Services and provides those staff with a gateway to career opportunities within the Department. To date, 53% of Flying Squad officers who have left the team, having undergone induction and basic training, have moved on to other positions in Identity Services or in the wider Department.

Identity records are secure and protected from fraud

We act as stewards of personal information on behalf of New Zealanders and need to be seen as trusted stewards of that information. We are working to protect the information we hold against risks ranging from unintentional disclosure through to identity fraud.

When enacted, the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Amendment Bill is expected to enhance our ability to collect information and verify that it is accurate and complete. It will introduce new measures to protect individual privacy and reduce the likelihood of identity fraud, while still allowing people to access information for legitimate purposes.

The introduction of the New Zealand e-passport is an example of measures undertaken to improve the security of our products. The e-passport makes it significantly more difficult for fraudsters to use a passport for criminal purposes, and also provides greater protection for passport-holders by ensuring personal data is very secure.

International cooperation

The Department participates in international programmes to detect fraudulent travel documents.

  • We share lost and stolen passport information with Interpol and with APEC countries through the Regional Movement Alert system.
  • We provide valid-passport information, through the Advanced Passenger Processing system, to extend New Zealand's border-checking offshore. This makes border-crossing smoother for New Zealanders, and prevents people whose documents are not in order from entering New Zealand.

These programmes have already been successful in detecting identity fraud.

We monitor overseas developments and changes in New Zealand's environment, to identify new requirements and/or enhancements to security, service and efficiency.

Our investigations unit provides intelligence, investigation and fraud-detection services, and collaborates with the New Zealand Government and overseas agencies to help prevent and detect identity fraud. We continue to provide authorised-data-matching services for a number of New Zealand government agencies.

Challenges and opportunities

The management of Identity Services involves striking a balance between a number of objectives. For instance, we must provide secure, high-integrity information but at a reasonable cost; and we want to provide appropriate access to data but also protect privacy. There will be continued pressure to maximise cost-effectiveness without loss of quality or security. This means a continuing improvement in business processes across our service lines.

Providing leadership in identity management

As the Government's expert in identity management, we provide leadership in identity management projects and initiatives. We will continue to utilise this expertise in our role of ongoing custodian of the Evidence of Identity standard. Over the next year we will pilot implementation of the Evidence of Identity standard with selected agencies. We are also working collaboratively with the State Services Commission to develop an Identity Verification Service. These initiatives will also help protect New Zealanders from identity fraud.

Identity Verification Service

The proposed Identity Verification Service is part of the All-of-government Authentication Programme led by the State Services Commission. The Identity Verification Service is likely to be progressively implemented from 2008/09 once development work has been completed.

The service will:

  • provide people with a way to verify their identity online and in real time, when they are seeking services from a government agency
  • reduce compliance costs and time for users of services and improve customer convenience
  • reduce identity fraud, especially in relation to government services.
  • transform Government services by allowing completely new services to be delivered online, and improve efficiency.

Balancing identity management and privacy protection

There is growing awareness of the incidence of identity fraud, and New Zealanders also continue to be concerned about stewardship of personal information and protection of privacy.

Our strategic direction retains an ongoing focus on privacy, integrity and security. We are actively addressing privacy protection issues through the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Amendment Bill and the Passport Data-sharing initiative. These will help manage the ways in which identity information is shared so that personal privacy is appropriately protected. We are assessing how we can develop robust online authentication processes across government, through the planned Identity Verification Service.

Opportunity to provide online services

There is an expectation from a wide range of sectors that the Department will provide identity-based services online, with real-time solutions. We will be expected to offer increased transactional online services to the public via the Internet. This year, we hope to introduce online access to historic identity information, to address the needs of the large and growing body of genealogists. We will continue to develop services allowing online notification of birth and death information.

Managing changes in demand for services

To improve the security of New Zealand passports, we moved from a 10-year to a five-year passport in 2005. This change was to help ensure that we are able to maintain pace with New Zealand and international challenges to passport security. This will significantly increase the volume of passport applications handled in the coming years.

The 2005 changes to citizenship legislation have resulted in a larger than usual work inventory of citizenship applications. We will be working to reduce the inventory to normal levels over the next year.


We provide New Zealand government agencies with authorised information-matching services. Under these arrangements, identity data is provided to enhance other agencies' services, with benefits including reduced public compliance costs, improved integrity of databases, fraud reduction and improved customer service.

Development Goals for the State Services

Our services, and the way we work, can contribute significantly to the Development Goals for the State Services. The Department of Internal Affairs has identified a number of flagship projects as the Department's particular contribution to advancing the Development Goals for the State Services.

The Department is contributing to the development of identity solutions for the New Zealand Government. In particular:

  • the Evidence of Identity standard encourages a consistent and coordinated approach to identity verification and identity management by government agencies
  • the proposed Identity Verification Service will provide an accessible and coordinated service for government agencies and consumers of government services.
  • we are working with the Department of Labour (Immigration Service) to develop a more coordinated approach to customer service and identity information management.

Changes in information communication technologies

Government strategies such as the E-government Interoperability framework, the New Zealand Government web guidelines and the Digital Strategy provide a complementary framework for management of our services that use information communication technologies. Service enhancements using information communication technologies can help to meet expectations around increasing integration and efficiency. Changes in technology provide opportunities for management of data, but also provide challenges in keeping data secure, in securing appropriate protection of personal privacy and in providing appropriate access to information. We continue to work on ensuring that our systems provide appropriate levels of integrity and security for the information we protect.

Planned outcome contribution

Looking out three years, we will:

In 2007/08 we expect to:

  • issue over 380,000 New Zealand passports and travel documents
  • register over 104,000 births, deaths, marriages and civil unions
  • issue over 200,000 birth, death, marriage and civil union certificates and printouts
  • recommend over 24,000 applications for grant of citizenship to the Minister of Internal Affairs

Maintaining and developing capability

Implementation of new technologies, major development projects and an expected increase in the volume of activity means that we must enhance our capability over the medium term.

Our business approach emphasising shared work components and services, together with our plans to develop more automated and online services, means we need to make a significant investment in both our systems and our people. In particular, we plan to develop our organisation culture around enhanced retention of staff, workforce stability and capacity, and improving career opportunities for staff.

We will further enhance our ability to provide reliable services through business continuity planning, to ensure that we can provide core services should our offices be affected by an emergency event.

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Executive Government is Well Supported



Executive Government
is well supported

Our Intermediate Outcomes

The range of services and processes needed to be effective is available to the Executive, both inside and outside Parliament

Guest-of-government visits help build international relations

Ceremonial events help celebrate and develop understanding of New Zealand culture and heritage


Our Contribution

Providing neutral advice and impartial secretariat services

Providing the administrative infrastructure for members of the Executive and their staff

Providing support for Executive Government transition

Integrating services with those provided by other agencies involved in the parliamentary complex

Providing safety and security for members of the Executive and their staff

Organising guest-of-Government visits and ceremonial events

Our Outputs and Activities

Support services, office facilities and residential accommodation

Integrated services with other agencies

Safe, reliable and trusted transport services

Planning and delivery of guest-of-Government visits and ceremonial events

Our Output Expenses

Vote Ministerial Services

Support Services to Ministers

Vote Ministerial Services

VIP Transport

Vote Ministerial Services

Visits and Official Events Coordination


We Work With

The Executive Branch of Government

Government's coalition partners

The Parliamentary Service

The Office of the Clerk

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Veterans' Affairs New Zealand

Guests of Government

Diplomatic representatives


"Good government" depends on the effective functioning of Executive Government processes.

Providing Executive Government with the environment, support and advice to carry out its duties is an important objective for the Department. We also support the Executive by arranging official visits to New Zealand by representatives of foreign governments, and managing ceremonial and commemorative events for government.

To ensure that Executive Government is well supported, we have set ourselves three intermediate outcomes (see table below). Through these intermediate outcomes, our work contributes to outcomes of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the Parliamentary Service, as shown in the table.


Executive Government is Well Supported

supports the work of many other agencies


The range of services and processes needed to be effective is available to the Executive, both inside and outside Parliament

Guest-of-Government visits help build international relations

Ceremonial events help celebrate and develop an understanding of New Zealand culture and heritage

links to Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet outcome "The continuity of Executive Government within accepted conventions and practices is maintained and well supported"

links to Parliamentary Services outcome "Members have confidence that they will be provided with the advice and support required to achieve their roles as legislators and representatives"

links to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade outcome
"New Zealand's international connections facilitate sustainable economic growth through increased trade, foreign investment and knowledge-transfer"

links to Ministry for Culture and Heritage outcome
"Widespread access to and understanding of New Zealand culture and heritage"

The Department is also responsible for the production of trustworthy official documents and managing independent processes, such as commissions of inquiry and the Gambling Commission.

The work of the Department's Executive Government Service contributes to two key government priorities. Economic transformation is supported by providing the Executive with opportunities to showcase New Zealand to visiting dignitaries as part of the programme of guest-of-Government visits. National identity is supported by ensuring that events which commemorate important aspects of our history and culture reflect the values and traditions New Zealanders prize.

The range of services and processes needed to be effective is available to the Executive, both inside and outside Parliament

The protocols, precedents, conventions and practices that support the Executive form an important component of New Zealand's constitutional arrangements, and the continuity of Executive Government is critical to New Zealand's economic and social wellbeing. The Department contributes to this outcome through its provision of support services to Ministers. Executive support services include staffing, transportation, media and communications technology, housing and logistical support, to enable the Executive to work effectively.

Executive Government Support has responsibility for:

  • supporting 28 Ministers

  • providing approximately 170 staff in ministerial offices
  • supporting approximately 100 secondees in ministerial offices
  • maintaining 20 ministerial residences

  • operating 45 chauffeur-driven vehicles, driven by 60 drivers.

The Department's role is to:

Guest-of-Government visits help build international relations

Guest-of-Government visits provide opportunities to showcase New Zealand and enhance relationships with other countries.

The objectives of each visit will vary. The Department works closely with other agencies (particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade) to understand the relationship the Government is seeking to promote with particular countries.

Ceremonial events help celebrate and develop an understanding of New Zealand culture and heritage

The Department works with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and Veterans' Affairs New Zealand to support access to and understanding of New Zealand's culture and heritage through our management of commemorative and ceremonial events.

The public is increasingly interested in marking and acknowledging significant occasions - particularly when these have a link to the development of a sense of nationhood. This trend is expected to continue, especially at events such as the annual ANZAC commemorations. Potentially this level of interest could generate public demand for more commemorative and ceremonial markers of important events in the future. It is expected that the growing cultural diversity of New Zealand will be increasingly reflected in these occasions.

We need to ensure these events are professionally delivered, particularly where a large television audience is viewing events.

In addition to the major ceremonial events that we mark as a nation, there are a number of events of a more personal nature which it is customary to mark with official recognition.

The Department, through its congratulatory message service, supports the Prime Minister, the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Governor-General or monarch in the recognition of 100th birthdays and 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries. This recognition is a mark of the traditional importance of these events in the culture of a significant portion of our society.

This service is funded through Vote Internal Affairs.

Trust in Government is supported by the production of trustworthy official documents and processes that are seen to be independent

The earlier diagram for Executive Government is Well Supported demonstrates the key functions the Department provides to ensure Executive Government is well supported. We also undertake a further range of little-seen but highly important administrative services. These services assist the smooth functioning of government, and play an important role in sustaining the trust of international authorities and the New Zealand public. They include:

The New Zealand Gazette is the official newspaper of the Government of New Zealand.

The Government and government agencies use the Gazette to promulgate a wide range of official notifications as required under legislation.

The table below shows how these additional services also contribute to the objective "Executive Government is well supported".


Executive Government is Well Supported

Our Intermediate Outcomes

Trust in Government is supported by the production of trustworthy official documents

Trust in Government is supported by independent processes such as commissions of inquiry and the Gambling Commission

Our Contribution

Delivering accurate, timely official communications and information

Ensuring that commissions of inquiry and other independent bodies are able to perform as required to meet their objectives

Our Outputs and Activities

Translation of official documents

Apostille certification of official documents

Authentication of documents

Publication of the New Zealand Gazette

Setting up and administering the independent process

Our Output Expenses

Vote Internal Affairs

Contestable Services

Vote Internal Affairs

Information and Advisory Services

Many New Zealanders are reliant either upon foreign language documents translated into English or upon New Zealand documents translated into languages other than English. In addition, many New Zealanders living or transacting business overseas require authenticated New Zealand documents or Apostille certificates (for use in countries that have signed the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents). These functions are of high importance to New Zealand industry.

The Department provides support to individuals and businesses through the provision of a trusted translation service and the formal authentication of New Zealand documentation.

From time to time the Government creates an independent body to undertake a particular task. This work is often to examine an aspect of policy or to review previous actions by government agencies. The Department has responsibility for the setting up and administration of a range of these organisations. Part of this responsibility is covered by the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908. In recent years we have been responsible under the Act for the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification and the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct. Other special bodies that we support, or have supported recently, include the Ministerial Review into Allegations of Abuse at the Regular Force Cadet School, the Joint Working Group on Concerns of Viet Nam Veterans, the Confidential Forum for Former In-Patients of Psychiatric Hospitals and the Inquiry into Local Government Rates.

Similarly, the Department is responsible for ensuring that the functions of the Gambling Commission are maintained independently of other government agencies and that no conflicts of interest arise.

Evaluating progress

We measure our outcomes primarily through feedback from clients and other stakeholders. We, for example, also receive verbal feedback from key ministerial stakeholders as well as comments from other agencies at the end of each guest-of-Government visit. Based on this information we set ourselves targets for service improvement. Recent feedback indicates we are generally meeting these targets.

Support to the Executive

Each year the Department surveys every Minister to gauge their satisfaction with the service they receive from us. Results of this survey indicate that we are on the right track. In addition, we have a number of internal measures in place that allow us to track progress towards achieving our outcomes.

We have done considerable work on improving the focus of our annual ministerial satisfaction survey. These improvements are aimed at providing Ministers with more comprehensive information about the work we do for them and on their behalf. We intend to trial this in the near future and expect further refinements based on feedback from customers. We have also carried out an internal review of our training and development programme for ministerial office staff.

Aligning human resource policies

Last year we worked with the Parliamentary Service to align human resource policies and practices. This resulted in changes being made that will ease the process of staff transitions between the two organisations, especially at a change of Executive.

Implementing the Ministerial Residence Property Strategy

The Ministerial Residence Property Strategy completed in 2006 considered the cost-benefit trade-off between leasing and owning ministerial residential property. It concluded that a restructuring of the property portfolio was desirable, to ensure that the properties held offered the most cost-effective and practical solutions to ongoing accommodation needs.

We are currently working through the impacts of the strategy. Implementation will be covered as part of our normal business cycle once key stakeholders have been consulted. The major direct financial benefits we expect are more efficient use of capital and a reduction in maintenance costs over time.

Collaborative Information and communication technology services

The Joint Information Strategy for Parliamentary Agencies identified opportunities to improve the cost-effective delivery of information technology (IT) services through closer collaboration. We have agreed that the appropriate time to implement changes to IT services will be after the next election, because of the demands on both organisations at this stage of the electoral cycle. At that time we will jointly review our IT support arrangements, with a view to aligning them to maximise economies of scale.

However, the Department has started the process by agreeing to align our contracts for the provision of mobile telephony under a joint contractual arrangement. The transition to the new arrangement is currently in hand and is expected to deliver significant benefits to Ministers. We are also reviewing our IT infrastructure, to align the technologies and services as much as possible. At present, the areas of focus are email systems, electronic document and records management, and security architectures. This is expected to maximise the benefits of joint service delivery.

Guest-of-Government visits and ceremonial events

Staff increases in the Visits and Ceremonial Office in 2006 have enabled it to cope better with the growing number of events it is called upon to manage and to sustain the extremely high satisfaction ratings it has been achieving from its customers. In 2005/06, the Visits and Ceremonial Office met all its performance measures and achieved customer (ministerial) satisfaction ratings of 99.95% for its coordination of official events and 100% for its arrangement of ministerial and state functions.

Cost-effective services

There is little scope for changing the Ministerial Services outputs we produce. The challenge then is for us to concentrate on producing our outputs as cost-effectively as possible. A key question is how we produce the outputs. Should they be outsourced, or delivered by our own staff?

The need for a detailed knowledge of government protocols, coupled with the sensitive nature of much of our clients' information, means that some of our services which might appear to be candidates for outsourcing are in fact not.

The prime example of this is the VIP transport chauffeur fleet. While the fleet may appear to be a simple taxi service (and there are elements of that), the fact that Ministers often use the car to transact business, the extensive use of the fleet for transportation of official guests of Government, the need for high levels of security and the need for close collaboration with the Police add a dimension to our service that would not be easy to achieve with an ordinary taxi service. A commercial taxi service would find it difficult to obtain the levels of security clearance and driver training needed, or to liaise with security agencies, at a level suitable to perform this function.

Similarly, in the Visits and Ceremonial Office, there are issues of protocol and security which militate against treating these activities as simple events management exercises.

However, within these constraints, there are opportunities to consider outsourcing where this offers cost efficiencies. The prime examples of these are the current outsourcing of the ministerial IT (MINIT) contract and of our property maintenance activities. We further maintain a balance between the need for privacy and security and the need for cost-effectiveness, by maintaining the chauffeur fleet to cope with most work and by using taxis for overflow work or where the volume of business would not justify a chauffeur service.

We regularly examine specific opportunities to consider the most cost-effective way to deliver our outputs and services. For example:

  • MINIT is the ministerial IT system (a different system supports other parliamentary users). Maintenance of the MINIT system is currently outsourced. Although it would not be prudent to change the arrangements before the next election, we are currently considering a proposal to re-tender the contract after the election. This will provide an opportunity to assess the cost-effectiveness of outsourcing this service.
  • We are exploring how we might improve cost efficiencies by leveraging our relationship with other agencies in the parliamentary complex, for instance by moving to a common IT infrastructure.
  • A recent review of the VIP transport fleet took forward the findings of an audit of the fleet carried out by the Ministry of Transport in late 2006. This audit provided information indicating that whole-of-life costing models have the potential to reduce overall costs.

Our recent review of the VIP transport fleet was guided by the high priority given by the Government to sustainability initiatives. The audit of the fleet carried out for us by the Ministry of Transport in late 2006 provided us with information indicating that whole-of-life costing models have the potential to reduce overall costs. It will lead to significant changes in the way we manage the VIP transport fleet.

Cross-government cooperation and delivery

Our medium-term strategic direction is to work with other State sector agencies to further progress the "accessible State services" goal by the development of seamless processes for clients who require translations so they can access government processes and services. These improvements should further strengthen our trusted status and progress our goal to be the suppliers of choice for these government agencies.

We have recently agreed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade that the Department of Internal Affairs will collect the entire fee for authentication of documents. In the past, the client has had to pay both organisations separately. Streamlining the process in this way has made the service much easier to use. It is a simple example of how coordinated State agencies can deliver effective joint outcomes to the New Zealand public.

Based on this experience, we intend to identify other agencies whose services require authentication or translation of official documents and implement similar service improvements. In addition, we will be investigating the provision of online facilities for those agencies wishing to submit material for publication in the New Zealand Gazette.

Challenges and opportunities

Environmental changes

A number of environmental factors have the potential to impact on future expectations and requirements for delivery of services to members of the Executive, including:

"We are announcing today that, as the VIP car fleet of the Department of Internal Affairs is replaced, vehicles which are more fuel-efficient and have lower emissions will be acquired.... The Government accepts the responsibility to lead by example ..."

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister's Statement to Parliament
13 February 2007

The Department needs to be nimble to meet these challenges. This requires aligning ministerial office human resources and IT systems and processes with those of the other agencies represented on the parliamentary campus. In the longer term, we need to consider the introduction of systems more aligned across the wider public service.

We need to be aware of the unique position of the Executive and their expectation that we will be exemplar adopters of government policy. An example of this is our adoption of energy-efficiency standards for the VIP transport fleet. This may at times require us to balance the benefits of being early-adopters with the attendant risks to service delivery.

Maintaining and developing institutional knowledge

The introduction of MMP has increased the complexity of the make-up of the Executive. At the same time there has been a gradual loss of the cadre of career senior private secretaries, who formerly functioned as an "institutional memory" in ministerial offices and were an important transmitter of conventions and practices from one administration to the next.

General elections bring the possibility of changes in the Executive. Any change of Executive raises the possibility of a loss of organisational knowledge and consequent disruption to the continued efficiency of the Executive. The next general election is due in 2008. While we plan on the basis of the Parliament running its full three-year term, we must maintain a constant state of readiness to ensure that our systems and processes for a change of Executive are continually reviewed and updated.

The Department's challenge is twofold: to maintain institutional memory, and to recognise and respond to the changing requirements of an Executive operating in an increasingly complex environment.

Developing international linkages and national identity

Public interest continues to grow in the formal recognition of important events that contribute to New Zealanders' sense of national identity. There is a steady increase in the number of significant visits to New Zealand by representatives of foreign governments.

Ensuring that these events reflect and incorporate the important characteristics of New Zealand - past and future - presents both challenges and opportunities. The 2006 swearing-in ceremony for the new Governor-General, the Honourable Anand Satyanand, the first Governor-General of Asian descent, was a highly symbolic statement of the changing state of New Zealand. The ceremony to mark Lance Sergeant Haane Manahi's bravery in World War II was another nationally important symbolic event.

Working with other agencies and other Departmental business groups

The expectations of our clients and of the Government for increasing efficiencies and for the removal of administrative barriers continue to present opportunities for us to provide leadership in the delivery of seamless services to members of the Executive.

We are looking for synergies between the Translation Service and other parts of the Department in the provision of language services - whether for ethnic communities or for identity documentation - to offer an integrated service in this area to the benefit of clients.

We will continue to strengthen our relationships with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Police and the Office of the Clerk in arranging guest-of-Government visits, and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage in arranging ceremonial events.

Effective relationships with the other agencies on the parliamentary campus (the Parliamentary Service, Office of the Clerk, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Parliamentary Counsel Office) are key to the delivery of effective support to the Executive, and we will continue to work with these agencies to ensure that policies and services are as closely aligned as possible.

Planned outcome contribution

Our emphasis for the coming three years will be on:

Important initiatives in the medium term are:

Maintaining and developing capability

A significant factor in our work programme will be continued emphasis on knowledge management for staff providing services to ministerial offices. This will also be an emphasis in other areas as we consolidate the capability improvements made over the past year.

We will be working to further develop our links with other agencies and improve established relationships.

We will continue our programme to enhance VIP transport driver service standards.

We have in place a number of internal measures that allow us to track progress towards achieving our outcomes. However, the establishment of further measures at an activity level will enable us to have sufficient detailed measurement information. Some of the measures that will be implemented are:

  1. An “Outcome” means a state or condition for society, the economy or the environment, or a change in that state or condition. Return
  2. “Objectives” recognise that not all Departmental functions are to achieve outcomes, as they are not directly targeting societal, economic or environmental effects. Return
  3. For administrative reasons, the scope of the OEA includes people who identify with ethnic groups originating from Asia, Africa, continental Europe, the Middle East, and central and south America; and includes refugees and migrants, as well as people born in New Zealand who identify with these ethnic groups. In this sense, "ethnic" is used to refer to people whose ethnicity is different from the majority of people in New Zealand, and from Māori and Pacific peoples (CAB Min (02) 31/13 refers). Return
  4. Preparedness has been defined as having an emergency survival plan, having the essential survival items and water to cope for at least three days, and regularly updating these items. Return
  5. The extension programme is a system of services which assist "communities of interest" to achieve desired outcomes through educational and change management processes. It involves working with stakeholders on problem definition, opportunity identification, goal formulation, problem solution and motivation. Return
  6. Internet list servers provide a safe, secure means of communication over the Internet. Return
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