The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Resource material › Corporate Publications › Statement of Intent 2012-15Tauāki Whakamaunga Atu

Strategic Direction

New Zealanders increasingly expect public services to reflect their needs and the way they live their lives. It should be easy for people to interact with government to get the services and information they need to participate in society and the economy.

The availability and affordability of fast and secure information and communications technology (ICT) creates new possibilities for public services to meet these needs. It also raises expectations for these services to be more responsive and personalised.

New Zealand’s communities face ongoing challenges from the combination of economic uncertainty, disaster recovery and demographic changes. The Government is focused on delivering better public services in order to meet these challenges, organising services to be more innovative and efficient, reduce costs and deliver better results for all New Zealanders.

As a Department, we have undergone significant changes in the past year to support this goal. This process is continuing with the transfer of the functions of the Charities Commission to the Department.

As a result of these changes, Internal Affairs is in a strong position to deliver core functions more efficiently and effectively, and deliver on Government expectations to provide leadership across the public sector to improve the way services are delivered to people.

Contributing to Government priorities

The Government’s priorities are:

  • responsibly managing the Government’s finances
  • building a more competitive and productive economy
  • delivering better public services
  • recovering from the Canterbury earthquakes and rebuilding Christchurch.

The diversity of our roles and functions means we can contribute to these priorities in a range of ways. The table on page 16 highlights how we will contribute to Government’s goals through the priorities of our Ministers over the medium term.

Better Public Services[2] Result 10

Our key contribution over the next five years will be to provide leadership across government to improve the use of and investment in ICT. We will work with other agencies to develop and implement an action plan to achieve one of the Government’s priorities for better results from public services: New Zealanders can complete their transactions with the government easily in a digital environment (Result 10).

This will require innovative approaches to build services based on customers’ needs rather than the structure of agencies. Work is already underway through initiatives such as the Service Transformation Programme.

We will also actively work with other agencies to contribute to achieving Result 9, which focuses on ensuring business can interact easily online with government.

We will also contribute to Government’s priorities by:

  • implementing the Directions and Priorities for Government ICT and supporting our Chief Executive’s responsibilities as the Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO)
  • providing leadership in securely managing and providing access to important information in the digital age
  • undertaking policy reforms to build the efficiency and effectiveness of local government services
  • connecting communities, government and local government to create opportunities for people to participate in society and the economy
  • maximising the potential for New Zealand’s economy and society to benefit from ethnic diversity
  • optimising the efficiency of services supporting Executive Government
  • contributing to the recovery of communities in Canterbury. We will also strengthen the framework for recovery from further civil defence events by incorporating the lessons from the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management’s response to the earthquakes.

Our outcomes and objectives

Our performance framework is illustrated on the inside cover of this Statement of Intent. It sets out the overarching strategic direction towards which all parts of the Department contribute. We seek to improve the social and economic well-being of all New Zealanders by:

  • providing services and support directly to people and communities
  • providing services and support to Government and public sector organisations to help them achieve their outcomes.

Our long-term outcomes and objectives are:

  • New Zealand’s diverse people and communities/hapū/iwi are resilient and prosperous
  • New Zealand is recognised for creating, sharing and using knowledge for social, cultural and economic well-being
  • The people of New Zealand have a strong and valued national identity, culture and heritage
  • To enhance trust in government and confidence in the performance of public sector organisations.

Our activities over the next three years towards achieving these outcomes and delivering on Government priorities are outlined in the Operating Intentions section.

An immediate priority is to build core capability to more efficiently deliver our expanded functions and capitalise on opportunities to improve services. For example we are reducing duplication across the organisation, implementing new operating models and developing the leadership skills of our staff.

These activities are outlined in the Capability to Deliver section.

Building relationships across sectors

The Government’s expectations for better results and value for money from public services provides a clear direction for agencies to work more closely with each other and across sectors.

Our work connects us to a large number of agencies and stakeholders operating across the public sector. Continuing to build and maintain these relationships is an ongoing priority and is a particularly important component of our ICT leadership role over the coming years. Getting the best out of these connections will help us to deliver our services better and enhance our contribution to outcomes across government.

A diagram illustrating a range of our key relationships is provided in Appendix I.

Measuring our performance and progress

We have consolidated our performance framework over the past year to reflect the changing nature and scope of our work. We are now in the process of developing indicators and measures to more accurately and meaningfully report against performance.

This work is ongoing. It will result in a clear link between our services, impacts and outcomes, improvements in measuring cost-effectiveness to support business decisions, and drive continuous improvement across all levels of the Department.

In the Operating Intentions section we provide indicators and data that have been developed to date to demonstrate progress. We also identify the areas where further work is required.

We will measure our short-term performance against our output performance measures and targets. These are set out in the Information Supporting the Estimates of Appropriations for Vote Internal Affairs.

We will have a full suite of performance measures in place for Budget 2013.

We will report on all of our indicators and measures in our Annual Reports.

Ministerial Priorities

The following table highlights how we will contribute to Government goals through the priorities of our Ministers. Our activities contributing to these priorities are outlined in the Operating Intentions section.

Portfolio Ministers’ Priorities Government Priorities Activities contributing to priorities


New Zealanders can complete their transactions with government easily in a digital environment

Maximising the use of information and communications technology across all-of-government

Providing leadership in identity information management and policy

Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of fire and related emergency services and the regulatory framework for Class 4 gambling

Better public services;

Productive economy

Pages 23–43


Learning from the Canterbury earthquakes to identify and implement sector-wide changes

Reviewing and updating the Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan

Strengthening the statutory framework for recovery from major civil defence events

Implementing results of monitoring and evaluation of Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups

Recovering from Canterbury earthquakes;

Better public services

Pages 23–29

Pages 36–43


Entitlements for Members of Parliament and the Executive

Managing cost pressures in the Visits and Ceremonial Office

Reviewing the pricing regime for VIP Transport

Earthquake resilience of the Department’s ministerial properties

Integrated service delivery with other parliamentary agencies

Better public services;

Responsibly managing finances

Pages 36–40


Maximising New Zealand’s potential for economic growth through the skills, experience and international connections of ethnic communities

Improving government responsiveness to ethnic diversity

Maintaining and improving New Zealand’s reputation for social harmony and as a desirable destination for tourism, migration, education, trade and investment

Better public services;

Productive economy

Pages 27–31

Pages 36–42


Building the efficiency of the local government system

  • Refocus the purpose of local government
  • Introduce fiscal responsibility requirements
  • Strengthen council governance provisions
  • Streamline council reorganisation procedures
  • Establish a local government efficiency taskforce
  • Develop a framework for central/local government regulatory roles
  • Investigate the efficiency of local government infrastructure provision
  • Review the use of development contributions

Better public services;

Productive economy

Pages 27–29

Pages 36–42


Ensuring the sustainable future of the racing industry

Productive economy

Pages 36–42


Transfer of Charities Commission functions

Efficient administration, effective regulation and strong relationships

Empowering communities

Better public services;

Productive economy

Pages 25–31

Pages 36–42


[2] On 15 March 2012 the Government announced that it is implementing changes to sharpen the public sector’s focus on delivering better services and results for New Zealanders, including establishing a set of challenging Better Public Services Result Areas that the public sector will be accountable for achieving over the next three to five years.

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