The Department’s purpose is to serve and connect citizens, communities and government to build a strong, safe nation and we do this through a range of functions and services. This diversity is reflected in our outcomes, which set out what we are trying to achieve over the long term.

The outcomes we contributed towards in 2009/10 were:

  • Strong, sustainable communities/hapü/iwi
  • Safer communities
  • New Zealand’s approach to identity is trusted and well led.

We also had two objectives:

  • Executive Government is well supported
  • Common information and communications technology services deliver improved State sector performance and better citizen experience.

The following section outlines the ways in which we contributed towards these outcomes and objectives in 2009/10.

Our outcomes, and the performance measures we use to assess our effectiveness and progress towards achieving them, will be changed and improved in the coming year as we review our outcomes framework and consider how the new functions (of the National Library and Archives New Zealand) will be integrated.

Strong, Sustainable Communities/Hapū/Iwi

Strong, sustainable communities, hapü and iwi are resilient, can collectively maintain and develop skills, resources and a shared vision, and are able to achieve shared goals for the benefit of all members.

For communities to be strong and sustainable, they need to be empowered to identify their needs, and be given equal access to information and resources to improve skills and establish infrastructures. These foundations enable communities to take responsibility for defining and working towards meeting their needs and aspirations, thereby improving social, economic, cultural and environmental well-being.

New Zealand is becoming an increasingly diverse nation. Māori and Pacific populations now make up 15 per cent and 7 per cent respectively of New Zealand’s population. These figures are expected to grow to 17 per cent for Māori and 10 per cent for Pacific by 2026. One in four people in New Zealand was born overseas and 18 per cent of our population speaks two or more languages. The ethnic population is currently 10 per cent and, by 2026, is estimated to increase to 17 per cent. This growing diversity reflects a new era for New Zealand. Around half of New Zealand residents feel that their area is a better place to live due to New Zealand becoming a home for an increasing number of people with different lifestyles and cultures from different countries[1].

Within a diverse population, New Zealand citizenship is promoted by the Department as something that can provide a shared bond, or collective identity, that transcends differences in religion, ethnicity and social backgrounds. At the same time, it is acknowledged that not all people living in New Zealand can or will become New Zealand citizens. The Department works to ensure people of all ethnicities are supported to fully engage with and participate in their communities, and in New Zealand’s multi-ethnic and multi-faith society.

As the nation grows and changes, the Department will continue to help build strong, sustainable communities to meet the social and economic challenges of the 21st century. It does this by:

  • ensuring the system of local government is fit for purpose now and in the future through the provision of information, advice and administrative support
  • enhancing community development by providing advice on community and voluntary issues, community advisory and information services, and administration of grants
  • encouraging and promoting the benefits that ethnic diversity offers New Zealand.

The following are some of the core activities and key initiatives progressed by the Department during 2009/10 which contributed to strong, sustainable communities, hapü and iwi.

People engage with and participate in their communities

Participation and engagement in communities enable individuals and groups to create, nurture and celebrate the success and resilience of their communities, and enjoy the benefits of living and participating in a prosperous and inclusive New Zealand. The Department supports people to engage with and participate in their communities by providing advice, policies and services to support communities.

As part of its core business, the Department provides policy advice on topics as diverse as local government, the community and voluntary sector, and ethnic affairs. It also works with other agencies, contributing to policies on a broad range of matters including economic development, health, immigration, environment, building and infrastructure to ensure the communities’ needs are represented, and government agencies are responsive.

The Department also seeks to maximise the talent, skills and connections of ethnic people to provide economic development opportunities for ethnic and mainstream business leaders in both New Zealand and overseas markets. We do this by optimising trade links, building on the Free Trade Agreements, and working to improve government responsiveness to economic development.

In 2009/10, the Department supported people to participate and engage with their communities through a wide range of services. We held a number of community development forums and events around New Zealand throughout the year aimed at helping to strengthen and build communities. As well as providing targeted support to various communities throughout New Zealand, the events were an opportunity to increase awareness of information and resources the Department has available to communities, such as:

  • grants funding
  • advice on community development
  • advice on governance
  • using the Language Line telephone interpreting service
  • accessing isolated communities
  • building media literacy for ethnic and mainstream media
  • developing leadership among women and youth.

We also provided tailored advice, services and support to New Zealand’s communities. For example, in the Far North, the Department worked with three local marae to assist with hapü development planning. Kaitiakitanga responsibilities took on a special significance for the hapü members because of the collective focus on marae facilities. The Department was able to take account of these circumstances and assist these marae to access trustee training, develop their planning strategies, and understand funding application processes.

The Department and representatives from Te Atamira Tai Whenua, the Department’s kaumātua advisory group, also held meetings with local communities along the Whanganui River in response to their concerns about access to the Department’s advisory support and information services. The local meetings identified the need for disseminating information about the range of funding options and community advisory services, and for ongoing contact to build relationships.

Working with Te Puni Kōkiri and the Māori Land Court, the Department also ran a series of seminars in approx-imately 60 marae in the Takitimu region in 2010. The seminars focused on marae funding and planning and included presentations from Te Puni Kōkiri and the Māori Land Court. Overall, 142 marae trustees and komiti members attended the seminars, which included presentations on topics such as tax awareness and charitable status, fire safety, civil defence planning, local body elections, marae development and conservation.

The Department also seeks to build capability specifically across the ethnic sector to encourage people to participate in all aspects of New Zealand life. New Zealand is a member of the Alliance of Civilizations, a United Nations initiative to build understanding between cultures and traditions to counter polarisation and extremism. The Office of Ethnic Affairs was appointed Domestic Focal Point for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in 2009, which includes coordinating the domestic activities and the National Plan of Action.

Some of the ways we further supported ethnic communities included:

  • actively seeking high-calibre nominations for, and administering appointments to, community and statutory boards
  • running the Building Bridges programme to work with the New Zealand Muslim community on issues relating to public awareness, constructive inter- and intra-community dialogue, and building strong relationships with other faith and ethnic communities, government, and mainstream agencies
  • participating in the annual Pasifika festival, which celebrates the unity and diversity of our Pacific nations and is attended by more than 100,000 people
  • sponsoring and participating in the annual ASB Polyfest, which brings together young people from diverse backgrounds and celebrates cultural heritage
  • running a hui at Rehua Marae in Christchurch this year, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development and two refugee organisations, to discuss issues of family safety, domestic violence, and other health-related issues for migrant and refugee women. More than 50 ethnic women attended.

We also held business knowledge workshops in Christchurch, in association with the New Zealand Multi-Ethnic Business Council, to develop the economic knowledge of Canterbury ethnic businesses, and a Bi-annual Funding Information Workshop in Auckland. More than 600 people from 147 organisations attended the Auckland workshop, and attendees expressed a high level of satisfaction with the workshop and the quality of information.

To complement its activities in communities, the Department also worked across government to ensure equity of access occurs for all members of New Zealand communities, and to ensure government is responsive to their changing needs.

An example of this was delivering the Ethnic Perspectives in Policy training to policy staff from government agencies to ensure they include an ethnic perspective in their policy frameworks. We also worked closely with the Ministry of Health on health outcomes for ethnic communities, and meeting with health service providers and refugee communities to identify barriers to healthcare and increasing access to available services.

The Department also participated in the joint community-government initiative Kia Tutahi Standing Together Steering Group, which is working towards a draft relationship agreement between the Communities of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Government of New Zealand.

Communities are empowered and able to help themselves

The Department helps diverse communities build capability and empowers them to be equal, confident and proud participants in our society; whether the people in the communities are born in New Zealand or have arrived as migrants or refugees. We do this by ensuring communities have access to sufficient resources, information and support. In 2009/10, we continued to collaborate strategically with other government agencies, local government, non-government organisations, business leaders, hapū, iwi, communities and community organisations to ensure the right services and information was being delivered to the right audiences.

Providing information and responsive services to diverse communities

The Department provides the community with advice, information and resources through our national office, regional offices, community and ethnic advisory staff, intercultural advisors, and printed and digital resources. Well over 90 per cent of our customers said they were satisfied with the community and ethnic affairs advisory services provided during the year.

We administer CommunityNet Aotearoa (, a widely used community resource for sharing information among community and voluntary organisations, hapü, iwi and whanāu. In 2009/10, the CommunityNet Aotearoa website received 190,000 visits, 3,084,250 page views and 105,592 downloads, which represented a 16 per cent increase in the number of resources viewed compared with last year.

We also continued to facilitate equal access to government services through the Language Line telephone interpreting service, which is available for free to people whose first language is not English.

Language Line: Number of Agencies and Calls Made

In response to locally identified community needs, the Department delivered a collaborative governance train-ing and information workshop in Hamilton for Waikato trustees of ethnic and Pacific community organisations. Approximately 30 ethnic and Pacific representatives from 20 groups attended the workshop, which covered such topics as the roles and functions of a governing body, the importance of record keeping, legal compliance and financial management. With many new groups in attendance, the Department also used this opportunity to provide guidance and support to communities on how to effectively engage in the community and voluntary sector in New Zealand.

In Gisborne, staff were invited to join the Te Runanga O Ngāti Porou forum to provide community advisory services to support its focus on healthy development of whanāu and hapü. The forum is made up of hapü representatives from the nine communities of the Ngāti Porou region and staff also work with their respective communities when requested. This group has extensive networks throughout the East Coast, which provide staff further opportunities to deliver services at another level within these communities.

In partnership with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, we also presented to and consulted with the ethnic community on preventing intimate partner violence. The ensuing project raises awareness and identifies practical examples of best practice to meet the needs of ethnic women. A number of organisations have participated in the project, including community organisations, the New Zealand Police, Victim Support, and the Ministry of Social Development. The Office of Ethnic Affairs has also been appointed to the Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families, which advises the Family Violence Ministerial Team on how to make improvements to the way family violence is addressed, and to eliminate family violence in New Zealand.

The Department has an important role in supporting Whānau Ora, which provides practical, community-based support to whānau so they can be self-manag-ing and determine their own economic, cultural and social development[2]. We participated in an interagency Whānau Ora working group to consider the recommend-ations of the Taskforce on Whānau-Centered Initiatives and report to Whānau Ora Ministers. In addition to our community advisory activity, we will continue to support the implementation of Whānau Ora by working with the lead agencies at a local level to share our knowledge about communities of interest and to facilitate, where appropriate, community input into Whānau Ora planning and implementation processes.

The Department’s work in 2009/10 relating to two successful community-based training models, the Computer Clubhouse and Computers in Homes, led to new funding in Budget 2010. This funding will boost the digital literacy and connection of New Zealanders by continuing to support these initiatives which enable young people and families to develop their computer skills.

The Department also plays a key role in disseminating information and advice to support ethnic communities to successfully settle into and contribute to New Zealand society. This includes providing information and education to employers on the benefits of hiring a diverse workforce. The Department continued to do this in 2009/10 by presenting at events such as the Human Rights Commission Diversity Forum, and producing resources about bias-free recruitment (i.e. what it is, why it’s important, and how an organisation can put it into practice). We also implemented the Strengthening Ethnic Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) project in 2009/10, to build ethnic NGOs’ capacity to provide settlement services to their communities. It included governance training and mentoring for 22 ethnic NGOs.

To further support an increasingly diverse society, the Department has developed specific strategies to support Māori and Pacific communities.

The Te Whakamotuhaketanga Hapü strategy was first adopted by the Department in 2003 and is a practical means of giving effect to the articles and principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. The strategy allows and encourages the Department to consider development aspirations from a Māori perspective and to ensure that its policy advice and service delivery are aligned with the needs of whānau, hapü, and iwi Māori. It also fosters a way of working with Māori, who make up a significant proportion of the Department’s funding clients and stakeholders. An evaluation of the strategy was undertaken in 2009 and found it to be a valuable programme for the Department and communities. The detailed findings were used to develop a new strategy and action plan for 2010–13.

The Department reinforced its commitment to support and strengthen the ability of Pacific communities to become strong and sustainable through the launch of the Pacific strategy, Te Kakeega. The development of Te Kakeega involved an analysis of the existing work being undertaken with Pacific community organisations by the Department as well as consultation with the Pacific communities in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Te Kakeega will contribute to improving staff capability in their work with Pacific communities and also help Pacific communities to become empowered and self sufficient.

Providing communities with access to resources through grant funding and services

Grants funding contributes to building skills, infrastructure, community-based facilities and services, and community empowerment. Applications come from small remote communities through to large metropolitan centres, and from a wide cross-section of the community, including many ethnic groups.

The Department provides communities with access to such resources by administering a range of Crown-funded grant schemes, independent trusts and fellowships and grants from the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board. A survey of applicants indicated 98 per cent were satisfied with the administration the Department provided in 2009/10.

The Department also continued to play its part in ensuring funding is used appropriately by and for the community. Our role in regulating gambling contributes to communities by ensuring that the proceeds from gambling benefit communities. The Gambling Act 2003 requires that funding from non-casino gambling machines is used for charitable and community purposes.

During the year, we made further progress on our work towards securing a new grants and client management system to streamline funding practices. The new system will be launched in 2010/11. Complementing this, we provided support to the Lottery Grants Board to improve its focus on funding for outcomes. The principles of the outcomes framework are now informing the design of grants processes, including for the Community Organisation Grants Scheme and Lotteries.

We also continued to monitor the Charities Commission. Our analysis of financial and non-financial reporting, and information gained from regular relationship meetings with management demonstrated that the Commission substantively met its performance targets for the 2009/10 year. We also commenced a review of the Charities Act 2005 and associated regulations to improve the operation of the register of charitable entities.

Crown-funded grant schemes

The Department administers a number of Crown-funded grant schemes, including the Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS) and the Community Development Scheme (CDS).

COGS, a community-driven government-funded scheme, provides essential support to not-for-profit, voluntary and community organisations, iwi and hapü, and funding providers to produce a range of services in their local communities. In June 2010, an impact evaluation of COGS found that the scheme was operating effectively and contributing to desired results in and for the community.

The Department administered $13.8 million under the COGS scheme in 2009/10, making 4143 grants with an average value of $3348. These grants served a variety of purposes, for example providing the Far North Adult Literacy Trust with funding for tutors, often working in isolated areas, to teach rangatahi literacy and numeracy skills. The trust aims to encourage young people to set personal goals that will lead to further education and employment opportunities.

In 2009/10, the Department-administered Community Development Scheme (CDS) invested $2.56 million in projects that enable communities, hapü and iwi to determine their development priorities and achieve innovative, durable and effective change. There were 42 CDS projects operating around the country in 2009/10, targeting economic, social and cultural outcomes for local communities, including nine new projects approved for funding during the year. These projects ranged from producing development strategies for isolated rural communities to targeting social cohesion and economic development for refugee communities in Palmerston North and focusing on community engagement and revitalisation in Flaxmere.

Lottery grants

The New Zealand Lottery Grants Board distributes the proceeds of state lotteries to the New Zealand community. The Department supports the Lottery Grants Board and the Lottery distribution committees, by preparing and processing application forms, advertising and publicising grant availability, assessing and preparing reports on applications, organising distribution committee meetings, arranging the distribution of grants and monitoring their use.

In 2009/10, the Department processed approximately 5800 Lottery grants applications and administered $107.3 million in grant funding. The grants supported a range of purposes and organisations throughout the country, from providing funding to construct or improve community facilities; conserve, restore and develop marae facilities; undertake research that promotes the health of New Zealanders; and purchase and adapt vehicles, scooters and other mobility and communication equipment for people with mobility and communications-related disabilities.

Grants also support a range of community groups and services across New Zealand including organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureaux, Barnardos, Riding for the Disabled and Age Concern. Grants have enabled these organisations, and many like them, to provide services that support communities across New Zealand.

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

Councils play an important role in the life of the community and local and national economies. The Department recognises that an effective and responsive system of central and local government can best be achieved by ensuring meaningful and inclusive engagement with the public and, in turn, active public participation. All people need to be aware of the opportunities to participate in and contribute to central and local government, their local communities and councils. Through 2009/10, the Department continued to provide policy advice and information on the system of local government and support local authorities in a range of areas.

Auckland governance reforms

Over this past year, a key priority for the Department has been the provision of advice and support to the Government in relation to the Auckland governance reforms. This has included advice on the policy and legislative framework for the new Auckland Council, including complex transitional arrangements. In particular, the Department has:

  • provided policy advice to Cabinet on a range of issues and worked with the Parliamentary Counsel Office to translate Cabinet decisions into bills
  • supported the Auckland Governance Reforms Select Committee in its consideration of the Auckland governance bills, including acting as advisors to the Committee during deliberations, summarising submissions, and preparing departmental reports
  • supported the Minister of Local Government and the Prime Minister in communicating key events during the reforms
  • monitored the progress of the Auckland Transition Agency (ATA) to ensure the establishment of the new Auckland Council occurs as planned
  • developed a draft framework to monitor and evaluate the impact of the governance reforms following the establishment of the Auckland Council. This has included preparing a baseline report that provides a snapshot of Auckland, through a range of indicators and measures, before the commencement of the new Council.

The Department also provided advisory and administrative support to the Local Government Commission, which was required, under the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009, to determine the boundaries of the Auckland Council, a system of wards for the Council’s governing body, and the local board structure of the Council. Following two rounds of consultation, the Commission made its final determinations on 1 March 2010.

In addition to our advice on local government matters, the Department contributed specialist support on ethnic affairs. The Local Government (Auckland Transitional Provisions) Act 2010 gave the Auckland Transition Agency (ATA) responsibility to develop a proposal to establish an Ethnic Advisory Panel. The Office of Ethnic Affairs is providing ongoing advice to the ATA in this area.

Transparency, accountability and financial management

Just under half of New Zealand residents have confidence that their council makes decisions in the best interests of their city or district[3]. The Department supported the Minister of Local Government in developing options to improve local government transparency, accountability and financial management, and a number of proposed changes are included in the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill.

The Bill is designed to increase the influence communities can have on their councils’ planning and direction setting by increasing the range of information available for easy public reference. This includes, for instance, a pre-election report to encourage and inform election debate, and simplifying councils’ long-term plans to make them more user-friendly.

Improving understanding of local government

The Department analysed and reported on trends in financial information and rates revenues from the 2009 long-term council community plans and the councils’ annual plans. It is the first time this material has been available in one place (on the website This is important information that has subsequently been used by local authorities and by the Office of the Auditor-General for reporting to Parliament. It will also inform the Department’s provision of policy advice.

The Department has sought to ensure that, when other central government departments are developing policy advice and delivering services, they understand local government as a potential partner. We promote local government’s statutory purpose of enabling democratic local decision-making by, and on behalf of, local communities, and promoting the well-being of communities.

We have helped other departments understand that councils’ role of giving effect to this purpose can be either supported or undermined by the statutory imposition of other roles. For example, we worked closely with the Department of Building and Housing on its review of the Building Act 2004, which continues into 2010/11. A key focus of this work has been to examine critically councils’ regulatory role in building consents processes.

Similarly, to further promote understanding of and capability within local government, we have:

  • contributed to the Government’s resource management reforms with a view to ensuring that policy advice is clear about how solutions to resource management or environmental problems should involve local communities and their councils
  • worked with the Ministry of Justice and the Treasury to develop principles for how local government roles and functions should be reflected in Treaty of Waitangi settlements that include natural resource management provisions
  • funded the development of Local Government New Zealand’s professional development for elected members training programme in 2009/10
  • provided advice to the Minister about changes to endowment property held by councils for particular purposes
  • provided targeted support to a number of local authorities; for example, we continued to provide financial support to the Chatham Islands Council during the year. We also met a number of council requests to support their work with communities on matters such as regulations for breaches of navigational safety bylaws.

The Department has also continued to focus on admin-istering the Rates Rebates Scheme, which provides financial assistance to low-income homeowners. In conjunction with local authorities, the Department approved 109,695 rates rebates claims in 2009/10.

Safer Communities

A safer community is one in which identified threats and risks have been minimised and effectively managed. The Department’s particular areas of contribution to safer communities involve managing risk, building resilience, providing policy advice and regulating the following areas: civil defence and emergency management (CDEM), gambling, censorship, unsolicited electronic messages, fire, and anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism.

The Department works to ensure communities are protected and resilient, and that people engage and participate in their communities. We do this by engaging directly with the public, communities, sector and interest groups, ensuring compliance with legislation, and helping build resilience.

In its areas of expertise, the Department exercises lead-ership in a variety of ways and at a variety of levels. For example, we support individuals, communities and agencies in reducing risk, and prepare and manage the response to and recovery from civil defence emergencies. We also develop and maintain the legislative, strategic and planning framework for the CDEM sector.

We are the lead agency providing CDEM, gambling and fire policy advice to government. We regulate and enforce obligations in numerous areas. We also monitor and provide advice to Ministers on the performance of the New Zealand Fire Service Commission and the Office of Film and Literature Classification.

The Department is leading an all-of-government initiative to improve the effectiveness of operational compliance activity, known as the Compliance Common Capability Programme (CCCP). We contributed to the significant progress made in developing nationally recognised compliance qualifications through the CCCP, and registrations of the first unit standards are expected in 2010/11.


The Department is active in managing relationships with its stakeholders. Our aim is to seek stakeholder understanding of and confidence in what we are trying to achieve and how we undertake our work. This takes a number of forms.

Civil Defence Emergency Management

We engage directly with the public to raise CDEM awareness and preparedness, through the mass media ‘Get Ready, Get Thru’ campaign and the ‘What’s the Plan, Stan?’ programme in schools. This year, the ‘Get Ready, Get Thru’ campaign included new television and radio advertisements to incorporate additional safety messages.

  2007/08 2008/09 2009/10

Percentage of people who understand the effects of disasters




Percentage of people who are prepared at home




Percentage of people who are prepared at home and work




The Department, through the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM), works closely with CDEM sector stakeholders at the national, regional and local level to identify the areas where cooperation would be most beneficial. We developed a stakeholder engagement strategy to ensure engagement with stakeholders was more focused, and to identify priorities for strengthening stakeholder engagement in the next financial year.

We support the development of capability across the CDEM sector by providing national guidance and standards, assisting with professional development and training, and identifying gaps and weaknesses in the sector.

In 2009/10, the Department began a national assessment of capability across the agencies with responsibilities under the CDEM Act 2002 (local government, government departments, emergency services, and lifeline utilities). The regional CDEM Groups and their local authorities were the first participants in the assessment. Where the initial assessments have identified areas requiring attention, MCDEM has provided recommendations that will guide the enhancement of capability and will support the revision of the CDEM Groups’ plans; these second-generation plans are now under way. The findings of the assessments will also inform the MCDEM work programme and indicate possible action at the national level to support the development of the CDEM sector.

This year MCDEM extended its support for professional development across the CDEM sector. The CDEM Competency Framework was published in June 2009 and identified the competencies required for CDEM roles. MCDEM has since worked on the development of tools, templates and resources to identify and address professional development needs in the CDEM sector. The redevelopment of the RAPID®[4] package of training and assessment materials, which began in January 2010, will support the provision of courses. This work will continue into the 2010/11 financial year.

The provision of welfare is an essential part of the response to and recovery from civil defence emergencies. The publication of a director’s guideline on local, regional and national arrangements provided practical advice and guidance on the planning and implement-ation of welfare support. The publication of the guide-line was followed by training and workshops to support implementation at the local and regional level.

Fire services

During 2009/10, the Department focused on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the fire sector. A key aspect of this has been supporting the National Rural Fire Authority in implementing a strategy to encourage amalgamation of fire authorities into larger groupings. We provided support for the National Rural Fire Officer at stakeholder meetings and in developing written material for stakeholders about the operation of enlarged rural fire districts, recovering the costs of rural fire suppression and establishing equitable funding arrangements in enlarged districts.


The Department has a stakeholder engagement plan covering gambling operators, community interests and outside agencies. This helps us manage complex relationships, and communicate with and understand our stakeholders. We also use a community engagement model to inform our actions by listening to community groups, agencies and gambling operators. We continue to adapt our approach to improve the effectiveness of the model.

In 2009/10, the Department achieved gambling compliance by educating and informing the gambling sector to make sure operators understand their legislative responsibilities, associated rules, policy and our role. We used the established regional gambling forums and our quarterly sector newsletter, Gambits, to discuss issues, policy initiatives and other key messages with specific groups and stakeholders. We impressed on the gambling sector the Department’s position on the integrity of funding practices, society expenses, society governance, and returns going back to community purposes.

Ninety-four per cent of respondents to our 2009/10 survey of gambling sector organisations and operators were satisfied with how the information services provided by the Department supported their ability to comply with relevant laws, conditions and rules.

We continued to work with the public, problem gambling agencies and community referral agencies to ensure that they understand how gambling is regulated in New Zealand and that they can take part in decision-making about gambling. The information we provided helps people take advantage of community funding opportunities, participate in decision-making about gambling-related issues and policy, for example gambling policies of territorial authorities, provide feedback to the Department on concerns about gambling, and contact problem gambling services.

Censorship and unsolicited electronic messages

The Department receives valuable and vital information from communities that helps to reduce the risks and impact of e-crime[5]. In 2009/10, we continued to facilitate this by operating online public complaint reporting mechanisms. We also informed and advised the public about how to protect themselves online, and take part in a range of activities that raise awareness – particularly amongst children – about the risks and responsibilities of using the Internet.

We helped industry comply with legislation by educating, guiding and informing to make sure publishers, Internet Service Providers, direct marketers and others understand their legislative responsibilities, associated rules, policy and our role.

The Department’s website censorship pages were updated with comprehensive, detailed information about Internet safety. We also continued to publish information leaflets and DVDs that cater to a variety of groups in the community and, in 2009/10, developed and introduced a ‘scam awareness’ website (

Protection and compliance

National response to civil defence emergencies

Within the Department, the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) is responsible for coordinating and directing the national-level response to civil defence emergencies, and supporting other agencies when they are responding to emergencies in which they hold the lead.

For example, during 2009/10, MCDEM supported the Ministry of Health-led response to the H1N1 (‘swine flu’) pandemic threat. Our staff were deployed to the National Health Coordination Centre to assist with the initial response. We also coordinated CDEM sector support for the Ministry of Health response at the local and regional level.

Arrangements for the management of the initial response to a major earthquake were improved through the development of the Wellington Earthquake National Initial Response Plan. A supporting plan to the National CDEM Plan, this initial response plan sets out the agreed roles and responsibilities of agencies and ensures that the actions over the first three to five days are coordinated and will not require initiation from Wellington. MCDEM is investigating facilities for an alternative National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) in Auckland that will manage a response if the Wellington NCMC is unable to be activated.

The Department is working to improve the management and distribution of information across the sector during civil defence emergencies through the deployment of an emergency management information system. This will enable emergency information to be entered at local, regional and national levels and be seen by all, thus enhancing cooperation and the speed of response.

Effective gambling enforcement

We undertake licensing, compliance and investigative activities to create a responsible, transparent and compliant gambling sector in New Zealand. This year the Department continued to take a risk-based approach to its work and targeted its enforcement action against key areas of non-compliance. We took strong action to ensure compliance with statutory and licence requirements that support the integrity of the gambling sector.

In the non-casino gambling sector this resulted in a number of licence suspensions and the tightening of licence conditions. When appeals were made to the Gambling Commission, our decisions were upheld. This validated our enforcement approach, and the policies underpinning it, and we will continue to tackle non-compliance with the same rigour as we did successfully this year.

Our approach to achieving compliance also provides incentives for cooperating with us when we take action on offences. In 2009/10, we developed a leniency and cooperation policy that encourages the gambling sector to come forward with information that exposes illegal activity.

Problem gambling

We work with the Ministry of Health, the gambling sector, communities and problem gambling service providers to help prevent and minimise harm related to problem gambling. We oversaw the successful introduction of player information displays on gambling machines from July 2009. This was an important advance in tackling problem gambling. The on-screen displays interrupt play and are designed to help players manage their gambling by providing information on their gambling activity.

Throughout 2009/10, we collaborated with government agencies and community groups, brought together gambling sector representatives and problem gambling organisations to discuss issues at the Stakeholder Reference Group, and established the Providers/Researchers/Community forum to provide information and facilitate discussion about gambling and our approach.

We continued to work with New Zealand casinos as they put in place Host Responsibility Programmes (HRPs). These programmes address gambling-related harm with targeted initiatives, standard operating procedures, learning and development plans, and external stakeholder management. SkyCity Auckland’s HRP has been in place for three years and this year New Zealand’s five other casinos have submitted HRPs to the Gambling Commission for approval.

Tackling crime associated with gambling

Potential crime associated with gambling may include cheating, theft of gambling profits, grant fraud, theft from employers, and crimes such as drug trafficking or money laundering that are associated with the presence of organised crime at gambling venues. During the year, we continued to work with other agencies such as the New Zealand Police, New Zealand Customs and the Immigration Service to prevent and deal with crime. We also made significant changes to the late banking policy in 2009 to tackle theft of gaming machine profit at venues. The policy sets out a clear process about how the sector must manage late banking, a clear monitoring regime and the sector’s legal obligations.

Our work to tackle gambling-related crime links strongly to other Government initiatives, such as the recent anti-money laundering and organised crime legislation. The Department is one of three supervisors of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act 2009. This year we established an AML/CFT Unit within the Department. Our focus for the next one to two years is on ensuring that supervisors and reporting entities are prepared for the commencement of the Act.

Maximising the benefits of gambling

The Gambling Act 2003 requires that funding from gaming machines goes to charitable and community purposes. Our compliance activity ensures gambling machine money benefits communities. The Gambling Commission appeals mentioned above strengthen our message that non-club societies exist to return benefit to the community.

Effective e-crime enforcement

We manage risk in our operating environment and apply a range of strategies to protect people from spam and objectionable material. Our compliance tools range from interventions to help and encourage people to comply with legislation to using the full force of the law to tackle serious offenders.

We investigate, enforce legislation and prosecute illegal activities in order to punish criminals and deter potential offenders. During 2009/10, the Department’s Censorship Unit had 28 prosecution cases resolved in the courts. Of those, 10 individuals were given prison terms, eight were given terms of either home or community detention, and 10 were given terms of community work, supervision and/or fines.

The average age of individuals convicted for objectionable material offences has increased over the last decade. In 2009/10, the average age was 41 years. This aging offender profile is consistent with international experience.

Our investigations found 152 breaches of censorship legislative requirements, mainly in the labelling of publications such as DVDs. We undertook five prosecutions of DVD outlets which repeatedly breached labelling requirements.

The Department received 827 spam-related complaints during the year, with a resulting 81 warnings and five infringements issued as well as one prosecution undertaken. The level of complaints is influenced by the Department’s spam media activity, as well as by the introduction of new services such as the scam reporting website.

In 2009/10, we developed an email security system for government agencies which provides an internal filter of inappropriate email use, and we continued the operation of a New Zealand Internet Task Force. The Task Force brings together interested public and private entities to provide a national approach to reducing the threats presented by the Internet.

We also coordinated action against offenders with our partners in New Zealand and overseas. For example, our Censorship Unit was involved in investigations relating to five international operations and continued to provide intelligence targets to overseas jurisdictions.

The Department shares information with law enforcement agencies at home and abroad to develop its capability, learn from colleagues and improve responses. This year we undertook a joint training venture with the New Zealand Police and New Zealand Customs and attended the Joint London Action Plan for Anti Spam and the 10th Europol Training Course for Censorship.

We use technology extensively. For example, ‘Squirrelhunter’, a software tool developed by the Department to assist enforcement agencies to detect file sharing of objectionable material on the Internet, continued to bring success. It is used in New Zealand and 21 other countries to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of people trading in material relating to the sexual abuse of children. In 2009/10, we further refined the Squirrelhunter tool to combat the majority of Internet ‘Peer 2 Peer’ networks involved in the distribution of child sexual abuse publications.

The Department made further advances in its use of technology by introducing a ‘website filtering system’ to New Zealand. The system went live in February 2010 with two Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The system is working well, successfully blocking those sites on the filter list that host child sexual abuse publications. We intend to invite the majority of ISPs to progressively join the system.

Building resilience

Enhancing community resilience is a cornerstone of the approach to civil defence emergency management in New Zealand. Having communities take action to improve preparedness is fundamental to ensuring community resilience. The Department has assisted with this by publishing a best practice guideline on community engagement to support the efforts of CDEM Groups at the local level in securing commitment and understanding of communities.

The Department has also sought to ensure that community resilience is addressed by supporting the integration of CDEM with other aspects of local planning, for example the implementation of the Resource Management Act and local authorities long-term council community plans. Several successful workshops held this year with local authorities will be followed by the development of a toolkit for the sector.

To guide future efforts in the development of community resilience, the Department has put effort into improv-ing its understanding of the level of resilience across New Zealand communities. Work started on developing a nationally consistent range of measures and indicators of community resilience for use by the regional CDEM Groups. A collation of national indicators has now been completed and a pilot programme was conducted in Canterbury to assess and inform the framework. This framework will provide a better measure of vulnerability and therefore identify possible areas for action.

New Zealand’s Approach to Identity is Trusted and Well Led

As kaitiaki of New Zealanders’ core identity information (life events such as births, deaths and marriages, or records of citizenship), the Department plays a crucial role in ensuring this information remains safe and secure. The information we maintain:

  • enables the New Zealand public to apply for individual entitlements
  • facilitates economic activity
  • provides important input to official statistics, social services planning and research that will underpin national economic goals for the future
  • enables international travel
  • helps individuals to trace their lineage and establish their identity.

We support the outcome New Zealand’s approach to identity is trusted and well led through the quality of the services we provide from day to day: registering births, deaths, marriages and civil unions and providing access to life event information, issuing passports and other travel documents and managing applications for New Zealand citizenship. We also deliver services that enable people to securely verify their identity online. Achieving this outcome is wholly reliant on the accuracy and reliability of the identity information we hold for New Zealanders, and this, in turn, depends on our professionalism and the integrity of our staff, data and systems.

Good governance of identity information for all New Zealanders

Sector leadership in identity information management

Our work extends well beyond the maintenance of life event registers, issuance of passports and management of citizenship applications. The Department takes a strategic approach to managing identity information across government. This ensures that there is widespread understanding across government agencies of the requirements for security, integrity and good practices in relation to the management of identity information systems and processes.

The Identity Assurance Framework (IAF) provides a seamless approach to identity information management across government. In 2009/10, the Department developed the Good Practice Guide for Identity Fraud Control to raise agencies’ awareness about identity fraud prevention. For the public, we developed a Checklist with information about what people should do if they are the victim of identity theft. The Department is also working with other agencies to ensure best practice in the management of identity information, recognising that new technologies, in particular biometrics, and enhanced systems present an opportunity for government agencies to maximise identity-related investment, improve services and minimise identity-related risk.

We facilitate the appropriate and safe use of identity information as custodian of the Evidence of Identity (EOI) Standard, which is a good-practice guide to the establishment and reconfirmation of the identity of people accessing government services. During 2009/10, the EOI Standard was officially accepted as a ‘Recommended’ e-GIF (e-Government Interoperability Framework) standard. The Standard is widely used in government agencies for identity risk analysis and improvements to business processes. It was also referenced by a number of overseas governments and has influenced their identity frameworks.

The Department continued to chair the Identity at the Border (I@B) work programme, which aims to provide consistent and fit-for-purpose identity-related standards and processes for all border activity. Over 2009/10, the I@B work programme successfully produced its final deliverable, the guidance document Advancing Identity Processes in the Border Sector. This document will be used to inform the design and development of new business processes and systems in the border agencies. These will improve the border crossing experience for the traveller, while maintaining the security of the New Zealand border.

Benefiting from international linkages

During 2009/10, the Department continued to strengthen New Zealand’s international relationships in relation to identity information management. International engagement supports our ongoing work as it enables the Department to keep up to date, share knowledge and learn from others.

The Department chairs the Implementation and Capacity Building Working Group (ICBWG) of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). This engagement is particularly critical in the issuance of emergency travel documents.

The Department’s expertise in identity information management is recognised internationally and our interactions are influential in other jurisdictions. For example, we chair the ICAO Technical Advisory Group on Machine Readable Travel Documents. Keeping pace with standards and best practice allows New Zealand to maintain its international reputation and the accuracy, security and reliability of New Zealand travel documents.

Reliable and accessible identity services

The Department’s name, ‘Internal Affairs’, implies a focus within New Zealand’s borders, while in fact many aspects of the Department’s work are affected by the global environment, such as the current economic downturn, and we must be able to respond to these events and overseas trends. We do this by keeping our products relevant and in line with international standards and by providing services that are reliable, accessible and of a consistently high quality.

Much of our business activity is demand-driven. While the economic situation may reduce demand in some areas, there is also the potential for increased activity due to legislative or other changes. For example, demand for passport services is expected to progressively increase as the first renewals of five-year passports began from April 2010. We are currently implementing a Passport Redevelopment Programme to help us handle this increase with improved efficiency.

In 2005, changes to citizenship legislation increased the residency requirements for a grant of New Zealand citizenship from three years to five years. This resulted in a reduction in the demand for the grant of citizenship. Our focus during 2009/10 was to better understand our customers’ needs and begin to redesign our processes to provide a more customer-focused service.

We continued to experience a higher demand for Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) documents via the BDM Historical Records Online website (launched in February 2009).

In 2009/10, the Department met all of its performance targets with respect to the timeliness and quality of citizenship, passport, birth, death, marriage and civil union services.

The Department issued just over one million identity-related products.

Identity Services Delivery

In order to fully assess our service performance, we combine these operational measurements with customer perceptions to monitor our overall success and identify areas for improvement. The Department conducts a customer satisfaction survey every six months. The most recent (June 2010) survey showed a broad level of customer satisfaction with our services:

  • 86 per cent of customers felt that forms are easy to understand and complete
  • 81 per cent of customers felt that they could trust us to keep their personal details secure and confidential
  • 88 per cent of customers were pleased with the overall service they received.

The Department also takes part in independent, external assessments to provide additional information about the performance of its customer service counters in four centres in New Zealand, two overseas regional offices (Sydney and London), and a national contact centre in Wellington. We have a ‘mystery shopper’ programme and have entered the annual CRM Contact Centre Awards since 1997[6] to better understand how well we are performing. The results have consistently shown a high level of performance. Our average score from mystery shoppers over the past two years is 88 per cent, which indicates a ‘very good’ level of service (90 per cent is needed for an ‘excellent’ rating).

The CRM Contact Centre Awards provide an annual snapshot of how New Zealand contact centres are responding to customer enquiries over the telephone and Internet and also provide a measure of the quality of our services. Our contact centre won the overall award for the best Public Sector/State-Owned Enterprise Contact Centre in 2007 and 2008 and won the coveted Diamond Award in the 2009 CRM Supreme Award (eligibility for this award is limited to contact centres with 50 seats or more). These outstanding achievements show our commitment to quality service and our integrity as a whole strengthens the Department’s reputation as an authoritative, trusted source of identity information for New Zealanders.

Another means of assessing public satisfaction with service quality is the Kiwis Count survey[7]. This allows us to benchmark our customer services against other State sector agencies. This survey differs from the Department’s customer satisfaction survey in that it is drawn from a random sample of the public, not identified ‘customers’. In the 2009 Kiwis Count, respondents rated their satisfaction with passport and citizenship services at 77 and 74 per cent respectively – both service quality scores were high in comparison with other service groupings and have improved since the 2007 survey. This compared with an average rating of 69 per cent for State sector services as a whole. The most significant improvement for the Department was in ‘registering a birth, death, marriage or civil union’, which scored a satisfaction rating of 75 per cent in comparison with the 72 per cent achieved in 2007.

Protecting identity information in our work is very important. Measuring the number of complaints that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) brings to our attention provides evidence of how well we are looking after the information we are entrusted with and the integrity of our systems and processes, as complaints to the OPC indicate a serious breach of privacy. In 2009/10, the OPC notified the Department of only two complaints that needed to be addressed – these were both around access to personal information in relation to citizenship applications.

Developing new services and improving efficiency

The majority of our services are funded from fees charged to members of the public. It is therefore especially important that the services we provide reflect our commitment to quality, consistency and cost-efficiency. The redevelopment of the New Zealand passport, its new security features and the redesign of the passport issuance system resulted in improvements which will directly benefit the public. The new ePassport released in November 2009 is compliant with the tighter international standards, allowing passport holders to continue to enjoy visa waiver access to more than 50 countries worldwide. Access to the United States of America Visa Waiver Programme benefits the New Zealand economy by allowing a large number of New Zealanders unfettered business travel to the USA.

The Department manages identity information which can be shared with other government agencies under approved information-matching arrangements to help them carry out their core functions. During the past year we launched the initial implementation of the igovt Identity Verification Service (IVS) with a ‘test group’ of genealogists who are able to request non-historic records via the BDM Historic Records website. The IVS allows people to use the Internet to verify their identity to government agencies online in real time and to a high level of confidence. In conjunction with the igovt Logon Service, it enables the public to conduct business with a variety of government agencies more easily and in a more cost-effective and timely fashion.

By the end of June 2010, along with the existing agency users, a number of new large-scale agency integrations with the igovt services were either implemented or planned, including the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Social Development, the Department of Labour, Inland Revenue and the Accident Compensation Corporation. These new services indicate the evolving nature of government service delivery.

These shared services increased public sector effectiveness by raising the quality of identity processes. They also increased efficiency by reducing duplicate investment in common business processes. However, one of the greatest, and often underrated, cost efficiencies in our business delivery is the benefits derived from housing three identity-related services within the one organisation. Recognising the commonalities among many of the Citizenship, Passports and BDM business processes allows the Department to better leverage resources and skills across its different business functions.

Identity information management is secure and protects New Zealanders from fraud

Ensuring that identity information management is secure and protects New Zealanders from fraud is wholly reliant on the New Zealand public’s willingness to provide their identity information. This willingness depends, in turn, on the integrity of our staff, data and systems.

Several of the Department’s initiatives will deliver ‘backroom’ benefits to customers, such as secure identity validation online, and improving system integrity will provide high levels of assurance around the use and reuse of their identity information. For example, the Data Validation Service (DVS) is a simple and secure web-based service for agencies to validate data on a named individual’s identity documents (e.g. a birth certificate or passport). Used in conjunction with other good practices, the DVS will reduce the opportunities for document-based identity fraud.

Our ongoing activities to uphold standards and maintain the integrity of the New Zealand passport are intended to reduce fraud and ensure that existing high levels of confidence in the passport are maintained. Over the medium to long term, we will seek to progressively reduce the incidence of passports issued on fraudulent grounds or detected over the previous year as having been used fraudulently. This is expressed as a percentage of total passports issued. The incidence recorded so far in 2010 is less than 0.05 per cent of total passport issuance.

Supporting the State Sector

In addition to the wide range of activities that contribute directly to better outcomes for people and communities, the Department also supports other State sector agencies to deliver improved services more cost-effectively. This work is encompassed in two departmental objectives:

  • Executive Government is well supported
  • Common information and communications technology (ICT) services deliver improved State sector performance and better citizen experience.

Executive Government is well supported

‘Good Government’ depends on the effective functioning of Executive Government processes. The Department’s role, in collaboration with other agencies on the parliamentary campus, is to ensure the Executive has the capability it needs to operate effectively.

We provide a number of support services to the Executive such as the VIP Transport Service, arrange visits to New Zealand by representatives of foreign governments, and manage ceremonial events. In addition to providing direct support, the Department undertakes a range of administrative services for the Executive, such as publishing the New Zealand Gazette, managing the Congratulatory Message Service, providing translation and authentication services, and administering commissions of inquiry and ad hoc bodies.

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

Services to the Executive include staffing, transportation, media, information and communications technology, and other advisory services, as well as administer-ing Executive remuneration entitlements. During the year, we worked to build and maintain the capability to provide quality services. For example, all Senior Private Secretaries working for Ministers were offered a person-alised mentoring programme. In addition, good progress was made towards our goal of having at least 70 per cent of VIP chauffeurs holding a gold certification, and we had fewer than five per cent of positions vacant at the end of any given month.

Ninety-five per cent of Ministers surveyed in 2009/10 expressed satisfaction with the quality of services provided, and this rose to 100 per cent for VIP transport services.

The Department works closely with the Parliamentary Service and other campus agencies to improve services to the Executive. During 2009/10, we focused on providing ongoing improvements to ICT services.

Alignment of ICT systems with the Parliamentary Service

During the year, the Department and the Parliamentary Service, which provides ICT services for Parliament and other agencies based on the parliamentary campus, replaced their separate outsourced ICT service providers with a single provider. This arrangement took effect on 1 June 2010.

Ministerial residential accommodation

In 2009, the Department completed a review of how accommodation services are provided to Ministers. As a result, we now have a new system that is simple, easy to understand, transparent and cost-effective while continuing to offer suitable accommodation for Ministers and their families.

The Department expects to complete the second phase of this review by the end of 2010, which involves looking at options for the retention and/or disposal of a small number of ministerial properties.


In line with government and public expectations of greater transparency in public expenditure, the Department now publishes summaries of ministerial expenses on the Internet.

We also released detailed ministerial credit card expenditure covering the period from April 2003 to February 2010 and will continue to publish this information quarterly.

Guest-of-Government visits help build international relations, and ceremonial events help celebrate and develop understanding of New Zealand culture and heritage

During 2009/10, the Department arranged and supported a total of 67 guest-of-Government and 15 ceremonial events. One of the high-profile visits that took place was that of Prince William, who came to New Zealand from 17 to 19 January 2010 to represent Her Majesty, the Queen at the opening of the Supreme Court building in Wellington. During his visit, he met with young rugby players at Eden Park, visited Kapiti Island and the Wellington Children’s Hospital, and attended a wreath laying and inspection of a Guard of Honour at the National War Memorial in Wellington.

The success of Prince William’s visit, as with all of the visits and ceremonial programme, was reliant on the Department’s ability to work collaboratively with a number of agencies, including the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the Ministry of Defence and the New Zealand Police. All of our visits and events programmes were assessed to have achieved their objectives.

During the year, the Department also undertook preliminary work on the Rugby World Cup 2011 programme. A special joint taskforce comprising the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Internal Affairs will manage oversight of the planning and delivery of this programme work. The focus will be to ensure that the guest-of-Government programme associated with the Rugby World Cup 2011 plays its part in showcasing New Zealand to the world.

Common information and communications technology (ICT) services deliver improved State sector performance and better citizen experience

The Department, through the Government Technology Services group, seeks to increase the use of common ICT systems and services across the State sector in order to increase trust and confidence in the Internet as a channel for transactions with government agencies, enable agencies to interoperate cost-effectively, and provide people and businesses with better, cheaper and faster access to government services through online service delivery.

During the year, the Department enhanced its internal capability and developed a service-delivery operating model to better support the development of common ICT capability for government. It was also closely involved in developing policy for all-of-government use of ICT, which will guide increased efficiency over the coming years.

Increased interoperability and cost-effective information sharing

The Department uses two indicators to measure improvements in this area: cost reductions for new projects, and reuse of common government information and a reduction of duplication of tools and resources.

In July 2009, one.govt, a syndicated agreement for network services, was signed with Datacraft (NZ) Limited. At contract signing, pricing for one.govt was estimated to be 35 per cent below market rates, representing significant savings to government. Towards the end of the 2009/10 financial year, the government syndicated mobile contracts were also re-negotiated, leading to additional savings (in the order of millions of dollars) for agencies.

The Department developed a new website,, on behalf of government to make it easier for people to find, use and unlock value from government-held data. Since its launch in November 2009, there have been 21,156 visits to the site (78 per cent new and 22 per cent returning), which equates to an average of 89 visits per day. There are currently 266 datasets listed on the site.

In addition, the Department developed, and will act as the custodian for, the Government Common ICT Capability Roadmap. This describes the current and forthcoming common capability products and services that agencies will be expected to adopt. The early visibility provided by the Roadmap will allow agencies more opportunity to be involved in the planning, design and adoption of common ICT capability. Adoption of common ICT capability across government will be pivotal in driving cost-efficiencies and reuse of government information.

Increased use of common ICT services across government

A number of service concepts have been agreed to extend the one.govt service offering, and will now proceed to the consultation and planning stages.

Preliminary work to guide the future service and public access approach and direction for was completed, with input from the Government Information Services Advisory Group. This has confirmed the continuing role for as the official presence of New Zealand government online and in improving access to government information and services. In addition, will focus on being the preferred publisher for independent and pan-government content, such as government jobs and consultation.

The Department is also working on defining a new direct-ion for online delivery of information and services by government, an approach that is organised, collaborative and future-facing. This initiative is expected to progress during the 2010/11 financial year, in conjunction with other agencies across government. This work is dependent on the finalisation of government policy on ICT.

The Department initiated an Infrastructure as a Service initiative, designed to aggregate agency demand for information storage and processing and establish an all-of-government supply agreement.

We have also developed guidance for the use of cloud computing services by New Zealand public sector agencies. This guidance is being developed with input from agencies and suppliers.

Increased agency and citizen trust and confidence in the online channel

One indicator of the level of trust and confidence in the Internet as a channel for transactions with government agencies is an increase in government services being delivered and used via the online channel.

A recent report[8] from the Auckland University of Technology shows an increase in New Zealanders’ use of the Internet and a corresponding increase in the use of government information (59 per cent) and services (40 per cent) online. Furthermore, the 2009 Kiwis Count survey[9] showed increased public satisfaction with the online channel. Customer satisfaction with online information (62 per cent) and online services (64 per cent) is high compared with other channels such as mail or fax.

Improved access to government services via the online channel

The 2009 Kiwis Count survey indicated that around 50 per cent of New Zealanders prefer to use the online channel to interact with government however, only 30 per cent would prefer a single point of entry into government services. The survey suggests a need to maintain focus on usability and privacy in the online channel. For example, when asked what would encourage respondents to use public services online, 63 per cent of respondents indicated usability and 48 per cent indicated privacy.

The Department’s emphasis in this area was on improv-ing access to government services via the online channel. We provided guidance and tools through the Web Advisory and Web Standards initiatives to assist agencies to build web capability and will continue to do this on an ongoing basis.

  • [1] Nielsen, 2009. Quality of Life Survey 2008 National Report.
  • [2] Whānau Ora, Te Puni Kōkiri.
  • [3] Nielsen, 2009. Quality of Life Survey 2008 National Report.
  • [4] RAPID is a registered trademark that stands for Response and Preparedness in Disasters.
  • [5] E-crime describes a range of criminal/unlawful activities that use technology.
  • [6] CRM Consulting Ltd has run the CRM Contact Centre Awards in New Zealand since 1997. See:
  • [7] State Services Commission, 2010. Kiwis Count 2009: New Zealanders’ Satisfaction with Public Services
  • [8] Auckland University of Technology, 2009. World Internet Project New Zealand: The Internet in New Zealand 2009.
  • [9] State Services Commission, 2010. Kiwis Count 2009: New Zealanders’ Satisfaction with Public Services.