• 736,208 passports issued – a new record

  • Supported New Zealanders and communities following the Christchurch Mosque attacks in March 2019

  • Launched the Digital Inclusion Blueprint in May 2019

  • Made over 1.7m heritage items available to New Zealanders through National Library and Archives New Zealand

  • 92% coverage of the Digital Child Exploitation Filtering system across NZ internet service providers

  • Granted over $300m to build strong, resilient communities

Our Year in Review

Chief Executive Paul James

Whakapuakitanga a te Pou Whakahaere - Chief Executive's Foreword

Every day, nearly two and a half thousand people come to work to serve and connect people, communities and government to build a safe, prosperous and respected nation.

They are motivated by a spirit of service and commitment to what we do. These are our people, and I am immensely proud to present this report, my first as Chief Executive of Te Tari Taiwhenua, to share how our work has improved the lives of New Zealanders and their communities.

Strong, resilient communities are the cornerstone of our society and this year we administered over $300 million in funding to help communities to work together, build on strengths, and develop local leadership. We worked with Te Puni Kōkiri, allocating close to $16 million to strengthen marae as centres of Māori identity. Our people also play a vital role in keeping communities safe from harm. We’ve worked to minimise the impact of harmful gambling, shut down websites carrying objectionable child sexual abuse material, and administered the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009.

The unprecedented events of 15 March in Christchurch shook our nation, and our responsibilities as a Department reflected the many ways our work impacts the lives of New Zealanders. Above all, I am incredibly grateful for the commitment, professionalism, and spirit of service our people demonstrated over the following days, weeks and months. I saw our people come together to support victims and communities through our Office of Ethnic Communities. We expedited the death certificate process for affected families and waived fees, and provided official translation services to communities and agencies. Our Visits and Ceremonial Office team supported visiting dignitaries and worked with other agencies and councils to coordinate the National Remembrance Service. The Digital Safety team worked tirelessly to remove objectionable material from the internet, preventing further harm.

From birth to death, and milestones in between, Te Tari Taiwhenua is there to support New Zealanders in ways that best suit them. This year we’ve made it even easier for people to interact with us and access our services online, such as ordering birth, death or marriage certificates. Our world-leading passports service was ranked first in the 2018 Kiwis Count survey of trust and satisfaction across public services, and we issued 736,208 passports to enable New Zealanders to explore beyond their backyard. 33,032 people chose to make Aotearoa New Zealand their home, and 575 citizenship ceremonies were held to welcome them.

All New Zealanders should be able to access, participate in, and benefit from the online world, as technology rapidly changes the ways we learn, work and socialise. This year we formalised our commitment to achieving this through Te Mahere mō te Whakauranga Matihiko – the Digital Inclusion Blueprint. We’re ensuring government services are easy and efficient for people to access when, where, and how they choose.

We continue to safeguard New Zealand’s taonga through the National Library and Archives New Zealand. Significant efforts were spent digitising content and placing it online, so stories of our history and heritage are accessible now and for future generations.

He tāngata, our people, are the heart of our organisation and I am committed to ensuring everyone feels safe, healthy and respected at work. Wellbeing is part of how we work, and we’ve upped our efforts in this space by implementing new workshops, resources and support options for our people. We were named as finalists in the Work Life Balance category for the 2019 Diversity Works awards, which is a fantastic recognition of the effort we’ve been putting in to our mental health and wellbeing journey.

We’re also working to respond to the recommendations of the Francis Review into bullying and harassment in the Parliamentary workplace, where around 200 of our Departmental staff are based. These people are a vital part of our organisation; they do important work each day in supporting central government, and they need to feel respected, safe and supported at work. Our people will help us shape solutions to address the concerns raised in the review, to ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect no matter where they work or what they do. This important work will continue over the coming year, and I’m committed to seeing a positive culture change for our people.

Ultimately, our work is all about connecting people, communities and government to make New Zealand better for New Zealanders, and we are making steady progress in doing that. We are currently refreshing our strategic direction to ensure the work we’re doing will make the most impact for New Zealanders and their communities. I’m looking forward to the year ahead, building on our successes and seeing what our people can achieve – we’re stronger together.

Ko ngā hāpori katoa te mauri o te pāpori o Aotearoa.
Mā ngā ratonga mahi a Te Tari Taiwhenua e tūhonohono ngā whānau, ngā hapū, ngā iwi, ngā hapori, e ō ai te manaakitanga.
Ko te whainga matua mō mātou, ko te mahitahi, arā, te kotahitanga.
Ko te whanaungatanga hoki te kaiwhītiki i a tātou katoa o Aotearoa. Ko tātou katoa, ko tātou ka toa. Mā tēnei ahuatanga e tū kotahi ai tātou.

‘He aha te mea nui o te ao, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.’

Ngā mihi mahana

Paul James' signature

Paul James

Pou Whakahaere, Chief Executive
Te Tari Taiwhenua, the Department of Internal Affairs

The nature and scope of our functions

Our vision is to support an enduring sense of identity and pride in our nation and local communities; better access to government services; and strong, resilient communities rich in wellbeing supported by diversity and inclusion. We work with people every day to make Aotearoa New Zealand a country everyone feels part of and proud of.

Our Ministerial portfolios

The Department manages seven Ministerial portfolios within a single Vote: Vote Internal Affairs. We are responsible to seven Ministers; the Minister of Internal Affairs is the Vote Minister and the Responsible Minister overseeing the Government’s ownership interests in the Department.

See table: Our Ministerial Portfolios. [PDF 36kb]

Portfolio responsibilities include:

  • Internal Affairs – providing services and support to people, communities and government. This includes policy advice, national identity services, Archives New Zealand and the National Library of New Zealand, gambling regulation, anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism.
  • Racing – supporting communities from the proceeds of betting, made possible through our funding of the racing and sports sectors.
  • Ministerial Services – providing support services to the Executive so Ministers can perform their duties effectively and transparently.
  • Local Government – assisting with the administration of local government legislation and supporting the local government system to connect central and local government.
  • Ethnic Communities – enabling ethnic communities to develop and maintain a positive sense of belonging to New Zealand.
  • Government Digital Services – driving digital government by promoting the use of digital services and data to transform and enable a more responsive, efficient and inclusive government.
  • Community and Voluntary Sector – administering grants funding and charities regulation, advising communities, supporting initiatives to grow the sector, and leading whole-of-government issues impacting community organisations.

Our outcomes framework

Our Annual Report outlines what we achieved throughout the year, aligning with the outcomes and priorities we set out in our 2017/18 - 2020/21 Statement of Intent.
It assesses our performance across the short and medium term – how the activities we carried out in 2018/19 made a positive difference to our outcomes, and how we performed against the measures set for each outcome.

Our outcomes framework

The outcomes framework below guides our reporting and assessment for 2018/19. Given the breadth of our functions and our diversity, the framework incorporates three Focus Areas to drive targeted efforts across the Department. These areas are discussed more fully throughout this Report.

Changes to our strategic direction, outcomes and measures will be reflected in our next Strategic Intentions 2019 -2023. Progress against these changes will be reported in the 2019/20 Annual Report.

Treasury has released the Living Standards Framework and we will be mapping these to our priorities in our next Strategic Intentions.

See table: Outcomes Framework. [PDF 72kb]