Making interacting with Government easier

New Zealanders are finding it easier to access our services when and how they want.


Over 92%* of people using our life event services said that they found them easy to access and to use.

*Customer Experience Survey 2018/19, which is run by Research NZ.

We’re making interacting with Government simpler. The Service Innovation Lab fosters collaboration between government agencies, non-government organisations and the private sector to design integrated people-centric services. During the 2018/19 year, we partnered with Tauranga and Auckland City Councils to develop and test a prototype digital service for low income homeowners, making the Rates Rebate scheme easier to understand and apply for.

We have continued to develop and maintain the standards that underpin our role in improving government services in the digital age. The Digital Service Design Standard is a ‘living standard’ and it will evolve over time as we adapt to our changing environment. During the year, we developed new standards for Web Accessibility and Web Usability, to better reflect the current use of web technologies by Government and its different customers, and to help agencies deliver more accessible experiences for New Zealanders.

Customer-centric services delivered online are increasingly joined-up

More customer-centric services are being delivered online in an increasingly joined-up, effective way. For example:

  • We successfully piloted online applications for Citizenship by Grant, with the full rollout planned for 2019/20. Applicants will be able to apply for New Zealand citizenship online, from anywhere in the world – no longer needing to visit an office
  • SmartStart continues to be the most popular way for new parents to register the birth of their child, with 95% of births registered using this service. As well as being the most convenient way to register the birth of a child, SmartStart allows parents to consent to sharing their child’s birth record with other agencies, so they can access services and entitlements without having to share the same information repeatedly. 97% of eligible parents have shared their child’s information to get the child’s Inland Revenue number, and 98% of Best Start applications to Inland Revenue were made through SmartStart
  • More Kiwis are applying for their passports online, with 62% of applications made digitally – up from 55% in 2017/18
  • Our Modernising Marriages service reduces the hassle for couples planning to get married, with 88% of all marriage licence applications completed through our new online service – there’s no longer any need to visit a registry office to sign paperwork. Couples also have more flexibility as courthouse ceremonies have been replaced with a service that allows them to choose a celebrant and location, paying the same fee as a registry office ceremony
  • We’ve made it easier to get birth, death and marriage certificates. Certificates can now be ordered online, any time. This is the most popular way for people to obtain certificates, with 76% of orders completed online
  • New Zealanders are guided through the legal and practical matters that need to be taken care of following the death of a loved one, or towards the end of a person’s life. Te Hokinga ā Wairua End of Life Service empowers people to create and share a personalised plan for their end of life wishes and allows health professionals to record the death of a patient digitally, resulting in death certificates being issued to families sooner. The Death Documents Online initiative has transformed the process of notifying and registering a death.
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