Kiwis Count - Service Satisfaction
Overall Public Service Quality Trend
Kiwis Count measures New Zealanders’ satisfaction with 43 commonly used services. The results are used to calculate a Service Quality Score (SQS) for each service and an overall SQS across all services (headline result). In 2017, eleven new services were introduced to the 43 commonly used services, replacing services that have seen reductions in usage.
New Zealanders’ satisfaction with the quality of public services has increased over the past decade. The overall SQS has increased eight points from 68 in 2007 to 76 in 2017. The two percentage point increase for 2016 – 2017 is partly caused by the changes made to the questionnaire for 2017 and partly by strong improvements in two services - Visited a national park” and “Licensed or registered a vehicle”.
Figure 6; Overall Service Quality Score
Private Sector Service Quality
Kiwis Count also asks New Zealanders about their use of, and satisfaction with, seven types of private sector companies (banks or finance companies, insurance companies, credit card companies and electricity or gas companies). These scores are aggregated to give an overall private sector SQS.
Figure 7 shows that since 2007, satisfaction with private sector services has been lower than satisfaction with public services. While satisfaction with public sector services has increased since 2007, satisfaction with private sector services since 2012 has plateaued.
Figure 7 Service Quality Score - Public Sector vs Private Sector
- There does not appear to be a systematic difference in satisfaction across regions for either public sector or private sector services.
- The variation between regions has reduced since 2012 for public sector services, but increased for private sector services.
Figure 8 - Overall Service Quality Score (SQS) by region
- Women report higher satisfaction with most public and private sector services than men. In 2017, the public sector SQS for women was 78, and for men it was 75.
- In 2017, all ethnic groups report high satisfaction with the quality of public services they used. There were similar scores for those of Asian (72) and NZ European (77) ethnicities but lower for Pacific ethnicities (74) and Māori (74).
- Service satisfaction has fluctuated for those of Maori ethnicity, dropping in 2016 but increasing again in 2017, albeit to a lower level than 2015. Those respondents of Asian ethnicity have seen a decline since 2015, falling from 76 in 2015 to 75 in 2016 and 72 in 2017. NZ Europeans have also seen a decline since 2015, dropping from 80% to 75% in 2016 and increasing to 77% in 2017.
- Looking at a direct comparison of NZ Europeans vs non NZ Europeans, the SQS gap has narrowed from a 5 point gap in 2012 to a 3 point gap in 2017. Services appear to be more equitably delivered to all ethnicities.
- Those over 65 years old report higher satisfaction with both public and private sector services than other age groups.
Figure 9 - Overall Service Quality Score (SQS) by demographic cut
- Satisfaction with the quality of public services for those with disabilities (74 in 2017) is lower than for those without disabilities (77 in 2017). In contrast, satisfaction with private sector services for those with disabilities (70 in 2017) is slightly higher than for those without disabilities (68 in 2017).
Household Income and Highest Qualification
- Those respondents earning less than $50,000 had a higher level of satisfaction than those earning more. This disparity has increased since 2016.
- Respondents with no qualifications or only school qualifications had a higher level of satisfaction than those with higher-level qualifications.
Individual Services Quality Trend
Kiwis Count measures New Zealanders’ satisfaction with 43 commonly used public services. In this section, we discuss changes in satisfaction ratings for individual services. The removal and addition of eleven services mean change in 2017 is not measured for these services and the chart consequently reports change for 32 services. The trend over time is important as it highlights whether services are, or are not, continuing to meet or exceed individuals’ expectations. We highlight those changes in the quality of individual services that have been statistically significant since services were first measured and in the latest year.
Since first measured
20 Significantly 0 Significantly
The improvement in New Zealanders satisfaction with the quality of public services over the past decade is reflected in the fact that 20 out of 32 services in the current Kiwis Count survey have had statistically significant increases since they were first measured in 2012 or earlier. The other 11 are in their first year of measurement. Figure 8 shows the level of improvement, since first measured, of all 32 services (significant change since first measured is shown in green). Level of significant improvement since first measured, ranges from +12 for “Applied for or renewed a NZ Passport” to +2 “Visited a public library”. Applied for a rental property bond lodgement, refund or transfer has the largest decrease at -5, but this decline was not statistically significant. The green bars represent those changes that are statistically significant.
Figure 10: Service quality scores for individual services (2017), significant change since first measure
Current performance (2017 results)
There is a wide range in the satisfaction levels across the 43 services. At the top there are six services that have a rating between 85 and 89. This means that the average rating on a five point scale is between four and five.
- Applied for and/or received New Zealand Superannuation (89)
- Used a gold card (89)
- Applied for or renewed NZ passport (88)
- Visited a public museum of art gallery (87)
- Licensed or registered a vehicle (86)
- Visited a public library (85)
At the other end, there are two services with rating 50 or less. This means the average rating is just below three on a five point scale.
- Applied for a resource consent or made a submission on a notified resource consent application (43)
- Made a noise complaint (50)
Figure 11: Service quality scores for individual services (2007-17), significant change since previous year
SQS Statistically Significant changes
Over 2017, five services have improved and two services have declined.
5 Significantly 2 Significantly
Statistically Significant Increases
The improvement in overall satisfaction in the 2017 results is seen in the fact that more services had statistically significant increases in the most recent year, than had decreases. There were five services that had statistically significant increases over the year and each of these services recorded their highest ever SQS score:
- Obtained, renewed, changed or replaced a driver’s license
- Licensed or registered a vehicle
- Applied for or renewed a NZ passport
- Applied for and/or received NZ Superannuation
- Visited a national park
Statistically Significant Decreases
Two services recorded statistically significant decreases in service quality over the year:
- Used ERO (Education Review Office) school or early childhood reports for a child in your care
- Applied for a rental property bond lodgement, refund or transfer
The ERO reduction in Service Quality Score comes after a strong pattern of increased service quality scores. ERO state that this reduction in the Kiwis Count is not mirrored in their own satisfaction survey and continued growth in demand for the school resources they develop. The low SQS score in 2017 may just be an aberrant score.
The reduction in Service Quality score for rental bond lodgements, transfers and refunds processed by the Housing and Tenancy Services area of the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment follows increases in four out of the last five years. The Housing and Tenancy Services area note that while their Kiwis Count score has reduced, they meet or exceed their internal key performance indicators for processing bond lodgements and refunds.
Sector level satisfaction
The content of Table 1 identifies the SQS score for each sector in the survey. There are three sectors (Environment, Culture & Recreation, Citizenship, Passports & Border and Transport) that out perform all other.
Table 1 ; Sector SQS scores
|Citizenship, Passports & Border||78||77||78||80||79||82|
|Education & Training||70||70||71||73||72||72|
|Environment, Culture & Recreation||75||75||76||78||77||85|
|Justice & Emergency||66||67||68||68||69||71|
|Social Assistance & Housing||70||69||71||71||73||75|
|Taxation & Information||67||67||67||70||69||71|
All sectors have improved since 2012, albeit some more than others.
Satisfaction with most recent service interaction
Another way of measuring overall satisfaction is asking respondents about their satisfaction with their most recent service interaction – this is also how trust based on personal experience is measured.
Overall satisfaction using this measure remains strong, at 77% for the second year in row. Whilst this is lower than in 2015, it is four percentage points higher than the overall satisfaction score in 2012. Trends in satisfaction with the most recent service by channel are available in the next section in the interactive visualisation ‘Satisfaction and its Drivers’
In the new questionnaire, first used in 2017, the survey asked the public to identify what was the most important service to them. Responses to this question are given in Table 2. As can be seen, the areas of health and education feature prominently in the top ten services as surprisingly, do other services such as licensing or registering a vehicle
Table 2; most important service
|Service||% who rated it most important|
|Received outpatient services from a public hospital (includes Accident and Emergency)||10%|
|Taken a child in your care to see a doctor/GP||9%|
|Used or contacted a state or state integrated (public) school that a child in your care attends or may attend in the future||7%|
|Licensed or registered a vehicle||7%|
|Been through the arrival process at a New Zealand international airport (when arriving from outside NZ)||5%|
|Attended or contacted a university, polytechnic or wānanga about a course you are attending or may attend in the future||5%|
|Used a local council provided community facility (e.g. a swimming pool, community hall or local park)||5%|
|Visited a national park||4%|
|Stayed in a public hospital||4%|
|Used emergency services by calling 111||4%|
|Visited a public library||4%|
|Applied for and/or received Accident Compensation (ACC) for injuries||3%|
|Applied for or renewed a NZ passport||3%|
|Had contact with the Police (excluding calling 111)||3%|
|Applied for and/or received New Zealand Superannuation||3%|
|Obtained, renewed, changed or replaced a driver licence||2%|
|Requested information about personal tax and/or filed a personal tax return (includes filing via an agent)||2%|
|Visited a public museum or art gallery||2%|
|Used or contacted a kindergarten, day-care, crèche, preschool, home-based service, playcentre, Kōhanga Reo, Aoga Amata, Puna Reo or petc. that a child in your care attends or may attend in the future||2%|
|Applied for or received a student loan or allowance||2%|
|Received help for mental health or substance abuse problems from a doctor or nurse at your local medical centre||2%|
|Applied for and/or received a benefit (e.g. Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support or a Supported Living Payment)||2%|
|Purchased a road user charge (e.g. diesel mileage or paying a road toll)||2%|
|Applied for, used or asked for information about a building permit||1%|
|Requested information or made an application, payment or claim for child support, student loan repayments, KiwiSaver, or tax credits (e.g.for Families)||1%|
|Had a child in your care that has received special education services (e.g. early interventions services, speech and language support, teachers: learning and behaviour, vision and hearing)||1%|
|Used an 0800 number for health information (e.g. services like Healthline, Quitline, depression, alcohol, drug and gambling helplines, theCentre and the Immunisation Advice line)||1%|
|Applied for a resource consent or made a submission on a notified resource consent application||1%|
2 See Appendix One for a description of the Kiwis Count methodology.
3 Significance is calculated at the 95% confidence level using a weighted two-sample t-test. This means that changes in SQS score are highlighted where there is less than a 5% chance that the change was due to sampling error. Sampling error is due to sample of the population being surveyed rather than the entire population.