Kiwis Count - Service Satisfaction
Overall Service Quality Trend
Kiwis Count measures New Zealanders’ satisfaction with 42 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) is also calculated.
New Zealanders’ satisfaction with the quality of public services has increased over the past decade. The overall SQS has increased six points from 68 in 2007 to 74 in 2016. However, the 2016 result shows a levelling off, with a decrease of one point. The 2016 result is still higher than 2014 and it may be that the 2015 result is an outlier. The decline over the year reflects the facts that more individual services experienced declines in their SQSs than increases, and it is hard to get continuous improvement on a high result.
Figure 6 Overall service quality score, public services
Over half of the decrease in overall SQS score since 2015 is due to:
- Decreases in satisfaction for services in the health sector. This fall comes after record highs for health sector services in 2015. These services have high usage among New Zealanders, so they also have a high contribution to the overall SQS score.
- Decreases in satisfaction for local government services, combined with increasing usage of these services by New Zealanders. Local government services tend to have below average SQS scores, so increasing usage of these services tends to lower the overall SQS 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, internet service providers, postal or courier companies, telephone companies, credit card companies and electricity or gas companies). These scores are also 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 private sector services has increased since 2007, the rate of increase has been slower than the increase in satisfaction with public services with no increase in satisfaction with private sector services since 2012.
Figure 7 Overall service quality score, public services and private sector services
- 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: Service Quality Score by region
- Women report higher satisfaction with both public and private sector services than men. In 2016, the public sector SQS for women was 75, and for men it was 73.
- In 2016, all ethnic groups report high satisfaction with the quality of public services they used. There were similar scores for those of Asian (75), NZ European (74) and Pacific ethnicities (73), but lower for Māori (71).
- Service satisfaction has remained relatively stable since 2012 for NZ Europeans, while other ethnic groups have seen large increases in service satisfaction over the same period. Looking at a direct comparison of NZ Europeans vs non NZ Europeans, the SQS gap has steadily narrowed from a 5 point gap in 2012 to a 1 point gap in 2016. Services appear to be more equitably delivered to all ethnicities.
- 65+ year olds report higher satisfaction with both public and private sector services than other age groups.
- Satisfaction with the quality of public services for those with disabilities (72 in 2016) is slightly lower than for those without disabilities (74 in 2016). In contrast, satisfaction with private sector services for those with disabilities (69 in 2016) is slightly higher than for those without disabilities (67).
Household Income and Highest Qualification
- There do not appear to be differences in satisfaction for those in different income or qualification groups.
Figure 9: Service Quality Score by demographic breakdown
Individual Services Quality Trend
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 satisfaction with the quality of individual services that have been statistically significant since services were first measured and in the latest year.
Since first measured
23 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 23 out of 42 services in the Kiwis Count basket have had statistically significant increases since they were first measured. None have had statistically significant decreases. The services that had statistical significant increases since they were first measured are shown in figure 10 (toggle over the bars to see whether the increase is statistically significant.).
Figure 10 shows the level of improvement since first measured of all 42 services (significant change since first measured is shown in green). Level of improvement since first measured ranges from +14 for “A childcare subsidy” to -3 for “Living in a Housing NZ home” and “Visited sorted.org.nz for information to help manage your personal finance or retirement income” (although these decreases are not statistically significant). The median level of improvement since first measured is +5 points.
Figure 10 Service quality scores for individual services (2016), significant change since first measured
Figure 11 shows current results for each service.
There is a wide range in the satisfaction levels across the 42 services. At the top there are four services that have a rating around 85. This means that the average rating on a five point scale is between four and five.
- Visited a public library
- A passport
- New Zealand Superannuation
- Licensed or registered a vehicle
At the other end, there are three services with rating less than 50. This means the average rating is just below three on a five point scale.
- Your local council about a building permit
- National environmental issues or the Resources Management Act
- Your local council about road maintenance
Statistically Significant Changes
Over 2016, three services have improved and five services have declined
3 Significantly 5 Significantly
Statistically Significant Increases
The levelling off in overall satisfaction in the 2016 results is seen in the fact that more services had statistically significant falls in the most recent year, than had increases. There were three services that had statistically significant increases over the year and each of these services recorded their highest ever SQS score:
- Receiving a benefit such as Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support or a Supported Living Payment
- Contact with Statistics NZ for information or about taking part in a survey
- NZ Superannuation
The statistically significant increases for ‘receiving a benefit such as Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support or a Supported Living Payment’ and ‘contact with Statistics NZ for information or about taking part in a survey’ follow statistically significant declines in 2015.
Statistically Significant Decreases
Five services recorded statistically significant decreases in service quality over the year:
- Used an 0800 number for health information
- Received outpatient services from a public hospital (includes A & E)
- Visited sorted.org.nz for information to help manage your personal finances or retirement income
- Importing goods into New Zealand or customs duties
- Living in a Housing New Zealand home
Further information about these declines is provided after figure 11.
Figure 11 Service quality scores for individual services (2007-16), significant change since previous year
Two of these services, ‘used an 0800 number for health information’ and ‘received outpatient services from a public hospital (includes A & E)’ had statistically significant increases when looking back to when they were first measured in 2007. Their 2016 declines follow historic highs (and significant increases) in 2015.
With respect to the decline in “outpatient services”, the Ministry of Health (MoH) comments that “for some time now, District Health Boards have been focused on improving patient experience in a range of hospital settings. Local initiatives have varied, but have included a focus on reducing the time people wait, minimising cancellations, considering alternative methods of delivery that better suit the client (such as non-contact outpatient appointments, or telehealth service delivery), communication between clinicians and other staff with patients and their families, improvements to physical facilities and services, and improving the mechanisms for booking appointments and ensuring these best meet client needs.
The Health Quality and Safety Commission (HQSC) currently monitors the shift in adult inpatient experience via surveys, collated and reported on a monthly basis. Latest results suggest there has not been a significant change through the year.”
With respect to the decline in 'using an 0800 number for health information', an integrated Telehealth service was launched on 1 November 2015. This brought together seven 0800 health advice phone lines: Healthline, Quitline, Alcohol and Drug line; Depression line, Gambling Helpline, Poisons Advice and an Immunisation service as well as other health communication channels. In the 13 months between start up on 1 November 2015 and 31 December 2016 there were over 1 million contacts with New Zealanders. Focus groups have been run to receive customer feedback during this time and, from June 2017, customer surveying will be in place across all 0800 telehealth lines as well. Information received on the customer experience will be used to make meaningful improvements over time.
The New Zealand Health Strategy: Future direction outlines the high level direction for New Zealand's health system over the 10 years from 2016 to 2026 Supporting the Strategy is a Roadmap of Actions for the next five years to help make the Strategy happen. MoH and the wider health sector are partners in the Strategy, and are actively engaged in a range of local and national initiatives to make gains in the areas identified. Through these actions, MoH comments that “it is anticipated that we can make meaningful improvements in the area of patient experience, both for outpatient hospital services, and wider across hospital, primary and community settings”.
A rebrand and a rebuild for the sorted.org.nz website was launched in March 2016. Since then the bounce rate for the site has decreased, the number of registered sorted.org.nz users has increased and feedback to the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC), which manages the site, has been positive. However, the CFFC reports that “immediately post launch there was a two month period of ironing out final bugs in the new site which may have impacted user satisfaction.”
The ‘importing goods into New Zealand or customs duties’ service has been dropped from the Kiwis Count questionnaire from 2017 due to low use of the service and that cognitive testing of the service undertaken at the end of 2016 raised questions about how respondents rate this service and, therefore, the usefulness of the measure.
Over the same period, the Customs New Zealand’s Goods Client Survey shows satisfaction for customers who have had retail goods delivered from overseas remains favourable and has not changed significantly between 2015 and 2016.
Housing New Zealand home
Athough the 2016 result for ‘living in a Housing New Zealand home’ was statistically significantly less than the 2015 result, it was based on a sample count of less than 50 (i.e. this question was answered by less than 50 people). Therefore this result should be used with caution.
Housing New Zealand (HNZ) surveys 500 tenants each quarter about their satisfaction with their home and services provided by HNZ. A decline in satisfaction between 2015 and 2016 is not seen in the HNZ results. Respondents who answer this service in the Kiwis Count survey are likely to be both HNZ tenants and non-tenants as the Kiwis Count question asks the respondent to rate the service “If they have used or had contact about Living in a Housing New Zealand home”.
See Background and technical information on Kiwis Count for a description of the Kiwis Count methodology.
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.
The new wording for the service is: “In the last 12 months have you applied for, or lived in a publically subsidised house (eg a house owned by Housing NZ or a community housing provider or a local council).”