Overall Public Service Quality Trend

Kiwis Count measures New Zealanders' satisfaction with 43 commonly used services. The results are used to calculate the SQS for each service and an overall SQS across all services (headline result). In 2017, 11 new services were introduced to the 43 commonly used services, replacing services that had seen reductions in usage.

New Zealanders' satisfaction with the quality of public services has increased over the past decade. The overall SQS has increased nine points from 68 in 2007 to 77 in 2018. This is the highest it has ever been.

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. The result for 2018 is 68, the same as the previous six years.

Figure 7 Service Quality Score - Public Sector vs Private Sector

Demographic Breakdown

Region

  • There isn't 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. Two regions - Wellington' and the 'Rest of the South Island' have seen statistically significant reductions in trust for 'bank of finance company'.

Figure 8 - Overall Service Quality Score (SQS) by region

Gender

  • Women report higher satisfaction with most public and private sector services than men. In 2018, the overall public sector SQS for women was 79, and 75 for men. This reflects a small increase for females and the same result as 2017 for males.

Ethnicity

  • In 2018, all ethnic groups report high satisfaction with the quality of public services they used. There were similar scores for those of Asian (76), NZ European (78) and Pasifika ethnicities (76) all of which have improved since 2017. Satisfaction is lower for Māori (74) and has not changed since 2017.
  • Service satisfaction has fluctuated for Māori, dropping in 2016 but increasing again in 2017 and plateauing in 2018. Those respondents of Asian ethnicity have seen a decline since 2015, falling from 75 in 2016 to 74 in 2017 but recovering to 76 in 2018. NZ Europeans have also seen a fluctuation in their satisfaction scores since 2015, dropping from 80% to 75% in 2016 and increasing to 78% in 2018. Looking at a direct comparison of NZ Europeans vs non-NZ Europeans, the SQS gap has narrowed from a five-point gap in 2012 to a three-point gap in 2018. Services appear to be more equitably delivered to all ethnicities.

Age

  • Those over 65 years report higher satisfaction with both public and private sector services than other age groups.

Figure 9 - Overall Service Quality Score (SQS) by demographic cut

Disability

  • Satisfaction with the quality of public services for those with disabilities (74 in 2018) is lower than for those without disabilities (77 in 2018). Satisfaction with private sector services for those with disabilities (66 in 2018) is also lower than for those without disabilities (69 in 2018).

Household Income and Highest Qualification

  • There was little difference in the satisfaction with both public and private sector services by the household income earned.
  • There was little difference in the satisfaction with both private and public sector services for those respondents holding degree/ higher qualifications, lower level and no 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 11 services mean change in 2017 is not measured for these services. The chart consequently reports change for 32 services. The trend over time is important because it highlights whether services are, 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

Up Arrow 24 Significantly
Down Arrow 1 Significantly

The improvement in New Zealanders' satisfaction with the quality of public services over the past decade is reflected in the fact that 24 out of 32 services in the current Kiwis Count survey have had statistically significant increases since they were first measured in 2012 or earlier. Figure 8 shows the level of improvement since first measured of all 32 services (significant change since first measured is shown in green/red).

Levels of significant improvement since first measured range from +21 for “Applied for, or lived in a publicly subsidised house (a house owned by Housing NZ or a community housing provider or a local council)” to +13 for “Applied for and/or received a housing subsidy or accommodation supplement” and +12 for “Applied for and/or received Accident Compensation (ACC) for injuries” and “Applied for or renewed a NZ passport”. Visited sorted.org.nz (for information to help manage your personal finances or planning for retirement) has the largest decrease at -8. See figure 10 for more details on this.

Figure 10: Service quality scores for individual services (2017), significant change since first measure

Exploring the service improvements: recovering after an accident

The focus of service improvements by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) has been on what it’s like for a client to deal with ACC and how a better experience for the thousands of Kiwis we deal with every day can happen. It’s a process that’s been going on for several years and the last twelve months has been the time when a number of improvements have been introduced. The improvements include:

Faster decisions. We have aimed to make faster claim decisions so that customers quickly find out what’s happening with their claims (including immediate text notification of claim acceptance in many cases).

Faster payments. ACC has also introduced a more efficient compensation payment process.

Customer communications. ACC has also updated some customer communications, such as the letter sent when a claim is accepted, to make it easier to understand what clients can expect from us.

Customer feedback. ACC has also implemented a new customer feedback system, which allows the organisation to hear and act on feedback from our customers in real time.

Case management and technology. ACC has also piloted a new case management model. This model means that clients receive services tailored to their individual needs – from intensive one-on-one support, through to enabling clients to manage their recovery plan online if that’s what they want. This new model means customers can talk to someone who can help them immediately, as opposed to waiting for a Case Manager to call them back. It also includes a new MyACC portal for customers that want to engage with ACC via a digital channel. Clients have given positive customer feedback about the new model and it will be gradually rolled out to all case-managed clients from August 2019.

In 2020 customers will continue to see improvements to our service, including improved digital channels and more ways of accessing ACC services.

Current performance (2018 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 86 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 (88)
  • Applied for or renewed a NZ passport (88)
  • Licensed or registered a vehicle (87)
  • Used a Gold Card (87)
  • Visited a public library (86)
  • Visited a public museum or art gallery (86)

At the other end, there are three services with ratings around 50 or less. This means the average rating is just below three on a five-point scale.

  • Applied for, used or asked for information about a building permit (51)
  • Made a noise complaint (50).
  • Applied for a resource consent or made a submission on a notified resource consent application (42)

Table 1 shows all annual results for each service.

Table 1: Service quality score for individual public services

Question asked 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Applied for or renewed a NZ passport 79 79 80 83 85 88 88
Applied for and/or received New Zealand Superannuation 84 82 81 81 85 89 88
Licensed or registered a vehicle 80 80 80 83 84 86 87
Used a Gold Card - - - - - 89 87
Visited a public library 85 84 84 85 86 85 86
Visited a public museum or art gallery - - - - - 87 86
Visited a national park 78 78 79 80 80 84 84
Registered a birth, death, marriage or civil union 80 76 76 81 79 81 83
Purchased a road user charge (e.g. diesel mileage or paying a road toll) - - - - - 79 82
Used or contacted a kindergarten, day-care, crèche, preschool, home-based service, playcentre, Kōhanga Reo, Aoga Amata, Puna Reoplaygroup etc. that a child in your care attends or may attend in the future 78 79 81 84 81 82 81
Obtained, renewed, changed or replaced a driver licence 73 74 74 74 77 81 79
Been through the arrival process at a New Zealand international airport (when arriving from outside NZ) 79 79 79 80 79 80 79
Applied for, or lived in a publicly subsidised house (e.g. a house owned by Housing NZ or a community housing provider or a local council) 58 62 67 71 55 66 79
Applied for or had contact about a hunting or fishing license 81 78 79 85 81 82 79
Used or contacted a state or state integrated (public) school that a child in your care attends or may attend in the future 75 76 76 77 77 78 78
Used emergency services by calling 111 82 82 79 79 81 80 78
Applied for and/or used a Community Services card 74 76 75 73 73 71 78
Applied for and/or received Accident Compensation (ACC) for injuries 68 67 70 72 72 74 77
Taken a child in your care to see a doctor/GP - - - - - 75 76
Used a local council provided community facility (e.g. a swimming pool, community hall or local park) - - - - - 76 76
Attended or contacted a university, polytechnic or wānanga about a course you are attending or may attend in the future 75 75 72 73 71 69 74
Used an 0800 number for health information (e.g. services like Healthline, Quitline, depression, alcohol, drug and gambling helplines, the PoisCentre and the Immunisation Advice line) 70 77 74 79 74 73 73
Had contact with the Police (excluding calling 111) 66 66 69 67 69 71 73
Applied for a rental property bond lodgement, refund or transfer 73 67 71 74 75 68 73
Received outpatient services from a public hospital (includes Accident and Emergency) 73 74 73 75 72 72 72
Stayed in a public hospital 73 75 73 76 73 74 72
Requested information about personal tax and/or filed a personal tax return (includes filing via an agent) - - - - - 71 71
Used ERO (Education Review Office) school or early childhood reports for a child in your care 68 68 69 73 74 65 70
Visited sorted.org.nz (for information to help manage your personal finances or planning for retirement) 78 76 76 80 75 74 70
Applied for and/or received a housing subsidy or accommodation supplement 63 61 59 60 63 58 69
Used public services for employment or retraining opportunities 61 61 64 64 64 60 68
Applied for or received a student loan or allowance 56 56 54 64 59 64 68
Had contact with your local council regarding property rates 56 60 61 64 64 66 66
Requested information or made an application, payment or claim for child support, student loan repayments, KiwiSaver, or tax credits (e.g. Workfor Families) - - - - - 67 66
Contacted Statistics New Zealand for information or about taking part in a survey 65 69 69 64 70 71 66
Had a child in your care that has received special education services (e.g. early interventions services, speech and language support, resouteachers: learning and behaviour, vision and hearing) - - - - - 64 65
Received help for mental health or substance abuse problems from a doctor or nurse at your local medical centre - - - - - 64 65
Paid or got information about fines or reparations 62 62 63 64 63 63 65
Applied for and/or received a benefit (eg Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support or a Supported Living Payment) 59 59 61 54 62 59 65
Had contact with your local council regarding collection of your household rubbish/recycling 67 66 67 68 65 61 61
Applied for, used or asked for information about a building permit 52 52 49 54 48 54 51
Made a noise complaint - - - - - 50 50
Applied for a resource consent or made a submission on a notified resource consent application - - - - - 43 42

Exploring the service improvements: renewing your passport

The passport service provided by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) is often praised by members of the public for being fast, efficient, and exceeding their expectations. The speed we can issue passports when a customer has applied online surprises and delights many customers – both those in New Zealand and those living overseas. The departments dedication to our customer-centred approach has seen regularly introduced service improvements. Some specific improvements introduced over the past twelve months have included the following areas:

Making it even easier for our customers to apply online for a passport. We have made it easier to apply online by improving our Online Photo Checker. The page hosting the checker now details the basic requirements for a photo suitable for a passport and contains reference photos that applicants can use as exemplars. Users are also being prompted to self-assess their photo before submitting it. Improvements have also been made to the error messaging our customers see when their photo is rejected. Due to these improvements we have seen a significant reduction in online photo upload failures. These failures slow down the passport application/ renewal process and are a ‘pain point’ for customers.

Delivery options. The department has also been working closely with NZ Post to roll out improved delivery features for our passport customers. Changes to the application process mean that there is more upfront information about passport delivery, and customers received enhanced notifications about courier timeframes. As well as being able to have their passport couriered to a residential or business address, they are now also able to pick up their passport from a number of collection points across New Zealand. Enhanced notifications have made it easier for people to track their passports, without needing to call the contact centre enquiring about the status.

Social media. We have also established the @nzpassports Twitter handle which allows customers to ask us questions and for us to provide updates and responses on Twitter. This is but one aspect of putting customers at the centre of what we do. The department works collaboratively and staff members involved in the passports teams take pride in our high-performing service. We are still aiming for new and exciting ways in which we can further improve customers’ experiences with the service.

Sector level satisfaction

The content of Table 2 identifies the SQS score for each sector that is investigated in the survey. There are three sectors (Environment, Culture & Recreation, Citizenship, Passports & Border and Transport) that out perform all others.

Table 2: Sector SQS scores

Sector 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Citizenship, Passports & Border 78 77 78 80 79 82 82
Education & Training 70 70 71 73 72 72 74
Environment, Culture & Recreation 75 75 76 78 77 85 85
Justice & Emergency 66 67 68 68 69 71 72
Local Government 72 72 72 74 71 73 73
Public Health 72 75 73 76 73 73 73
Social Assistance & Housing 70 69 71 71 73 75 78
Taxation & Information 67 67 67 70 69 71 69
Transport 79 78 79 81 82 83 84

All sectors have improved since 2012, albeit some more than others. Only one sector – Taxation and Information – has decreased since last year.

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 78%, slightly up from last year. While this is slightly lower than in 2015, it is five percentage points higher than the overall satisfaction score in 2012. Figure 11 illustrates the trend in satisfaction with the most recent service interaction.

Figure 11: Satisfaction with the most recent service interaction

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 3. As can be seen, the areas of health and education feature prominently in the top 10 services as do other services such as licensing or registering a vehicle.

Table 3; most important service

Service % rated it most important service
2017 2018
Taken a child in your care to see a doctor/GP 9% 11%
Received outpatient services from a public hospital (includes Accident and Emergency) 10% 10%
Used or contacted a state or state integrated (public) school that a child in your care attends or may attend in the future 7% 7%
Licensed or registered a vehicle 7% 7%
Been through the arrival process at a New Zealand international airport (when arriving from outside NZ) 5% 5%
Visited a national park 4% 4%
Visited a public library 4% 4%
Attended or contacted a university, polytechnic or wānanga about a course you are attending or may attend in the future 5% 4%
Stayed in a public hospital 4% 4%
Used a local council provided community facility (e.g. a swimming pool, community hall or local park) 5% 4%
Used emergency services by calling 111 4% 3%
Applied for or renewed a NZ passport 3% 3%
Applied for and/or received New Zealand Superannuation 3% 3%
Applied for and/or received Accident Compensation (ACC) for injuries 3% 3%
Used or contacted a kindergarten, day-care, crèche, preschool, home-based service, playcentre, Kōhanga Reo, Aoga Amata, Puna Reo or playgroup etc. that a child in your care attends or may attend in the future 2% 3%
Obtained, renewed, changed or replaced a driver licence 2% 3%
Requested information about personal tax and/or filed a personal tax return (includes filing via an agent) 2% 2%
Received help for mental health or substance abuse problems from a doctor or nurse at your local medical centre 2% 2%
Purchased a road user charge (e.g. diesel mileage or paying a road toll) 2% 2%
Used a Gold Card 1% 2%
Had contact with the Police (excluding calling 111) 3% 2%
Visited a public museum or art gallery 2% 1%
Applied for and/or received a benefit (e.g. Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support or a Supported Living Payment) 2% 1%
Requested information or made an application, payment or claim for child support, student loan repayments, KiwiSaver, or tax credits (e.g. Working for Families) 1% 1%
Applied for or received a student loan or allowance 2% 1%
Had a child in your care that has received special education services (e.g. early interventions services, speech and language support, resource teachers: learning and behaviour, vision and hearing) 1% 1%
Applied for, used or asked for information about a building permit 1% 1%
Had contact with your local council regarding property rates 0% 1%
Used an 0800 number for health information (e.g. services like Healthline, Quitline, depression, alcohol, drug and gambling helplines, the Poisons Centre and the Immunisation Advice line) 1% 1%
Made a noise complaint 0% 1%

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