Executive Summary

Kiwis Count is a comprehensive survey which measures New Zealanders’ satisfaction with 42 frequently used public services. This report is the third in a series of quarterly updates from the Kiwis Count survey and draws on the experiences of 1,105 New Zealanders who completed the survey between July 2012 and December 2012.

Kiwis Count has changed from a point-in-time survey into a continuous survey with ongoing data collection and regular reporting. The change to a continuous survey with greater online participation provides more timely information on the quality of public services while reducing survey costs.

The Better Public Services programme is about creating a public sector that can respond more effectively to the needs and expectations of New Zealanders. Kiwis Count tracks improvements in the quality of service delivered to New Zealanders and identifies areas where the public sector needs to provide better service. Starting in 2013 Kiwis Count includes a module of questions about the ease of transacting with government in the digital environment. This replaces the previous module of questions on channel use and preferences.

The overall satisfaction score for the December 2012 quarter was 72 dropping back to the June 2012 quarter score after a 2-point increase in the September 2012 quarter. The June, September and December scores are the first quarterly results and follow two point-in-time surveys with results of 68 in 2007 and 69 in 2009.

The survey is in a transitional phase as it moves from point-in-time to continuous reporting. Until a full cycle of quarterly surveys have been completed, it will not be clear what “normal” is for the year and how variable quarterly results may be. In other words, it is unclear whether the decrease in the December score is due to seasonal variation, or if the underlying satisfaction trend is flat with the September score being an anomaly.

The State Services Commission will be discussing this result with agencies. If the results turn out to be the beginning of a downward trend, the State Services Commission will be working with agencies to diagnose the problem and agree a course of action.

Kiwis Count is part of a wider research initiative, which has developed several evidence based tools which services can use to improve satisfaction. A key way to improve satisfaction is to concentrate on the “drivers” of satisfaction – the short list of things that have the greatest impact on satisfaction. A summary of lessons from the wider research initiative, including more information on the “drivers” is included in this report.

Out of the ten service groups, one (Passports and Citizenship) improved its score over the quarter; three maintained their previous scores and six decreased their scores.

Seven services have improved since September 2012, but no improvement was statistically significant. Twenty five services recorded decreases in service quality, with three decreases being statistically significant. Ten services maintained their previous score.

The latest results from Canada’s 2012 Citizens First survey (on which Kiwis Count is based) show an overall service quality score of 74, up from 72 in the previous survey.

Quick facts from this quarterly update

  • Kiwis Count measures New Zealanders’ satisfaction with 42 public services

  • The overall quality of service delivery decreased from 74 in the September 2012 quarter to 72 in the December 2012 quarter

  • No service’s quality of service score increased significantly

  • 3 services’ quality of service score decreased significantly

The FULL REPORT is attached above as a PDF file.

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