Better Public Services Result 9 - Case Study: One number makes it easier for New Zealand businesses to interact with government
Following the global financial crisis and subsequent economic constraints, the New Zealand Government is making significant changes to its public sector. The aim of the Better Public Services programme is to offer better value for taxpayer’s money and to address complex, long-term issues that affect the lives of New Zealanders.
The Better Public Services Programme was launched by Prime Minister John Key in March 2012 and the Government set 10 challenging results directly focused on improving services for New Zealanders. Result 9 is led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and aims to ensure that the services government provides to business are more cost effective and easy to use.
“The public sector represents around a quarter of New Zealand’s real economy, so has a big influence on how our economy performs. The Government delivers significant services to business and the quality and speed of these services makes a difference to businesses' ability to perform, grow and export,” says MBIE’s Chief Executive, David Smol. “Result 9 agencies need to find new and different ways to deliver greater value and better results for New Zealand businesses and through that, the New Zealand economy.”
MBIE is working with a number of government agencies – including Inland Revenue, Statistics New Zealand, ACC, New Zealand Customs Service, NZ Trade and Enterprise, the Ministry for Primary Industries, and Callaghan Innovation – on specific projects and initiatives to improve services for business customers.
At the heart of the Result 9 programme is the establishment of the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN). The NZBN is a 13-digit number, a single identifier which over time aims to become the only number that businesses use to interact with a range of government agencies and other businesses.
On 2 December 2013, 1.1 million companies on the New Zealand Companies Office register were allocated an NZBN. It is expected that an average of 3,000 to 4,000 newly incorporated companies will get their NZBNs each month.
Alan Quinn, NZBN Programme Manager says: "The allocation of these numbers is the first step on a journey. It's going to take us longer than six months or 12 months to realise the benefits of NZBN, but it is a critical first step."
"We recently surveyed more than 600 businesses to gauge their views and perceptions of the NZBN and they told us that it's a good idea which will save them time and effort. We have had a clear message that we need to get on and deliver."
In the future, the NZBN will enable businesses to update their details in one place, which will automatically update in others, without businesses having to do a thing. NZBN means companies will spend less time and effort on government forms and correspondence and more time and effort on business.