Since the launch of the Development Goals for the State Services in 2005, we have been working with agencies across the State Services to build a shared understanding of what it means to have 'a system of world class professional State Services serving the government of the day and meeting the needs of New Zealanders', and measuring our progress toward that overall goal.
The only way we can accurately assess how well we are meeting the needs of New Zealanders is to go out and ask them. We did just that in 2007 with the Kiwis Count survey, a survey of 6,500 people around the country, which asked them what they thought of their government services. This booklet is the result of that research.
We chose a methodology that would allow us to compare ourselves against the leaders in this field, the Canadian government; where a similar survey has been running for the last decade. While I am very encouraged by the results of the first New Zealand survey, I think the real achievement has been in establishing a benchmark against which we can target and track our improvement in the coming years.
The results do show that our State Services are on the right track, but they also show that there is room for improvement. We know, of course, that satisfaction is only part of the story about how well our services are performing. We also know results will sometimes vary between services because of the nature of those services. However, measuring satisfaction can provide us with valuable information about service quality and whether this is improving. New Zealanders have high standards; it is our job to use the information in this report to ensure that we meet those standards.
I would like to acknowledge the effort of the many people who contributed to the Kiwis Count survey. First of all, the New Zealanders who completed the survey. Their impressive response rate shows that they want their views on government services to be heard. I would also like to thank the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service in Canada for their help and support in enabling us to adapt their Citizens First survey. And I would like to thank my own staff, who have so ably managed the Kiwis Count project and produced this booklet.
State Services Commissioner