State Services Commissioner commends Inland Revenue, MSD for Christchurch joined-up services
Photo shows a client using a self service work station being assisted by a customer service specialist at the Government House on Durham Street.
The State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today commended Inland Revenue (IR) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) for their joint-initiative to deliver a 'one-stop-shop' for customers in Christchurch.
The Government Office on Durham Street features the successful shared front-of-house initiative including an on-site customer service facility and on-line self-service work stations for both agencies.
"This was an innovation out of necessity," Mr. Rennie said.
"The environment in which they operate was drastically changed when the Canterbury earthquakes damaged their offices, but the services they provide are some of the most acutely needed," Mr Rennie said.
"The change in the operating environment not only in Christchurch, but across New Zealand requires that government departments work together and create innovative solutions to deliver better public services for all New Zealanders," Mr Rennie said.
"The Durham Street site was an opportunity for MSD and IR to provide customers with easier access to related government services in one place. Both agencies saw that the public could be better served from a single point of contact offering face-to-face and online services," said Jacquie Hayes, IR Manager Community Compliance.
"We saw that a single service delivery office could help people who were unfamiliar with online services and enable them to become comfortable about going online in their own time and place," Ms Hayes said.
"Customers have really positive feedback. They may come and see us, and if they need to see MSD or another agency, they are already in the right place. They don't have to drive across town or have multiple appointments at different venues making it easier for them to do business with Government," Ms Hayes said.
"The first time I walked in here, I was greeted at the door by this young lady with this huge smile and I thought, "Where am I? Am I in the right place? She was just wonderful!" said Chris Russell, a job seeker who was a customer at the Government Office. Other customers commented that "it was good to see all services under one roof" and that they are "leaving feeling more informed and able to manage the situation."
Since opening, the Government Office has helped 49,971 customers. The self service work stations have assisted over 1170 customers and 469 new customers have been registered across IR and Work and Income.
IR services offered at Durham Street include Child Support, Student Loans, and Working for Families Tax Credits. MSD services include pensions for seniors, StudyLink for students, Child, Youth and Family, and Work and Income benefits.
Media enquiries: Janryll Fernandez, SSC Communications 021 472 598
For more information see the BPS case study: New Zealand Government Office, Christchurch.