Executive Summary

The SSC launched the first Kiwis Count survey in 2007 as part of the New Zealanders’ Experience research programme to measure how New Zealanders perceive and experience public services.  The survey was repeated in 2009.

Eleven percent of the original respondents who answered the latest Kiwis Count survey identified themselves as having a long-term disability or handicap.  This report focuses on the findings from that segment of the public.  It shows government agencies how New Zealanders with a disability access their services and helps to identify what is required to improve service quality for them.

Following are the key findings of the report.

Profile of New Zealanders with a Disability

New Zealanders with a disability were significantly more likely to:

  • be aged 65 years or over

  • have a personal income of $25,000 or less

  • have no qualifications

This profile of New Zealanders with a disability could have implications on the willingness and capability to take up new technologies.

Accessing and Dealing with Public Services

Compared with New Zealanders without a disability, New Zealanders with a disability:

  • generally find it harder to access public services

  • have significantly higher contact with, and use of, health and social assistance services

  • are significantly more likely to use public services to get help or advice with a problem (as opposed to seeking information)

  • are significantly less likely to use  national parks, travel and education related services

Satisfaction with Public Services

The overall service quality score for public services is the same for New Zealanders with a disability as for those without a disability. New Zealanders with a disability are as satisfied as those without a disability with nearly all of the contributing ‘drivers’ of satisfaction.

Health Services

The average service quality scores for the Health group were the same for New Zealanders with a disability and New Zealanders without a disability

Services within this group that received a higher rating by New Zealanders with a disability were

  • staying in a public hospital

  • receiving outpatient services from a public hospital

Services within this group that received a lower rating by New Zealanders with a disability were:

  • using an 0800 number for health information

  • obtaining family services or counselling

Social Assistance Services

  • New Zealanders with a disability were more likely to rate Social Assistance services’ quality significantly higher than New Zealanders without a disability

  • The one exception was in the service quality rating for accident compensation for injuries, which received a significantly lower quality score

Expectations with Public Services

Similar to the New Zealand population in general, New Zealanders with a disability are more positive about their actual experience with public services than their perception of public services in general.  

Expectations of public services are significantly higher amongst New Zealanders with a disability than those without a disability, with over half (53%) expecting to receive a higher quality of service than they would from the private sector. Unfortunately, New Zealanders with a disability don’t think that their expectations are being met, with only a fifth (18%) agreeing that public service quality is higher than in the private sector.  

Trust in Public Services

New Zealanders with a disability and aged 18-44 trust the public services the least.  Levels of trust in public services were higher among older New Zealanders with a disability.

Channels Used for Accessing Public Services

Services that deliver to New Zealanders with a disability should consider these channel usage pattern and preferences when designing services and support channels:

  • New Zealanders with a disability are less likely to have used or prefer to use Internet or mobile phones to contact public services.  This possibly reflects the older age structure of New Zealanders with a disability. It may also indicate that the type of information they are looking for is not as easy to find, or that those with a disability find it harder to navigate the public service websites they are using.

  • The telephone and face-to-face interactions are the two main channels used by New Zealanders with a disability to deal with public services. These two channels are also the preferred method.

To read the full report, go to the PDF version attached at the top of this page.

This report was compiled from research carried out by the State Services Commission's New Zealanders' Experience programme - a multi-year research programme that provides agencies with information to assist monitoring public satisfaction with the delivery of their frontline services. Go to the New Zealanders' Experience section of this website for programme information, publications and reports.

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