State Services Commission, August 2008.
Kiwis Count is the first all-of-government survey to ask New Zealanders about their perceptions and experiences of public services.
Kiwis Count prompted New Zealanders about their experiences with a list of 42 services which broadly represented services provided by central and local government, tertiary education institutions and kindergartens. These services were categorised into nine service groupings. This factsheet sets out some key information for the taxation and business services grouping.
Below are the services included in this grouping along with the percentage of New Zealanders who had used them in the past 12 months.
The most commonly used service in the grouping was tax and taxation assistance. Relatively few New Zealanders had requested financial assistance for a business or technical help in relation to starting up a small business or farming and none had applied for a business concession at a national park.
Compared with the survey average, New Zealanders who used taxation and business services were more likely to be under 65. They were more likely to have a degree (30% compared with an average of 24%) and an income of $50,001 or more (35% compared with a survey average of 25%).
The main reason New Zealanders contacted taxation and business services was to use a specific service (32%), which was close to the survey average (35%). More New Zealanders contacted them to get information (26%) than the survey average (15%). Getting help or advice with a problem was another common reason for contacting them, at 22%.
New Zealanders who used taxation and business services were more likely to have done so because they felt it was a government requirement rather than because they chose to: 49% used the services because they felt it was a requirement compared with 32% on average for the survey. For the survey as a whole, New Zealanders using services because they felt they were government requirements had lower levels of satisfaction.
New Zealanders using taxation and business services mainly contacted them by calling on the telephone. At 57%, this was the highest percentage of all the service groupings and compares with a survey average of 24%. Only 3% had visited an office or location compared with an average of 47%, by far the lowest percentage of all the service groupings. 10% of New Zealanders who used taxation and business services contacted them through a website, higher than the average of 4%.
New Zealanders using taxation and business services were the least satisfied of all the service groupings with the contact method they had used. Only 51% were satisfied, compared with 70% on average. 61% who had called taxation and business services on the telephone said that 'telephone lines were busy' and 69% felt they had been put on hold for too long, considerably higher than for any other service grouping.
Taxation and business services had the lowest rating for accessing services. Only 53% of New Zealanders using taxation and business services felt they were easy to access on their most recent service experience, the lowest percentage of all the service groupings, and well below the average of 74%.
New Zealanders were asked about satisfaction with their most recent service experience. Satisfaction for taxation and business services was 42%, compared with an average satisfaction of 68%. This was the lowest satisfaction rating of all the service groupings. New Zealanders were also asked about the overall quality of services they had used in the last 12 months. For most service groupings, New Zealanders rated the service they had used most recently more favourably than the services they had experienced over the last 12 months. However, for taxation and business services, New Zealanders rated their most recent service experience less favourably (at 42%) than their experiences over the last 12 months (at 49%).
Kiwis Count measured satisfaction in relation to the six main 'drivers', or factors, which influence New Zealanders' satisfaction with public services. The results were broken down into the nine service groupings. The following table shows average satisfaction and satisfaction for taxation and business services.
Taxation and business services performed below average for all six drivers. The lowest scoring driver was 'it's an example of good value for tax dollars spent'. The biggest difference between taxation and business services and the average was on 'the service met your expectations'. This is the most important driver of satisfaction and accounts for nearly one third of New Zealanders' satisfaction with public services.
Performance against the drivers of satisfaction for most recent service experience
Satisfaction with public services is a complex area and it is harder to achieve satisfaction for some types of services than others. The Canadian Citizens First survey on which Kiwis Count is based also shows lower satisfaction scores for taxation services than other public services. The New Zealand results suggest that there are problems with accessing taxation and business services and with calling on the telephone in particular. There also seem to be problems with meeting public expectations of services. Addressing these areas will lead to improved satisfaction. In Canada, taxation services have shown steady improvement as a result of focussing on areas identified for improvement by the Citizens First survey.
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