Overall service quality trend

Kiwis Count measures New Zealanders’ satisfaction with 43 commonly used services. The results are used to calculate the SQS for each service and an overall SQS across all services (headline result). In 2017, 11 new services were introduced to the 43 commonly used services, replacing services that had seen reductions in usage.

New Zealanders’ satisfaction with the quality of public services has increased over the past decade. The overall SQS has increased nine points from 68 in 2007 to 77 in 2018 and remains at 77 for 2019. This is the highest it has ever been.

Figure 6: Overall service quality score

Private sector service quality

Kiwis Count also asks New Zealanders about their use of, and satisfaction with, seven types of private sector companies (banks or finance companies, insurance companies, credit card companies and electricity or gas companies). These scores are aggregated to give an overall private sector SQS.

Figure 7 shows that since 2007, satisfaction with private sector services has been lower than satisfaction with public services. While satisfaction with public sector services has increased since 2007 and stayed the same in 2019, satisfaction with private sector services since 2012 has plateaued at 68, the same as the previous eight years.

Figure 7: Service quality score ‒ public sector vs private sector

Demographic breakdown

  • There isn’t a systematic difference in satisfaction across regions for either public sector or private sector services. The variation between regions has reduced since 2012 for public sector services.
  • Women report higher satisfaction with most public and private sector services than men. In 2019, the overall public sector SQS for women was 78, and 76 for men. This reflects a small decrease for females and a small increase on 2018 for males.
  • In 2019, all ethnic groups report high satisfaction with the quality of public services they used. There were similar scores for those of Asian (79), NZ European (78), and Pasifika (78) ethnicities. Satisfaction is lower for Māori (73). All ethnicities have seen service satisfaction improve since 2012. Looking at a direct comparison of NZ Europeans vs non-NZ Europeans, the SQS gap has narrowed from a five-point gap in 2012 to a two-point gap in 2019.
  • Those over 65 years report higher satisfaction with both public and private sector services than other age groups.
  • Satisfaction with the quality of public services for those with disabilities is the same for those without disabilities (77 in 2019). This has improved from a difference of minus three points in 2018. Satisfaction with private sector services for those with disabilities (71 in 2019) is higher than for those without disabilities (68 in 2019) which reverses the situation in 2018.
  • There was little difference in the satisfaction with both public and private sector services by the household income earned.
  • There is no difference in the satisfaction with both private and public sector services for those respondents holding degree/ higher qualifications, lower level and no qualifications.

Individual services quality trend

Kiwis Count measures New Zealanders’ satisfaction with 43 commonly used public services[1]. In this section, we discuss changes in satisfaction ratings for individual services. The removal and addition of 11 services mean change in 2019 is not measured for these services. The chart consequently reports change for 32 services. The trend over time is important because it highlights whether services are, continuing to meet or exceed individuals’ expectations.  We highlight those changes in the quality of individual services that have been statistically significant[2] since services were first measured and in the latest year.

Since first measured

Up Arrow 24 Significantly
Down Arrow 1 Significantly

The improvement in overall satisfaction in the 2019 results is small, although they are statistically significant. The first service ‘Been through the arrival process at a New Zealand international airport (when arriving from outside NZ)’, saw a 3 point increase from 79–82 points, a modest increase on a strong score in 2018. The second service ‘Used a local council provided community facility (e.g. a swimming pool, community hall or local park)’ increased by 2 points, from a score of 76 in 2018 to 78 in 2019. Scores for both services represent the highest yet score for these services.

The two greatest improvements in satisfaction in 2019 are ‘Registered a birth, death, marriage or civil union’ (+15) and ‘Paid or got information about fines or reparations’ (+14). The service ‘Visited sorted.org.nz (for information to help manage your personal finances or planning for retirement)’ has the largest decrease at -5 and this has decreased in 2019 from -8 in 2018. This result comes from an all time high in 2018 which may have been an outlier, so needs to be used with caution.

Figure 8: Service quality scores for individual services (2019), significant change since first measured

Current performance (2019 results)

There is a wide range in the satisfaction levels across the 43 services.  At the top there are five services that have a rating between 87 and 88.  This means that the average rating on a five-point scale is between four and five.

  • Applied for and/or received New Zealand Superannuation (88)
  • Applied for or renewed a NZ passport (88)
  • Used a Gold Card (88)
  • Licensed or registered a vehicle (87)
  • Registered a birth, death, marriage or civil union (87)

At the other end, there are three services with ratings around 50 or less. This means the average rating is just below three on a five-point scale.

  • Applied for, used or asked for information about a building permit (49).
  • Made a noise complaint (49).
  • Applied for a resource consent or made a submission on a notified resource consent application (38).

All three of these services have decreased slightly since 2018. Table 1 shows all annual results for each service.

Table 1: Service quality score for individual public services

Question asked

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Applied for and/or received New Zealand Superannuation

84

82

81

81

85

89

88

88

Applied for or renewed a NZ passport

79

79

80

83

85

88

88

88

Used a Gold Card

-

-

-

-

-

89

87

88

Licensed or registered a vehicle

80

80

80

83

84

86

87

87

Registered a birth, death, marriage or civil union

80

76

76

81

79

81

83

87

Visited a national park

78

78

79

80

80

84

84

85

Visited a public library

85

84

84

85

86

85

86

85

Visited a public museum or art gallery

-

-

-

-

-

87

86

84

Used or contacted a kindergarten, day care, crèche, preschool, home-based service, playcentre, Kōhanga Reo, Aoga Amata, Puna Reo or playgroup etc. that a child in your care attends or may attend in the future

78

79

81

84

81

82

81

83

Applied for or had contact about a hunting or fishing license

81

78

79

85

81

82

79

82

Been through the arrival process at a New Zealand international airport (when arriving from outside NZ)

79

79

79

80

79

80

79

82

Purchased a road user charge (e.g. diesel mileage or paying a road toll)

-

-

-

-

-

79

82

82

Obtained, renewed, changed or replaced a driver licence

73

74

74

74

77

81

79

80

Used emergency services by calling 111

82

82

79

79

81

80

78

79

Applied for and/or used a Community Services card

74

76

75

73

73

71

78

78

Used a local council provided community facility (e.g. a swimming pool, community hall or local park)

-

-

-

-

-

76

76

78

Used or contacted a state or state integrated (public) school that a child in your care attends or may attend in the future

75

76

76

77

77

78

78

77

Taken a child in your care to see a doctor/GP

-

-

-

-

-

75

76

76

Used an 0800 number for health information (e.g. services like Healthline, Quitline, depression, alcohol, drug and gambling helplines, the Poisons Centre and the Immunisation Advice line)

70

77

74

79

74

73

73

76

Attended or contacted a university, polytechnic or wānanga about a course you are attending or may attend in the future

75

75

72

73

71

69

74

75

Stayed in a public hospital

73

75

73

76

73

74

72

75

Applied for and/or received Accident Compensation (ACC) for injuries

68

67

70

72

72

74

77

74

Visited sorted.org.nz (for information to help manage your personal finances or planning for retirement)

78

76

76

80

75

74

70

73

Applied for a rental property bond lodgement, refund or transfer

73

67

71

74

75

68

73

72

Had contact with the Police (excluding calling 111)

66

66

69

67

69

71

73

72

Applied for or received a student loan or allowance

56

56

54

64

59

64

68

71

Received outpatient services from a public hospital (includes Accident and Emergency)

73

74

73

75

72

72

72

71

Requested information about personal tax and/or filed a personal tax return (includes filing via an agent)

-

-

-

-

-

71

71

70

Contacted Statistics New Zealand for information or about taking part in a survey

65

69

69

64

70

71

66

69

Used ERO (Education Review Office) school or early childhood reports for a child in your care

68

68

69

73

74

65

70

69

Applied for and/or received a housing subsidy or accommodation supplement

63

61

59

60

63

58

69

68

Paid or got information about fines or reparations

62

62

63

64

63

63

65

68

Requested information or made an application, payment or claim for child support, student loan repayments, KiwiSaver, or tax credits (e.g. Working for Families)

-

-

-

-

-

67

66

67

Used public services for employment or retraining opportunities

61

61

64

64

64

60

68

67

Received help for mental health or substance abuse problems from a doctor or nurse at your local medical centre

-

-

-

-

-

64

65

66

Had a child in your care that has received special education services (e.g. early interventions services, speech and language support, resource teachers: learning and behaviour, vision and hearing)

-

-

-

-

-

64

65

65

Applied for, or lived in a publicly subsidised house (e.g. a house owned by Housing NZ or a community housing provider or a local council)

58

62

67

71

55

66

79

64

Had contact with your local council regarding collection of your household rubbish/recycling

67

66

67

68

65

61

61

63

Applied for and/or received a benefit (eg Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support or a Supported Living Payment)

59

59

61

54

62

59

65

62

Had contact with your local council regarding property rates

56

60

61

64

64

66

66

62

Applied for, used or asked for information about a building permit

52

52

49

54

48

54

51

49

Made a noise complaint

-

-

-

-

-

50

50

49

Applied for a resource consent or made a submission on a notified resource consent application

-

-

-

-

-

43

42

38

SQS statistically significant changes

Over 2019, two services have improved and one service has declined.

Up Arrow 2 Significantly
Down Arrow 1 Significantly

Statistically significant increases

The improvement in overall satisfaction in the 2019 results is small, although they are statistically significant. The first service ‘Been through the arrival process at a New Zealand international airport (when arriving from outside NZ)’, saw a 3 point increase from 79–82, a modest increase on a strong score in 2018. The second service ‘Used a local council provided community facility (e.g. a swimming pool, community hall or local park)’ increased by 2 points, from a score of 76 in 2018 to 78 in 2019. Scores for both services represent the highest yet score for these services.

Statistically significant decreases

One service recorded a statistically significant decrease in service quality over the year ‘Applied for, or lived in a publicly subsidised house (e.g. a house owned by Housing NZ or a community housing provider or a local council)’. This decrease follows a strong improvement in the SQS score in 2018 and brings a score of 64, similar to previous scores. The result for 2018 may have been an outlier.

Sector level satisfaction

Table 2: Sector SQS scores

Sector

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Citizenship, Passports & Border

78

77

78

80

79

82

82

84

Education & Training

70

70

71

73

72

72

74

74

Environment, Culture & Recreation

75

75

76

78

77

85

85

84

Justice & Emergency

66

67

68

68

69

71

72

73

Local Government

72

72

72

74

71

73

73

73

Public Health

72

75

73

76

73

73

73

73

Social Assistance & Housing

70

69

71

71

73

75

78

77

Taxation & Information

67

67

67

70

69

71

69

70

Transport

79

78

79

81

82

83

84

84

                   

 

Satisfaction with most recent service interaction

Another way of measuring overall satisfaction is asking respondents about their satisfaction with their most recent service interaction – this is also how trust based on personal experience is measured. Overall satisfaction using this measure remains strong, at 78%, the same as last year. While this is slightly lower than in 2015, it is five percentage points higher than the overall satisfaction score in 2012.

In the new questionnaire, first used in 2017, the survey asked the public to identify what was the most important service to them. Responses to this question are given in

Table 3. As can be seen, the areas of health and education feature prominently in the top 10 services as do other services such as licensing or registering a vehicle.

Table 3: most important service

Service

% rated it most important service

 

2017

2018

2019

Received outpatient services from a public hospital (includes Accident and Emergency)

10%

10%

9%

Taken a child in your care to see a doctor/GP

9%

11%

8%

Used or contacted a state or state integrated (public) school that a child in your care attends or may attend in the future

7%

7%

7%

Been through the arrival process at a New Zealand international airport (when arriving from outside NZ)

5%

5%

6%

Visited a public library

4%

4%

6%

Licensed or registered a vehicle

7%

7%

5%

Stayed in a public hospital

4%

4%

5%

Attended or contacted a university, polytechnic or wānanga about a course you are attending or may attend in the future

5%

4%

4%

Used a local council provided community facility (e.g. a swimming pool, community hall or local park)

5%

4%

4%

Applied for or renewed a NZ passport

3%

3%

4%

Applied for and/or received Accident Compensation (ACC) for injuries

3%

3%

3%

Applied for and/or received New Zealand Superannuation

3%

3%

3%

Used emergency services by calling 111

4%

3%

3%

Visited a national park

4%

4%

3%

Requested information about personal tax and/or filed a personal tax return (includes filing via an agent)

2%

2%

3%

Received help for mental health or substance abuse problems from a doctor or nurse at your local medical centre

2%

2%

2%

Used or contacted a kindergarten, day-care, crèche, preschool, home-based service, playcentre, Kōhanga Reo, Aoga Amata, Puna Reo or playgroup etc. that a child in your care attends or may attend in the future

2%

3%

2%

Had contact with the Police (excluding calling 111)

3%

2%

2%

Obtained, renewed, changed or replaced a driver licence

2%

3%

2%

Purchased a road user charge (e.g. diesel mileage or paying a road toll)

2%

2%

2%

Applied for and/or received a benefit (e.g. Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support or a Supported Living Payment)

2%

1%

1%

Used a Gold Card

1%

2%

1%

Visited a public museum or art gallery

2%

1%

1%

Applied for or received a student loan or allowance

2%

1%

1%

Had a child in your care that has received special education services (e.g. early interventions services, speech and language support, resource teachers: learning and behaviour, vision and hearing)

1%

1%

1%

Requested information or made an application, payment or claim for child support, student loan repayments, KiwiSaver, or tax credits (e.g. Working for Families)

1%

1%

1%

Registered a birth, death, marriage or civil union

0%

0%

1%

Applied for, used or asked for information about a building permi

1%

1%

1%

Used an 0800 number for health information (e.g. services like Healthline, Quitline, depression, alcohol, drug and gambling helplines, the Poisons Centre and the Immunisation Advice line)

1%

1%

1%

Used public services for employment or retraining opportunities

0%

0%

1%

Paid or got information about fines or reparations

0%

0%

1%

Applied for a resource consent or made a submission on a notified resource consent application

1%

0%

1%

Had contact with your local council regarding property rates

0%

1%

1%


[1]
See the latest Technical Report for a description of the Kiwis Count methodology.

[2] Significance is calculated at the 95% confidence level using a weighted two-sample t-test. This means that changes in SQS score are highlighted where there is less than a 5% chance that the change was due to sampling error. Sampling error is due to sample of the population being surveyed rather than the entire population.

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