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More Kiwis heading online for government services

06 Jul 2015

New Zealanders are heading online to do more, according to the Department of Internal Affairs. 

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says hundreds of thousands of Kiwis are utilising services provided by the government online. 

“Kiwis are doing more of their government transactions digitally; by March this year, an average of 45.8% of measured government service transactions were completed digitally – up from 30.4% when measurement started in June 2012,” Dunne explains.

“More than 400,000 Kiwi adults have renewed their passport online since the November 2012 launch of the service,” he adds. “Next year that number will grow even faster when first time adult passport applicants using a RealMe verified identity and child renewals can apply online.”

Dunne says more than 50,000 people have a RealMe verified identity, evidence of identity online. 

Customers can use a RealMe verified identity to open bank accounts with BNZ and TSB, enrol to vote with the Electoral Commission, transfer money using NZForex and more. 

Students are able to use a RealMe verified identity when they apply to StudyLink for allowances and loans.

“It’s just a tick of a box to get a RealMe verified identity when you renew your adult passport online,” says Dunne. “Take-up rates are exceeding expectations with almost half of those eligible choosing to get a RealMe verified identity.”

Dunne says more than 75% of babies born in New Zealand are registered online, since the launch of the Birth Registration Online service earlier this year. Parents can also apply for an Inland Revenue (IRD) number at the same time.

“Good progress is being made towards the Government's target that an average of 70% of New Zealanders' most common transactions with government will be completed in a digital environment by 2017,” he continues.

"We'll meet the target if digital services continue to get less complicated in the eyes of New Zealanders – for example, through integrating government services that make sense to people's lives. 

“Internal Affairs is leading a piece of work to make it easier for parents to find the information and services they need online when a child is born, saving parents time.”

"It should be so easy to deal with government digitally that most people choose digital over other transactions such as office counters, phone or post,” Dunne says. “At the same time, services should always be high quality and meet people's needs.

"People want to get their business with government sorted quickly, accurately, and easily so they can get on with doing the things they want to do.”

The Department of Internal Affairs, through the Better Public Services Result 10 Programme, measures digital uptake of ten of the most common government services, including adult passport renewals, filing an individual tax return, applying for Ministry of Social Development financial assistance, paying for vehicle licenses, and paying a Police fine.

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