Progress, or more of the same?
Catherine Doran

Having applied for my New Zealand passport in February your article caught my eye. At first glance I was questioning why was it so hard to get a new passport? Mine was easy to get, I filled out the paper form. I choose this option as the prospect of having to queue up in an NZ Post shop for a photo was too much hassle (it takes 15 minutes on a good day to get a stamp!!). I printed out the form, filled it in, got my photos from the chemist downstairs and walked the 5 minutes to DIA to drop off the completed form. Very easy. Working and living in Wellington did help but I can see how difficult it would be for someone living in small town New Zealand. The New Zealand Government does have a strategy to radically transform public services for the people. Do you think that it could be too much too soon? Are there some situations where the old paper option is easier and less daunting than doing it online?

I work at Inland Revenue where I have seen one of the first successes of the Result 9 for businesses. Now businesses can file GST returns through their accounting software rather than having to file separately. This will save the company a lot of time. With Stage 1 of Business Transformation going live next February for GST, the life of the ordinary New Zealander is going to get a whole lot easier when it comes to tax.

I attended a talk last month where the Commissioner said that Inland Revenue is working with Immigration NZ to grant migrant workers an IRD number as part of the immigration process. They use personal details already submitted as part of their immigration process to grant an IRD number at the same time. Now once they arrive in New Zealand they can start work straight away and not have to submit another application with the same details for an IRD number. More ideas like this are needed whereby people only have to submit their details once, not multiple times to different government agencies.

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