Skip to main content Skip to footer


Designing services for the New Zealand Public

June 4, 2021 • 3 min read
Edwin Rozells
Associate Director – Song, New Zealand
Darshana Patel
Service and Interaction Design Consultant – Fjord

Service design in Aotearoa, New Zealand

The report is designed to help advance the practice of service design as a whole in Aotearoa, New Zealand. By putting people at the heart of services to help communities thrive, we can help support large scale government transformations. We found the components that make up an organisation’s design maturity are impact, influence and trust. All three are crucial in designing and delivering successful public services.
Service Design in New Zealand Government

Designing and developing services that place service users at the centre, which are accessible to all users, and reduce the effort and complexity of dealing with government, builds public trust, and supports New Zealand’s reputation for openness and transparency.

Given the changing landscape of New Zealand and the unique context and challenges of designing government services in New Zealand, service design can add value to government services in a number of ways:

  • Potential solutions are low risk
  • Services are ready to implement
  • Services are supported and agreed on

Indicators of design maturity


The capacity to contribute to customer outcomes both internally and externally; design having a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions.

The reach and significance of the outcomes that service design provides such as the efficiency and quality of services.

The level of confidence in the value of service design. Are customers, leaders, or other designers — willing to invest in designing better services?

Next steps

Ways that agencies can connect with and better serve the public:
  • Encourage the public to get involved – even without input, services will continue to be defined. It will only get better with voices from real people.
  • Provide koha (a gift or donation) for their time.
  • Be transparent about the feedback given from the users.
  • Provide opportunities for honest feedback about good or bad experiences with services.
  • Provide channels for the public to have their direct input on the services they use.
Designing services with people at the centre
"Service design is about making government services easy for people to use. This means designing services that put people at the centre and help them do the task they need to do, like learning to drive or buying a house." —

Connect with us