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One-stop shop a hit in the heartland

17 May 2005

One-stop shop a hit in the heartland

The government's Heartland Service centres have received near-unanimous approval with a new survey showing 96 per cent public satisfaction, Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey and Rural Affairs Minister Damien O'Connor announced today.

Heartland Service centres have been established in 30 locations across the country to help connect rural New Zealanders to government services. The centres provide a "one-stop shop" for a range of agencies including Housing New Zealand, ACC, Career Services and Work and Income.

A customer satisfaction survey carried out by Colmar Brunton shows 96 per cent of members of the public are satisfied with their visits to Heartland Service centres with 75 per cent saying they were "very satisfied."

Steve Maharey said the results showed the government's investment in Heartland Services was paying off.

"All New Zealanders – regardless of where they live – deserve first-class service from their government," Steve Maharey said. "People coming into Heartland centres are getting high-quality advice about the range of assistance available to them."

Damien O'Connor said the survey was further evidence of the government's commitment to rural areas.

"These results show that Heartland Services is delivering for rural New Zealanders," Damien O'Connor said. "It's no longer the case that you have to live in cities to get the support from government you're entitled to."

Other highlights from the satisfaction survey included:
- 95 per cent of the public who have visited a centre believe Heartland Services has improved their access to government services
- 89 per cent of community organisations report satisfaction with Heartland Services
- 97 per cent public satisfaction with the location of the centres
- 95 per cent satisfaction with the friendliness of staff


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