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During pandemic restrictions, we were unable to meet people in person and get out around Aotearoa New Zealand as we normally do. 

This year, our teams have been back out providing support for different communities and customers.

The time that our people spend building relationships creates trust in Te Tari Taake and an understanding that we’re here to help. 

Our 17 community compliance teams throughout Aotearoa spent the year re-establishing relationships and building new connections. 

For example, Amy leads our community team of 34 in Ōtautahi, Christchurch—they have been invigorated by getting back out in the region, meeting people where they’re comfortable.

A common reaction from communities is, 'You're back, it's good to see you.' Amy says. 'We have quickly stepped back into communities, educating and supporting but also just providing a face for Inland Revenue. When you're not visible, trust can go away quickly because there's a perception that nobody's watching. Overwhelmingly, we've found that people have appreciated seeing us.'

A key part of our teams’ work is also being aware of who the vulnerable customers in our communities are and touching base when it matters. 

Whāngarei Community Team Lead Diane says this can mean working to understand if any customers have a disability and need to communicate with us in a certain way, or assisting customers who visit our offices but do not trust us with their details straight away. 

  • 300+ people working in our Community Compliance teams
  • 17 locations around Aotearoa, with outreach to many communities
  • We're working closely with MSD at Heartlands sites around New Zealand. We also have a good number of new sites in varying stages of set-up.
  • 190,000 customer visits to our front of house
  • 331,000 customers registering for an IRD number
  • 60,000 customers registering for GST
  • 5,347 annual visits with tax agents
  • 103 expos and presentations to community groups
  • 372 in-person and online seminars.

Our Kaitakawaenga Māori Service’s connections and mahi across Māori communities have been critical to our long-term commitment to whānau Māori. 

The rōpū (service) is the waharoa (gateway) for Māori to us. They’ve provided tax guidance in a whānau, hapu and iwi-centric way and helped us consider Māori customers in all areas of our work. For example, the rōpū has proactively gathered feedback and tested out material on tax changes with whānau Māori.

This year, Kaitakawaenga Māori re-established marae drop-in sessions and clinics. They attended prestigious events such as Te Kōhanga Reo’s 40th celebration, Te Matatini and Waitangi Day celebrations to connect with thousands of customers and be available to help. 

The service has also connected with businesses, sports clubs, marae and other not-for-profits. 

For example, we have made a strong, lasting committed to working with Te Kōhanga Reo at all levels. This includes working with the organisation’s national trust on co-design to provide those who support Māori in our communities with access to the tools they need. 

Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue does not want to miss the stages in customers' lives where the approaches we take can make a big difference.

Bringing new workers into the tax system is one of those moments; 331,000 new customers registered for an IRD number this year. 

Many new workers have come from migrant communities. For example, Te Moana a Toi the Bay of Plenty has welcomed people from Pacific countries, Latin America, India, China and elsewhere to work in kiwifruit and other industries.

Tauranga Community Team Lead Stephen says, 'We know that tax probably won’t be top of mind for say a group of young workers arriving from South America. We listen carefully so the support and information we give feels relevant. We spend time ensuring people start off on the right track with tax. With our support, they can take it from there.'

For example, Stephen’s team helped 65 workers from the Solomon Islands in February 2023 who needed IRD numbers to be able to open bank accounts. The group were not able to apply online so we worked with the Pacific Island Community Trust to provide in-person support. 

Colleen's team in Kirikiriroa, Hamilton spent time this year partnering with community groups and government agencies that know our customers well. 

Pacific Peoples have moved into the region from Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland, many as contractors and self-employed. 

Colleen says 'Some customers start out worried about getting their tax right so by establishing relationships with Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora, the Ministry of Social Development, and community organisation K'aute Pasifika, we've upskilled ourselves on talking about tax in ways that are meaningful for people from Pacific communities. It’s about what they most want to know.'

In Northland, Diane’s team has held tax clinics with budget advisors in the region’s communities such as Dargaville and Mangōnui. 

'Many of the people we want to reach get support from budget advisors. We’re keen that they can offer the same information and advice that we do. They can take a customer through myIR if they’ve never used it.'

Diane says these connections have been critical as Government has encouraged people to set up businesses and go for small business grants. 

All of our community teams talk to customers about social policy payments as well as tax. 

Colleen says. 'Sometimes customers come from other countries that don't have entitlements such as Working for Families payments. Some new residents have no idea they qualify so we work to establish a basis of trust by helping people understand their entitlements, not just their tax obligations.'

At times through 2022–23, our teams have mobilised in communities hit hard by the major weather events such as Cyclone Gabrielle. 

In Whangārei, Tairawhiti, Gisborne, Whakaū, Nelson and Ahuriri, Napier, we worked in cross-government forums and built rapid connections with other organisations to let New Zealanders know what support we could provide. 

Using our experiences responding to the Canterbury and Kaikōura earthquakes, our first message was, 'Look after your families and businesses. We’ll talk about tax later.'

Once customers could turn their mind to tax, we provided tailored support to help navigate their challenges. This page has a case study on our response to Cyclones Hale and Gabrielle.

New Zealanders benefit economically and socially through Inland Revenue working collaboratively across our external environment

Last updated: 18 Dec 2023
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