4 February 2022
45 Pipitea Street, Wellington 6011
Phone +64 4 495 7200
OIA request 21/22 0288 Request for information relating to citizenship processing timeframes
Thank you for your Official Information Act (Act) request received by the Department of Internal
Affairs (Department) on 4 October 2021.
You requested –
The application processing time taken is causing a great frustration among all the
applicants .it is surprising that still people who applied in 2020 are waiting to know the
outcome of their application.
Will you please tell that :
1. Is there any staffing issue that is causing delays?
2. Is it processing time taken which is causing delays?
3. Why even allocation to a case officer is taking several months?
4. Which month applications are being processed now?
5. How many applications you received from 1.1.21 till 30.9.21 ( both online and off line) in
all the offices throughout the country?
6. How many online and offline applications in all the offices have been proceeded this year
7. How many staff members are working every month and how many applications are
processed by an office on a average per month?
As advised in our initial response of 5 November 2021, pursuant to section 15(1)(b) of the Act,
the Department gave notice of its decision to provide you with the information you sought in
questions five, six and seven. However, as we were still working to prepare the information for
release, we advised we would provide it as soon as practicable. In the meantime, we provided
response to questions one, two, three and four.
Please now find the data sought in questions five, six and seven attached alongside this letter in
Appendix A. I note that we have interpreted question six and seven to be for the same time
period as question five, and that we have not provided data for applications processed in
response to question seven, as we have already provided this in response to question six.
I can assure you that the Department has been endeavouring to reduce these timeframes as a
top priority, working hard behind the scenes to create and implement strategies to decrease the
long wait times currently effecting citizenship applicants. This includes more training, investing
in technology changes to speed things up, and establishing a temporary workforce dedicated to
working through these applications.
It may be if interest to you to know that a team of 10 temporary staff has been brought on to
process the approximately 9,000 cases that remain in the old system, freeing up existing staff to
increase proficiency and speed in using the new system. New staff need to be trained in systems
and policy, and it can take several months before they begin to impact processing times.
Although we are unable to predict a specific date citizenship by grant processing timeframes will
reach the standard two to five months again, the Department is confident that the above steps
taken mean we will have the skills and processes in place early this year, to ensure we can slow
the backlog and begin to reduce it by mid-2022.
As this information may be of interest to other members of the public, the Department has
decided to proactively release a copy of this response on the DIA website. All requestor data,
including your name and contact details, will be removed prior to release. The released
response will be made available here: https://www.dia.govt.nz/Official-Information-Act-
You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of this decision.
Information about how to make a complaint is available at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or
freephone 0800 802 602.
Manager Operational Policy and Official Correspondence (Acting)
Service Delivery and Operations
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