Collaboration creates award-winning initiative for departing passengers

23 Jul 2015

Customs and the Aviation Security Service (Avsec) have received the State Services Award for Excellence in Achieving Collective Impact, in recognition of their collaboration with Auckland International Airport to streamline the process for departing passengers.

Customs Comptroller, Carolyn Tremain, says the ‘single flow’ initiative is believed to be a world first, combining customs and security checks for departing passengers into a single queue.

“Both agencies took a shared approach to continuous improvement, focusing on customers and the system, which has resulted in innovative thinking driving major change.

“Working side-by-side with the same customer base provided the opportunity to gain insights and improve separate processes that are inextricably linked.”

“A ‘single flow’ for customs and security checks on departure delivers a better traveller experience by reducing queuing time and the time it takes to complete the departure process,” Ms Tremain says.

Avsec General Manager, Mark Wheeler, says Avsec is thrilled that the achievements of the cross-agency team and operational staff have been acknowledged. 

“Collaboration between project team members from the various agencies was characterised by mutual respect, shared aspirations, and collective action.”

“This seamless interaction at the project team level was then reflected among staff on the floor, ultimately driving an improved passenger experience,” says Mr Wheeler.

The organisations were supported by the State Services Commission’s continuous improvement team using an approach they’ve developed to improve services for New Zealanders. The joint agency team used this to cut across organisational boundaries, proving that looking at services through the eyes of customers can fundamentally improve performance.

Our ambition for this collaboration is a multi-year effort and this award is recognition of the first step. A full trial of the departure process begins this month to identify how this success may be rolled out across the country.