Until recently, New Zealand Post’s main involvement in government services related to electoral enrolment services, through a MoU with the Department of Justice. For many years, New Zealanders have been able to get from NZ Post Shops electoral enrolment forms, which they can leave at the counter or mail back .
The Post is now going one small step further. Citizens will soon be able to have their identity (ID) officially verified at post counters, by showing IDs and having their pictures taken. (http://www.nzpost.co.nz/about-us/media-centre/media-release/new-way-for-people-to-access-organisations-online) . Once their identify has been verified, users will be able to access a series of online government services offered through the Department of Internal Affairs’ new one-stop-shop portal, RealMe (http://www.realme.govt.nz).
The range of organizations using the RealMe ID government platform is being extended – it will include government agencies and local authorities, as well as private sector businesses (subject to the passing of the Electronic Identity Verification Bill – available at http://legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2011/0323/11.0/DLM1777802.html ).
This is just the latest in a series of ID verification services recently launched by posts. In the UK for instance, the Post Office was awarded at the end of 2011 a contract for delivering biometric residence permits on behalf of the UK Border Agency (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/aboutus/contact/enrol-biometric/). The Royal Mail Group is also keen to become one of the providers of identity assurance services (IDA).