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Companies Office another victim of National subjugation?

Our Companies Registry was a marvel of user-friendly digitalisation. But I feel sorry for the public service geni who created it. Their good work has been undone, buried inside the e-govt monstrosity.

I do not know how many wasted hours have gone into trying to communicate on the emissions trading unit registration scheme. And I've gone back to paper rather than try again to remember all that is needed for infrequent use of the IRD's horrible system.

But for years I've felt good each time a Companies Office annual return was filed, knowing that it was more simple, reliable and cheap than was possible in any other country.

But now it too appears to have fallen victim to the National government's policy of strangling any successful independent official  initiative inside amalgamated super bureacracies.

First I had to create a new identity when something called 'Realme' would not accept any of the names or email addresses I'm likely to have used previously. It told me my street address does not exist, then showed it all to me, presumably taken from some old record

Then the new me (with identical details to the old me) has to provide direct debit details to pay for compulsory 'services' (filing the annual return) that I have not asked for and find no value in. After that I must get permission from the Registrar to file the same confirmations that the old me could have filed. But that could take days, the system told me.

If New Zealand some day experiences a version of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma, it will be absolutely deplorable, but I'll wonder whether it was someone driven mad by the time wasted in being forced repeatedly through procedures supposed to simplify, but which actually complicate, do not work if you forget your password, and do nothing to make any boat go faster.

Stephen Franks is principal of Wellington commercial and public law firm Franks and Ogilvie.

Comments and questions

Yes,in many ways we are going backwards,instead of forwards.
Perhaps we need tougher administration from above.
Margaret Thatcher put her finger on it when she said "there are two types of politicians,conviction politicians and consensus ones".
She was of the former whereas we are blessed/cursed with the latter.

Stephen - I have had the same experience and RealMe is a nightmare.

What half wit made this process so diificult and cumbersome such that if your ID is rejected by RealMe (as I didn't include my name on the fax despite a scan of my drivers licence( being included - which states my full name, and despite including the reference number I was given)). So I next sent down a fax including full name , just about everything about me except my DNA but this was rejected as I had to create a new reference number.

I thought the Nats were going to cut red tape - but it is just getting worse and out of control,

I'm glad it isn't only me who finds the new system so STOOPID. Time-wasting bureaucratic nonsense.

To replace the no fee online variety with a $45 charge is outrageous and is against the principal established in a UK case concerning Banks were the courts directed charges must be no more than the cost so I fail to see a $45 cost to receiving an online return - perhaps this is part of Bill English's profit from everything to balance the budget.

Trying to get a Real Me login - an absolute nightmare and waste of time, the online site does not work and is even pretty difficult with ringing the help line.
Who was the plonker that built the website??