HR, Transformed

Department of Corrections: Ara Poutama Aotearoa


With a nationwide team of 10,000 employees, managing HR functions on such a large scale provides challenges for Ara Poutama Aotearoa (Department of Corrections). Many of these functions relied on manual processes and employees saw a number of inefficiencies in the process, making what should be easy tasks unnecessarily time-consuming.  

Ara Poutama Aotearoa wanted to improve their HR processes and services to provide a better user experience, but were struggling to get visibility of their core HR challenges and how they could solve them holistically. As they considered their operating model of the future, in partnership with Deloitte, they identified that alongside process and structure challenges, they required a technology uplift in the HR space to improve self-service for employees.


To support Ara Poutama Aotearoa’s refreshed Hōkai Rangi strategy, which includes a focus on innovating to achieve better outcomes, Deloitte first got to work on establishing a new HR service delivery model. At the centre of this, the People Operations Hub was developed as the solution to better support all Ara Poutama Aotearoa employees through consistent management of HR services while operating in a regional construct. A shift away from the existing centralised and paper and email-based  system for HR processes would facilitate proximity, enhancing the service that HR could provide to all employees, but it would require technology. ServiceNow was already being used within the Ara Poutama Aotearoa payroll team, and an opportunity was recognised to draw more value from this technology. Deloitte Digital collaborated with the Deloitte Human Capital team to prioritise a set of capabilities aligned to a phased roll-out of digitised services, the first being the core services to support a multi-channel people operations hub.

The People Hub was launched in September 2021 and Deloitte Digital regularly releases new services and functionality to support Ara Poutama Aotearoa’s ongoing commitment to enhanced HR practices. This has included onboarding and offboarding – processes that require collaboration between HR, facilities, and IT teams for seamless execution.


Together, the Deloitte Digital and Ara Poutama Aotearoa team developed and implemented consistent service channels and core processes to support the People Hub operating model. This has delivered time savings to both employees and HR practitioners. It is expected that over the next 12 months Ara Poutama Aotearoa will save over 10,486 hours of administrative activities for employees alone.

The new onboarding and offboarding experiences have made a significant impact to  Ara Poutama Aotearoa. It is predicted  the refreshed coordination between hiring managers, new hires, IT and facilities functions will save Ara Poutama Aotearoa 20,000 hours per year from reduced onboarding and offboarding related issues and errors.

Ara Poutama Aotearoa has now moved into a continuous delivery model. This enables them to continue iterating and developing new services creating ongoing efficiencies and giving time back to their people.


“It has been brilliant to see how we have come together as a cross-functional, multi-organisational team over the past months to roll-out significant changes to how Ara Poutama deliver their people services. The team has always been flexible, willing to learn, and highly collaborative – characteristics of a truly high performing team. With more demand on our services than ever before, we have a great foundation to continuously improve”

Jack Thompson, Product Owner, Ara Poutama Aotearoa

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