Part 4: Evaluation of the Visiting Investor Programme

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise: Administration of the Visiting Investor Programme.

Programme evaluation plays a key role in understanding the effectiveness of Government programmes. MED and MFAT are jointly responsible for monitoring and evaluating NZTE’s services, including the VIP. MED’s Research, Evaluation and Monitoring Team is responsible for undertaking the evaluation.10

MED and MFAT have 2 main evaluation mechanisms for the VIP:

  • an annual review of all industry and regional development programmes; and
  • in-depth reviews of specific programmes.

The VIP is included in the annual MED review, which provides an assessment of the performance of industry and regional development programmes. The 2003 review briefly described the purpose and operation of the VIP.11

In February 2004, MED and MFAT completed a review of Investment New Zealand – The Evaluation of the Implementation of Investment New Zealand – in consultation with NZTE and the Treasury.

The review briefly considered the VIP, and noted that a full efficiency and evaluation review of Investment New Zealand was scheduled for December 2006. The review identified some examples of VIP clients investing in New Zealand, but considered it “problematic and too early to assess the merits of the VIP”.

The authors of the review considered an assessment of the outcomes of the VIP to be difficult because it is not always possible to attribute any investment to the VIP. Other factors identified by the authors as influencing investment decisions included:

  • the effectiveness of industry partners after VIP candidates have visited New Zealand;
  • the results of any feasibility work undertaken by the potential investor; and
  • the VIP might be only one step in the investment decision-making process.

The review recommended that a follow-up survey of clients assisted under the VIP be incorporated into the full efficiency and evaluation review of Investment New Zealand scheduled for 2006.

Implementation of findings identified through evaluation

The review recommended that the VIP be extended to allow visits by technical and advisory personnel, as well as by those responsible for investment decision-making. This extension was accepted and took effect for the 2004-05 financial year.

After the more thorough review scheduled for December 2006, we expect that any findings will be considered and that the VIP will be adjusted accordingly.

10: For more information about the evaluation of NZTE’s programmes, and in particular its grant programmes, see Part 8 of our report: New Zealand Trade and Enterprise: Administration of grant programmes, December 2004, ISBN 0-478-18124-8.

11: Ministry of Economic Development, (September 2004, unpublished), Industry, Regional and Economic Development Policy: Programme Review 2003.

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