Pioneering legislation demands innovative approach for MAF

The passing of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) into law during September 2008 was not only a first for New Zealand and the Ministry of Forestry (MAF), but it was also a first for Datacom.

The Challenge

The principle behind the Emissions Trading Scheme is that emitters of greenhouse gases must reduce their emissions or buy New Zealand Units (NZUs) to pay for those emissions. NZUs can also be earned through forestry plantings as they sequester carbon.

Forestry was chosen as the first sector to enter the ETS. Datacom responded to an RFP and, following a rigorous process, won the tender through its proven service, the ability to be a flexible partner, and its focus on continuous improvement.

The Solution

Despite Datacom’s expertise in delivering contact centre and business process outsourcing services to a range of national clients, there were going to be challenges implementing services under this unique legislation. Some of these challenges were around projections for telephony and transaction volumes; there was no historical data or foundation to build upon.

Complex eligibility rules also needed to be understood – not only by Datacom’s staff but by the multiple government agencies involved in the process as well as the forestry applicants.

Compounding these challenges was the installation of new MAF computer software, which had been designed but had not yet been installed.

However, Datacom stepped up and worked closely with MAF to set up an extended team of experts.

A rolling 90-day forecast model for resourcing, which maximised savings to MAF while providing Datacom with some certainty on staffing, was implemented. Key to the success of this project was consistently demonstrating flexibility to adapt to changing business processes.

All key emission return deadlines were met by the team, demonstrating Datacom’s ability to carve out a best practice foundation to build upon as the scheme grows and expands for this critical area of global concern.

“Both Datacom and MAF worked extremely well together to overcome new operational issues and to achieve the results required. MAF is very pleased with the Datacom approach to this new and complex work.”

Clive Lilley - Director Sustainable Programmes, MAF


  • All key emission return deadlines required by the new legalisation were met by the team.
  • Datacom’s flexibility to adapt to changing timelines and our close working partnership with MAF was instrumental in achieving an excellent outcome.