Skip to main content


In the Service Innovation Lab, we want to understand what is needed by service design and delivery teams to help them improve government service innovation. This will help prioritise our efforts in enabling and supporting the design and development of great government services for New Zealand. This blog asks you to provide feedback on what guidance, tools and resources you most need, and what you find most useful. We also introduce you to the expanded Service Innovation Toolkit and our public slack channel. You can also follow our labplus tagged blogs or join our mailing list to keep up with everything.

We know we can’t do this alone, and we can’t do it in a vacuum. Collaboration means working together, sharing with each other, listening to each other, trying out new things together, solving problems together. We want to have the hard conversations as well as the easy ones, and by learning about each other, deliver better services to the public.

It all starts with communication.

The Service Innovation Toolkit

As part of the Service Innovation Work Agenda, we have responsibility for a "Service Innovation Toolkit". We learn every day and try to identify and share good practice, case studies, guidance and tools of value which we capture in the Toolkit to help others doing service design and delivery in government. We strive for openness, transparency and collaboration, working with a range of agencies and non government partners, and invite you all to give feedback and contributions to this Toolkit.

We’re also building “lego blocks” - reusable components, microservices, API’s, etc - to enable anyone who wants to build useful services and products that interact with government in an easy, safe, and reliable way. This includes not only public-sector agencies, but also people and organisations from outside central government, the public sector, the community sector, private individuals, and anyone who can add value to government data and processes. To this end, we add resuable components and relevant documentation to the Toolkit as we find it, so if you are interested in building on the back of government, the Toolkit may prove useful.

Role modelling is one approach we’re taking and through this have begun mapping ingredients that help or could help us do our work in our Service Innovation Toolkit wiki. These approaches roughly fall into four categories Guidance, Tools, Collaboration and Case Studies. The Toolkit includes links to existing guidance, including the draft Digital Service Standard which will be undergoing consultation later in the month.

What do you need and what do you find most useful? Is there something else you need or use?

Let us know by checking out the wiki and leaving your thoughts and needs in the comments below to help us focus our efforts to build the support, tools, guidance and case studies you most need. If you work in government and would like to join the wiki to collaborate with us on a the toolkit, please just join the wiki with your government email address, instructions are on the About page.

Our service innovation public Slack

In order to facilitate this communication, we set up a public Slack that anyone can join, so long as they agree to our wiki Charter and Code of Conduct. Slack is a communications platform that looks superficially a bit like Facebook or Yammer. Each user has a profile, and can join “channels” (groups) to converse about specific topics.
You can join the Slack by entering your email address in the widget below, or by going directly here.

Once you’ve ticked the “I’m not a robot” and “I agree to the code of conduct” boxes and clicked on the “Get my invite” button, you’ll be sent an email invitation from our admin bot. Click on the “Join Now” button in the email, and you’ll be in.
Slack divides its world into “channels”, and initially we’ll have three channels:

  • #vision - discussion the vision behind Service Innovation, and how best to implement
  • #toolkit - discussion on tools to enable open government
  • #peer-review - discussion on ideas or artifacts from anyone in the group

As we ramp up our work, we’ll be starting conversations in the OpenLab-NZ Slack soliciting feedback. We also want to engage with you if you have any constructive feedback - positive or negative - that you’d like to share with us. Or if you have suggestions for additional things we could be doing to help make government more open.

Utility links and page information