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Introduction to NZ’s digital transformation

Digital government is about putting people first. We’re focusing on what people need from government in these fast-changing times and how we can meet their needs using emerging technologies, data and changes to government culture, practices and processes.

Our vision — the public service is modern at its heart and all New Zealanders are thriving in a digital age.

Digital is about more than improving IT systems and processes. In the broadest sense, it means doing things differently in an increasingly connected world — using new mindsets, skillsets, technologies and data to benefit people, government and the economy.

Accelerating the New Zealand Government’s digital transformation will help people access personalised services when and where they need them, engage in decisions about issues they care about, and trust in an open, transparent and inclusive government.

The Strategy for a Digital Public Service will help us to do this. It sets the direction to modernise and transform the public service, putting people and businesses at the centre of government services.

Collaboration is key

New Zealand’s Government Chief Digital Officer works collaboratively with the Government Chief Data Steward and leaders across the state sector. Together they aim to make the most of digital technologies to transform the way government works for the benefit of New Zealanders.

This collaborative approach includes 55 senior leaders from more than 20 agencies working together through the Digital Government Partnership to support the goal of a coherent, all-of-government digital system.

Digital Government Partnership

Government system leads

New Zealand is also a member of a several international partnerships, where we share knowledge and work together to solve common problems. This includes the Digital Nations (formerly the D9), a group of leading digital nations that we helped found in 2014, as well as the OECD E-Leaders (which we chair), the Open Government Partnership and the International Open Data Charter.

International partnerships


What are some of the things we’ve done?

  • Developed and launched multi-agency services based around key events in people’s lives, like having a baby.
    SmartStart a new type of service
  • Created the world’s 1st fully online passport renewal service — and we’ve extended it to new passports too.
    Identity and Passports
  • Developed the Data Investment Framework for a more efficient and consolidated approach to investments in data infrastructure.
    Data Investment Framework -
  • Established the Government Chief Privacy Officer to help government agencies manage privacy and security more effectively.
    Privacy, security and risk
  • Changed the way the New Zealand Government invests in ICT by creating shared ICT capabilities — this has resulted in savings and cost avoidance of more than $100 million each year.
  • Developed a system-wide view of ICT assurance and risk.
    Privacy, security and risk
  • Made it easier for people to find information in 1 place on, regardless of the agency the information belongs to.

We also provide detailed advice and guidance to help people plan and develop digital services and systems. This helps us maintain consistency across agencies, share our knowledge and promote best practices so the end result is a better experience for everyone who interacts with government.

Standards and guidance

Products and services

What’s next

We’re looking to a future that’s firmly centred around what people need from government.

This will require us to:

  • work with people and other organisations to design services
  • take advantage of the opportunities new digital technologies present and prepare people for the changes these technologies bring to our society and economy
  • put the right systems, settings and infrastructure in place
  • ensure our workforce has the right skills to succeed in a new environment
  • enable innovation and experimentation to happen freely
  • provide better access to data, while making sure the privacy of individuals is protected
  • support people who can’t access the digital world
  • invest smartly.

We need to make sure everyone shares the benefits of digital transformation, which will see many aspects of government and ultimately the lives of New Zealanders significantly improve.

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