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  • New Chief Technology Officer role created

    Found in News

    Hon. Clare Curran, Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media and Government Digital Services has called for expressions of interest for the new role of Chief Technology Officer to help drive a forward-looking digital agenda for New Zealand.

    Read the Minister’s media release.

  • Result 10 – What’s It All About?

    Found in Blog / Published 11 December 2012 / By Richard Foy

    Richard is the Executive Director of Better Public Services Result 10, which aims to have 70% of New Zealanders’ most common transactions with government being completed in a digital environment by 2017. Here, Richard writes about what Result 10 means to him.

    You’d have to have been living under a rock, or undergone an extended stay in a sensory deprivation chamber, not to know that, back in September, the iPhone 5 made its New Zealand debut.

    I, like so many other early-adopting, gadget-obsess…

  • Not Another PDF

    Found in Blog / Published 27 February 2013 / By Alison Jack

    Recent User TestingWe’ve been doing some user testing. Showing Kiwis some of the ideas we might adopt as part of the redevelopment of

    Users were asked to carry out some tasks and then we showed them the forms they needed to complete what they had to do. Those forms were usually on an existing government website.

    Again and again we heard Argh! Not another PDF —and that’s the clean version.

    One person said, I don’t have a printer at home and I can’t print at work. I’d have t…

  • Some Thoughts on New Zealand’s Web Memory

    Found in Blog / Published 15 April 2013 / By Mark Crookston

    In this guest blog post, Mark Crookston from the National Library shares some thoughts on the ongoing work to archive New Zealand's online heritage.

    Collecting the New Zealand WebDid you know the National Library of New Zealand collects websites? We’ve been doing it since 1999.

    We collect websites because we’re in the business of societal memory. That's the information that is created that can provide social, cultural and economic benefits to New Zealand and enables more knowledge to…

  • Digital Engagement team projects: An introduction

    Found in Blog / Published 09 July 2013 / By Laura Sommer

    This introduction to the Digital Engagement projects presents the Digital Engagement team, what we do to improve government online, and the principles that we adopt in our work — with a particular emphasis on the customer at the centre, iterative development that demonstrates effective results, and working together across government.

    View transcript

    Other Presentations in This SeriesThis is one in a set of five presentations by the Digital Engagement team in Internal Affairs (DIA) on projects…

  • Government Online Engagement Service (GOES)

    Found in Blog / Published 09 July 2013 / By Nadia Webster

    In New Zealand, central and local government conduct an estimated 1,500 to 3,000 stakeholder engagements annually and use methods that suit government, while expecting participation from people who are often time poor and sporadically available. Low participation rates are common.

    Use of effective online engagement methods have enormous potential to help improve the quality of government decisions and consequently outcomes, by increasing stakeholder engagement and consequently ownership of outc…

  • Designing content before designing the website

    Found in Blog / Published 21 October 2013 / By Alison Jack

    On the project, we designed the content before we designed the website. This happened in part because we had a delay in getting development resources on board when we started work on the beta website. This delay proved to be a blessing in disguise because it helped us design a better site.

    Design usually comes firstWhen I’ve worked on websites in the past, the designers and developers have toiled away and presented me a lovely designed site with templates and a framework for my content.…

  • When you assume...

    Found in Blog / Published 18 November 2013 / By Katie Johnston

    We recently completed our first round of user testing since publishing

    We learned a lot. Seeing actual users use your site is always enlightening…and occasionally frustrating. The urge to shake them and yell “it’s right there!” can be strong. Things that seemed so obvious when you did them turn out not to be obvious at all.

    Overall, the testing showed we’re on the right track. There’s still a few things we need to think about, but people were very positive. Task completion went u…

  • Common Web Platform first update

    Found in Blog / Published 18 December 2013 / By Bene Anderson

    Bene Anderson, product manager for the Common Web Platform (CWP), shares the first in a regular series of updates regarding the CWP.

    Welcome to the first edition of the Common Web Platform (CWP) newsletter. By creating these posts I aim to keep agency staff and their web providers up to date with what’s happening on the CWP. I will be providing information about what agencies are doing, as well as work undertaken by DIA, SilverStripe and Revera.

    I will publish a newsletter every 2 months. If y…

  • Open source for beginners

    Found in Blog / Published 11 February 2014 / By Katie Johnston

    From the very beginning of the project, we've been planning to open source our code. We're very happy to announce that we've just made our first open source release — which includes a module we're really excited about called Replicant.

    You can find all our open source code on GitHub. If you've got feedback, technical questions or comments, leave them in the comments and one of our developers will get back to you.

    For those not in the know, here's a very ba…

  • CWP update: vaults, carts and managing the pool

    Found in Blog / Published 28 February 2014 / By Bene Anderson

    I want to share 2 case studies from agencies that are using the Common Web Platform (CWP). I'll also tell you a bit about the co-funded development pool and give you some general updates.

    The first case study is from Stephen Moore, Manager Channels at the Ministry for Primary Industries. Their redevelopment of has some neat features that other agencies could reuse. The second is from Kerry Sunderland, Website and e-Marketing Coordinator at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Te…

  • March meeting of the peer advisory group

    Found in Blog / Published 27 March 2014 / By Alison Jack

    At the second meeting of the peer advisory group, held on 25 March, agency reps and team members discussed a number of issues.

    Mobile internet useThe most interesting discussion was around responsive design and the increase New Zealand has seen in mobile plans — 2.8 million bundled plans (data, voice, text) and 450,000 data only plans as of July 2013 (Source: Statistics New Zealand Internet Service Provider Survey 2013).

    This increase in mobile use is being seen in web analytic…

  • Google Analytics – sharing our site’s stats with the world

    Found in Blog / Published 29 May 2014 / By Andrea Key

    We’ve recently added an analytics dashboard to — sharing our Google Analytics stats. Our site’s development is iterative and we’re using these numbers to measure our success and learn, so we can continually make changes based on how our site is actually being used, not just how we think it should be.

    Just like using open source code to share with our industry colleagues, displaying our analytics provides visibility to others who are watching our progress so, if need be, they can le…

  • MS Word not an accessible alternative

    Found in Blog / Published 24 July 2014 / By Jason Kiss

    Under the old New Zealand Government Web Standards 2.0 (2009–2013), any non-HTML document, e.g. a PDF, needed an accessible alternative. Exactly what other formats, other than HTML, qualified as accessible was not specified in the Standards. However, agencies were informally advised that a properly formatted Microsoft Word document could serve as an accessible alternative. With the new Web Accessibility Standard that was issued July 2013, the criteria under which technologies are deemed to be ac…

  • CWP update: developments through the co-funded pool

    Found in Blog / Published 18 September 2014 / By Bene Anderson

    In this post I'll talk about a range of features and improvements that have recently been delivered through the co-funded development pool. I'll also talk about automation, which is one of the main themes in the technical evolution of the Common Web Platform (CWP).

    Before I get started, I want to explain what the co-funded pool is. Included in the monthly fees for using CWP, is a contribution of hours into the pool. Agencies raise ideas to improve CWP. These might be new features, imp…

  • Calling all Open Data ninjas: towards a better API

    Found in Blog / Published 04 November 2014 / By Aimee Whitcroft

    As you may already have heard, our mission at is to help the public interact more easily with government.

    This isn’t limited only to the pages of, though — it’s also about sharing data and datasets. Anyone can use this data to build useful apps, informative visualisations, or anything else they want.

    Our primary way of sharing data is through our API.

    Built during’s initial development, we know it has some rough edges. Now, we’re looking at how to help it be the best A…

  • Better understanding the need for assisted digital

    Found in Blog / Published 18 November 2014 / By Megan O'Donovan

    On 28 October the Result 10 Assisted Digital team hosted a workshop on evidence. The workshop was proposed by the Assisted Digital Advisory Group — following the Assisted Digital Summit held in June — in order to uncover evidence to help in their work. They had questions like:

    What level of support do customers need?
    How many people need help to use digital?
    How many need access to the hardware?
    How many need help with the skills?
    How many need help to shift to digital?
    How many need help to st…

  • More Web Standards Self-Assessments workshops

    Found in Blog / Published 09 December 2014 / By Jason Kiss

    How are you getting along with your Web Standards Self-Assessments? Have you encountered any thorny issues preventing you from completing your testing? Is there any part of the process that you are having difficulty with? If so, you’re almost certainly not alone. We would like the opportunity to help if we can and share any advice with the rest of the community. Let us know!

    Upcoming workshops
    So far we’ve held two workshops on assessing against the Web Standards, focussing on the Web Accessibi…

  • First impressions: tackling the homepage bounce rate

    Found in Blog / Published 22 December 2014 / By Victoria Wray

    Recently Nathan wrote about’s high homepage bounce rate. He implemented A/B testing to check our hypothesis that people type ‘NZ government’ into Google and expect to find the Beehive website, not

    He analysed a tsunami of data. Unfortunately, the different layout options, which directed people to the Beehive site, didn't show significant improvement. It looked like the high bounce rate wasn’t caused by layout, but something else.

    Where next?The problem of the high bounce…

  • Assisted digital – bringing it all together

    Found in Blog / Published 13 February 2015 / By Megan O'Donovan

    Since our Assisted Digital Summit in June 2014 some great work has been happening in the Assisted Digital space. We’ve held workshops, informal meetings and built a community around the common goal of helping people use, shift or stay in the digital channel. However, the continued challenge seems to be about how we all keep connected, learn from each other, join up where it makes sense, share information and better coordinate our efforts so that we’re making the most impact and putting our energ…

  • FYI: Is ‘engagement’ a mystery? There’s help.

    Found in Blog / Published 17 August 2015 / By Susan Diamond

    Online engagement: you’ve heard the term right? But what is it exactly and what should you be doing?

    If you have questions, take a look at the NZ Online Engagement Community where people share and contribute knowledge, experience and resources related to stakeholder engagement and create guidance for best practice online engagement.

    Who's it for?This community of practice has been designed for:

    public sector employees with a role in stakeholder engagement processes
    people from non-govern…

  • GovHack 2015 winners announced

    Found in Blog / Published 10 September 2015 / By Susan Diamond

    Remember GovHack back in July? If you’re not familiar with the idea, this is a 2-day hackathon set up for people — community, industry, academia, civil society and public sector — to get creative with government data. The goal is to build some ‘thing’ using open government data.

    Well, last weekend the International and National Awards were all announced at the GovHack Red Carpet Awards. New Zealand placed in several International categories.

  • FYI: Another Online Engagement Resource

    Found in Blog / Published 02 October 2015 / By Susan Diamond

    We've added a Word document version of the Online Engagement guidance (.docx 3.51MB) to the Web Toolkit. The Online Engagement guidance was published in early September.

    As always, let us know if we can make this better so please email us your feedback.

  • Plain English Awards: Third time’s a charm for

    Found in Blog / Published 20 November 2015 / By Danielle Crooks

    Our team were thrilled to win ‘Best Plain English Website’ at the 2015 WriteMark Plain English Awards held in Wellington last night. This is the third year in a row we have made it to the finals of these awards but the first time we get to take a nice shiny trophy home.

    It takes a huge amount of effort to make information about government services easy to read and understand, so for the team to win this award — which is the premier industry benchmark for high standards in plain English…

  • Call Centre insight for births, deaths and marriages discovery phase

    Found in Blog / Published 15 January 2016 / By Lana Gibson

    We’ve been engaged by the Department of Internal Affairs' Births, Deaths and Marriages, Citizenship, Authentications and Translations group to improve their website and transition the births, deaths and marriages content to We've just completed a discovery phase to see if we can help people get related tasks done online. We had Contact Centre representatives were involved right from the start, which turned out to be one of the best decisions we made. Their superior user knowle…

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