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Come-home site fast-tracked by leading web co's

Innovative Kiwis-come-home website uses leading Web companies to fast-track release

Wellington, 1 November 2005 -Today the Department of Labour released a website, New Zealand Now (http://newzealandnow.info), as part of an initiative to attract expat New Zealanders back home. Produced in near record time, the site was developed by two of New Zealand’s leading web companies: 3months.com and Shift.

Lead developer 3months.com, fresh from its leading-edge work on New Zealand Post's innovative personalised stamps project, handled technical aspects of the website while Shift crafted the user experience and interface design of the large site. The site was commissioned by the Department of Labour, who insisted on an innovative solution, while committing themselves to a flexible working collaboration.

New Zealand Now is designed to provide expat Kiwis with information and resources to clearly demonstrate why returning home is such a good proposition. The site provides a wide range of relevant stories and resources about life in New Zealand, including lifestyle attributes, property news, jobs, weather feeds and other information likely to be of interest to Kiwi expats.

This project is particularly significant because it uses innovative and technically advanced features. Key among these features is an “emergent architecture” which enables information to be organized dynamically using tags (similar to other platforms like Flickr and del.icio.us). It also features extensive RSS feeds, which lets users subscribe to the site and personalise the way they are notified about site updates. The site conforms to the highest levels of Web Standards, and it is managed using a custom content management system that relies on XML feeds to deliver content. In total, the technology used makes the site one of the Government's boldest and most technically proficient web solutions ever.

3months itself specialises in delivering applications and technically challenging, large scale web projects using Agile techniques and open source software solutions wherever possible. Shift, one of the country’s foremost web communications companies, is focused on delivering user centered solutions that are not only highly functional and elegantly designed, but also technically solid and innovative.

"Of all our recent projects, this one has been hugely satisfying - a real vindication of our Agile methodologies. There aren't many websites of this quality delivered in 9 weeks," said 3months technical director Mark Pascall.

"Our partnership with Shift has been a key factor in delivering this site successfully. 3months and Shift have been able to play to our respective strengths - working in parallel and bringing everything together seamlessly."

Brian Smith, creative director at Shift had this to say, "This site really demonstrates what can be done when a strong creative team works with a clever technical team for a client that is open minded and embraces new ideas. I have no doubt that Kiwi expats will be quite impressed with what they find, both in terms of the content on the site and the way the content is delivered."


As forty per cent of expats have tertiary qualifications, the New Zealand Now site has tried to make itself informative and entertaining - with the ability to obtain live feeds of news and weather, send online postcards, news and other information to or from Kiwis at home or abroad.

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Ends

About 3Months.com:
3Months is a five-year-old, Wellington-based web development and consulting company using leading edge web technology. The company has handled major projects for Government and corporates, both within New Zealand and overseas. It employs web developers from Europe, America and New Zealand.
Contact: Mark Pascall – markp@3months.com or 64 04 381 2884

About Shift:
Shift is New Zealand’s premiere web strategy and design agency. Shift combines business strategy, user-centered design, and creative excellence to design and deliver exceptional online experiences. Shift is a privately owned company and has been trading in New Zealand for ten years. Shift has two full-service design studios in Auckland and Wellington with 35 full-time staff.
Discover more about Shift’s capability and experience by visiting www.shift.co.nz or contact Diane Horton on diane@shift.co.nz or 64 4 498 7682.

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