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New Zealand Government Online - A Success Story

New Zealand Government Online (NZGO), the official gateway to New Zealand Government on the Internet, has a new home.

On July 1, NZGO leaves the Department of Internal Affairs, where it has been nurtured for the past three years, to become a centrepiece of the new E-government unit at the State Services Commission.

“NZGO is integral to the e-government responsibilities of the new unit which has been established with Vote funding allocated in Budget 2000,? said NZGO Chair Dr Russ Ballard.

?Many of the projects of e-government will require NZGO as host, for example provision of integrated services across departments such as e-billing, payment of benefits or grants, forms online, business and public registers.?

Dr Ballard paid tribute to the work of the Department of Internal Affairs in developing NZGO saying it had been nurtured from small beginnings to a hugely successful government website of world class standard.

?NZGO is among the most visited websites in the country with the number of hits having increased dramatically from 884,000 in June 1999 to two million successful `hits? per month in May 2000,? said Dr Ballard. ?Forty-six per cent of `hits? are from overseas with the top offshore users being the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.

?It is also an award winner having received several website honours last year including the Soda Award (June), NetGuide Award: top 10 in category and a mention in NetGuide as an `absolutely useful website to visit`.?

Dr Ballard said NZGO is not only successful, but innovative in world terms because of the way it is managed.

?The American equivalent to NZGO is run out of the White House because they feel the authority of the President is needed to ensure federal government departments work together to enhance access by citizens to government information and services. By contrast, NZGO was developed as a `bottom-up? initiative led by chief executives. It is a model of collaborative action with departments working together to enhance the collective interest of government.?

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An advisory board, which Dr Ballard chairs, has provided advice to the Secretary for Internal Affairs regarding the governance of the NZGO site. Up until now funding has been on a ?club? basis with the 285 agencies listed on the site each paying a modest annual fee.

?While this `club? funding of NZGO has been appropriate up to this stage of its development, it is no longer a sustainable means of funding given the growth of demand, and the essential role of NZGO in the infrastructure of e-government. Government has agreed to provide secure funding in Vote State Services,? Dr Ballard said.

New Zealand Government Online can be found at http://www.govt.nz

Any inquiries please contact: Chief Executive Land Information New Zealand Dr Russ Ballard on telephone (04) 460 0198 or State Services Commission: NZGO development project manager: Ted Christiansen on telephone (04) 495 6608 or e-mail ted.christiansen@ssc.govt.nz NZGO site manager: Marg Black on telephone (04) 495 6617 or e-mail postbox@nzgo.govt.nz.


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