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New Zealand to Learn from World IT Leaders

For Immediate Release

New Zealand to Learn from World IT Leaders

Microsoft Introduces Technology Solutions that Revolutionise the Way Citizens and Businesses Interact with their Government

Auckland, New Zealand - Wednesday, 28 March 2001-- Microsoft New Zealand's Managing Director Geoff Lawrie said today that New Zealand's presence at Microsoft's Government Leaders Conference is a crucial opportunity for New Zealand to learn from the world's most visionary IT leaders.

The fourth Microsoft Government Leaders Conference starts today in Seattle, Washington in the United States, bringing together over 500 leaders in government initiatives from over 80 countries. New Zealand's IT Minister Paul Swain, Director of the State Services Commission E-Government Unit, Brendan Boyle, and Marianne Doczi from the Ministry of Economic Development are representing New Zealand.

Guest speakers at the conference speaking on innovation and government include: Dr Bernd Rowher, Germany's Minister for Economic Development, Technology and Transportation; Mariana Aylwin, Chile's Minister of Education; Dr. Roderick R. Paige, the U.S. Secretary of Education; Professor Edmund Wittbrodt, Poland's Minister of Education; Mr. Wayne Gibbons, Australia's Deputy Secretary of the Department of Employment, Professor and Mr. Andrew Pinder, E-Envoy, UK Government Gateway Project.

"The Microsoft Government Leaders Conference comes at a critical time for New Zealand, as the Government is developing its e-commerce strategy that will impact on the whole of New Zealand," said Lawrie.

"By attending the conference the Minister and the government officials will gain tremendous knowledge and insight into government's role in the new economy. They will be able to see first-hand, technology solutions that are making government more responsive to the needs of their constituents."

Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect, will deliver the opening keynote speech entitled, Bringing the E-Government Vision Into Focus. He will also demonstrate two such solutions: the United Kingdom's Gateway Project, an initiative designed to have 100 percent of government transactions online by 2005; and Accenture's eGovernment Accelerator, a solution developed in partnership with Microsoft and Avanade to help governments deliver seamless services across agencies via the Internet.

Additional topics that will be covered in the two day conference include: Bridging the Digital Divide; Fostering Economic Development - Balancing Policy and Innovation; Government Efficiencies and Productivity and Orchestrating An Integrated E-Government.

Presentations will be delivered by representatives from governments from around the world including Chile, Turkey, Canada, Poland, the United Kingdom and Mexico.

About The United Kingdom's Government Gateway Project Building on the resounding success of phase one of the Government Gateway Project the UK government is on track to have all government transactions online by 2005. In the future, British citizens will experience government interactions in a much more seamless way. For example, the purchase of an international plane ticket from a travel agency may automatically update an expired passport or apply for a travel visa in the destination country without the citizen ever having to explicitly interact with the government. Examples of future online transactions include registering newborn children, applying for passports and visas, and registering automobiles etc. To learn more about the Government Gateway Project, visit

About the Accenture eGovernment Accelerator

Through Accenture's eGovernment Accelerator, Accenture, Avanade and Microsoft are working together to provide governments with an unprecedented 'off-the-shelf' e-government platform, so governments' existing paper forms can move online for greater operational efficiency and accuracy.

In effect, it means citizens and businesses can gain easier access to government agencies. It also improves accuracy and reduces the costs associated with local, state and federal government processes and compliance issues. It provides the environment and architecture for government agencies at all levels to build e-government solutions across a wide range of functions, jurisdictions and boundaries to rapidly and successfully deliver seamless services via the Internet.

Leveraging the stability and resources of Accenture, Avanade and Microsoft, Accenture's eGovernment Accelerator portal offering provides software application vendors, systems integrators, portal service providers and ASP-based dot-government vendors with a full, scalable and open platform on which to host and deliver true end-to-end, online transactions with government agencies.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, BizTalk, SQL Server are either trademarks or registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

For more information, New Zealand press only:

Carol Leishman, Communications Manager, Microsoft New Zealand, Email: , Ph: 09-357 5820 or 021 636 607

Mike Howie, Account Director, AUGUST.ONE COMMUNICATIONS, Email: , Ph: Microsoft Press Office line: 09-357 5844 or 021 800 155

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