Citizens' Advice Bureau gets a makeover
21 September 2010
Citizen’s Advice Bureau gets a makeover for the digital age
Citizen Advice Bureau receives Microsoft’s largest ever donation in New Zealand
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau has launched a new website, making its database of national and local information available directly to people on the web. The new website was made possible due to support from multiple partners including a $5.5 million donation of software by Microsoft New Zealand - the largest amount donated by the company in New Zealand and one of its largest donations of software licences internationally.
Kerry Dalton, Chief Executive of Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) New Zealand, says she expects the new database will change the information landscape around the country as people realise the wealth of information that the CAB is now making available online.
“We have a large number of organisations and services in our database, reflecting the detailed local knowledge of our 92 Bureaux throughout the country. We also have national services listed and information about how the law applies on a wide range of issues, based on what people come to the CAB about.”
Â ”We want to make sure that there is no one who misses out on getting the help and information they need, and the new website is really going to help with that.”
Ms Dalton says the new website will complement the face-to-face and phone service already provided by the CAB. “It’s about giving people choice, so that those people who prefer to get information and support online can now do so.”
Over the past year the CAB assisted with 653,628 client enquiries, across the gamut of issues that affect people’s lives.
At the same time that the CAB has launched its new online presence, it has also unveiled a new logo and marketing messages, with the tagline ‘Not sure?Â Ask us’.
“We really want to make sure that people know they can come to the CAB with anything and we will help them. We know that there are still people who don’t know about the CAB or don’t know that we can help them with any issue or question they have. We hope that our new marketing will help us reach those people.”
The launch of the new website will coincide with the 40th birthday of the first CAB that was established in New Zealand - the Ponsonby CAB. The Governor-General, the Right Hon Sir Anand Satyanand, who was one of the first volunteer lawyers when the Ponsonby CAB was set up, will speak at the ceremony.
The new CAB website and national database IT system was made possible by a grant from the Government’s Community Partnership Fund, funding from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the software donation from Microsoft New Zealand.
Paul Muckleston, Managing Director Microsoft New Zealand, says Microsoft globally is deeply committed to working in partnership with not for profit organisations to help them use technology to advance social and economic development.
“The CAB nationally provides valuable assistance to over 1,500 New Zealanders from all over the country every day, and we are delighted to be able to invest in the organisation’s future development to help it reach its full potential”.
The CAB service is delivered by 2,600 trained volunteers, operating out of 92 CAB’s from Kerikeri to Invercargill.
The CAB IT Project received $1.27 million from the Community Partnership Fund, $420,000 from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and in kind support from other Partners to the Project.
Microsoft donated software licences to the value of $5.5 million.Â Westpac NZ made a donation of 600 refurbished PCs and Laptops. Datacom made financial and effort-based contributions to the project within the sponsorship of the system’s design, build, test and deploy, using Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SharePoint, and website hosting. The Bureau has subsequently asked Datacom to support the system in production.
The formal partners to the CAB IT Project are: Department of Internal Affairs, Microsoft New Zealand, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, the Inland Revenue Department, IBM NZ, the Electoral Enrolment Centre, the MÄori Women’s Welfare League, the NZ Federation of Multi-cultural Councils and Rural Women NZ. Datacom designed and built the technology solution.