New Zealand seeks tie-ups for ‘digital government’ initiatives

Wellington, Nov 7 (IANS) New Zealand is looking to boost international cooperation in providing government services online, Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne said on Monday.

Dunne will represent New Zealand at the third meeting of the D5 Digital Leaders Summit in South Korea, from November 10 to 12, Xinhua news agency reported.

The D5 is a group of five nations — New Zealand, Britain, South Korea, Estonia and Israel — considered among the most advanced in the provision of online government services.

“New Zealand is well placed in playing its part in this grouping — it is already government policy here to be achieving 70 per cent of New Zealands’ most common interactions with government online by 2017, and we are keen both to share our experiences and learn from others,” Dunne said in a statement.

“While all this will be routine for those directly involved in the ICT (information and communications technology) world, the challenge of digital transformation is to ensure it resonates with the average citizen. It cannot just be about system upgrades; it has to demonstrate a positive, specific and noticeable benefit to the individual to be sustainable,” he said.

New Zealand authorities had renewed almost 706,000 adult passports online since November 2012, Dunne said, citing an example of how ordinary citizens could interact with government over the Internet.

At the conclusion of the summit, Dunne will sign on behalf of New Zealand the Busan Declaration, reaffirming the efforts of the D5 member countries to strengthen cooperation in the field of digital government among members and with the international community.