Govt.nz is now live

We are celebrating! Govt.nz is officially live and has begun a new stage in its real life journey.

Moving from beta to a fully live site

The beta phase of the project kicked off in March 2013. Right through the project, we’ve taken onboard our users’ feedback, we’ve learnt from our user research, we’ve changed our design, we’ve added more content and we’ve done it all to make it easier for the public to deal with the government online.

The Govt.nz team has been working hard alongside a large number of our agency colleagues. Here are a few stats to give you an idea on what has been involved on the way:

  • 368 pages of content fact checked with 42 different government agencies
  • 400 organisations listed in the new Government A-Z directory
  • more than 100 hours spent with users carrying out user research
  • 275,000 page views on the beta site and more than 100,000 visits
  • in the first 6 months of 2014, use of the beta site doubled

The live site looks almost the same as beta, so what is the difference?  We’ve added more content, functionality (check out the completed Government A-Z categories — we’ve made searching so much easier) and tweaked the design.

Sharing and saying thanks

A big thanks to all those who have been involved with the development phase of Govt.nz — internal team members, other agency webmasters/editors, content providers, and of course those internationally who have inspired us and worked alongside us. Many thanks to our colleagues at:

We’re grateful to the UK’s Cabinet Minister Francis Maude, who passed along the following:

I congratulate New Zealand on reaching this milestone in its journey towards digital government. In Britain we are now digital by default. We are digitising our public services and redesigning them around users’ needs. The code for our award-winning GOV.UK website is open source and we are delighted that New Zealand has borrowed from it, customising it for the needs of its own citizens. We have learned a great amount from our co-operation with New Zealand and look forward to working even more closely in future.

We are sharing our own development and learnings — helping other government agencies worldwide to provide the right information in the right way, anytime, anywhere too means we provide better public service internationally — together.

This is just the beginning

Will the site stay the same now and forever?  Absolutely not. Govt.nz is all about iterative development — we’ve built the site because we listened to our users who told us the old one didn’t work for them.  So to make sure www.govt.nz keeps hitting the mark, we’ll keep refining it based on our users’ feedback and more user research.

Changes will be small and always about making it easier to find government information that is relevant, up to date and about our users.

Govt.nz is live and it is just the beginning.  Tell us what you think.

4 comments

  1. Comment #1. Sharyn Clarkson:

    Congratulations govt.nz from all of us here at Australia.gov.au, we’re delighted to see you achieve this milestone!

    Sharyn Clarkson

  2. Comment #2. Nishant Bahad:

    Good to see centralised place for everything. Gr8 job.

    Thanks
    Nishant

  3. Comment #3. Josh:

    I have been meaning to have a play around with Silverstripe for some time now. Its great to see a NZ Made CMS being used for such an important website development project in NZ.

    Why does the government choose to use Silverstripe as their web platform, rather than a CMS like WordPress or Drupal that has longer history and a much larger community of developers?

  4. Comment #4. Andrea Key

    Hi Josh – thanks getting in touch.

    The decision to choose Silverstripe was made following a formal government tendering process for the entire Common Web Platform (CWP). Prior to selection evaluation criteria were agreed, using the functional and non functional requirements and other factors such as value for money. The CMS was one element of the functional requirements. An evaluation team made up of experts from DIA and other government agencies reviewed the proposals against the evaluation criteria.

    Based on the delivery of requirements and evaluation criteria, a shortlist of vendors then entered a second round of evaluations. SilverStripe were selected as the service provider, using Revera as the IaaS provider based on their overall offering, not just the CMS component.

    Hope that answers your query.
    Cheers – Andrea

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