Guest authors

Alison Jack

Photo of Alison JackAlison Jack is a Senior Advisor Online Services in the Ministry for Social Development. She was product owner on the Work and Income website redevelopment project (and is currently doing the same role on the project to redevelop the StudyLink website). She was previously seconded to work on the development of as part of the content team.

Anna Pethig

Photo of Anna PethigAnna Pethig is the Ministry of Health’s Web and Publications manager. She is proud of the recent transformation of the Ministry’s website from a large, unwieldy beast into a targetted and audience-focused information hub, with a search engine that works! She is also grateful for the assistance she received from colleagues across government who shared time and expertise to help with the improvements.

Anthony Hawkins

Photo of Anthony HawkinsI look after Web development at Sport NZ. I'm especially interested in open data, social media, visualisation and related.

Asuka Burge

Photo of Asuka BurgeAs the National Manager Marketing & Communications for New Zealand Blood Service, Asuka (pronounced Ask-a) Burge is responsible for the development and implementation of campaigns for the recruitment and retention of volunteer blood donors, donor recruitment resources and the overall marketing strategy. Brand, market research, social media and ensuring good public relations are also the responsibility of her team. Asuka has a conjoint Commerce and Law degree majoring in Marketing. She joined the New Zealand Blood Service in early 2007 and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketers.

Bene Anderson

Photo of Bene AndersonBene Anderson is Senior Product Manager in Government Information Services at Internal Affairs. His portfolio includes managing the open data directory, public sector directory, and the up-and-coming All-of-Government web platform. Bene comes from a web and digital background, and prior to joining Internal Affairs, spent five years as a web project manager and information architect in the private sector, servicing the public sector.

Beth Davies

Beth DaviesBeth is a Senior Design Advisor at the Department of Internal Affairs. She has worked on the Life Events programme, including Birth Registration online and Te Hokinga ā Wairua.

Chris Horwell

Photo of Chris HorwellChris Horwell is the Image Researcher at New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT). Searching, sorting and looking for images of historic buildings/properties to add to the NZHPT Register Online are all part of an awesome job that she loves. A confessed social media-phobe her experience with Flickr and its members has restored her faith in the human race and its increased reliance on social media to communicate, socialise and interact with one another. The often faceless communication with strangers who feel they have the right to comment, criticise or even use images without permission that are posted on websites had kept her from joining the revolution. The fact that there are people out there travelling around NZ documenting our heritage visually and sharing their images has been an inspiration and has led to this social media-phobe contributing to this blog!

Colin MacDonald

Photo of Colin MacDonaldColin MacDonald is Chief Executive of the Department of Internal Affairs and Government Chief Information Officer. Before that, Colin was Chief Executive of Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) where he led the cross-government programme for data and information re-use and established LINZ as the leader of the geospatial sector. Colin has more than 30 years experience in information technology and general management in both New Zealand and UK.

Corinne Cordes

Photo of Corinne CordesCorinne Cordes is a Service Designer who has worked with the Department of Internal Affairs. Her work has focused on customer insight in the service design process. Previously Corinne worked in the field of social innovation in the UK and Europe.

Giles Boutel

Photo of Giles BoutelDigital Information Tools Manager at Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Glen Thurston

Photo of Glen ThurstonGlen is a service designer at Inland Revenue where he has been part of service design and delivery of tax and social policy. Glen is currently with Better for Business (Result 9) team promoting APIs as a way to help enable integrated services for business.

Jane Ratcliffe

Photo of Jane RatcliffeJane is the Digital Product Manager for the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income. She’s been working in and around online for 16 years and feels privileged to be part of the team that brings you Sorted.

Jennifer Geard

Jennifer GeardJennifer Geard is a government web all-rounder whose quirky claim to fame is that she got the Road Code online. She likes brainstorming about what's coming and how that could change things, and she likes rolling up her sleeves and making those changes happen. Roles where you get to work on both those levels are kinda rare.

John Edwards

Photo of John EdwardsJohn Edwards was appointed to the independent statutory position of Privacy Commissioner in February 2014 for a term of five years. He provides independent comment on significant personal information policies and issues. Prior to his appointment, John practiced law in Wellington for over 20 years specialising in information law while representing a wide range of public and private sector clients. He has acted in legal roles for the Ministry of Health, State Services Commission, Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet and Inland Revenue Department.

Jonathan Newport

Photo of Jonathan NewportAn Archivist at Archives New Zealand for seven years, Jonathan manages the new Records Toolkit site for the Government Recordkeeping Directorate at Archives New Zealand

Julian Carver

Photo of Julian CarverFrom April 2011–June 2012, Julian led the establishment of information services at the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) as acting Chief Information Officer. He then went on to lead GIS, data, and digital communications for the Christchurch Central Development Unit, for the launch of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. In March 2013, he took on a new role at Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) as the Canterbury Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) Programme Manager.

Lana Gibson

Photo of Lana GibsonI work in the team as an SEO and analytics specialist. I take all the the user insight I can get my hands on to improve government services online for New Zealanders, show the rest of government how to do the same.

Lee Dowsett

Lee DowsettLee is a member of the Government Chief Information Office Enterprise Architecture team, and is thinking about federated service delivery, identity, API's and doughnuts.

Leigh Vollans

Leigh VollansI am in equal parts, a content strategist, writer and evangelist....and in my role as Lead content designer at the Department of Internal Affairs I spend my time convincing people of the importance of caring about what they publish and how it is presented.

Lynda Kamstra

Photo of Lynda KamstraLynda was Online Programme Manager at the Department of Internal Affairs. With a background in applications and development, Lynda has more than 20 years experience in the IT industry. Prior to joining the Ministry of Health in 2007, she worked as project manager for several private sector companies. Lynda holds an MBA, as well as a BSc in Computer Science.

Mark Crookston

Photo of Mark CrookstonMark Crookston is the Digital Collection Strategy Leader at the Alexander Turnbull Library, within the National Library of New Zealand. He’s worked in a range of digital and analogue archive and library roles across NZ, the Pacific, and the UK.

Matthew Oliver

Photo of Matthew OliverMatthew Oliver is the Web Team Manager at Manatū Taonga – Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Matthew has a background in commercial and academic publishing in the UK and has been working in the online cultural heritage sector since returning to New Zealand in 2007. He's a member of the Government Web Community Steering Group and is on the National Digital Forum board. He blogs his digital cultural musings at

Michelle Shannon-Smith

Michelle Shannon-SmithMichelle is the Team Administrator for Service Innovation/R10 programme. In the Lab+ Michelle supports Pia by coordinating her calendar and setting up workshops etc. Michelle helps recruit attendees for the user workshops.

Paul Murray

Paul MurrayPaul Murray was an environmental scientist by background, who somehow found himself in a digital role within Government. He briefly got back on his original career path and spent a number of years advising on the reuse of high volume industrial waste. However before long he was back working on digital transformation, motivated after feeling the pain that his industry partners felt when trying to interact with Government. He has an absolute belief that all Government services should be simple, fast and easy to use.

Paul Stone

Photo of Paul StonePaul is CIO at the Ministry for Culture & Heritage. He is also seconded one day a week to the Secretariat to the Open Government Data and Information Reuse CE Steering Group at Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).

Pia Andrews

Photo of Pia AndrewsPia Andrews is an open government and data ninja [1] who has recently joined the digital transformation and gov as a platform cabal. She works within the (public sector) machine to enable greater transparency, democratic engagement, citizen-centric design and real, pragmatic actual innovation in the public sector and beyond. She believes that tech culture has a huge role to play in achieving better policy planning, outcomes, public engagement and a better public service all round. She is also trying to do her part in establishing greater public benefit from publicly funded data, software and research. Pia was awarded as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Australia for 2014. See for more info about Pia.

Rachel Prosser

Rachel ProsserRachel is part of the Service Innovation Team at the Department of Internal Affairs, and currently divides her time between work on Digital Inclusion, and as part of the Lab Plus team looking at how the business rules of government, found in legislation can be made available as code, for use in delivering digital services. She was the delivery lead for the prototype Service Innovation Lab, and previously worked on digital identity, was part of the Result 10 Assisted Digital Advisory Group. In 2017 Rachel was one of five future leaders participating in the D5 Digital, Data and Technology Exchange with the UK Home Office, and spent a month in the UK finding out about the UK approach to digital government, and sharing how we do things in New Zealand.

Sara Greig

Sara GreigI'm a content editor with a user-centred perspective. One of my core goals is to design content that is easy to understand and helps provide a positive user experience. I love to dig down into content; improving it by looking at user feedback, investigating pain points through Google Analytics and making it accessible.

Stephen Ferriss

Photo of Stephen FerrissStephen Ferriss is the Data and GIS manager for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), based in Christchurch. He is passionate about promoting government’s lead role in open data and Spatial Data Infrastructure.

Stephen Hilson

Photo of Stephen HilsonI am experienced at delivering multi-million dollar projects, with budgets of $500K to $27M and timeframes of between 3 months and 2 years. I have managed projects with team members based onshore and offshore and consisting of between 4 – 60 staff. There aren’t many challenges I haven’t come across and I believe the key to successful project management is developing strong stakeholder and vendor relationships, along with motivating and coaching team members to become strong project teams. I would describe myself as a master of project management methodologies (DSDM, Scrum, PMBOK, Prince II), coupled with technical expertise derived from beginning my career in the UK as a Developer with corporations such as the BBC, before moving into Development Lead then Project Management roles. My ability to understand technical and business needs of an organisation and its customers has enabled me to successfully deliver projects for organisations such as the DIA, BBC, IBM, Telecom and Vector.

Suzanne Maxted

Suzanne MaxtedSuzanne is an experienced and qualified business transformation consultant, with a track record in the public and private sectors. She can engage stakeholders at all levels by demonstrating relevance to their own strategic drivers. She specialises in developing business and information architecture, creating blueprints to translate strategic direction into artefacts that communicate the problem to solve and the intent of the change. She is skilled at researching, extracting and transforming complex and often conflicting information, into clear, precise representations of business knowledge. She has excellent facilitation and analytical skills, creating a line-of-sight between strategy and implementation, or indeed, a reverse view to identify gaps.

Uli Trute

Photo of Uli TruteUli Trute is a Senior Communications Adviser at the Commerce Commission. She manages the Commission's online channels including a content heavy corporate website. Uli has worked in communications and web roles in Berlin and Wellington.

Vernon McCarthy

Photo of Vernon McCarthyVernon McCarthy is a Product Manager in Government Information Services at the Department of Internal Affairs. His portfolio includes managing and Moderator of the name space. He has a background in information management and started life as a librarian. After 13 years working in various web and online activities, including the New Zealand Festival of the Arts, *Experience Networks, and the Ministry of Social Development, Vernon is now back located in a library, the National Library! Vernon is also a DJ and music producer, performing at various house music events around Wellington and New Zealand.