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There’s a lot of change in the government space lately, and expectations about the quality and effectiveness of our online delivery are rising. We’ve all been challenged to deliver better services for less cost.

In order to accomplish this, government agencies need to change. For starters, we need to share information more freely with each other and collaborate across the boundaries of our agencies to deliver quality services to our end users – the New Zealand public.

As part of this aim, the Digital Engagement team at the Department of Internal Affairs is making improvements to some of the key resources we provide.

Web Standards to Web Toolkit

We decided to morph the old “Web Standards” website into this new Web Toolkit, and to provide this blog, as a way to make it easier for government web and communications specialists to share and access information about online delivery.

Please note that there is absolutely no change to the New Zealand Government Web Standards 2.0 at this point. They remain exactly as they were. They are simply now part of this new site that has a new name and a broader focus. [Update (10 July 2013): New Government Web Standards were issued 01 July 2013.]

The Web Toolkit provides guidance, tips, and strategic advice on how to effectively use the online channel. While it’s aimed at government web and digitally-minded comms teams, it’s fully open to other members of the public who are interested in all-of-government projects – such as vendors, web enthusiasts, and government employees in other jurisdictions.

Other jurisdictions have good resources for this kind of information and sharing, and if we’re going to up our game in New Zealand government, we need to follow suit.

Some good resources for information on online delivery overseas are:

What Web Toolkit Provides

We’re hoping that the Web Toolkit will provide a space for you to easily read up on and debate current issues in online delivery across government.

We’ll use the blog to:

  • provide fortnightly posts on various topics relevant to the government web community, such as information architecture, usability, accessibility, etc.
  • share information on all-of-government projects that are key to online delivery, such as Common Web Services and our planned newzealand.govt.nz rebuild
  • invite guest bloggers from across government in order to facilitate cross-govt communication and recognise the clusters of expertise that already exists in other agencies.

Simple to Start

This is a WordPress site with a custom theme that we’ve built from scratch to meet accessibility requirements (more on that process in a future post). We’ll tweak the visual design and make iterative improvements as we progress, but for starters we’re okay with a basic, simple theme.

Let us Know

We’re keen to receive suggestions or requests from the community for articles on specific questions or topics. Also, if you’d like to do a guest post, flick us an email at info@digital.govt.nz with your ideas and let’s chat.

What do you think? Tell us below.

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