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NZ Government 2.0 ... Where Is It? [Updated]

We're approaching the one year anniversary of Welington's eGovernment Barcamp and I'd like to know two things:
  1. Will there be another?
  2. Wat has the "government" done?
On the first I have heard rumblings but I suspect it needs a committed bunch of people to demand that it happens - get over to the mailing list and make your voice heard.

As to the second, I read with great heart that the conversation is starting to happen. Laurence Millar's* posting, What does Web 2.0 mean for government?, is a great start and raises a fundamental hurdle that government agencies need to address, set the data free!

I am a little perturbed by the comments left as it seems that there is a desire to "talk" more ... NO!!! Talk some but DO more. This is not rocket science, there are companies larger than the NZ Government doing it, there are organisations with more at stake that the NZ Government doing it ... so why aren't they doing it?

My opinion?
  • Outside the walls of most NZ government agencies is seen as "them"
  • Some of "them" own newspapers, TV stations and radio talkback malarkey
  • If we fvck up "they" will crucify our Minister
  • If (s)he gets bad press we will get shouted at
  • We'd better be 100% perfect before we do anything
  • 100% perfection takes time (ie, eternity)

As Laurence ends his post:
So we need to increase the urgency with which we apply Web 2.0 to government - open up our content, expose our data so that it is easier to consume, rather than applying resources to redesign information dissemination. By creating objects that others can assemble we are likely to be significantly more successful at ensuring New Zealanders have access to the government information when, where and how they prefer.

Urgency does not come from "more talk" which is merely procrastination at best and paralysis by analysis at worse.

Get agile (formally or informally) and start to release small and often.
Take a look at the "event" information you are currently publishing and mak sure it's also avaiable via iCal. Look at the contact information you're setting out and use hCard - how about using the New Zealand specific hCard generator as supplied by the SSC?

In fact, look at all your information on your agencies website and see what micro formats you can use right now!

[updated] added NZ specific hCard generator

* Laurence Millar is the New Zealand Government CIO


  1. Maybe you should post a link to this blog post from so that Laurence sees it?

    This blog post of theirs is similar:

  2. Cheers Matthew - I left a comment but it's not popped up yet - I'm no doubt being vetted and checked :-)

    Yep, saw that posting and left the "I don't want to come into the Governments kitchen ..." comment .. I think that was me, yeah, definitely me

  3. I disagree about your list, but not about the lack of action:

    My opinion?

    * No one is getting promoted for going out on a limb about this.
    * Run silent Run Deep, during an election cycle (hey, doesn't the election cycle last for 3 years?)
    * If we fvck up "they" will crucify our Minister (also my boss will lose his bonus)
    * No press is good press unless it is PR pap.
    * We'd better CYA before we do anything
    * Why rock the boat?


  4. I want to point you to work that is being done in this area.

    iCal feeds

    Atom feeds (and microformats)

    The portal will soon aggregate microformats.

  5. Thanks Matthew, I was unaware of that site.,

    I look forward to the research becoming mainstream as a lot of the technologies the SSC are looking into


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