, built on open source code, goes live

A new website making it easier for government in New Zealand to deliver information and services was designed and developed in-house by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), using the Common Web Platform. The templates are written in PHP, which DIA runs on the Silverstripe CMS. is based on the open source code available through Gov.UK. Its design and content was tested with users on a publicly available beta site, and content fact checking was undertaken in collaboration with more than 40 government agencies.

Users can ask simple questions of the site and be connected to the right service. An application programming interface allows different applications to exchange information with each other in a structured format, meaning content and data can be maintained in a single place while allowing others to use it elsewhere on the internet.

DIA says it is starting small and will continue to release design updates, new content and features on a regular basis.

“Users told us that knowing where to go is half the problem,” DIA says. “We'll make it easier to find the related tasks you might need to do.

“ will continue to evolve in line with public feedback and ongoing user research, The content will continue 'to be developed in collabor'on with agencies. The design ensures a consistent presentation of the content and we have maintenance processes in place to ensure the content remains current and reflects changes as they occur.'

Proof of concept cost $800,000. A further $1.25 million has been spent getting to this week's launch.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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