• Maurice Williamson
Information Technology

The Government is committed to providing leadership in the opportunities the Internet and other new technologies present, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley and Information Technology Minister Maurice Williamson said tonight.

They were announcing the E-Government Vision Statement and relaunching the New Zealand Government Organisations (NZGO) website.

"The Government is one third of the economy and runs most of its regulatory functions. It must make sure it is ahead of the play. Not just in thinking about how new technologies change the way we do business, but in using them.

"If it isn't ahead, opportunities will be lost and New Zealand held back.

"By 2005 we want New Zealanders to be able to electronically register anything with central Government, make all their payments to Government on-line and consult with decision makers through their computer.

"The Government is already using electronic commerce to reduce compliance costs. The Companies Office on-line is saving businesses up to 30 per cent.

We are also making sure the law does not hold businesses using electronic commerce back.

"Now the Government has turned its attention to the opportunities presented by electronic government.

"The Vision Statement launched today sets a challenge to all involved in Government to grab those opportunities for New Zealanders. We want to see the New Zealand government on-line so we can provide better and cheaper services.

"The Vision sets out our expectations of how Government services will change through to 2005."

Mrs Shipley and Mr Williamson said the Government was taking a very pro-active approach to preparing for the global knowledge economy.

"The first part of our strategy was the Bright Future package. The second part is to put more Government services on-line to reflect consumer demand in the information age.

"The revamp of the NZGO website which is the first point of call for people seeking information on Government agencies - will further enhance the user-friendly nature of Government services available on-line.

"The NZGO received 1,393,880 hits last August, which shows E-Government is becoming hugely popular and is relevant to so many New Zealanders both today and in the future," Mrs Shipley and Mr Williamson said.