NZPost and igovt get $14.5m for operation, development

Money allocated in Budget continues government's investment in identity verification services

The $14.5 million allocated in the Budget to the igovt identity and logon project is a renewal of ongoing funding and will go partly into operations and partly development.

Some of it will go eventually to the bottom line of New Zealand Post, for its role in the more broadly public side of the operation, RealMe, due for launch later this year, but the Department of Internal Affairs, which runs the project, will not say how much.

“Funding for the igovt services received in Budget 2011 ceases at the end of June 2013,” says DIA spokesman Michael Mead.

“This new funding, for the 2013/14 year, continues the government’s investment in the services.” The nature of the development to be funded “will be determined based on the requirements of the businesses and government agencies using, or planning to use, the services.

“New Zealand Post will receive funding based on volume for their shop-front service as part of the process for setting up verified RealMe accounts (igovt IDs),” the spokesman says. “The partnering arrangement with New Zealand Post is commercially sensitive and [DIA] cannot release specific dollar figures”.

The igovt project began as a way for customers of government agencies to establish a consistent logon for multiple agencies, verifiable without the agency itself having to look at the customer’s data and, if the customer wishes, to attach that logon to verifiable identity credentials. RealMe will be available for the use of private-sector companies to verify the identity of their customers in a similar way.

“With this $14.5 million funding boost we are making it easier for New Zealanders to complete their most common transactions with government in a digital environment, says Internal Affairs minister Chris Tremain. That's the essence of the objective numbered 10 in the list of “Better Public Services” aims, he says.

“New Zealanders expect service from government agencies that can be done quickly and online from devices such as smartphones and iPads,” Tremain says. Having online authentication and identity verification services allows this to happen.”

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