The government's long-awaited new web portal is ... still a month or so away. A spokeswoman for State Services Minister Trevor Mallard says the portal is "in its final testing stage".
A launch date has not been set, but it would "probably [be in] around a month", she says.
The portal was to have gone live on July 1, but the launch was delayed to because the site's search engine was performing unacceptably slowly and because of the general election. The search engine has been sped up and the portal now operates with two or three seconds' response time under a loading of 20,000 hits and 1000 searches an hour, a spokesman for the State Service Commission's e-government unit told Computerworld late last month.
Mallard this week cited the portal as one of several e-government initiatives at an E-Local Government Forum. The portal would be the main entry point to government through the internet for both New Zealanders and other nationalities.
"It will be the most publicly visible part of e-government and its smooth operation relies upon all the behind-the-scenes work achieved to date. More than 2500 central and local government services and resources will be offered through the portal site. I consider it to be a vital piece of infrastructure," he says.
E-government and local and regional authority staff, together with national bodies, have defined more than 100 generic local government services, which will be accessed through the "whole-of-government" web portal.
"This was a very heartening exercise as many in and out of local government felt it might be difficult to achieve consensus across 86 authorities. The work paves the way for more detailed information about specific local government services to be developed and also ties in nicely with the development of regional portals," Mallard says.