New Zealand to chair digital nation group and host leaders’ summit

New Zealand has been appointed to chair of the Digital Five group of nations

New Zealand has been appointed to chair of the Digital Five (D5) group of nations and will host the next international leaders’ summit in New Zealand in early 2018.

The announcement was made by internal affairs minister, Peter Dunne following his return from the 2016 D5 Summit in South Korea. At the conclusion of that event, Dunne signed on behalf of New Zealand the ‘Busan Declaration’, “reaffirming the efforts of the D5 countries to strengthen cooperation in the field of digital government among members and with the international community,” according to an announcement from the minister’s office.

D5 is a group of five nations – New Zealand, United Kingdom, South Korea, Estonia and Israel – considered amongst the most advanced in the provision of online government services.

According to Wikipedia the D5 members “are bonded by the principle of openness; they are focused on changing governments’ relationship with technology by adopting open standards and open-source software as well as making digital government more effective. They intend to bring in digital skills in-house and encourage short-term contracts with small and medium business suppliers.”

The group held its first meeting in London in December 2014 with delegates from the five founding nations attending, as well as delegates from the USA as observers.

The group does not appear to have a web site. However following that meeting the group published the D5 charter setting out to its members' commitments to working towards a number of principles of digital development.

Announcing New Zealand’s new role as host nation for the next summit, Dunne said: “We are seen as a leading nation in terms of digital government and have a lot to offer other D5 nations.”

According to Dunne, although a small country, New Zealand is seen as an early adopter of technology that can develop, test and innovate more quickly than most. “Our digital journey is progressing well in New Zealand. I am really proud of our partnerships with the private sector to deliver high quality and cost effective solutions in an agile manner,” Dunne said.

“We are transforming government services so they are designed and delivered with the citizen in mind, not around how government is structured. This means the public sector will deliver integrated services that are based on what our citizens need.”

He said that, over the next year, New Zealand would lead a digital identity work stream for the D5 nations that would help build on the success of the RealMe identity verification service to order online birth, death and marriage certificates, apply for and renew passports online, enrol to vote, or apply for student allowances and loans.

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