GovTech projects

All our past GovTech Accelerator projects in one place

Audience sitting at Creative HQ event

Since 2018, we’ve worked with local councils, central government agencies and international governments to fast-forward impactful projects.

These are the projects we’ve helped advance so far, focusing on some of the most pressing issues for Aotearoa – from climate change, to family violence and housing.

If you want to find out more about a project or if you are interested in submitting your own, reach out.

Our work

Public sector innovation is more important than ever. Get inspired by these central, local and international government agencies, who took a new approach to problem-solving.

2021 Projects

In 2021 we had 8 projects focusing on sustainability.

TrackDem
Wellington City Council

The project investigates the way that Council decisions are tracked and made publicly available.

This included looking at things such as noting when decisions have been actioned by staff, ways of linking related decisions together, adding additional information (such as voting data), and proactive release of publicly excluded reports.

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Sustainable supply chain
Westpac NZ Government Innovation Fund

Working with Sustainable Business Network, MBIE, MfE, MAS

This project seeks to help businesses act to make supply chains more sustainable. Organisations can unlock huge environmental and social benefits through intentionality with their purchasing power. Supply chain sustainability is complex because of transparency issues and power imbalances in the down chain supply system. Tools and information exist but are not accessed or utilised well.

This project aims to connect organisations to the knowledge they need through a user experience designed interface. As a business-government partnership, this project combines knowledge to collectively scale the impact of sustainability.

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Resilience Aotearoa
Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand

This project is exploring how Toitū Te Whenua LandInformation New Zealand might create a foundational layer that connects Aotearoa’s geospatial data used in emergency and disaster risk management.

By connecting and sharing data across multiple agencies, this project aims to support a live common operating picture, enabling more cohesion and collaboration across the emergency management system, and supporting national resilience.

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Climate change
Department of Conservation

Given that DOC  needs to ensure a just transition to a low carbon, resilient future they are required to make challenging decisions around conservation activities that reduce carbon emissions whilst increasing the resilience of biodiversity, recreation, and heritage values.

This project is exploring how DOC can engage the community to create behavioural shifts that increase trust in the climate change decision-making process.

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Contaminated land
Ministry for the Environment

This project is exploring how MfE can facilitate the collation of consistent and robust contaminated land information including that currently held by regional councils to be more accessible and understandable for a much wider set of stakeholders.

This single source of information would be part of the digital transformation of the resource management system and with respect to the acquisition, use, subdivision, development/redevelopment of contaminated and potentially contaminated land will enable better data-driven environmental outcomes, simpler more effective processes, and transparent and accountable decision-making.

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Rma digital transformation
Ministry for the Environment

The Government is committed to reforming Aotearoa New Zealand’s resource management (RM) system so that it is fit-for-the-future and addresses the many challenges facing our environment and our communities. An objective of reform is to improve system efficiency and effectiveness and reduce complexity.

One way to do this is to reimagine how the system can be implemented through digital technologies. We are developing options for a digital transformation work programme that embeds system-wide improvements in these areas.

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Manaaki Tairāwhiti
Ministry for Social Development

Manaaki Tairāwhiti is spearheading positive change in the social services sector by measuring the efficacy of the current system by gathering data on barriers and needs. This project is exploring a tool to enable the accurate and efficient collection and analysis of this data.

This tool will be flexible in its ability to feed into other databases gathering whanāu-identified needs. With such a tool, Manaaki Tairāwhiti can quantify and clearly articulate the challenges of the current systems, as well as the impact on individuals and whanāu. This will support system-level change that measurably increases whanāu wellbeing.

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Reimagining conservation education
Te Pūkenga and DOC

The project is a collaboration between Te Papa Atawhai (DOC) and Te Pūkenga to develop a new approach to vocational training for conservation. The vocational education sector is currently undergoing significant change with a kaupapa of developing a unified, sustainable network of regionally accessible provision.

The focus is on transforming the network, its delivery models, its Te Tiriti o Waitangi relationships, its physical and digital presence, and its engagement approaches. This is an opportunity to reimagine conservation training that is underpinned by mātauranga Māori and is relevant to te ao hurihuri (our changing world).

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2020 Projects

In 2020 we had 8 projects joining the programme.

Water that counts
Greater Wellington Regional Council

Water that Counts is taking a catchment-based approach to create a digital platform that brings together stories, information, data and community activities on waterways across the Wellington Region.

The platform will make information more accessible, visible and meaningful for people and organisations, to enable real on-the-ground improvements to the health of our waterways and to uphold Te Mana o te Wai.

Building community at Grey’s Ave
Kainga Ora

The current approach to social housing in NZ, often leaves people feeling isolated, with a lack of connection and community, resulting in poor social outcomes. The Kāinga Ora team is creating a flexible and innovative digital platform and framework to implement inclusive, connected and thriving communities around Kāinga Ora developments, starting with 139 Greys Ave.

The platform incentivizes community engagement using time banking and virtual token currency to activate communal spaces, encourage participation and most importantly, provide the opportunity for the whole community to contribute.

3D Mapping Aotearoa
Land Information New Zealand and regional partners

By 2023, LiDAR would have been captured for 80% of Aotearoa. Elevation Aotearoa is creating a digital platform and proposing a partnership between central and local government that ensures people can access and use LiDAR data with ease to improve regional economic, social, and environmental outcomes.

This resource will enable users to access LiDAR data, include links to download the data, provide a range of educational resources, offerings, case studies, and a place to connect with local experts and other LiDAR users.

One Wellington
Wellington City Council

We live in a digital age where online services are the norm. As the public sector shifts more towards digital, we need to create channels of inclusion for people who are at risk of being left behind. The OneWellington team wants to bridge the digital divide with local access points supported by concierge services, to empower people to access the Council services and information they need to participate in their communities.

The wellbeing protocol
The DAO.Agency

Current philanthropic systems govern from a top-down approach which often leads to ineffective spend that results in disempowering, fragmented efforts to increase community wellbeing. The Wellbeing Protocol is creating a local currency platform that will allow communities to make collective decisions to increase the communities wellbeing by implementing targeted philanthropic spending. The solution will empower communities to solve their own problems.

Squawk Squad
Sponsored by Spark NZ

Squawk Squad is a world-class provider of digital environmental education programmes that mobilise the next generation of environmental leaders in Aotearoa. Their scalable platform combines educational videos (think David Attenborough, kiwi-style) with engaging lesson plans that inspire tamariki to take tangible environmental action in their local communities.

The team is committed to ensuring every primary school student in Aotearoa has access to quality environmental education, while inspiring government to reach its environmental objectives. The proof of delivery and vision is there, now they need the partnerships and funding to make it happen.

Procurement for impact
Councils from the Wellington region

Councils in the Wellington region want to use procurement as a tool for socio-economic good for our local communities. However, there are systemic barriers that lockout diverse suppliers from obtaining council contracts.

The Procurement for Impact team has created Te Upoko o Te Ika a Māui commitment, an alliance between councils in the region to take a shared approach to supplier diversity by increasing spend with Māori, Pasifika and social enterprises through targets. This will multiply the impact of council spend on our communities.

Innovation barometer
Creative HQ

Government agencies are striving to innovate, the problem they face is having the data and insights about their agency’s innovative ability. Creative HQ’s team has developed and run a pilot of the Innovation Barometer, a globally unique cross-government tool that measures an agency’s innovative ability.

The Barometer is a year-on-year tool that highlights an agency’s strengths and areas for improvement enabling Senior Leaders to track progress over time and benchmark their agency against other entities. The tool provides rich data that is otherwise not available to agencies, allowing for improved strategic decision making.

2019 Projects

In 2019 we had 10 projects, focusing on e-government, transport and wellbeing. 

Manawa
Te Hau Awhiowhio o Otangarei trust

And Te tihi o Ruahine Whānau Ora Charitable Trust and Social Investment Agency (SIA)

There are significant inequalities between Māori and non-Māori. This gap exists in health, social outcomes, but also in trust and in who is listened to. Manawa have created a tool to amplify whānau voice in the social sector, asking whānau about their wellbeing and how they find their services.

The insights are combined with existing data to shift the way we contract in the social sector.

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Swell
Horowhenua District Council and Electra

New Zealand’s over 65 population is going to double in the next 10 years. The current approach to delivering care for this community across a range of complex health issues will not cope.

The project seeks to match the appropriate carer to the requesting senior using a product-service system with AI. This platform will allow our community of seniors to access the care and support they require at a time that works for them.

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Arrive
GWR, WCC, Ministry of Transport and Iomob

An open mobility marketplace for Wellington citizens to discover and compare a range of transport options to help them arrive at their destination.

The app will provide Wellingtonians with the ability to compare the cost, duration, and environmental impact of different transport options as well as the ability to book and pay for all their trips using a single app.

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Activate innovation
Creative HQ

Successful innovative initiatives often occur in isolated pockets: a more cohesive approach is required and leaders need better insights to make this a reality.

The team developed an Innovation Barometer that will collect data and insights that can help senior leaders, identify areas within their organisations where they could take action.

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Stride
Ministry of Social Development

And National Council of Independent Women’s Refuges

New Zealand has a family violence problem: 1 in 3 people experience some form of domestic violence in their life. This is happening out of the public eye which makes it difficult to provide help and support to the people who need it most.

The aim of Stride is to create a centralised source of information, connection, and support that is inclusive of people from all backgrounds.

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Engaging in a smart city
Wellington City Council

With less than 40% of Wellington showing up to vote, the capital needs to find a way to get more people involved in local decision making. This project creates a way to engage a wider range of people in conversations about public interest projects, through a multi-channelled digital platform.

Citizens can create a personalised profile, which filters through the decisions they want to engage with, based on what they care about.

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My info. My way
Department of Internal Affairs and ACC

In an age where data breaches are of great concern, it is increasingly important for Kiwis to know where their information is going. However, many New Zealanders sign away a large chunk of info simply by clicking a “YES” box on a website.

My Info. My Way. allows users to track which government organisations have their personal information, how it is used and what they agreed to in the first place.

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Think kaka
Department of Conservation

Think Kaka supports people in DOC to make sustainable decisions around wastewater by developing diagnostic and site characterisation tools.  These will match the needs of the location with an approved inventory of wastewater solutions through a site assessment.

Innovative and sustainable human waste solutions do exist and they help us protect nature.

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The risk calculators
Greater Wellington Regional Council

Planning and delivering public transport infrastructure projects in Wellington is a highly complex exercise. Risks to on-time delivery include delays in public consultation, consenting, approvals and procurement. The Risk Calculator is a smart online tool to better identify and manage these risks, delivering better public transport infrastructure projects across Wellington.

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Ira
Department of Internal Affairs and Ahau

Having a connection to traditional Māori practices in the digital age can be a challenge for many Māori living in New Zealand. Through the creation of a self-sovereign Māori digital identity passport, Ira will be a starting point where individuals and whānau can use this platform to enable their personal information to be verified, shared, or connected with on their own terms.

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2018 Projects

In 2018 we had 12 projects, focusing on one of these broad themes: digital future, environment and community.

Unlocked
Wellington City Council, Housing

Wellington’s population is growing, and the housing demand with it, however, the amount of land left to develop is limited. That land exists in small pockets across the city, some of it in the backyards of existing properties.

Unlocked can help make homes happen in Wellington, and beyond, by educating landowners of the development potential of their land and bringing together a range of information into one simple tool.

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Community connect
Ministry of Education

New Zealand’s digital divide means too many citizens lack affordable and accessible internet. These New Zealanders can’t fully engage with digitally-enabled services and their wellbeing is affected.

This project uses insights from current education pilots to connect communities and founders. By pulling together community information, government and private sector data they are able to raise inclusion and close the digital divide for future generations.

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Mārama
Greater Wellington Regional Council

GWRC spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year on important assets and projects, but the public feels they are brought into the decision-making process too late. We want council to make decisions in the region that people can contribute to.

Mārama is a formal consultation platform, which will enable users to contribute with ease, understand why and when projects are happening, see the wider community’s viewpoints.

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Youth voice
Ministry of Social Development

Young people are passionate. They’re keen to have their voices heard but, globally, are becoming increasingly disengaged with governments and policy advisors who don’t know how to reach them and processes that don’t feel empowering.

Bridging this divide between policy and youth, the project is starting with social media before moving through to an all-of-government engagement hub. This will give young people their rightful voice, making engagement easier for policy creators and better, more representative policies for Aotearoa.

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Supersmooth
Department of Internal Affairs

How can you prove that you are you? Having a secure, trusted, easy to use digital identity is the future and will allow New Zealanders to assert their digital rights and participate in the growing digital economy.

Using new technologies – such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and facial biometrics – allows applicants to prove who they are without presenting in person.

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Spring
Ministry of Social Development

Poverty haunts more than 600,000 kiwis. Hunger, stress, and social isolation follow. Existing services including financial mentors and a national helpline are ready to help. However, only 1 in 10 people experiencing poverty use these services each year.

Based on their insights, the team has created Spring: an ecosystem of empowerment, information, expert advice and incentives which provides people with the power to improve their financial wellbeing and self-esteem.

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Experts on demand
Wellington NZ

Wellington’s Early Stage businesses with ambition to scale fall into a support gap. Unlike startups, these businesses don’t have access to support services that help them increase their revenue, impact or staff.

Wellington NZ has created a suite of services for these businesses. The first of these is ‘Experts on Demand’ – a platform matching founders to expertise when extra help is needed most. Experts on Demand reduces the stress and workload of the full-time team while increasing sales & productivity. This service enables businesses to reach their full potential faster.

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Safer sooner
Joint Venture Business Unit

Aotearoa has one of the highest rates of family violence in the developed world. Preventing and responding to family violence presents a massive opportunity to improve the well-being of many New Zealanders.

The Joint Venture Team’s digital ecosystem promotes collective responsibility by creating transparency between government and non-government agencies.

This cohesive approach aligns and prioritises resources to better support families in times of crisis. Family violence cannot be solved by the efforts of a single agency so our solution focuses on supporting multi-agency safety responses. The approach is strengths-based, celebrates small successes and acknowledges the personal and social goals that lead to a greater sense of safety and well-being.

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Access
Wellington City Council

1 in 4 people in Wellington currently have a disability or impairment. This means they’re not able to fully participate in city life.

The Accessibility Space will be part of the city that provides a seamless experience for all people – a place where everyone can easily move around and access all services. The solution will also include an online platform where anyone can find all the accessibility information they need.

The purpose of the physical and online space is two-fold; with the power to give people with disabilities space to live a barrier-free life and, just as important, providing people of all abilities visiting the space with awareness of the physical and social barriers faced by people in our city.

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Water leakage detection
Taiwan Water Corporation – Water Saviour

With previous, well-received experience in Taiwan working with local water utilities to conduct system trials, Water Saviour is working with NZ public sector agencies to discover their most important challenges when it comes to water efficiency.

With a limited capability to detect and repair water leakages efficiently and effectively, governments are turning to Water Saviour who are working with big data and machine learning technologies to detect and report water leakages on pipelines automatically, efficiently and accurately.

Their solution will reduce water loss, cost of labour and improve repair times in order to save water – a worldwide problem.

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Pāmu ora
Ministry for the Environment

The quality of Aotearoa’s freshwater system is under pressure from years of population growth and changes in land use and practices. Many of our rivers and lakes are unsafe for swimming and 75% of our native fish species are in danger of extinction.

Managing freshwater quality is a complex issue. Pāmu Ora is a cloud-based catchment management tool designed to improve decision-making and collaboration at catchment and farm-scale to improve freshwater quality.

Pāmu Ora aggregates scientific and cultural data, remote sensor data and spatial views of land and water, and also provides intervention options, case studies, planning tools and video content to support change.

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Ears: safer seas for albatross
Department of Conservation Southern Seabirds Trust

Since 2005, 75% of the Antipodean Wandering Albatross breeding population has been lost. At this rate of decline, in five years, the remaining population will half, and in 20 years they will be functionally extinct. If we don’t act now it will be too late.

Why? It seems the single biggest factor causing albatross decline comes from being caught on fishing hooks from longline fishing vessels.

Engaging with industry, government and NGOs in New Zealand, Japan, Chile, the US, South Africa, and the Pacific Islands, the team has developed EARS – the Electronic Automated Reporting System.

EARS aims to reduce bycatch mortality in international waters and stop or reverse the decline. It monitors compliance with internationally regulated mitigations while incentivising vessels with better management and supply chain transparency.

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