NZ spearheads all-of-gov integration with new digital leadership team


New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has announced a major organisational change to its all-of-government digital branch, establishing a new core permanent team to spearhead digital integration and vendor collaboration efforts across government.

The changes will see the creation of a new leadership team within the DIA headed by as yet to be announced deputy chief executive and deputy government chief digital officer.

Paul James, the Government’s chief digital officer (GCDO) and DIA chief executive, said the new agile team would be tasked with identifying digital needs across the state sector and furthering integration initiatives between agencies.

“We are establishing a central team that can adjust and flex to meet future requirements, including being able to respond to emerging issues and opportunities,” James said in a statement. “The digital landscape is a changing one, so we need to be able to move with it to stay ahead of the curve.”

“Our plan is to work with agencies and other digital stakeholders in a more proactive and joined-up way to ensure they are well-supported to deliver integrated digital services to New Zealanders.”

Over the next months, the DIA will reorganise its branch roles and responsibilities, delivering on the Government’s forthcoming Strategy for a Digital Public Service.

“The reality is that digital government won’t be done solely at the centre by a small group of people. We need everyone in government to be doing this and all agencies. However, there is a central role for us in terms of charting that direction, building the vision and strategy, and then the buy-in to that,” James said.

“We need to solve system problems. We need to build the building blocks, the assets, the infrastructure, the rules, etcetera, that’ll sit at the centre and will enable that. We need to create a platform for digital government.”

The DIA has already posted a want ad seeking three general managers to lead its new team that will support the government’s “system shift to a unified digital public service”.

According to the job description, “the GM System Strategy and Initiatives is accountable for developing and iterating the Strategy for a Digital Public Service and other Ministerial priorities, forming the building blocks for public sector digital transformation, and seizing opportunities and solving problems at a system level.”