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Lightning Lab GovTech launches 2019 programme

Posted on 12-Aug-2019 20:41 | Filed under: News

Lightning Lab GovTech, New Zealand's premier public sector innovation programme, has announced the ten teams participating in its 2019 cohort.


This year’s cohort has a variety of local and central government projects that fit into broad themes including E-government, Transport and Wellbeing. At the end of the 12-week programme, participating teams will be conducting a ‘Demo Day’ in November to showcase the solutions created as a result of the accelerator programme.


Wellington Mayor Justin Lester opened the evening describing the GovTech sector as an area that the capital city can excel at and encouraged those in attendance to embrace its true potential.


Jonnie Haddon, Programme Director of Lightning Lab GovTech, said: “Lightning Lab GovTech exists to enable game-changing innovation in the public sector. It’s about  derisking the process of innovation so that government can experiment with new technology and new ways of working to find solutions to the important problems that we face today. The progress Lightning Lab GovTech has made with past programmes is something we’re extremely proud of, and that’s why we’re pleased to continue tackling these issues head-on to  change processes, empower civil servants and benefit the lives of New Zealanders.”


The 2019 programme projects include:


Manawa - Measuring What Matter to Māori – Social Investment Agency (SIA) and Westpac


Māori social service providers Te Tihi o Ruahine Whānau Ora Alliance and Te Hau Āwhiowhio o Otangarei Trust have teamed up with the Social Investment Agency to find a way to quickly measure the impact their services have on the lives of whānau.


Waste Management – Department of Conservation (DOC)


It is easy to forget how difficult and costly maintenance, transport, treatment and disposal of wastewater can be in the remote corners of our country. The Department of Conservation team will explore how DoC can improve waste management practices to keep our green spaces pristine. 


MaaS Wellington – Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and Centrality


We have never been more spoiled for choice when it comes to getting around Wellington. Public transport, ride-sharing, electric scooters and bicycles give us many ways of getting from A to B. 


The MaaS Wellington Project wants to create a tool to meet the mobility needs of residents, the market access needs of providers, and the information needs of the government. This will be the first step to create a smooth travel experience for Wellingtonians. 


Public Transport Infrastructure – Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC)


Greater Wellington Regional Council’s current project delivery process is inconsistent, resulting in incomplete projects and unspent capital budget each year. A cross-functional team from GW will focus on the Porirua Station Rail/Bus interchange as the test case for developing a scalable project management framework. The aim of this framework will be to achieve better project design, delivery, governance and measurement. 


Senior Wellness – Horowhenua District Council and Electa


Seniors, with higher rates of long-term health conditions and disabilities, need better in- home support to maintain their independence and confidence living in their homes. 


Horowhenua District Council, in collaboration with Electra’s SECURELY Independence technology team and other aged care organisations, are looking at how to make better use of in-home technology to enable better outcomes for seniors, their family, whānau and caregivers. 


Incentivising Engagement – Wellington City Council (WCC)


Traditional efforts to engage the public are not always hitting the mark. The team from Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Intergen are looking at ways to use technology and incentives to create a feedback loop between local decision makers and the diverse communities they serve. 


Digital Identity and Whakapapa – Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and Āhau


This joint project between the Department of Internal Affairs and Āhau will explore the connection between digital identity concepts and elements of Te Ao Māori such as whakapapa and whenua. 


They will look at how new technology could support iwi, hapū, whānau and Māori organisations to achieve their aspirations, for example in proving who are and your whakapapa and how this could relate to whenua decision making. 


Family Harm Portal – Ministry of Social Development (MSD)  and The National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuge (NCIWR) 


The family harm sector is in need of a consistent approach to supporting people experiencing family harm across New Zealand. The National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuge (NCIWR), in collaboration with MSD and NGOs, are looking to co-design a family harm help portal to connect people with the resources and support they need.


Public Sector Innovation Framework – Cross-Government Collaboration


Government agencies and relevant stakeholders need a long term comprehensive and collaborative approach to public sector innovation in New Zealand if we are to continue building on our reputation as a stand out ‘digital nation’. Lightning Lab GovTech presents an opportunity for collaboration across the system and for this collaboration to be the catalyst for a concerted effort by all parties to establish a New Zealand Public Sector Innovation Framework. 


Digital Consent – Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and MiddleWare NZ


The current way people manage consent for others to access their information is usually with the tick of a box, at the end of a catch-all terms and conditions. This way of consenting can leave people feeling confused about what they’re agreeing to and ultimately that they are not in control of their personal information. The team from DIA and ACC will explore what approach people would prefer in order to give their informed consent to share their personal information. This is a key element of the Digital Identity Transition Programme and a high priority for a number of government agencies and private entities. 


More information: