New Zealand has launched a digital platform that integrates multiple family planning agencies, making it easier for expecting parents to make use of government services. SmartStart lets parents register their child’s birth online, and sends the information they put in to all the relevant agencies. It also provides a checklists of tasks and information on things like child benefit pulled from a variety of public agencies.
Results & Impact
More than 1,000 parents signed up for SmartStart from December 2016 to March 2017. Around 60,000 babies are born in New Zealand each year
New Zealand's Ministry of Social Development, Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Inland Revenue, New Zealand Midwives College, child healthcare specialist Plunket and various other government agencies
Through SmartStart, parents can sign up for an online account with a personalised timeline and checklist of tasks to complete based on their baby’s due date, such as signing up for pre-natal classes and buying a car seat for the baby. Parents can notify the government of their baby's due date, register their child for critical personal identification numbers and apply for government funds to help with the cost of raising a family. Partner agencies benefit from people getting quick and easy access to their information and services through SmartStart. Parents can also use the platform to register their baby's birth online, saving them the $26.50 cost of a birth certificate.
Cost & Value
SmartStart cost $910,000 to build
Running since 2016
Following the success of SmartStart, the Department of Internal Affairs is working on the new cross agency service: preparing for and managing bereavement
New Zealand is making it easier for expecting parents to make use of government services with an online tool that integrates multiple public agencies.
SmartStart compiles a personalised timeline and checklist of tasks for parents – such as signing up for pre-natal classes or buying a car seat – based on their baby’s due date. The information, which is pulled from a variety of government agencies, makes it easy for parents to keep track of their progress. The platform gathers relevant data from existing government websites.
SmartStart had 50,000 visitors to the site in the first three months of launch. There are 60,000 births per annum in New Zealand.
“We think SmartStart is a world first,” said Jeff Montgomery, Registrar-General and General Manager Births, Deaths, Marriages, Citizenship and Translations at New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs. “The uptake has been fast and higher than expected given the size of New Zealand both in the visits to SmartStart and those choosing to share their information via the service integration options.”
The integrated digital service, which cost $910,000 to develop, was created in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development, Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Inland Revenue, New Zealand Midwives College, child healthcare specialist Plunket and multiple government agencies.
With SmartStart, parents can notify the government of their baby’s due date, register their child for critical personal identification numbers and apply for government funds to assist with the cost of raising a family.
From December 2016 to March 2017, more than 1,000 parents chose to notify the Ministry of Social Development of the birth of their child, saving them the need to purchase a birth certificate, which cost $26.50 (USD).
Partner agencies benefit from people getting quick and easy access to their information and services through SmartStart.
Digital services like SmartStart are one reason why New Zealand was asked to be a founding member of the “D5 Group” of countries. The “D5” is a group of the most technologically advanced governments in the world, which have all developed digital platforms to help citizens more easily interact with government.
In 2012, the New Zealand government set a series of targets for government agencies to achieve over five years as part of the Better Public Services programme. The Department of Internal Affairs was the first to reach the benchmark of 70% of citizens completing their transactions with the agency online.
(Picture credit: Flickr/Đỗ Trọng Nghĩa)