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NZ cabinet minister champions digital ID in government transformation at data summit

NZ cabinet minister champions digital ID in government transformation at data summit

Judith Collins, the minister for digitizing government, emphasized the transformative potential of digital identity and innovation in government services in her speech at the sixth annual New Zealand Government Data Summit this week.

Her speech follows the recent announcement from the New Zealand Transit Agency (NZTA) on the launch of a trial phase app that will host New Zealand’s mobile driver’s licenses. Collins pitched the app as a unified platform for drivers to access government services. In her speech, she also emphasizes the importance of unifying and simplifying the citizen-government interface, aiming for collective optimization of taxpayer value, according to a transcript published by the government.

At the summit, she also highlights the imminent digital revolution poised to reshape the government’s interaction with its citizens, emphasizing the shift toward a more modern, efficient, and customer-centric public service.

As the Attorney General and Minister for several portfolios including digitizing government, science innovation and technology, Defence, GCSB/NZSIS, and space, Collins underscores the impact digital technologies have on societal structures and productivity.

Acknowledging the importance of embracing technology to deliver tangible outcomes for New Zealanders, Collins outlines the government’s commitment to accelerating digital capability while preparing for future challenges.

“Online portals, mobile applications and AI-enabled interfaces will be key to ensuring that people and businesses in New Zealand can access important government services and information, anytime and from anywhere,” she adds.

“By leveraging AI and other data-driven technologies, government agencies can tailor services to meet the specific needs of individuals, communities and businesses.”

She emphasizes the importance of strong digital foundations such as AI, cloud, and digital identity to enable sustainable and scalable digital innovation within the public sector.

Collins stresses the role of AI in automating routine tasks, personalizing services, and enhancing efficiency in government operations. She outlines plans for establishing a principles-based AI framework to ensure responsible AI adoption across government agencies.

The speech also touches upon the significance of data management and safe data-sharing practices in modernizing government services. Collins highlights the Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Act 2023 as a key step towards creating a trusted digital identity system.

The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Act 2023 was passed in April 2023, after being introduced to Parliament in September 2021. Its regulatory framework is set to establish a structure for the provision of secure digital identity services in New Zealand.

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