Moves to consult by internet
The Government is investigating ways to improve its ability to consult the public over the internet in a possible step to "e-democracy".
However, it is not clear whether far-reaching changes such as allowing people to petition for referendums online will be considered.
The Internal Affairs Department said government agencies did not have access to a "comprehensive tool" that let them consult with the public online.
But a new project, Government Online Engagement Services, had been established to see what is possible.
The department has invited software companies to provide advice and take part in workshops that will be held next month.
Labour's spokeswoman on open government, Clare Curran, said the Government should look for a local solution and it should be used as an opportunity to encourage innovation.
The goal should be to enable people who were most vulnerable to easily communicate with the government in a way in which their privacy was respected, she said.
Internal Affairs said in a note to prospective partners that the purpose of the workshops was to seek information from the market and provide suppliers with the opportunity to provide input into the "ultimate solution vision and design".
A spokeswoman said the department expected the service would comprise surveys, forms, polls and discussion forums that local and central government agencies could select from depending on the requirements of their project. Fairfax NZ
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