Our mates at Figure.NZ and Te Pūnaha Matatini have asked us to talk about what innovation means to us. As the Innovation Partnership we bring together like minds to drive digital innovation in New Zealand. We believe that if we can put digital at the centre of our education, business and government, New Zealand will be more productive, efficient, and successful.

One of our focus areas is to drive innovation in government. We want to do this because we believe that the innovative adoption of technology in government can increase transparency and make it more accessible for all citizens. It is a lofty ambition, but one that we think is important to drive democracy and make sure that the government is accessible to the people they serve.

Figure.NZ’s boards help show why we want to bring innovation into government.

Willingness_to_vote_online_in_general_elections_in_New_ZealandIf we take a look at this chart, we can see that people’s willingness to vote online in 2012 went up in all age groups when compared to 2009 numbers. People want to vote online but unfortunately they can’t.

We reckon that it’s high time government offered online voting. Estonia has one of the most digitally advanced governments in the world, and they’ve been doing it (successfully) for years. Currently attempts to establish online voting in NZ have been delayed by concerns around privacy and security. As a country, we keep putting it in the too hard basket instead of coming up with innovative solutions to solve the problems.

At the same time, voter turnout is decreasing.

Voter_turnout_at_general_elections_in_New_ZealandOne of the many ways that we could attempt to combat decreasing voter turnout is to take democracy into people’s lives, and one way to do that is to take our democracy online.

Data also has an incredibly important role in the future of our democracy. An informed citizenry is essential to a thriving democracy (just look at what’s happened in the US where how people ‘feel’ about an issue has become more important than actual facts).

As technology becomes more pervasive, people expect innovative, technology-based solutions to their problems. Understanding what people want and expect helps organisations across all sectors figure out what areas they need to innovate in to stay relevant. Data is one of the many ways we can gain this understanding, and the democratisation of access to data is growing everyday.   

Data helps us show that the proof is in the pudding, and gives us one more way to tell our story.

See Joe’s FigureNZ data boards for more insights.


Joe is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Innovation Partnership, including keeping tabs on projects and members, and making sure that the Partnership keeps moving towards its goals.

Joe is the Founder of Lean Communications, a PR and Communications agency that specialises in providing support for technology and ICT clients. His background is in communications and project management.

Join the conversation

Join the conversation by posting in the comments below or follow #innovationNZ on Twitter. Comments policy: play nice. Comments containing profanities, offensive remarks or spam will be removed.

Want to start your own conversation?
Search for figures, data charts and maps compiled by Figure.NZ using the search box or Figure.NZ business guided search. Sign-up for a FigureNZ account to save content of interest to your very own data board and tell us about it on social media:

Twitter: #innovationNZ @FigureNZ & @PunahaMatatini
Facebook @FigureNZ & @tepunahamatatini