web analytics

RealMe and online government – good when it works

Written By: - Date published: 2:53 pm, December 27th, 2017 - 24 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: , , , , ,

The only thing worse than standing in queues with lumps of paper is having a website system that isn’t functioning.

I have to head overseas for work early in January. I found out on friday as I was leaving work. Work keeps a scan of my passport page for the travel agent. So on saturday, it turned out that I’d have to get my passport renewed because it is nearing its age limit.

So I did the usual bit of investigation. The passport office announced… Rats…

The Passport Office will be closed from 5:00pm on the 22nd December, and will reopen on the 3rd January. During this time a Call Out service is available by appointment, please contact us for further information. The Contact Centre will be open the 27th, 28th and 29th December from 8:30am to 5:00pm for urgent enquiries only.

But they would allow me to do everything online and if I paid more then I could get it in 3 or so days after the 3rd.

The company is paying, so I didn’t give a damn about the cost. It is peanuts compared to the airfare costs and the contract I was going to support. In the blithe expectation that I’d be able to do this after the xmas shopping, the two Xmas meals, and the bloated stupor following the second as I experienced the chocolate high. But to be sure, I started the application early.

I found my passport (carefully stored after an apartment move). Managed to manufacture an intrusive RealMe login. Got the passport site to accept a bleary eyed early photo from Xmas morning before driving to Mangawhai standing against the bathroom wall. I will now look like sleepy drunk for the next decade. Filled out the online form with a minimum of cussing up to the point of needing a non-family referee. Ok – it appears that no-one is near their passports on Xmas day, or boxing day unless they are on a plane.

Now I have located one person who has stayed in the deserted Auckland and who has a valid passport. So I try to get back to my saved application page to find out exactly what I information I need

  1. The passport office didn’t email me the resume key. It isn’t even in my spam folders.
  2. and RealMe is down.

It is sunny outside. I don’t want to be at home if I’m going to have to get baked in a tropical sauna for 3 weeks trying to code. And some arsehole has managed to leave their fire alarm whooping and telling people to leave the building for the last few hours purely to irritate me.

These are all first world problems I know. But why can’t the geeks in the government try to do things like do their damn maintenance in the european day…

It sounds from the nice person on the phone that Real Me may resurrect itself sometime soon(ish). But I’m getting on my bike and off to the park with some SPF 50..

 

24 comments on “RealMe and online government – good when it works”

  1. WE, my wife and I joined up with Real Me not long after it came online.

    It was quite a mission to have our details confirmed, like proof of identity, photo ID etc.
    But we finally got there, but have found the site next to useless in reality.

    We were told that there is going to so many retirees in the future the only way to access Work and Income was to do online via Real Me.
    Plus there was going to be many more Govt services to come onboard.

    We do not even bother with the system now, it all seemed like a lot of hot air between NZ Post and the Government.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Obviously the solution is to defund and privatise the Inland Revenue and the DoIA.

  3. Matiri 3

    We’ve just moved house and needed to update our address for our Drivers Licences and gun licence. Drivers Licence was straightforward online via NZTA website (no mention of Real Me); gun licence was a real mission even though we are on Real Me. NZ Police redirected us to NZ Post with no explanations or FAQs explaining we were expected to use Real Me. Obviously a system that is underused and it really shows.

  4. KJT 4

    Of course our Government couldn’t look at a system in operation, and working satisfactorily, overseas, like Estonia’s. They had to re-invent the wheel, again!

    https://e-estonia.com/ Note: this came with strict controls on privacy and data integrity.

    I wonder which National party crony got the contract?

    • Matthew Whitehead 4.1

      RealMe, while becoming prominent under the Key/English Government, was actually a renamed version of the iGovt project that started during the Clark years, FYI. I don’t think it was contracted out, but the way it operates was likely made “friendlier” to the Nats’ big data approach.

  5. Pat 5

    had just signed up to Real Me to apply for a new passport online….no probs with sign up, including receiving verification txt and was impressed to receive a new passport today after lodging application on 20th Dec….non urgent.
    Mighty impressed esp. considering the time of year.

    • lprent 5.1

      Same with my partner who is may be able to travel with me for a change. Did hers on boxing day and had it approved. Now it is just a delivery issue. That was really impressive.

      However as I said, for me unlike her, today was a write off simply because the damn system was down. I couldn’t finish the application. Because of that, at this time of the year it gets problematic if I can get on an aircraft at the right time next month. There are no alternatives because there aren’t offices operating.

      I have to organise plant waterings, get server support, and a pile of other things – calling in favours to do it. Not to mention the effort of becoming expert in the projects code. All based on a precept that I can get a bit of paper and cardboard from Wellington next week.

      This isn’t exactly a time of year when I have spare time. Family are around. People are visiting. And even outside of this site, I have a pile of non-work-work to do. Sure this includes such daft things as finding uber-wide footwear for my feet and learning how to dismount from my bike without it looking like I am trying to fall off. But it all takes time. I look at going back to work about the 3rd as being the real holiday.

      If you are going to make any essential system mainly electronic and reliant on the net, then the reliability and constant availability must be the primary concern. Both people and businesses will come to depend upon it. It can’t be a matter of luck. It needs to be a matter of reliable systems.

      Public service computer systems are just as much part of our economic infrastructure as things like roads, bridges, sewerage systems, water, power, etc. In many ways they are more important.

      If you want an example, then just have a look at the downstream effects of the very occasional outages we have with eftpos systems. Each of those, however brief, is easily measurable in the countries daily GDP.

      Or if you like the physical infrastructure, then look at the bottleneck effect of closing two lanes of the Auckland Harbour Bridge today during a holiday when most of the city is a nice visual metaphor. Traffic was spending half an hour inching into the motorway system and over a few kilometers of road to get over the harbour.

      • Public service computer systems are just as much part of our economic infrastructure as things like roads, bridges, sewerage systems, water, power, etc. In many ways they are more important.

        So, why are they being outsourced to the unreliable private sector?

        They actually are that important and they do need the reliability of 24/7 maintenance, availability and the lack of changing ownership and contracts.

      • ropata 5.1.2

        Old IT adage is never do a deployment on a Friday afternoon. Similar applies to upgrades during the holiday break. Best to do such things when all hands are on deck.

        I had the “pleasure” of involvement in iteration 1 of RealMe, called the “Govt Login Service” back in 2006/7, hung out with the public servants in the State Services Commission, a hugely backwards IT culture compared to the private sector (back then at least). Every “t” crossed and every “i” dotted though.

  6. Tracey 6

    They must have improved it. IRD used it a few years ago to replace a system that worked well. Every year it was a nightmare to retrieve a forgotten password and required a phonecall and the requisite waiting. Now they have myIR(?) But I have resorted to letting my computer save my password otherwise the inevitable memory failure and system leave me on hold on a phone.

  7. But why can’t the geeks in the government try to do things like do their damn maintenance in the european day…

    We don’t have any geeks in the government as all the IT has been outsourced to the private sector. And those firms are probably off-shored to the European day.

    • ropata 7.1

      We have a pretty strong domestic tech sector: Datacom, Assurity, Clearpoint, IntegrationWorks do a heap of contract work to big corporates and government.

      I don’t know that bringing the IT expertise inhouse is gonna be a magic bullet, if there is cultural or management dysfunction then the project is gonna have problems no matter who builds it.

      • There are no magic bullets but what bringing it in-house would do is make it consistent across all departments (why can I use RealMe with WINZ but not with IRD?), build up experience around the needs of government services (this lack of experience is, IMO, a major cause of the fuck-ups that we see), save money from the decrease in fuck-ups that we’ve seen from the private sector and also act as a training hub for new entrants to the sector as Telecom, railways, MoW and other now closed government departments used to.

  8. lprent 8

    My partner’s new passport has arrived. That is fast. She ordered it on Boxing day.

    Time to try RealMe again

    • dv 8.1

      Passport are very quick!!!

      • lprent 8.1.1

        I suspect that you need to read the post.

        I’d agree. However doing maintenance on the systems required to make the electronic passport system work when all of the physical passport offices are closed is a pretty damn silly idea.

        Which was the point of my post.

        • dv 8.1.1.1

          i did read it.
          i was reinforcing the quickness of passports.

        • Craig H 8.1.1.2

          I suspect the reason for it is that if they do it when the people are in the offices, they can’t issue passports, so nobody gets a passport either way, but people are sitting at work unable to do much work.

  9. corodale 9

    Russian hackers? RealMe was adequit to verify crypto exchange. Perhaps that channel was safe guarded by Chinese block chain miners. Some day we may be thankful for all those gnat communist party links.

  10. David Mac 10

    I’ve used the system once, I caught it at it’s best. A useful tool. Circumstances were changing leading up to a tribunal hearing. I was able to add additional photos, receipt scans and text right up to the hearing date. Information that was sent to the tribunal admin/adjudicator at the same time I loaded it.

    Information is power, the quicker we can buzz the pertinent bits between one another the better off we’ll be.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • PM’s remarks from joint stand-up with PM Morrison
    It’s my pleasure to be in Sydney today for our annual meeting, Prime Minister. It’s fair to say that since we last met, tragedy and disaster have befallen our two countries. They say that in moments of that nature, the true character of an individual comes to the fore. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government takes further action to protect New Zealanders from COVID-19
    Travel restrictions introduced for Iran from today No exemptions for students from China to enter the country Increased health staff presence at international airports  The Government has announced a suite of new actions as it steps up its response to the rapidly changing global spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.  This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Agriculture Minister declares adverse event for Waikato primary sector
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has today classified the drought conditions in Waikato and South Auckland as an adverse event for the primary sector, unlocking $80,000 in Government support for farmers and growers. “This is recognition that the extreme and prolonged nature of this dry spell is taking its toll on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Govt books in good position to respond to coronavirus
    The Crown accounts are in a strong position to weather any economic uncertainty as a result of coronavirus, with the books in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the seven months to January. The operating balance before ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Digital experts to provide advice on technological change
    Supporting New Zealand to make most of digital and data driven technologies will be the focus of a new Digital Council that begins its work today. Minister for Government Digital Services, Kris Faafoi, and Minister of Statistics, James Shaw, have confirmed the group of experts chosen to advise the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • NZ Upgrade on South Island roads
    Safety and climate change resilience are behind South Island regional roading projects that are being brought forward as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.  As part of the NZ Upgrade, $300 million was allocated for regional investment opportunities.  “I’m pleased to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Milford gets connected with NZ Upgrade
    Digital and air connectivity in Fiordland are getting a big boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.  As part of the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced in January, $300 million was allocated for regional investment opportunities, to be administered by the Provincial Development Unit.  “I’m pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • NZ Upgrade for West Coast ports and roads
    West Coast ports and roads will benefit from an investment of $18.6 million to improve safety and resilience and enable future economic growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.   The $12 billion NZ Upgrade Programme announced last month allocated $300 million for regional investment opportunities, to be administered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • NZ Upgrade on North Island regional roads
    Regional roading projects that will improve safety and resilience are being brought forward as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. As part of the NZ Upgrade, $300 million was allocated for regional investment opportunities. “I spend a lot of time in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Ōpōtiki Harbour finally gets green light
    The Eastern Bay of Plenty will finally get the harbour development it has wanted for decades, thanks to a $79.4 million central Government investment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. This game-changing project will revitalise the township of Ōpōtiki and the wider Eastern Bay of Plenty, creating hundreds ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Land, air and sea: regions to benefit from NZ Upgrade
    Regional New Zealand will be a hive of activity in the coming months as the New Zealand Upgrade Programme delivers on its promise to modernise our infrastructure, prepare for climate change and help grow our economy. As part of the $12 billion NZ Upgrade Programme announced by the Government last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Milestones marked with 2,000+ new cops
    A milestone has been reached with the graduation of more than 2,000 new Police officers since the Coalition Government took office in October 2017. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation today of Wing 335 marks a surge of 2,023 new officers, and coincides with some significant breakthroughs against organised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New diploma helps counter cyber security threats
    Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, have welcomed a new cyber security qualification as a step towards countering cyber threats and keeping New Zealanders safe. Attending the launch of the new Level 6 Diploma of Cyber Security at Auckland’s Unitec Institute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Celebrating 20 years of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park
    Government Ministers today celebrated 20 years of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park/ Ko te Pataka kai o Tikapa Moana/ Te Moananui a Toi, and recognise there is much to celebrate and so much more to do to give nature a helping hand.   Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said “New Zealanders care deeply about nature.I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ economy in strong position to respond to coronavirus
    Prepared remarks on coronavirus by Finance Minister Grant Robertson to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and Massey University. Good morning ladies and gentlemen, The topic of this speech is the Budget 2020 priorities. But, given the considerable interest that I imagine is in the room about COVID-19 coronavirus, I do ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech at opening of Nadi Women’s Crisis Centre
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira ma. Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa. Ni sa bula vinaka. Namaste Thank you Shamima, Hon. Minister Vuniwaqa, community leaders and Women’s Crisis Centre staff for your warm welcome. It’s an honour and privilege to officially ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt acts on fuel market competition
    The Government has released a comprehensive response to ensuring New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump. This follows the Commerce Commission fuel market study which found motorists were paying more than they should for petrol and includes: Fuel Market Bill drafting, to pass mid-year Industry consultation in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech at Lautoka Mosque
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira ma Tēnā koutou katoa Ni sa bula vinaka As-salaam alaikum It is a privilege to be here today. Thank you for welcoming us to your house of prayer. Thank you for your warmth. Thank you for greeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Taupō Airport upgrade takes off
    Taupō Airport is to be upgraded and expanded through a $5.9 million Government funding boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Taupō Airport is the gateway to the Central North Island. It is essential for both keeping local people and businesses connected, but also to bring more people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Place-based assessment confirmed for Rotorua
    The Minister of Housing Megan Woods has confirmed the Government is working with Rotorua Lakes District Council and Te Arawa for the second place-based assessment to better understand the housing and urban issues affecting the city. “Every New Zealander has a right to a warm, safe and secure place to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More houses opened for New Zealanders
    19 new community homes (in addition to 14 opened in December) delivered in Takanini, Auckland 500 people housed by CORT Housing Trust by end of March 2,290 new public housing homes delivered in Auckland (November 2017 – December 2019). Another nineteen new public housing homes are being delivered in Auckland, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and India to strengthen ties
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker met today with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to discuss ways to strengthen ties between New Zealand and India.   “India is a priority relationship for New Zealand. We share common democratic traditions, growing two-way trade, extensive people-to-people links, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • The Indo-Pacific: from principles to partnerships
    Speech to the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) Delhi, India Wednesday 26 February 2020 [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] The Indo-Pacific: from principles to partnerships Distinguished guests, good afternoon and thank you for your invitation.  It is good to be here at a time where New Zealand needs less of an introduction than ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to University of the South Pacific students
    Tihei mauri ora Te Whare e tu nei Te Papa e takoto Tēnā korua  No reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa Ni sa bula Vinaka It is a real pleasure to be here today, and to have the honour of addressing you all. If you’ll indulge me I’m ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Proposed new measures to improve Aotearoa’s air quality
      Improved air quality to support better health and environmental wellbeing is the focus of proposed amendments to air quality regulations, says the Associate Minister for the Environment, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  “Although our air quality is good in most places, during winter certain places have spikes in air pollution, mainly from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Water investment in Raukokore
    The remote eastern Bay of Plenty community of Raukokere will receive a Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $10.6 million for a water storage facility, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “This is great news for the rural community. The landowner, Te Whānau a Maruhaeremuri Hapū Trust, will use ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Lake Ōkaro lakebed transferred to Te Arawa as final piece of Settlement Act
    The Lake Ōkaro lakebed has transferred to Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis joined Te Arawa at Te Papaiōuru Marae in Rotorua to celebrate the reinstatement of Te Arawa Lakes Trust as a key decision maker over the bed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better protection against late payments
    New legislation is being proposed which aims to reduce the stress and financial hardship caused by late payments to small businesses. The Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash is considering stricter rules around payment practices between businesses. “Late payments from large organisations to smaller suppliers can be crippling for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police partnership programme with Fiji launched
    A new partnership programme between the New Zealand Police and Fiji Police will focus on combatting transnational organised crime and enhancing investigative skills, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on the first day of her visit to Fiji. The programme will see: ·       New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Joint statement from Prime Minister Ardern and Prime Minister Bainimarama
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama met today in Suva, and renewed their commitment to continue to strengthen Fiji-New Zealand relations on a foundation of shared values and equal partnership. The Prime Ministers acknowledged the kinship between Fijians and New Zealanders, one that has endured over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $19.9 million from PGF for Kawerau
    A $19.9 million investment from the Provincial Growth Fund will help develop essential infrastructure for an industrial hub in the Bay of Plenty town of Kawerau, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “The funding will go to three projects to further develop the Putauaki Trust Industrial Hub, an industrial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PGF funds Mahia roading package
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $8.3 million on a roading package for Mahia that will lead to greater and wider economic benefits for the region and beyond, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced at an event in Mahia today. The $8.3 million announced consists of: $7 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 18,400 children lifted out of poverty
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed new reporting showing the Coalition Government is on track to meet its child poverty targets, with 18,400 children lifted out of poverty as a result of the Families Package.   Stats NZ has released the first set of comprehensive child poverty statistics since the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 20,000 more Kiwi kids on bikes
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today announced that Bikes in Schools facilities have been rolled out to 20,000 more kiwi kids under this Government. She made the announcement at the opening of a new bike track at Henderson North School in Auckland. “Bikes in Schools facilities give kids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April
    Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April   Main benefits will increase by over 3 percent, instead of 1.66 percent, on 1 April with the Government’s decision to annually adjust benefit rates to increases in the average wage. The Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, said ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign and Trade Ministers to lead business delegation to India
    Strengthening New Zealand’s political and business ties with India will be the focus of Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters’ and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker’s visit to India this week. The Ministers are co-leading a high level business delegation to India to support increased people and economic engagement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister champions more Pacific in STEM – Toloa Awards
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio continues to champion for greater Pacific participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers with the announcement of the Toloa Awards, with 8 recipients of the Toloa Community Fund and 13 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships. “The Toloa Programme encourages more Pacific peoples ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Submission period for whitebait consultation extended
    Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has extended the date for people to have their say on proposed changes to improve management of whitebait across New Zealand.   Submissions were due to close on 2 March 2020 but will now remain open until 9am on Monday 16 March 2020.   “I have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New international protection for frequent fliers
    The endangered toroa/Antipodean albatross has new international protection for its 100,000km annual migration, thanks to collaborative efforts led by New Zealand, Australia and Chile.   Today, 130 countries agreed to strictly protect Antipodean albatross at the Conference of Parties on the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to regulate vaping
      No sales to under-18-year-olds No advertising and sponsorship of vaping products and e-cigarettes No vaping or smokeless tobacco in smokefree areas Regulates vaping product safety comprehensively, - including devices, flavours and ingredients Ensure vaping products are available for those who want to quit smoking   Vaping regulation that balances ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago