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Government considers e-democracy

05 Sep 12

The government is considering offering the public an online consultation forum through an 'e-democracy'.

Investigating ways to improve its communication with New Zealand, the Internal Affairs Department believes government agencies do not have access to a "comprehensive tool" allowing them to liaise with the public online.

While no concrete plans about the proposal have been released, it is believed an 'e-democracy' would allow people to petition for referenda online with a new project, Government Online Engagement Services (GOES) set-up to assess the situation.

In workshops scheduled for next month, software companies have been asked to provide advice and opinion as the government seeks an alternative to public consultation.

Opposition spokeswoman Clare Curran from Labour believes the government should seek a solution that is easy, privacy orientated and capable of giving a voice to the wider reachers of society.

"If those were the basic principles, then Labour would support it," Curran says.

Key features of any proposed 'e-democracy' are expected to include surveys, forms, polls and discussion forums, following in the footsteps of the Inland Revenue and Police who have used social media for policy decisions in previous years.

Do you think a government 'e-democracy' is a good idea? Tell us your thoughts below.

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