Next week sees the go-live of the new site and register for the New Zealand Companies Office. I’ve had a bit of an advisory-level involvement in this project but have been out of the loop over the last few months. Head of the project Justin Hygate gave me a run through this morning and I thought I’d post my thoughts. The project, dubbed “Enterprise”, will offer users a much better, more integrated experience. It is also built within the portal, and hence is part of a “do it all in one place” consistent approach, rather than the fragmented current situation.

Enterprise, and even the broader portal are part of a much broader play, which seems to indicate that the New Zealand Government is realizing that it’s important to allow businesses to transact with the different agencies they need to (Inland Revenue, Statistics, Companies etc) in a consistent manner. Part of this will be aided through the use of iGovt, a cross-Government user authentication system. See the video below for information about iGovt.

In terms of the Companies office register itself, they say that the aims of Enterprise are to:

  1. To maintain the excellent service that our customers value.
  2. To provide a better user experience for all types of customers.
  3. To minimise the user cost of business compliance.
  4. To expand in to the broader economic development role we now have within the Ministry of Economic Development.

To this end, Enterprise will give users of the companies office register access to the following:

  • A personalized dashboard
  • Ability to add more information about your company
  • New options when reserving company names
  • Ability to incorporate all types of companies online
  • Address verification with NZ Post (PAF)
  • Improved searching

All this is built on top of a central authority notion (see video below) – it takes a little bit of set up but once done gives users a holistic view of the organizations they’re involved with. Realistically it’s probably most relevant to accountants and lawyers dealing with many different entities, but even in my case, I’m part of a dozen or so different entities on the Companies register so having an overall view is very useful for me.

In a response to Lance Wiggs’ criticisms, the new site has nice rich searching, all from the front page – there ya go Lance!


This is stage one of an iterative approach towards making business life easier for the hundreds of thousands of SMEs in New Zealand (see more on another initiative here). While this is an entirely New Zealand specific example, it’s a lesson to the world in doing e-Government right.

Well done MED!

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

1 Comment
  • @benkepes thanks Ben will pass your blog to the great team @companiesoffice who have a busy few days ahead.

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