The idea that you won’t have to physically travel from one government
department to another has to be appealing. Especially when compared to the vision – sitting at your PC, going direct to one government portal then moving across departments.
In our cover story, Mark Story writes “Within five years [Trevor] Mallard expects people to be able to electronically register information with government, for example, births, deaths and marriages, conduct financial dealings and complete and send all government forms from one place on the government’s website.”
Naturally, there are lots of issues to be worked through; things like privacy and security that will ensure online transactions have the same validity as paper based transactions.
The question is, writes Story, that while Kiwis are bracing at the bit to get into e-government, is the process moving fast enough to keep up with the speed of change these days?
One government department that few Kiwis will visit as clients is Workbridge. Our story “Out for the Count” follows how they find jobs for people who suffer injuries, or develop conditions that mean they can’t continue with their chosen careers.
The team at Workbridge do more than place people in jobs though, they’re acutely aware that they’re replacing self-esteem and self-confidence for people, who like most of us, thought “it couldn’t happen to me”.
The critical part of the formula is finding flexible employers, willing to take on people with disabilities.
From 10,000 people who came to them last year, Workbridge successfully placed 4000. The only reason they couldn’t place more was because there weren’t enough employers out there.
In an age that’s preaching flexibility in the workplace, practising what we’re preaching is worth thought.

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