Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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E-Government: Transformation of Public Governance in New Zealand?

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posted on 2021-11-09, 00:19 authored by O'Neill, Rose Regina

New information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been introduced in the government sector throughout the world in the past 10 - 20 years in an attempt to achieve greater operational efficiency and effectiveness. The benefits of ICTs include faster, streamlined administrative processing; lower transaction costs; better use of information resources; greater public access to government information and services; and more opportunities for public participation in democratic processes. These changes are often heralded by e-government commentators as "transformative'.This implies that technical innovation will deliver business benefits and produce radical change in the way that government agencies are organised to service parliament and the public. That is, a change in state sector governance arrangements. This thesis examines the concept of 'transformation' in the New Zealand state sector context with a view to determining the form and nature of governance changes that may occur as a consequence of e-government implementation. Two streams of empirical data gathering have been completed. These provide data on how e-government initiatives are currently being implemented in New Zealand, and the impact senior public officials and public management experts consider e-government will have in the future. A Weberian analytical framework is used to identify the nature of changes that occur as a consequence of e-government initiatives, and where changes may occur in the current public sector governance model. The empirical evidence suggests that e-government will have two transformational effects in New Zealand: instrumental and systemic. These effects will occur as public officials use ICTs to increase operational efficiency and effectiveness; develop broad-based collaboration and co-production working arrangements; and expand the resources available to government to address policy issues and delivery services. Adjustments to current governance arrangements are required to position public officials to use communication technologies effectively in the future. Initial reform efforts need to be made in the areas of accountability structures and leadership.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Public Management

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Government


Ryan, Bill; Lips, Miriam