Content and technology standards in New Zealand

The New Zealand national government has embarked on developing a "national content strategy" (via Hilary Marsh). That's ambitious, inasmuch as most other countries are still struggling with metadata standards. Perhaps predictably, the NZ national e-government team has released and encouraged the use of a standard CMS -- in this case, a version of Plone that has been modified to accommodate some kiwi-specific accessibility standards. Similar product-standardization efforts in other countries have not fared particularly well, mostly because the use-cases across multiple government entities diverge more than enough to nix the broad applicability of any single tool. And indeed in New Zealand, the main e-gov site itself has a particularly "Plonish" feel to it, though that works fine for a portal containing mostly links. Plone might not work well for other scenarios. As CMS Report readers know, it is not ideal for those cases where content pre-generation are required. To be fair, the kiwis seem only to be promoting their version of Plone, not mandating its use (e.g. their official digital strategy site runs on a Swedish commercial CMS, EPiServer). This strikes me as a good balance: start with content standards, then look at tool standards.


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Gil Côté, Partner, Cancentric Solutions Inc.
iStudio Canada Inc.

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