Prime Minister John Key has met executives from internet giant Google as plans to shake up the public sector gather steam.
Virtual jobs will replace staff as the sector moves away from frontline services to call centres and online interaction.
Mr Key said yesterday that people wanted to use their smartphones to apply for passports and other tasks, rather than wait in line in offices.
“It really doesn’t matter if there is a street frontage there … We are living in an age where kids have iPads and smartphones. That’s the modern generation … and they actually don’t want to walk in, for the most part, and be in a very long queue and be waiting for a long time.”
Last time I looked, smart-phone penetration in New Zealand was around about the 5% mark. But I guess Key’s kids and all his staffers have them, so that’s everyone in the world of the Sun King.
This isn’t a bad idea, per se – but when I hear ‘applying for passports online’, I think ‘national identity management platform’, which will be (a) expensive, (b) require a ton of public servants to implement, support and curate, unless we want to outsource the curation and warehousing of all our private data to Google, which it kind of sounds like ‘we’ do, and (c) will send quite a lot of the population into throes of paranoia.