Statistics New Zealand and Spark successfully deliver the first TaaS implementation in Christchurch CBD

15 April 2016

Statistics New Zealand and Spark have partnered to deliver one of the first Telecommunications-as-a-Service (TaaS) government connectivity networks, helping a number of government agencies return to Christchurch CBD.

From this week 380 public servants from nine agencies will work from the new BNZ Centre between Cashel and Hereford Street.  In 2017 a further 200 staff will join them in the building officially opened yesterday by Prime Minister John Key and Minister supporting Christchurch Regeneration Gerry Brownlee.  Bringing hundreds of government workers back in the heart of the city is an important step in Christchurch CBD’s recovery as the city rebuilds following the earthquakes in 2011.

Statistics New Zealand signed the first TaaS network connectivity agreement with Spark and is the lead agency responsible for co-ordinating all the agencies working in the BNZ Centre.

TaaS has a vital role in helping the nine agencies, each with different communications and security requirements, share the building and resources. TaaS was developed as a flexible way of delivering telecommunications and data services that removes the traditional complexity of owning, managing and maintaining networks and will enable government agencies to focus on their core services.

In the BNZ Centre the nine government agencies will be able to collaborate securely with each other and with their customers. Public servants will have a modern, flexible working environment that is geared towards accommodating staff mobility, and sharing common meeting rooms and networks. It not only meets today’s requirements but also the future needs of agencies.

“From the outset, we were encouraged to explore innovative solutions to support a more integrated colocation of agencies, enabling interoperability and cross agency efficiencies,” says Statistics NZ Chief Technology Officer, Chris Buxton.

“Spark has provided exactly that through TaaS – a modern, collaborative working environment, providing the flexibility to support broader government building use in the future for the benefit of all New Zealanders.”

Spark Digital CEO Tim Miles says the company is delighted to deliver TaaS, an exciting, flexible and outcomes-based approach that will enable customers to optimise their use of telecommunications services.  

“The opportunity to implement TaaS with such an innovative agency like Statistics New Zealand has helped ensure the success of the Christchurch project.  Statistics have embraced TaaS as a new way of consuming telecommunications which will realise the goals of each agency in the multi-tenanted share facilities building.  Not only does it support the ambitions of the Christchurch rebuild, we are confident that this will lead to better outcomes for government and all New Zealanders.”   

The new services will allow a public servant to work flexibly from another agency’s premises and provide them with the ability to securely share content, applications and collaboratively engage with other inter-government colleagues.

TaaS enables a government agency to select and pay for the telecommunications they need today whilst still being able to quickly modify services to meet their changing business needs.  The TaaS model of operating aligns and supports the new government multi-tenanted sites, negating the need for individual network installations by providing a single shared service for which each tenant pays only for their usage component.