Data: helping people celebrate Matariki

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Night sky Canterbury, 2014. Photograph by Tom Hall, via Flickr. CC BY-ND Gen 2.0

Matariki is the celebration of the Māori New Year. It’s a time when people come together to remember their ancestors, share food, sing, tell stories, and play music.

Te Papa is New Zealand’s national museum, and hosts an annual Matariki Festival. With data the Te Papa digital team were able to uncover more about the Matariki audience, and increase the reach of the content.

The Te Papa events were well-attended, but the website helped people engage with Matariki at home, on the move, and in the classroom. This is in part due to the team’s efforts in:

  • promoting Matariki to a new audience with homepage links
  • meeting demand in Google by creating content for Matariki search terms
  • increasing the engagement of the existing audience with compelling related links
  • live-streaming performances so people can participate regardless of where they’re based

Data analysis revealed a wider audience for Matariki, and confirmed that we reached 47% more people than the same period last year. It’s a broad audience that includes teachers and kids in the classroom, people who want to watch celebrations while on the move, and those who want to engage from the comfort of their own home.

It’s brilliant to know that we’re transcending the walls of the museum to take this cultural celebration out to people. We’re going beyond data and digital, and into people’s lives, which is an awesome thing to be a part of.

See the full story on the Te Papa blog – Using data to help people celebrate Matariki. – making marriage easier


Image source: Te Papa

We’ve recently brought births, deaths and marriages content on to and turned off this content on the Internal Affairs site. It’s a huge leap in terms of giving people government information on one site rather than spreading it across hundreds of agency sites, and reducing the confusion that users feel when trying to interact with government.

We started out by finding out what people need with analytics and call centre insight, and now we’re finding out whether we’ve improved things by looking at user data. People are engaging well with the new marriage content.

Data is from four weeks post-launch compared to the same period last year.

How to get married in NZ page is performing well. The team turned a scattered wilderness of marriage-related pages into this cohesive step-by-step guide:

How to get married

– high reach – 7K unique page views
– high engagement – average of 6 minutes on site and 5 pages per session for this audience
– low searches – only 50 searches on this page, which suggests that people are getting what they need from content

People can now find registry office locations and contact details:
– two registry office pages received 5K unique page views, and location results pages received 3K upvs
– registry office searches have dropped 70% compared to the old site

And on the other side of things we’re meeting previously unmet demand for divorce content, which used to be on a separate agency site:
Separating or getting a divorce pages received 6K unique page views
– divorce searches dropped 40%

At we’re making online government services easier to access and use, with plain English content and an intuitive structure. And we’re showing the improvements with data. See the full story on the New Zealand government Web Toolkit – making marriage easier.

Call centre insight + analytics = marriage made in heaven

We combined front line call centre insight with website analytics to understand the most important challenges people had interacting with the NZ government when getting married. In the discovery phase for moving births, deaths and marriages content from the Department of Internal Affairs site to we got the centre staff involved early, and used it to inform our priorities and design solutions.

See post on the New Zealand government Web Toolkit – Call centre insight for births, deaths and marriages discovery phase

Meg pointing

User insight from user insight training

I’ve just completed seven rounds of training to help New Zealand government digital teams use data to improve agency websites. It’s designed to help define user needs with analytics. Of the 50 people from 15 agencies trained, 38 completed surveys which provides great user insight for the user insight training.

See post on the New Zealand government Web Toolkit – Analytics training helps define user needs training