2023 Men’s Rugby World Cup with the Ministry of Justice

The challenge

In July 2023, New Zealand Parliament made temporary changes to the alcohol legislation allowing hospitality businesses to be open outside their usual trading hours to screen matches from the 2023 Men’s Rugby World Cup. This meant licensees could simply notify their local authorities about their intention to be open for a game, rather than having to go through a special licence application process.

Similar legislation changes were made for 2 previous men’s Rugby World Cup tournaments but using pdf forms meant it was difficult to collate quantitative data about scale and demand. This time around, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) looked for ways to better support local authorities to implement 2023’s law changes. The aim was to ensure all parties were well-informed about their legal responsibilities, the notification process was streamlined, and that NZ Police could enforce the changes effectively and meet the new record-keeping requirement from the amendments with ease.

The response

The Business Connect team worked with MoJ to quickly prototype a digital notification form that would make it easier for a business to notify local authorities while capturing all relevant information in a consistent way no matter where a business was in NZ.

As the notifications needed to go to hundreds of different contacts across the country, including 67 territorial authorities and different local Police stations, the MoJ team needed to ensure the correct contact details were loaded into the system. Meanwhile, the Business Connect team developed a way for the each application to be sent to the right place based on customer selection.

Once tested and signed off, the service became available to businesses on 23 August, 2 weeks prior to the Rugby World Cup 2023 opening match.

The outcome

This was the first time a national digital notification process had been offered to hospitality businesses during Rugby World Cup amendments. It was also made available online within a month of NZ Parliament making the temporary law change.

The service was promoted by professional organisations, such as Hospitality NZ and Taituarā.

“We are delighted to see a national process be put in place to streamline and support a council application process.”

Taituarā – Local Government Professionals Aotearoa

For hospitality businesses, the new online process was a success with 73% of applicants rating the experience 9 or 10 (out of 10). Business Connect pre-populated match game times and primary business information, while also providing information and links to further resources to help licensees fill in the form correctly and be aware of their legal responsibilities.

Once the form was submitted, a notification was automatically directed to the appropriate council and local Police station. The form ensured that NZ Police and councils received all the required information in the consistent format of an email attachment, with no follow up required.

22 councils put the service on their websites, including Wellington and Palmerston North City Councils. A total 110 notifications were made through the platform, from Auckland to Methven.

MoJ will utilise the platform’s data to inform evaluation of the law changes and future advice to Ministers.

Contact us

Get in touch to find out more about how Business Connect could help your organisation deliver better online services, faster.

You can email us at hello@businessconnect.govt.nz.