29 Sep 2011

Government websites back in operation

5:50 am on 29 September 2011

The Ministry of Economic Development (MED) says new equipment has been ordered to ensure the mass website failures of the past four days do not happen again.

Fourteen Government websites, including the Companies Office and the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, were among those caught up in the outage, which happened while servers were being upgraded.

All the websites were restored to full operation on Wednesday. The last to return to service was that of the Intellectual Property Office which was restored at midnight.

MED has apologised for the inconvenience caused.

A spokesperson, Alastair Stewart, says steps have been taken to ensure it does not happen again.

New hardware is on order which, he says, will ensure a system that has greatly increased integrity and stability.

Mr Stewart says the new hardware will also ensure the system is up and running much faster in the rare event of an outage in future.

Meanwhile, MED has come in for some criticism for the length of the outage.

An intellectual property consultant , Murray Stott, says the failures technically resulted in New Zealand being closed for business for four days.

In his case, he says, he hasn't been able to carry out his work since the first websites went down on Saturday.

Mr Stott says the business world is being pushed towards an online future and online services need to be reliable.

He says the ministry needs to have a back-up plan that can be activated when technical issues occur, instead of simply stopping services.