About the Common Web Platform

The Common Web Platform (CWP) is a platform as a service offering for government websites. Agencies maintain control of their websites, including the look and feel, and can extend the functionality as they need.

CWP offers more services than a web hosting solution, but is not a software as a service product. Xero and Gmail are examples of software as a service. You set up an account and start using the functions they provide. With CWP, the platform provides parts of the solution, and the agency controls the rest. The following diagram shows some examples of what the agency controls, and what the three organisations in CWP provide.

This diagram illustrates the difference between what the agency controls and the platform provides. The relationship is explained in the text below.

Examples of what the agency controls are:

  • the look and feel or their websites,
  • the suppliers of professional services to manage and develop their websites,
  • the content,
  • the website's code,
  • bespoke development to integrate their website with other systems,
  • other custom features and templates.

The platform is provided by Internal Affairs (DIA), SilverStripe and Revera. 

DIA is the lead agency and manages the contract with SilverStripe. DIA monitors the uptake of CWP, and the delivery against the agreement. DIA promotes usage and manages the product development plan.

SilverStripe Ltd is the CWP service provider. They manage and maintain CWP, providing support and assistance to agency staff. They also provide services for developers and site administrators, such as reporting, a 24/7 Service Desk and an online code repository. SilverStripe delivers a key software solution used by CWP, called SilverStripe CMS, with an enhanced version containing features and templates, specifically set up to meet the needs of government websites. SilverStripe works with DIA to continually improve CWP.

Revera provides the relevant infrastructure, network and firewall. They are contracted by DIA under the Government’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service agreement. Agencies deal directly with SilverStripe, and do not sign a contract with Revera.

Find out more about how CWP works and the features and services it provides.

How were the providers selected?

A working group of members from ten agencies was set up to agree a set of common website requirements. A request for proposal was issued to the web community for solutions. A team of web experts from five agencies evaluated the proposals to select the solution. SilverStripe was selected as the service provider, with Revera as a service partner.

What types of websites are intended to use CWP?

The types of websites that suit the base CWP offering are government information websites, including intranets. CWP is also well-suited to urgent websites, as the install presents standard publishing templates, which, with only minor cosmetic changes, can be used to quickly launch a website.

Can CWP be used for websites with transactional functionality?

The base CWP install offers limited transactional functionality through web forms. Agencies can develop transactional functionality or use CWP as the public-facing website, linked to transactional systems. Agencies would take responsibility for this work, including reviewing the development work for standards compliance and security. Increased transactional functionality is expected to become available, through product development and code sharing.

How does an agency sign up to CWP?

To sign up to CWP, email online@dia.govt.nz and you will be sent the contractual agreements.

The sign up process is:

  1. Sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with DIA
  2. Meet the business relationship manager at SilverStripe, to work out which size CWP Instance and Disaster Recovery options meet their requirements
  3. Signs the Participating Agency Agreement with SilverStripe
  4. The agency can then request an Instance, and your web development team can start building on the platform within 3 working days
  5. For future website Instance setups, the agency can request them through the CWP Service Desk

Who is eligible to use the Common Web Platform?

Almost any entity in the public service, state sector, or state service is eligible to use CWP. Refer to State Service Commission's website for the list of agencies.

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