Shared Workspace (SWS)

Shared Workspace is a secure, online collaboration tool for government agencies to share information with each other and with their third party project partners. SWS helps achieve better outcomes by allowing specialist groups and networks to share expertise, experience and good practice.

Shared Workspace is opt-in for all eligible agencies.
Status Operational

Agency Contact

The Department of Internal Affairs Shared Workspace Helpdesk +64 4 463 1385

Service Description

Shared Workspace is a secure, online collaborative tool primarily designed for project management. It uses SharePoint 2010 software with some customised member management functionality added.

Functional components include:

  • document libraries
  • wiki library
  • announcement list
  • contacts list
  • events/calendar list
  • links list
  • tasks list
  • discussion board
  • custom permissions of owner, member and visitor
  • assessable via mobile devices with modern web browsers

Individual files uploaded to SWS are limited to 100MB. Individual sites are limited to a total storage capacity of 7 GB, unless additional storage is purchased.

SWS uses RealMe as its authentication service. All SWS users must have a RealMe login (the all-of-government authentication service) to access their workspace. RealMe means a higher level of security for all users and a much better self service for users. Members have a greater control over their login settings and are able to recover their passwords and access RealMe support 24/7.

Internal Affairs can manage individual workspace members at no additional charge on request from the site owner.


The Department of Internal Affairs provides and manages the service for all eligible government agencies.


The Department of Internal Affairs developed the shared workspace as a tool to provide a common, secure platform to support online collaboration between government agencies and their partners.

Shared Workspace:

  • Saves time for the agency by reducing number of separate email lists for different classes of information, reducing level of communication required with each individual member
  • Reduces email ‘clutter’ because members only need access information they require
  • Retains security of information for non-Government distribution
  • Restricts access to different levels of information for groups of users
  • Controls versioning of information
  • Increases collaboration


The Shared Workspace completed a full software upgrade to SharePoint 2010 in May 2013. Internal Affairs are currently developing a roadmap for a future upgrade to SharePoint 2016.

Lead Agency

The Department of Internal Affairs

Adopting the service

When applying for a workspace, agencies simply choose the functionality they need and The Department of Internal Affairs builds the workspace. Components can be added or removed from the workspace as the project develops, as can membership to the workspace.

To get started, agencies need to:

  1. Request an application form from the product manager
  2. Complete the application form and welcome message template
  3. Decide the following required information
    1. the workspace URL
    2. workspace name,
    3. specific functionality required
    4. custom libraries and group permission
  4. Send the application form, welcome message template and additional required information along with a list of initial site owners (name, agency and email address) to

Assuming the agency’s data management needs fit the shared workspace model, the application will be accepted. Once accepted, Internal Affairs builds the site and sends the initial email invitation to access the site to the agency site owner. The site owner then invites people to join and use the space. Members can be from a mix of agencies, non-government people and private sector organisations.

Members access the Shared Workspace  via a secure website and a modern web browser.

Access to the workspace is based on the length of the project so billing is pro-rated according the length of subscription. There is no minimum or maximum term.

Internal Affairs can manage individual workspace members at no additional charge. The site owner will need to email to request this service.


Lead Agency Agreement summary

  • Managed Service

Agencies using the service

There are approximately 250 separate Shared Workspaces operating with 6000 active users. Forty percent of users are non-government.

Agencies that operate a site:

  • Accident Compensation Corporation
  • Child, Youth and Family
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Crown Law Office
  • Department of Conservation
  • Department of Corrections
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Department of Conservation
  • Financial Markets Authority
  • Health Quality and Safety Commission
  • Inland Revenue
  • Internal Affairs
  • Land Information New Zealand
  • Metservice
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Ministry for Culture and Heritage
  • Ministry for the Environment
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Ministry for Primary Industries
  • Ministry of Social Development
  • New Zealand Customs Service
  • New Zealand Police
  • NZ Transport Agency
  • Queenstown Lakes District Council
  • State Services Commission
  • Tertiary Education Commission
  • The Treasury
  • Waikato District Health Board

Additional service information