ClearPoint delivers Govt.Nz COVID-19 WhatsApp chatbot solution in record time

ClearPoint is proud to be part of the private-sector team in the development of the NZ Government’s WhatsApp channel (covid19.govt.nz/whatsapp) in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Govt.Nz, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. 

The solution can connect every person in NZ to one source of trusted information. The latest and official information will be available fast and on their phone through WhatsApp. The vision for the service is that it may also provide a health check tool and the ability to poll users to keep in touch to help map the progress of the virus in NZ. 

The solution will reduce overhead on Government services including the Ministry of Health and frontline systems such as Healthline, as well as providing an official trusted source of truth of information. 

ClearPoint’s role is to establish, enhance and operate the solution. The solution is based on technology from South African company Turn.io, as used by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) WhatsApp Coronavirus channel, which now has 10+ million users after just a few days. WHO’s channel is already the largest WhatsApp application in the world. They also launched the localised South African version which has acquired 2.5 million users in 7 days.

WhatsApp was selected as it has a massive global infrastructure with 2 billion active users globally, and quickly can maximise reach across the community. In addition, WhatsApp provides the ability for end-to-end encryption, critical for potential future use-cases involving health information. The NZ solution will become multi-lingual – English will be followed by content in Maori, Samoan, Tongan, Hindi and Mandarin. 

ClearPoint has enabled the solution within Amazon’s AWS cloud infrastructure, in close collaboration with the Department of Internal Affairs.  AWS, with WhatsApp and Turn.io, provide highly scalable foundational components for enabling further development and innovation on the platform.  

This is a critical project delivering a new channel for people in New Zealand. The ClearPoint team worked across many stakeholders across New Zealand and internationally to deliver the outcome in record time of less than 2 weeks.

Bain Hollister from ClearPoint explains “It has been a tremendous privilege and responsibility for ClearPoint to be involved in this initiative. ClearPoint engineers and teams have been working around the clock to get this live. I’m really proud of our teams and the wider tech community in delivering this.”

The NZ Government is working directly with the private sector team led by Rob Fyfe, along with technology and business industry players, including by Sam Morgan, Bain Hollister from ClearPoint, Gustav Praekelt, Mike Cannon-Brookes and 30+ senior developers from Atlassian, ClearPoint & Turn.Io.

Further features will be released in the coming weeks. It can be found at covid19.govt.nz/whatsapp.

Govt.NZ WhatsApp in English

Govt.NZ WhatsApp in Te Reo