Community Matters

Community Matter, it sure does

Community Matters is an initiative of Department of Internal Affairs with sole focus on strengthening communities in New Zealand. Although a key part of their role is offering funding and grant applications, Community Matters also acts to encourage action from individuals and groups to engage with their community and make a social difference.

Project Overview

Silverstripe and Community Matters worked together closely to create a digital experience that placed New Zealanders, and their work as community advocates, at the centre of the website. The approach to serving information to audiences in this project transcends the traditional informational website where the user needs to sort through pages of information, and instead, acts as a knowledge base, with questions being the impetus for information discovery.

Placing natural language search in the form of a question, at the centre of the website, allowed Community Matters to gain deep insights into their audience. The ability to identify and track what information is being searched and then viewed, gives Community Matters website administrators the option to adjust information presented to users, and be able to immediately add more valuable information if new questions are searched. Users can also mark if the information was useful or not on each page, and add comments directly for the website team to see, so adjustments can be made if needed. Insights gained from collecting rich data from the onsite search is then be used by the call centre and web content teams to further enhance the agencies service.

Steering for success

The project needed to be both bicultural and multicultural so to best reflect the diverse nature of New Zealand Communities. To ensure the values of Community Matter and all New Zealanders were represented in the website, a Kiwaha (message) was created to solidify the vision and purpose of Community Matters. “Kia akiaki te mana o te tangata” encapsulates and celebrates the core values of the project. Interconnectedness, unity, hospitality and working towards a shared goal of supporting and strengthening communities. This is Community Matters.


Community Matters are very excited to work with Silverstripe to explore dynamic ways of better understanding and responding to our customers needs. Our customers often work in a voluntary capacity to make a difference in their Community, hapū, and iwi. We have really valued Silverstripe’s commitment to understanding our customers experiences and to ensure that we are well equipped to continue to be responsive and adapt to our customers needs and aspirations

— Ona de Rooy, Senior Product Owner, Community Matters


New learnings and approaches that were presented in the project, helped to shape a polished and high performing website that is both usable and valuable for all New Zealanders, strengthening the social fabric that is our communities.

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