On 23 February 2021, the Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) opened to eligible businesses and organisations impacted by the COVID-19 resurgence in Auckland in mid-February 2021.
Our experience implementing earlier components of the Government’s COVID-19 response, such as Small Business Cashflow Scheme loans, provided a good basis for how we developed the RSP. We aimed for an online, easy-to-use application and payment scheme.
Right at the beginning, we established a team of policy, legal and technical specialists to design, implement and support the RSP.
The deadlines involved meant that the RSP’s design and the underpinning policy had to happen in parallel. The team worked together closely to ensure our advice to the Government was based on what was practically achievable in the timeframe.
Normally, draft legislation can be changed along the way to reflect any alterations to the detailed design and implementation of an initiative such as this. However, the legislation enabling the RSP was passed rapidly after Cabinet approved it. Driven by the urgent need to get support to businesses, we had a very limited opportunity to make changes. A key feature of the legislation is that it does not try to anticipate every possible scenario or customer situation.
When it came to developing the online process for applying for the payment, we leveraged START, our new core system. Although the RSP is a different product, it shares a common design with another COVID-19 initiative, the Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme. The re-use of existing designs, and the fact that START is a commercial off-the-shelf system, means the RSP can evolve to meet any future needs of Government and customers.
The rapid development of the RSP demonstrates the value of the investment made in transformation. Technology is no longer a constraint on our ability to make changes quickly and cost-effectively. The RSP was in place in 45 days. Using our old systems and processes, it’s likely that delivering the RSP would have taken around 3 to 4 times longer.
You can read more about the support this payment has provided to businesses.