The challenge

Under New Zealand law, there are a number of government agencies who are involved in, or have jurisdiction over, product recalls.

Previously, all information on which products were recalled, the status of the recall, and consumer advice was spread across multiple websites. With the information in different formats, levels of detail and consumer relevance, people found it difficult to get a comprehensive picture of what was being recalled. 

Our solution

Working with the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE), Solnet designed the Product Recalls website (recalls.govt.nz), a centralised database and communications tool for product recall information. The tool consists of both a public facing web application, as well as a system at the back end where businesses can submit and upload information which is relevant to their recall.

Recalls.govt.nz is a centralised, first stop website for product recall information within New Zealand that simplifies the product recalls space. The site is a collaboration between the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), Ministry of Health (MoH), and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

A trusted digital channel assisting businesses to communicate with the public and manage recall compliance

Most recalls are voluntary, however, once one begins there is a certain level of compliance which the business must meet. Previously, businesses had to submit documents manually with significant amounts of email correspondence between themselves and MBIE. Now there is an online process for businesses to register consumer goods recalls with MBIE online. Once this process is started, businesses can both log recalls and submit their documents in a secure online environment.

With the amount of manual work required to manage the mechanics of a recall significantly reduced, the team at MBIE can focus their efforts on working with businesses who are undertaking and broadcasting recall information to interested groups and the general public. 

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We needed to build a system which would simplify the recalls space for consumers and help us push out comms around recalls so New Zealanders can have the information they need to help keep themselves safe. At the same time we wanted to build a tool that makes it easy for businesses to manage their consumer goods recalls in New Zealand.

Brendon Noonan - Product Safety Analyst Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment

product recalls screen

Aggregated information which can easily be disseminated to the public, from a single source

With product recall information from four key agencies in one place (MBIE, NZTA, MPI and MoH) the Product Recalls site helps get recall information out to the public. The site’s mass email system and use of social media lets the public choose how and when they get recall information and enables them to share it with friends and family. 

Recall categorisation lets the private sector (non-governmental organisations and other interested groups) pick up and share recalls that are relevant to their customers, this significantly increases the reach of the Product Recalls website. 

All of government Common Web Platform

The Product Recalls site is built within the government’s Common Web Platform (CWP), a PHP based SilverStripe content management system (CMS). This provides content authors and agency users with a simple to use interface to capture, publish and manage application data and content.

The web application also integrates with the government’s RealMe identity management system, which allows businesses and individuals to access multiple government sites and services with a single username and password. This ensures that the tool meets stringent security requirements to allow external and internal registered users to login to the application with ease, but at the same time making sure that there is a high degree of security around the data they are entering and the identity of those entering the data. 

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