I’ve completely given up on using internal search features of NZ public sector web sites (well, actually all web sites really). I’ve recently discovered the ‘Search this site’ button in the Google bar for Firefox. You can of course just use the site: modifier, but the button makes it one step easier. I consistently get much better results using Google than I do the search features on individual web sites. Often they won’t turn up anything for a particular query, whereas Google will have exactly what I want right at the top of the list.
I can’t help but think that Google has some options in terms of exploring alternate business models for exploiting this advantage they have. Corporates are unlikely to tolerate ads in the search results from their own site, but having some method of paying Google to make it fully transparent that Google is driving the search on a particular site might be attractive.