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New Zealand Drafts Road Map to Grow Digital Technology Sector

Called the Industry Transformation Plan (ITP), the draft is meant to inject sweeping changes to the way it supports the tech sector’s growth in Aotearoa. It is focused on technology as a generator of high-value jobs and export revenue. To achieve this end, the draft has been framed around three key priorities – creating strong foundations, taking advantage of accelerated growth opportunities and building Māori participation in the sector.

The digital technology sector is now one of the country’s top earners, contributing an estimated $6.6 billion to the economy in 2019. Despite COVID-19, the sector is still growing at almost twice the rate of the rest of the economy, details Minister for Digital Economy and Communications, David Clark.

Further, Clark denotes the importance of a skilled workforce saying that in order for the technology sector to grow, it needs to be able to access the right people. Historically there has been a ‘skills mismatch. Therefore, the key to the country’s future success is training our workforce with the right skills.

“If we want to train world-class tech experts, they need to be learning from the best.” 

– David Clark, Minister for Digital Economy and Communications

The government minister pointed out key expertise should include software development, product managers, cyber security and interactive media. Plus, he confirms that an industry commitment to growing local talent is also part of the ITP.

It may not be the final document yet but the draft already has many details. At the centre of the ITP draft is a detailed action plan that includes a number of initiatives co-designed between industry and government. Areas of interest include the development of new skills and talent pipeline, creation of a Tech Story to be marketed overseas and support for export-orientated sub-sectors, such as Software-as-a-Service and Interactive Media.

Increasingly, the Aotearoan government has been relying on collaboration with its private sector to move its economy as a country forward. And its digital transformation plan is no exemption. By opening itself to feedback, it ensures that it accounts for all possible viewpoints to come up with a comprehensive plan.

As this is a road map that should help transform the private sector, the government seeks to finalise the ITP draft with the help of the technology sector. It is now seeking feedback from the industry and other interested parties. This feedback will be used to refine the action plan, prior to creating a final ITP that will address both the short-term and long-term opportunities and challenges for the sector.

The New Zealand government is encouraging needed feedback to finalise the ITP, details on the draft is made available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) website. Plus, people can have their say on the draft on the site. Moreover, Clark is looking forward to hearing from the tech sector and other interested parties on shaping the final plan. But time is ticking for those who wish to present their feedback. Submissions close at 5 pm, 31 March 2022. Once finalised, the full plan will also be published later this year.

The New Zealand government definitely has big plans for its technology sector and it’s willing to invest to promote its technology to the world. One recent example is the New Zealand government’s NZ $1 million investment to market its technology worldwide, as reported on OpenGov Asia. With such collaborative efforts, its economy is poised to grow significantly.

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