September 23, 2023

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New Zealand First’s AI White Paper Urges Investing in Artificial Intelligence Research

In terms of creating world-leading AI businesses, nurturing a pool of talented AI engineers, applying AI technologies to our government, agriculture, manufacturing, and service industries, and holding a meaningful national debate on the broader implications for society, the rapid development of AI technologies presents major opportunities and challenges for New Zealand. Hence, New Zealand must engage actively with AI now to ensure its future success.

If New Zealand does not invest in artificial intelligence research, its AI capabilities will be limited to efficient software running on the clouds of giant multinational corporations, jeopardising the country’s technological and data sovereignty. This was confirmed in the publication of New Zealand’s first white paper, which claims that the country’s universities and research institutes have “great breadth and potential” in AI research.

The white paper recognised the importance of AI and emphasised the importance of establishing and investing in an AI ecosystem in which industry and research organisations can collaborate more closely for the benefit of Aotearoa New Zealand. The authors discuss New Zealand’s AI capabilities using the World Economic Forum’s framework and make recommendations on how to position this country as an exemplar of competence and confidence in AI worldwide.

It then stated, “our vision is that by 2030, Aotearoa New Zealand will have a community of cutting-edge companies producing and exporting AI technologies, supported by a strong network of researchers involved in high-level fundamental and applied research.”

The workforce will be well-educated, and Aotearoa New Zealand will be at the forefront of providing fair AI education to a wide range of stakeholders. The realisation of this objective necessitates both financial investment and concerted work. In terms of scientific research, the study suggests expanding funding for public AI research by creating new research centres, hubs, and programmes in both basic and applied AI.

The report suggests developing programmes to boost private sector use of AI, including investments in strategic sectors such as primary industries, climate change, health, and high-value manufacturing, to industrialise AI technology. The paper goes on to say that for AI to thrive, it needs solid infrastructure, and it suggests a national data infrastructure with open data partnerships and datasets.

Ultimately, according to the paper, It is essential to reflect on AI’s strategic implications for Aotearoa New Zealand. “We will lose our ability to compete successfully with the major platform first domiciled in large markets such as the US, China, and the EU if we do not engage in AI research and adoption.”

OpenGov Asia reported AI will not only contribute to the education sector but also the health sector. AI technology is rapidly expanding into other healthcare areas, including early detection of diseases, treatment and research. In the coming year, technology will continue to advance and play a larger role, especially as the world continues to be affected by the pandemic.

New Zealand has a robust and well-planned AI Strategy and a thriving AI ecosystem. The AI Forum brings together New Zealand’s artificial intelligence community, working together to harness the power of AI technologies to enable a prosperous, inclusive and thriving future in New Zealand. It advances New Zealand’s AI ecosystem through connections, advocacy, growing talent and collaboration.

Over the years, AI and machine learning have witnessed significant development and have now become smarter than before. In the wake of the pandemic, companies that relied on on-site data centre support staff soon realised they had limited or no visibility into their data centre operations. With a cloud-based, next-generation management platform, IT support staff can now manage sites remotely and more importantly, in a much safer manner. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is keen that organisations future-proof AI systems for effective compliance and advocate for more robust regulation collaboration.


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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


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