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NZTech Manifesto Stresses Importance Of Technology To NZ’s Future

Published: Fri 22 Sep 2023 12:10 PM
The next Government must support the use of technology to transform the economy, lift the performance of New Zealand industries and create high-value jobs, according to NZTech CEO Graeme Muller.
NZTech has released its manifesto for the upcoming election, New Zealand’s Digital Future, which cites six key areas the next Government must focus on to enable and grow Aotearoa as a Digital Nation: education, inclusion, sustainability, safety, growing exports, and lifting productivity
Highlights include:
• Developing a national Digital Skills Strategy to coordinate public and private sector initiatives to lift digital skills
• Providing affordable internet access to all New Zealanders, including free internet access in all public housing
• Developing a climate technology roadmap for New Zealand’s Emissions Reduction Plan
• Enabling biotechnology investment through modifying New Zealand’s genetic modification laws
• Increasing investment in critical cyber security infrastructure and education for New Zealand businesses and the public
NZTech represent 20 tech associations with over 2,000 members who collectively employ more than 100,000 New Zealanders. The organisation is a lead partner in the Digital Technology Industry Transformation Plan (ITP), a collaboration between the New Zealand tech sector and the New Zealand Government, to help grow the country’s second-largest export sector, responsible for almost $10 billion in exports.
As in past elections, NZTech continues to advocate for a Minister of Technology to be part of the next Government, a move which the National Party has included in its tech policy.
Technology impacts the entire economy and it needs a strong voice inside Government, says Muller.
“Tech’s influence is so significant it urgently requires dedicated Government leadership and oversight. This role should address a wide range of issues that collectively improves digital safety, and lifts equity, sustainability and prosperity for all in Aotearoa, by creating jobs, export growth and impact through tech for good.
“The introduction of this level of focus should help with cross sector coordination to take advantage of tech where possible and be better prepared to manage any emerging tech risk, such as the role technology should be playing in our emissions reduction commitments.”
NZTech’s recent Digital Skills for Tomorrow, Today report identified the continuing challenges organisations across the economy are facing accessing the digital skills they need to grow or provide better services for New Zealanders.
“While work is underway to improve the development of local talent, immigration will continue to be critical to ensure we have the skills in New Zealand to take advantage of quickly evolving technologies like AI and cybersecurity,” says Muller.
In 2022 there were 23,433 tech firms in New Zealand who employed 118,070 people in New Zealand and thousands around the world. The top 200 exporting tech firms workforce grew 10.9% per annum and the average salary of people working in the tech sector is over $100,000. The tech sector is New Zealand’s second largest export sector, and exported $9.8 billion in 2022, while contributing $20 billion to GDP. View the latest tech metrics here. Learn more about NZTech and its work.

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