Global digital economy BW 959

New report outlines the Government’s digital economy work programme

New report outlines the Government’s digital economy work programme

Last updated 6 April 2017
Last updated 6 April 2017

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has published a new report that sets out how the Government is partnering with New Zealand’s digital sector and other economic sectors, to enable New Zealand to become a leading digital nation.

Building a Digital Nation (PDF, 1 Mb) outlines the Government’s full programme of activity to grow New Zealand’s digital economy under its Business Growth Agenda. It is intended to serve as a focal point for ongoing engagement with the digital community and for shaping and driving New Zealand’s digital transformation.

Minister for Communications Simon Bridges released the report last week at the launch of a digital sector and government alliance to explore the economic and social benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is a concept that involves connecting devices to the internet, enabling them to ‘talk’ to each other and to people. For example, smartphones might prompt people to take a specific route to an event because it has access to their current location and calendar.

Digital work programme

The report outlines the Government’s Digital Economy Work Programme. It aims to ensure that agencies are collectively focusing on the right initiatives, in the right areas, to support the growth of New Zealand’s Digital Sector and the uptake and smart use of ICT across the economy. The Programme was developed with support from New Zealand’s digital community and is a cross-government effort. It covers eight areas that are critical to ensuring that New Zealand is able to adapt and take advantage of the opportunities driven by technological change.

The work programme covers these four broad areas:

  1. A thriving digital sector – where digital technology firms make up a larger part of the economy, and partner with other sectors to create new products and services and ways of doing things. 
  2. Digital businesses – New Zealand businesses across all sectors of the economy using digital technology to improve their productivity, add value and become more competitive.
  3. Connected and confident digital New Zealanders – who can function safely in the digital world, access the benefits of digital technology, and create with it. 
  4. A digital government – where the public sector is using digital technology to work smarter, make better decisions, generate value from New Zealand’s information, and transform the way services are delivered. 

TEC is supporting several projects under the programme

  • re-launch of Digital Technology Skills Forum, an industry-led and MBIE-supported initiative which is supported by a range of industry bodies and government agencies (page 8)
  • set up of new ICT Graduate Schools to add to the number of ICT graduates (page 8)
  • investment in Entrepreneurial Universities (page 14)
  • investigating how to support adults to learn new technologies (Page 17)
  • growing the numbers of enrolments and graduates for in-demand disciplines like engineering, ICT and applied sciences (page 18).

Tertiary institutions are also supporting key initiatives:

  • supporting expansion of Shadow Tech Days (page 16)
  • the University of Waikato is leading the six-year, $12.2 million cyber security STRATUS project (the Security Technologies Returning Accountability, Trust and User-centric  Services in the Cloud).

The Building a Digital Nation factsheet (PDF, 246 kb) has some interesting statistics. For example, New Zealand has 28,749 tech sector firms that contribute $16.2b to our GDP and employ 98,911 people.