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Budget a boost for a digital nation – NZTech chief executive says

Today’s Budget 2016 is an encouraging boost for technology, New Zealand’s fastest growing industry, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

With rising surpluses and forecast growth in the economy spells more digital and hi-tech jobs and expanding tech businesses Muller says.

“It’s heartening to see the $761 million for Innovative New Zealand, a package of science, skills and regional development initiatives to help grow and diversify the economy.”

“The $2.1 billion public infrastructure package focusing on transport, schools and a fresh tax system will need significant digital input which will help grow the tech industry, which is contributing $16.2 billion to the annual gross domestic product.”

“This public package will deliver better public services and we know government agencies accounts for 29% of the ICT purchasing.”

“We can see technology playing increasingly important roles in science and innovation and it is great to see the Budget allocating $410.5 million in these areas producing the 21st century skills New Zealand needs to grow our digital nation.”

“Minister of Science and Innovation Steven Joyce really understands the value of the hi-tech sector and he says we have seen over 20,000 jobs created in the last three years, record numbers of highly-skilled graduates and major growth in new and emerging hi-tech sectors like the software services sector.”

“I agree with him that we need more skilled people in disciplines like science, engineering, agriculture and the key trades if we are to continue to grow the new-age New Zealand economy.”

“Another area where technology will drive change is the IT tax system. The Budget is investing $503 million of new operating funding over the next four years and $354 million of new capital funding a new tax system so New Zealanders and their businesses can better manage their tax affairs online through digital technology,” Muller says.

NZTech will next month release a major first-ever investigative report into the state of New Zealand hi-technology. Minister Steven Joyce will attend the report launch on June 21.

NZTech We connect, promote and advance the New Zealand Technology ecosystem to help the tech sector and the economy grow.