The New Zealand Tech Alliance is a group of independent technology associations from across New Zealand that work together to ensure a strong voice for technology.Visit Tech Alliance
The 2016 Annual General Meeting will mark another important milestone in the continued growth and strategic relevance of NZTech. The past year has seen both membership and influence expand as the strategy of focusing on connecting, promoting and advancing the sector begins to show progress. Here is an update and the year in review;
To create a strong foundation, the focus of 2015 was to bring the sector together for a stronger voice. Through membership growth and the signing of formal alliances with Canterbury Tech and the NZ Software Association, NZTech now represents over 300 organisations. The past year also saw the delivery of 54 member events, a highly read weekly update, plus briefing papers on women in tech, cyber security and government procurement. Work continues with a number of other tech based associations towards signing formal alliances as we continue to build something akin to the Star Alliance of tech in New Zealand.
As we moved into 2016, our focus moved to the promotion of the sector. Our flagship project in 2016 has been Digital Nation New Zealand, an economic impact study report. With over six months of research and review, this work provides a solid foundation for further initiatives. Most significant of these is the Digital Nation website (due for launch later this month), showcasing cool New Zealand tech companies and cool uses of technology in New Zealand. This project has opened discussion with several government agencies, including NZ Story, on how best to promote New Zealand internationally as a leading tech country. A collaboration with the Hi-Tech Trust and ATEED to deliver Techweek with over 50 events in a single week has also significantly raised the sectors profile, as have projects such as Shadow Tech Day, the STEM Alliance and ITx, a collaboration with IITP to bring 12 IT events into a single week.
Our Member and Government Relations lead, Jen Rutherford, based full-time in Wellington has been able to proactively engage across a broad range of agencies and initiatives. Working with IITP & NZRise we have formed the Digital Skills Forum with MBIE, DIA, MoE, Immigration and TEC to collaboratively work on projects that should make a tangible difference. For example, NZTech and DIA are conducting a national survey of tech skills across government departments, tech firms and large corporates, including forecast needs, in order to develop clarity on what actual skills are needed, by who and when. NZTech, IITP and the Ministry of Education continue to work on getting computational thinking into the school curricula from year 1 and initiatives such as creating pathways directly from school into the tech sector. Work continues on government procurement with regular briefings with DIA, the GCIO and Minister Dunne. During the past year, multiple Ministerial briefings have also been held with Ministers Joyce, Adams, English, Goldsmith and Foss, as well as the Labour caucus. To support our export and high growth members, NZTech has been working with Callaghan and NZTE on events, delegations and road shows. Sessions have also been held with MFAT, to help them understand high growth tech exporters and on TPPA, TISA and RECP trade negotiations.