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Earlier this month when visiting Japan with the Prime Minister’s business delegation, I was proud to see how well respected we are as a nation. I travelled with Zespri, ANZCO and Fonterra among others who all sell hundreds of millions of dollars of product into Japan each year. While these mainstays of our economy all use some degree of technology to maintain global competitiveness, as a nation, we are not known for technology itself. NZ Story research in Japan has found that New Zealand is known as a rugby playing nation that produces commodity food products and is a pleasant tourist destination. Tell them we have hi-tech companies and there is immediate disbelief. Tell them we just sent a rocket to space and they are incredulous. However, show them some cool agritech and it is suddenly more believable that New Zealand can do hi-tech. In most places around the world, the feedback is similar.
Because of perceptions like these, we are working with the Government (NZTE, NZ Story & MBIE) to develop content to help tech companies break through these barriers in international markets. As we start to build a reputation as a hi-tech nation it will not only help the tech exporters, it will help all exporters. The Prime Minister and the leaders of our biggest food producers all agreed with my view that the “techification of all New Zealand sectors was the path to prosperity”.
With this in mind we have also worked with 19 other tech groups to create a cohesive voice for the 2017 Tech Manifesto. Consisting of 12 goals to help New Zealand become a digital nation, every MP and key government employees were sent a copy last week. The Ministry of the Future, our repeated call for an Office of a Government Chief Technology Officer, received plenty of news headlines and we will continue to drive our message in the coming weeks.
Finally, a special shout out to Techweek. Techweek’17 was a great success with 287 events in 24 towns delivered by a small team within NZTech and a nationwide network of supporters. We have already started work on Techweek’18 and we really need your feedback. Please take a few minutes to tell us what we could do better.
Have a great week
All the best
Join Canterbury Tech on 6 June and hear hi-tech manufacturing insights from TE Connectivity’s Roland Sommer. He will discuss models of success, products best suited to local manufacture and offers a factory tour.
Thanks again for joining us at Techweek’17. We would appreciate your feedback so we can make Techweek’18 even better! Please complete our short survey. It takes just two minutes and you will go into a prize draw.
Are you a mentor preparing for your first ShadowTech Day? Check what is required of you on the day and gain practical insights from Eva Sherwood, who mentored last year.
Entries close this week for the 2017 AmCham-DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards. Open to importers, exporters and bilateral services.
New Zealand’s Digital Future; are we adapting fast enough? Listen to what NZTech CEO Graeme Muller had to say following the launch of the 2017 Tech Manifesto. Or read the 12 manifesto goals and highlights.
Seeking NZTech Board nominations. Our AGM is scheduled for 20 July and that means election season is upon us! Know someone who would be awesome on our board? Nominations close 14 June.
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