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NZTech Update – Building A Digital Economy

Last Friday, submissions for feedback on the proposed R&D tax credits were due.  For several years NZTech has been encouraging the introduction of some form of R&D tax credit system.  However this is in the context of being an additional method of stimulating R&D and not as a complete replacement to growth grants.  Unfortunately, the proposed solution will create a situation where previous recipients of growth grants will receive less when transitioned to tax credits.  Additionally, for several years, NZTech has been encouraging a review of how R&D is defined, particularly with respect to software development and high growth technology firms. The impact of the proposed system on startups was detailed by Nat Torkington last week (read here) and again by Toby Littin in another article (read here).

As a result, NZTech has placed a submission recommending that the consultation process also provides the opportunity for the Government to undertake a full review of R&D incentives on software, startups and high growth hi-tech firms.  We will continue to raise these issues and will keep you posted.

Last week, Minister Curran announced an accelerated timetable to rollout rural broadband to help close the digital divide.  Its aim is to ensure everyone can benefit from the jobs and access that a digital future brings, regardless of what part of New Zealand they live in.   The Minister also announced that she was travelling to Singapore this week to attend an international conference on building a digital economy and digital transformation with Ministers and high level government officials from around the world.  Let’s hope she brings back a few good ideas from other countries to share with her new Chief technology Officer who should be in place by July.

This week, I will be in Auckland attending the Techweek’18 debrief, an AI Forum event, the monthly Digital Skills Forum meeting, the quarterly Economic Development Agencies tech strategy meeting and weather permitting, my eight year old daughter’s cross country event.

Have a great week.

Ngā mihi

Graeme Muller

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Join NZSA on 12 June in Auckland for Pushing Boundaries with Danu Abeysuriya, founder of innovative digital engineering studio, Rush Digital.

InsurTechNZ next meets on 7 June in Auckland to discuss Customers and Data – Shaping the Future, including AI and privacy.  Join FinTechNZ on a delegation to London FinTech Week, 6-13 July.

Attend the CIO Summit on 13-14 June in Auckland.  For a 10% discount, use the promo code: MO4KO4.  For $99 off the TechTeam Pass, use this code: MK4KCO.


Attend The Future of Data: what’s in store for society, culture and innovation? on 12 June in Wellington.  For more on AI read Artificial Intelligence: Shaping a Future New Zealand here.

Last week, NZ Hi-Tech Awards double winner Angie Judd of Dexibit highlighted the importance of mentoring when she spoke at ShadowTech in Auckland.  Diversity is the cornerstone of success, she says.

Attend Burn Your Brochures, a digital marketing workshop for hi-tech companies on 26 June in Auckland.  Save the date for the 2018 CanterburyTech Summit!  This year on 12 September, registrations open soon.


Read CERT NZ’s Quarter One 2018 report.  More than 500 incidents were reported, with those aged over 55 years of age reporting highest losses.  CERT will receive an additional $3.9 million over four years as part of Budget 2018.

Congratulations to NZTech and FinTechNZ’s Chair, Mitchell Pham who is receiving a Kea World Class New Zealand Award.  He is joined by Rocket Lab’s Peter Beck and Soul Machine’s Mark Sagar.  Attend the gala dinner on 21 June in Auckland.

Have your say in the NCEA review.  There’s still time to provide feedback on the proposed changes to the NZBN Register and the Open Data Charter Refresh.  Applications for Massey University’s Sprint Launch for tech startups close on 11 June.

Check out UpStarters, the New Zealand Tech and Innovation story.

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