printer icon

NZTech Inform – maximising societal benefits of digital tech

On Friday, the Government announced the Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand; comprised of external advisors to help the Government identify and understand the new opportunities and threats from rapidly evolving digital technologies. I am already impressed with the way they are operating and their clarity of purpose. The Digital Council is well structured to provide focused and independent technology advice. 

Last week, alongside other tech associations and stakeholders, it was a privilege to meet the Digital Council. Congratulations to all of the members of the Digital Council, in particular NZTech’s Chair Mitchell Pham and AI Forum’s executive council member Rachel Kelly.

Meanwhile, my focus is on the Digital Technology sector industry transformation plan (ITP). Since our workshop series we ran throughout New Zealand late last year, we have been working with the team at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to take feedback and strengthen the vision for the sector. An updated version will be shared shortly. 

Over the next couple of months, MBIE and NZTech will again be engaging across New Zealand to further develop the critical workstreams that will form the core of the ITP. These include:

  • Developing New Zealand’s tech brand
  • Qualifications and education
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Immigration
  • Government procurement
  • Capital and investment

This next phase will involve digging deeper into the core opportunities or challenges of these workstreams, capturing evidence and starting to develop programmes of work to be embedded within the ITP.

Everyone who attended a workshop will soon be invited to be involved in this next phase. However, if you haven’t previously attended a workshop, but would like to be involved, please email

While this is happening, MBIE will continue to progress work on some of the over-arching themes such as data and AI, coverage and access, and broad engagement with Māori stakeholders. 

To improve efficiency and reach, the next wave of engagement will be conducted online. The commitment required will be to provide feedback on ideas and written documents, and share your experiences and insights from working in the sector, roughly a couple of times a month.

The Digital Tech Industry Transformation Plan is a major opportunity for those working in the digital tech sector to collaborate with government and to target some decent resources at solving anything that is getting in the way of your success. Let’s take this opportunity to improve the development of a New Zealand tech talent pipeline, to encourage greater diversity, improve the way government engages with technology projects, attract quality capital for our fast growing firms, and raise global awareness that New Zealand is a tech nation.

I’m looking forward to working with you and others over the coming weeks to design an industry transformation plan that will help make the positive impact we all know tech can for New Zealand.

This week, I’m taking a break, attending my 10 year old daughter’s school camp, as a parent helper. Then onto Rotorua, to watch the best mountain bikers in the world compete at Crankworx.  

Ngā mihi

Graeme Muller


Register for Microsoft Azure’s free workshops in New Plymouth on 18 March, Palmerston North on 19 March and Hamilton on 20 March. 


Check out the first #Techweek2020 events. It’s not too late to submit an event. Here’s why you should be involved. Plus, top event planning tips and popular event types.    

Register for Microsoft Azure’s free workshops in New Plymouth on 18 March, Palmerston North on 19 March and Hamilton on 20 March. 

Join Xero’s free education programme including webinars and live workshops this week in on in Auckland and Christchurch. 


NZTech welcomes the newly formed Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand. The AI Forum also supports its establishment. Read more.

Learn more about the agritech Industry Transformation Plan at free workshops on Tuesday in Auckland, 9 March in Hamilton and 10 March in Lincoln

Entries for the NZ Hi-Tech Awards close 5pm today! Finalists announced on 25 March. Attend Future Government 2020 on 25 March in Wellington.

Meet The Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand.

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