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NZTech Inform – Digital Reboot Required
If you read this morning’s news, you could be excused for thinking life is returning to normal. Reports included lengthy queues for takeaways and traffic building on the motorways. Also, the virus is “currently eliminated,” says our Prime Minister. However, now is not the time to be complacent. It is critical we find ways to get New Zealand up and running, as quickly as possible. Today I have three questions
- Where is the informed public debate about the pros and cons of different digital approaches to contact tracing?
- Can New Zealand grasp the massive education technology opportunity?
- Can New Zealand’s tech firms work together to find ways to help reboot the New Zealand economy?
To avoid resurgence of the virus, we need to change the way we function as a society. Key to reducing this disruption, is some form of digital contact tracing. The Government has continued to provide very limited information on its proposed approach to contact tracing apps.
Regardless of the technical solution, the public will require reassurance that privacy and security are balanced with public health. Where is the informed public debate about the pros and cons of different technical solutions? The longer the Ministry delays discussion about their proposed approach, the longer it will take people to start using it.
Meanwhile, traditional education exports (international students) have been cancelled indefinitely. New Zealand’s strong education brand can be kept alive by promoting our best edtech to the world. A recent report by ISC Research, identified over 1 billion students in 188 countries who are no longer able to attend school, due to COVID-19. New Zealand edtech companies from Dunedin, Hamilton and Auckland are providing significant digital infrastructure for remote learning in Asia, Australia, China, Latin America and the USA. What other edtech opportunities can we pursue?
The ongoing digital enablement of New Zealand businesses must remain a critical focus for the Government. While the Government has a huge role helping encourage businesses to start operating more digitally, so too does the tech sector. In particular, the largest tech firms, the telco’s and the big platform providers, whose future success relies on the speed of our economy reboot. What can we do to help businesses start working again in a more digital world? Can we help them with their cashflow? How can we help them reach new customers and markets?
These are some of the questions our members are asking as we work together to help rebuild the economy. NZTech continues to bring together tech firms to find ways to collaborate for the benefit of New Zealand.
Best wishes for a safe and productive week.