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Tech sector helps government embrace digital future

As New Zealanders step back to alert level Lockdowns, the tech sector is significantly supporting the government on its journey to embrace an enhanced digital future, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

New Zealand has in recent years been ranked one of the top digital economies in the world by Tufts University’s Digital Evolution Index.

New Zealand’s strong digital economy was attributed to a positive combination of infrastructure, incubating start-ups, a cultural commitment to innovation, and government support. Muller says New Zealand can still improve a lot digitally, in many areas.

Like all organisations and businesses, government agencies are grappling with how to best engage with and service their customers in the covid-19 world, he says.

“The major annual Future Government summit in Wellington on Thursday is bringing together senior government officials, technology decision makers and tech leaders to discuss new ways to use digital technologies to increase collaboration, provide more citizen centric experiences and to incorporate new ways of working.

“The summit, scheduled to run in March, was shifted to August due to the first lockdown, and has been adapted to cope with any level of lockdown.

“Demonstrating how a nimble tech sector operates, the summit is being run using a fully digital environment enabling guest and speakers to engage across New Zealand in roundtable discussion and interactive presentations.”

A panel discussion with the chief executives of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Statistics New Zealand and Inland Revenue will delve into how their agencies have collaborated during the covid response.

“We will also hear from the chief executive of the Department of Internal Affairs and the government’s chief digital officer on how they have been keeping a watchful eye on digital inclusion and making sure no Kiwis are left behind in this sudden shift to digital.

“A more digital government has implications for security and privacy and the director general of the Government Communications Security Bureau will be discussing the cyber security roadmap supporting the government’s digital transformation.”

NZTech and Digital Council of Aotearoa New Zealand chair Mitchell Pham says New Zealand can position itself to get the best from technology so that everyone benefits.

“What we are learning from how we respond to covid are lessons that all of government can apply for the benefit of all Kiwis.

“New Zealand tech is becoming well known for its innovation and that it is good for the world. A great example is Soul Machines, whose artificial intelligence digital human Florence is being used by the World Health Organisation to provide up to date COVID advice,” Pham says. A digital nation is critical for New Zealand’s future prosperity in a globally competitive digital world. Continuing to develop digital infrastructure, policy and companies will ensure New Zealand can continue to create jobs and deliver efficient and effective public services to optimise our economy and the wellbeing of our society in our increasingly digital world.

Photo: NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller

For further information contact NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller on 021 02520767 or NZTech’s media specialist, Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188.

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