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Today, I’d like to applaud Xero for their announcement extending their Xero Assistance Programme free for all small business owners in Tāmaki Makaurau. Xero’s New Zealand managing director, Craig Hudson, who is a passionate mental health advocate, announced the free programme will be extended to 200,000 businesses in Auckland, whether they are Xero customers or not! After more than 80 days of lockdown restrictions, being able to access confidential counselling will make a real difference to wellbeing.
Last week, the latest TIN numbers were released and it has been another record setting year of growth for the tech sector. The top 200 tech exporters have exceeded $10 billion in overseas revenue for the first time, adding an additional $1.4 billion in the past year. These 200 companies also created more than 3,000 new jobs in the past year!
Meanwhile, the final countdown is on this week to provide feedback to the Digital Strategy for Aotearoa by 5pm on Wednesday, 10 November. If you haven’t already provided feedback I recommend you do. It’s not very often an opportunity is available to help craft a Government’s national strategy. NZTech is supportive of the Digital Strategy but we’d like it to be more aspirational and dynamic. The digital world is evolving so fast that some of the discussion document’s proposed goals will likely be out of date before the formal strategy is even launched!
The proposed pillars of Mahi Tika:Trust, Mahi Tahi:Inclusion and Mahi Ake:Growth provides an excellent framework to overlay current initiatives underway by the Government. However, it overlooks the required critical foundations to enable these initiatives. We would like to see solid horizontal foundations including digital education, data and sustainability woven through the three pillars of trust, inclusion and growth. It’s easy to have your say, so please take the opportunity to share your thoughts.
Next week, the following submissions are also due. If any of these are important for you jump online and let the Government know what you think:
Biotech and genetics – Biodiversity Future consultation (14 November)
Electricity and tech – Electricity Industry Amendment Bill (17 November)
Cybersecurity policy – National Security Long-term Insights (18 November)
Participatory democracy – DIA Long-term Insights – Participatory Democracy (18 November)
Last week, the Productivity Commission launched their draft report on immigration settings. The outcome of this inquiry will inform the Government’s longer term approach to immigration. Given immigration will continue to be critical for tech, I recommend you have your say.
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