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Biggest NZ tech challenge is access to skills

The single biggest challenge for the continued growth of the tech sector and the digital transformation of other sectors is access to skills, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says in his report to the annual meeting next week, August 10.

“Low numbers of New Zealanders studying tech plus border closures have reduced the available supply right at the same time as demand for digital skills has grown due to increasing demand for good Kiwi tech,” he says.

“During the last 12 months we’ve also experienced rising inflation, global supply chain failure, an ongoing pandemic and wars. 

“Despite everything happening around the world, the New Zealand tech ecosystem continues to grow, creating jobs and opportunities for all Kiwis.

“This time last year we thought we were leaving covid lockdowns behind and 2022 was set to be a great rebound year.

“Then another round of lockdowns and continued border challenges were exacerbated by an international war adding further economic stress.

“Meanwhile, technology has never been more important for New Zealand. From our fastest growing export sector, to reducing our emissions or improving productivity across the economy, technology is critical for ensuring an equitable, sustainable and prosperous future.”

The Aotearoa technology sector is a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy, creating many jobs, GDP and exports.

New Zealand’s tech sector has 113,440 employees and each new tech sector job creates 4.8 other new jobs.  Investment in early stage tech firms grew 48 percent in 2020.

New Zealand’s tech sector contributed $18.8 billion to GDP in 2021 and the average tech salary last year was $100,000.

Last year, New Zealand’s tech sector exported $8 billion globally as Kiwi tech exporters’ overseas sales grew 14.4 percent.

NZTech chair Mitchell Pham says their board continues to focus on improving the New Zealand tech ecosystem’s diversity and inclusion.

“Following the previous year’s process of integrating a better understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) into our practices to better support the participation of Māori in New Zealand’s tech and digital future, our Tech Alliance communities have begun evaluating how they can implement their own tikanga,” he says.

“The past 12 months has seen government and industry take crucial steps forward on the environmental sustainability front.

“In December 2021, the NZTech board stepped up on its environmental concern by establishing a sustainability and climate change sub board.

“Its aim is to drive action among its communities towards becoming more sustainable as organisations and as an industry. It will encourage collaboration across the Tech Alliance to provide solutions to other industry sectors.

NZTech has grown to represent 20 tech associations with over 1700 members who employ more than 12 percent of the New Zealand workforce. These organisations are working together to help create a better future for New Zealand underpinned by top tech.

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

Photo: Mitchell Pham, left, and Graeme Muller

Ngā mihi nui,
Kip (he/him)

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