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Budget investment in tech creating jobs and export growth
May 18, 2023
Given the economic climate it was pleasing to see increased investment in tech throughout the Budget, says Graeme Muller, chief executive of NZTech, the umbrella body for the tech sector.
The Wellbeing Budget 2023 included direct investment into supporting the growth of technology exports through a 20% tax rebate for expenditure by game development businesses. This is in response to similar rebates in other countries that has been attracting one of our fastest growing tech sectors out of New Zealand. The rebate is up to $40 million a year to support job creation in a sector on track to be a billion-dollar export contributor.
Agritech, another growth export sector for New Zealand, will be boosted with a $29 million investment in a horticulture technology catalyst initiative to support technology uptake across the sector, innovation and the growth of more high-value tech jobs.
Another investment into creating high-value tech jobs is the $26 million being invested over four years to boost the skills pipeline for digital technology jobs. This includes much needed funding into new ‘earn as you learn’ and other work-integrated pathways into tech jobs which are designed to attract a more diverse workforce. The funding will also be used to accelerate the transition of the sector’s workforce practices to provide more entry level roles and career development opportunities, reducing the reliance on immigration.
“It is great to see these investment announcements straight after the release of the Digital Technology Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) on Monday by Minister Anderson,” says Muller.
“A plan with no budget isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, but the Digital ITP has now had significant investment over the last two budget cycles and we are starting to see the activation of initiatives that are supporting the growth of the tech sector, which is directly leading to more high-value jobs and exports for the New Zealand economy.”
“The budget also included investment in tech to help make New Zealand safer, improve digital access and digital inclusion, and tech investments into other sectors, all important for the future prosperity of New Zealand.”
“Cybersecurity continues to be an area of under investment for New Zealand relative to our peers but it was good to see $31 million pledged to improving cybersecurity of our schools and kura and $9 million for enhancing cyber resilience of critical national infrastructure.”
The New Zealand tech sector is now the second-largest export contributor for the economy, generating more than $11 billion in offshore sales, accounting for $18 billion in GDP and employing more than 100,000 people.
This week is New Zealand’s national Techweek, the annual festival of tech and innovation, with hundreds of events reaching thousands of Kiwis throughout New Zealand. NZTech, the voice for technology in New Zealand, represents 20 tech associations and is supported by over 2,000 members who employ more than 10% of the New Zealand workforce.
Graeme is available for interview: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 021 0252 0767.
View NZTech’s media toolkit here.