printer icon
Digital Identity New Zealand

The Time For Action Is Now | August Newsletter

Kia ora e te whānau

With this year’s Digital Trust Hui Taumata earlier in the month now behind us but still very much in the sector’s mind, it has to be the most appropriate topic to lead this month’s newsletter.

Some of you reading this were there in the room to experience it and as I wrote to you last week, speakerssponsors and delegates alike all played their part to make this event a great success, ‘the best yet’. Attendee survey results certainly support this assertion.

There were jaw-dropping statistics thanks to the Department of Internal Affairs and Paul Warren-Tape from Diamond Sponsor IDVerse. The cost of identity crime in NZ is +$200M annually, and the cost of identity theft globally in 2021 was $52bn. By comparison, the estimated cost to eradicate world hunger for a year is $45bn. No math needed – the human cost of identity crime is huge and Aotearoa simply has to do better, faster, if we are to get ahead of this.

We enjoyed presentations, panel and roundtable discussions ruminating on new tech in biometrics, in AI and Cloud, on talent and trust, identity and security. We heard experiences from the banking, health and retail sectors in operationalising digital trust. And we were able to get some useful insights and updates from the Department of Internal Affairs’ Digital Public Service branch and the RealMe team, even though Ministers and senior government officials were unable to attend due to the election being so close. Fortunately for attendees, they can re-run the event on the Backstage app, to keep those poignant moments top of mind. Get a head start on next year’s Summit: Subscribe for updates – Digital Trust Summit.

Our decision to bring Victor Dominello over from New South Wales to deliver the international keynote paid off handsomely – Victor also giving up his time so generously to meet with the Minister, the opposition, the Digital Executive Board comprising senior public service officials, the Te Whatu Ora and Digital Identity NZ’s own Executive Council

But it was in my car on the Sunday night two days before the Hui Taumata, touring Victor around the Wellington CBD showing the locations for his upcoming meetings when he asked, “What happened? In my early days in the New South Wales Government as Minister for Digital we envied just how far ahead New Zealand was in terms of digital compared to us. And now you have me over here to share our story. What happened?”.  

It’s a fair point. There were several policy changes around seven or eight years ago which impacted New Zealand’s leadership position. But on the other hand, that’s when discussions about regulating the New Zealand digital identity market first surfaced (with the passing of DISTF regulation we are up towards the front again in that aspect) and with the establishment and success of New Zealand digital identity companies coming a little later, some of which have gone global (MATTR recently winning a contract from the NSW Government no less) it’s clear that we’ve moved forward. If you’re interested, pages 14 -15 and 32-34 of our Report on Digital Identity in Aotearoa help with further context around the market dynamics. Nonetheless, it’s sobering to be reminded how offshore perceives us – how our comprehensive leadership in this space less than 10 years ago has narrowed and in some cases been overtaken. Just like the All Blacks or the Silver Ferns (if we thought of Aotearoa’s digital identity ecosystem as a national team) there should be no complacency regarding our relative position in the world. 

So it was great to feel the ‘buzz’ of a sense of urgency in conversations at the Hui Taumata this year. And it has motivated Digital Identity NZ to think strategically on how to deliver its value proposition and increase its relevance more directly into the NZ digital identity ecosystem while supporting its members. In the coming months expect to see some timely and strategic changes to our positioning, posture, website and events content.  

My opening and closing remarks encouraged attendees to actively participate and help frame the underpinning ecology and ecosystem that’s needed to support our shared goal. That could be through advocacy, research and development or education and awareness raising throughout your organisation, whānau, iwi and hapu of the critical and foundational role digital identity plays in achieving safe, secure and privacy-centric digital transactions.

To that end Digital Identity NZ has some great resources to draw on for help, including articles, research, reports and our submissions or webinars and similar postings from its Knowledge Hub. They are there for you – private, public and non profit sectors – the mahi sponsored by socially responsible organisations working alongside members volunteering their time. The time for action is now.

Ngā Mihi

Colin Wallis

DINZ Executive Director

Read full news here: The Time For Action Is Now | August Newsletter

Digital Identity New Zealand A purpose driven, inclusive, membership funded organisation, whose members have a shared passion for the opportunities that digital identity can offer. Digital Identity NZ supports a sustainable, inclusive and trustworthy digital future for all New Zealanders.