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15 September 2023
National’s Boosting the Tech Sector policy announcement today shows clear understanding of the linkages between innovation, skills, access to talent, startups and the creation of fast growing companies that are creating the high value jobs and export growth that will fuel New Zealand in the coming years, says NZTech’s chief executive, Graeme Muller.
“It is great news to see National’s commitment to supporting the further growth of the fastest growing part of the New Zealand economy, the tech sector,” says Muller.
NZTech has encouraged the introduction of a Minister of Technology during past elections. This call is driven by the view that this role should extend beyond just focusing on the tech sector itself. Instead, it should encompass broader aspects of the economy, society and policies related to tech.
“Technology impacts the entire economy and it needs a strong voice inside the Government”.
“Tech’s influence is so significant it urgently requires dedicated Government leadership and oversight. This role should address a wide range of issues that collectively lifts equity, sustainability and prosperity for all in Aotearoa, by creating jobs, export growth and impact through tech for good.”
“The introduction of this level of focus should help with cross sector coordination to take advantage of tech where possible and be better prepared to manage any emerging tech risk”, says Muller, “for example, the role technology should be playing in our emissions reduction commitments.”
The recent Digital Skills for Tomorrow, Today report identified the continuing challenges organisations across the economy are facing accessing the digital skills they need to grow or provide better services for New Zealanders.
“While work is underway to improve the development of local talent, immigration will continue to be critical to ensure we have the skills in New Zealand to take advantage of quickly evolving technologies like AI and cybersecurity”.
In 2022 there were 23,433 tech firms in New Zealand who employed 118,070 people in New Zealand and thousands around the world. The top 200 exporting tech firms workforce grew 10.9% per annum and the average salary of people working in the tech sector is over $100,000. The tech sector is New Zealand’s second largest export sector, and exported $9.8 billion in 2002, while contributing $20 billion to GDP. View the latest tech metrics here. Learn more about NZTech and its work.