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Last week, as per ACT’s policy, the new Minister for Economic Development placed a stop work notice on all Industry Transformation Plans (ITP) so they can be re-assessed. This impacts several initiatives supporting the growth of the tech sector that NZTech and others have been working to establish for several years. Given the National Party’s policy on boosting the tech sector, hopefully work will continue in some key areas.
During the past three years, the Digital Tech ITP model has successfully created a framework enabling the engagement of more than 1,000 people and hundreds of businesses from across the tech sector. This has dramatically improved our alignment on challenges and opportunities for the sector. The ITP model has also empowered cross industry collaboration on shared interests, for example skills and talent.
Minister Lee, as the new Minister for Economic Development, if you are reading this, the message is simple, please retain the industry led, Government supported framework to enable collaboration and alignment across this rapidly growing part of the economy. Rebrand to focus on growth and reduce the breadth of activity, as required, but please keep the model.
Please continue to support key transformational opportunities that were identified following years of work! We know these initiatives were never forecast to create overnight success. The investments need to continue to realise the return on investment that has been identified.
For example, building a brand for New Zealand as a tech nation is already helping attract scarce world class talent and helping tech exporters with access in international markets. Our See Tomorrow First (Tech Story) brand needs consistent, continued support to realise the value over time.
Likewise, the activities identified to transform the growing Game Development and Software-as-a-Service sectors will keep these large high value employers creating jobs in New Zealand. The kiwiSAAS community is growing rapidly and the platform for knowledge sharing and training opportunities is already paying dividends. In time, this will transition to a user-pays and industry self-funding model.
A great example is Techweek. During 2012-2016, as a local initiative Techweek received some support and from 2017 the platform expanded nationally. Since 2019 Techweek has operated on an industry self-funding model, delivering around 400 tech and innovation events across 28 towns with the support of hundreds of businesses and event organisers. This year, more than 60,000 Kiwi’s attended Techweek23 events!
Which reminds me, please don’t forget to save the date for Techweek24, 20-26 May, 2024. If you’d like to know more about partnering with us, inspiring the next generation into tech, building New Zealand’s tech capabilities and showcasing our best tech, please contact us.
Read full news here: Tech growth plans halted