NZTech Update – Maximising economic wellbeing

Jackie Clark
NZTech Newsletter

Kia ora,

On Friday, the Prime Minister made her first economic speech for 2019 and shared the five priorities for her Wellbeing Budget.  The Government’s position is that while economic growth is important, it alone, does not guarantee improvements to New Zealanders living standards.  To help align Ministers and departments, they have all been asked to consider their contribution to the delivery of a set of budget priorities.

It will be interesting to see how one of these key priorities, ‘support a thriving nation in the digital age through innovation,’ is translated across Government.  Meanwhile, the groups within the Tech Alliance are working with agencies on multiple initiatives to help identify future opportunities, to help our tech firms grow and export, and to address skills shortages.

A few of the major projects we have underway this year include:

  • The AI Forum’s Towards Our Intelligent Future – New Zealand’s AI Roadmap a collaborative Government and industry initiative to identify how New Zealand can harness the potential of artificial intelligence and respond to the challenges.
  • The Game Developers’ research study, Interactive Aotearoa – Driving Growth and Wellbeing through Interactive Media, is also a collaboration between Government and industry.  The research explores the use of interactive media for health and education, and its growth as an export opportunity.
  • Techweek, the nationwide festival celebrating and showcasing the country’s best technology firms to the world, while at the same time engaging with communities throughout New Zealand to help inspire the next generation of success.
  • BioTechNZ’s study Identifying New Zealand’s Biotech Competitive Advantages is a collaboration with MBIE and Callaghan Innovation to highlight our country’s strengths in biotech and showcase them to the world.
  • AgriTechNZ’s Farm2050 initiative Disruptive Nutrient Technology is a global initiative that will be run from New Zealand and led by Agritech New Zealand in collaboration with several Government agencies, New Zealand farmers and tech/biotech firms to develop improved nutrient uptake and management.
  • The Digital Skills Forum’s Digital Skills Hui, is a national collaboration between NZTech, IT Professionals, NZRise, MBIE, Ministry of Education, TEC and DIA to identify and accelerate policy and investment to reduce digital skills shortages.

Across the Tech Alliance there are several more impressive national initiatives underway for 2019 but this update would be too long!  Throughout the year, I will keep you updated on the 100+ member events, six summits, four research studies, three award ceremonies and many delegations that already underway.

The Tech Alliance is working hard, in alignment with the Government’s wellbeing budget priority of supporting a thriving nation in the digital age through innovation.  We primarily do this by connecting, promoting and advancing the tech ecosystem which is fast becoming the backbone of New Zealand’s future success.

The holidays are over, lets get to work!

Ng? mihi

Graeme Muller


Join us on 14 February in Wellington21 February in Auckland and 27 February in Christchurch.  Receive two tickets for the price of one Use promo code: TA2FOR25 (Wellington and Christchurch only, valid until 13 Feb).

Learn and share what today’s tech marketers need to know.  Register to attend the TechMarketers 2019 Conference on 28 February in Auckland.  Email now to receive your NZ Tech community discount code.

Join the NZSA’s monthly networking event tomorrow in Auckland and meet AskNicely’s Aaron Ward who will discuss the experience economy.  Join Canterbury Tech on 14 February.


Considering entering the 2019 Hi-Tech Awards?  Here’s six reasons why you should enter.  Entries close 4 March and  finalists will be announced on 27 March.  Save the date for the  Gala Dinner, 24 May in Auckland, during Techweek19.

What does the future of New Zealand’s public sector look like?  Register to attend the Future Government Summit, 26-27 February, 2019 and help create a roadmap for the future.  Includes GovTech, tech trends and innovation.

Register for Tech Futures Lab new events, CARETech NZon 21 February.  This event explores AR, VR and AI in healthcare.  Also attend the Circular Economy Briefing on 22 February.  Learn about transitioning to a zero waste society and the role of emerging technologies.


The IoT Alliance and MBIE have collaborated on a world first IoT farming trial in New Zealand. New Zealand is also driving a new global AgriTech initiative identifying disruptive technologies around nutrients.

In FinTech news, it is expected that New Zealand will face major changes this year as we become an increasingly cashless society, says FinTechNZ’s James Brown.

Lightning Lab Tourism and the Edmund Hillary Fellowship are now accepting applications.  Meet the UpStarters and learn more about New Zealand’s tech and innovation story. Watch videos and download the showcase booklet.

Thinking of getting involved in Techweek19? Event submissions are now open.