Last week, I caught up with Minister Woods about the R&D tax credits. It looks like they have taken on board everyone’s feedback and things are progressing positively. The Minister acknowledged the challenges of establishing a rules based system that included some ‘development’ and not just ‘research’ and how software development can be better included. This and the challenge of pre-profit firms are being addressed and a formal announcement is expected soon.
I was hoping to be able to chat with Minister Woods about a few other things now she is also Minister for Government Digital Services but we ran out of time. However, she is keen to continue to work closely with tech organisations to help the Government better utilise digital tools and services.
Meanwhile, Minister Faafoi picked up the remainder of Clare Curran’s portfolio last week, following her resignation. He is the new Minister of Communications, Digital Media and Broadcasting. Minister Chris Hipkins now holds the Open Government portfolio alongside Education and State Services.
Last week, I also had the pleasure of spending time with Juliet Gerrard, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor. She was a breath of fresh air with a strong interest in understanding how to connect the research and science in business, particularly tech firms, into the bigger science and R&D picture. This more holistic view of the role of science should benefit the country.
I’m looking forward to spending a couple of days in Christchurch later this week, attending the Canterbury Tech Summit and then the national economic development agencies tech strategy day. It is fantastic to see people from across the country collaborating to help make New Zealand more prosperous underpinned by technology.
PS: This week is Maori Language Week and Spark, Te Aka Maori Dictionary and Google have launched Kupu – an interactive mobile app using machine vision and AI to help people discover the Te Reo translation of objects. Download the app and point your camera at something for a translation.