NZTech Update – Developing work ready skills

Georgia Taylor
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NZTech Newsletter

Kia Ora

This weekend, I reviewed the preliminary results from the recent Internship Survey as part of the Digital Skills Forum work to address the ongoing skills challenges we all face.  With 500 responses the survey provides a statistically significant sample size which will allow the Digital Skills Forum members (NZTech, IT Professionals, NZRise, MBIE, DIA, Ministry of Education and TEC) to use it to develop real solutions.

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Blockworks to unveil how NZ business is rapidly changing

Jackie Clark
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Media Release, NZTech News

Auckland – Blockworks, clearly the biggest and most significant event to consider the benefits and impacts of the burgeoning blockchain technology in New Zealand, will be held in Auckland on October 12.

Blockworks will showcase how blockchain technology is transforming business, government and society through supply chain, smart city development, digital identity, finance and transport.

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NZTech Update – Creating a collaborative partnership

Jackie Clark
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NZTech Newsletter

Last week’s update on the CTO role got a few people excited!  I guess my frustration came through strong as I spent most of last Monday dealing with media, including a good chat on RadioNZ and NewstalkZB.  As the week progressed, I had feedback from multiple people, including many who applied for the CTO role, offering support to get on with the development of a national strategy.

On Thursday, the NZTech Board strategy planning day looked forward for the next three to five years.  We considered the future of NZTech and the potential role it can play in helping make New Zealand more prosperous.  Discussion included the Chief Technology Advisor role and we formed the opinion that the Government is still a critical component.  So while we do plan to push ahead and develop a national technology strategy, we will work hard to do this with Government.

Over the past few years, NZTech and the Government have been collaborating incredibly well. With MBIE’s support we have been able to grow Techweek to help inspire more people about the potential of technology and showcase our best technology to the world.  The collaboration has extended to working with NZ Story and NZTE to develop the Upstarters campaign promoting New Zealand tech to the world.  We have also collaborated with the Ministry of Education on digital technology in the school curricula, plus work with the Digital Skills Forum and the inclusion of digital as a core tenant of the trade agenda.  It is our intention to build on this collaboration and help align our energies on this important subject.

After consideration, it seems like a good option for the Government to appoint a Chief Technology Advisor as a partner with the Chief Science Advisor.  Place them together, with resourcing, allowing them to determine who does what in areas of crossover.  NZTech could collaborate with this partnership to help provide breadth and depth of information.

If you reached out last week and I haven’t replied yet, please bear with me as I work through everyone’s messages.  Thank you for your support and I look forward to our continued work to help make New Zealand more prosperous underpinned by technology.

Nga mihi
Graeme Muller
CEO
NZTech

PS:  Next month, the Blockworks conference showcases practical applications of Blockchain technology.  We have secured a $100 discount for NZTech members.  Use this promo code: NZTECH-Guests.

CONNECT

Discover emerging AgriTech.  Join the 2018 Agritech New Zealand Roadshow in October to learn more about new partnerships.  Attend this free event series in Auckland,  Hamilton, Tauranga Palmerston North, Wellington, Lincoln and Dunedin.

FinTechNZ invites you to InsurTech’s Transforming Customer Engagement in the Digital Age on 4 October in Auckland.  Request an invitation to the Blockchain South 2018 Leadership Summit and the Singapore FinTech Festival.

Join Canterbury Tech on 2 October in Christchurch.  If you missed #cantysummit18, view highlights hereTech Marketers meet in Wellington on Thursday.  Attend SIBA’s AGM on 27 September and secure your tickets now to the 2018 New Zealand Spatial Awards on 17 October in Wellington.

PROMOTE

Attend Helping Women Thrive in the Digital Ecosystem tomorrow in Wellington.  Also, join NeSI for Machine Learning and Supercomputing in Science in Auckland.

Make the most of Expo 2020 Dubai, with NZTE’s Gulf Opportunities Showcase in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch in October.

Last week, FinTechNZ’s James Brown commented on Amazon’s move into India’s insurance market and its likely ripple effect in New Zealand.  Attend the New Zealand FinTech Summit on 29 November in Auckland.

ADVANCE

With over 700 incidents in the last quarter, New Zealand is facing a growing number of cyber incidents as reported in CERT’s latest quarterly update.  CERT’s Cyber Smart Week is 8-12 October.  Check out their new resources and become an official partner.

Register your interest for Callaghan’s delegation to SaaStr’19 in San Jose.  Applications for NASA internships and New Zealand Space Agency scholarships close 12 October.  Entries for #TechRocketshipANZ close 23 November.

If you’re not on the New Zealand AI ecosystem map, please email the AI Forum to be included in the next update.   Save these 2019 event dates; Tech Marketers conference on 28 February, AI-Day on 28 March and Techweek 20-26 May.

Techweek is hiring!  We need a marketing executive to help deliver Techweek’19. 

Amazon move into India likely to have ripple effect in NZ

Jackie Clark
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FinTech

Auckland – Amazon dipping its toes into the insurance market in India may likely have ripples effects for New Zealand, which is seen as a test bed for large organisations looking to try something new.

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NZ facing growing number of cyber incidents

Jackie Clark
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Media Release, NZTech News

Auckland – Kiwis will continue to face record digital threats and cyber incidents every month, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

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NZTech Update – Urgent call for tech advisory!

Jackie Clark
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NZTech Newsletter

Why does something that should be so simple turn out to be so hard?  Four years is a long time to wait for a New Zealand Government to establish a high level technology advisory role.  A lot happens in the tech world in four years; New Zealand firms have sent rockets to space, developed autonomous vehicles and put faces to artificial intelligence.  The pace of technology change presents enormous opportunities for New Zealand’s future, yet the Government lacks a trusted advisor to help them navigate the path.

During NZTech’s 2017 AGM panel discussion with MP’s, the idea of a CTO or tech advisor for the Government was first mooted by Rod Drury.   NZTech’s then CEO, Candace Kinser, picked up the idea and developed it into a core pillar of NZTech’s 2014 Technology Policy Platforms.  The recommendation was for, ‘the creation of a Chief Technology Advisor reporting directly to the Prime Minister to provide advice on the strategic use of technology across government and throughout society’.  Unfortunately, no party backed the concept in 2014.

However, great ideas don’t just roll over and disappear.  During the early months of 2017 NZTech, IT Professionals and InternetNZ brought together a collective of 20 leading technology groups to develop the Tech Manifesto for the 2017 election.  The call was put out for a Ministry of the Future, a pseudo-agency bringing Government and the private sector together, led by a Chief Technology Advisor.  The proposed focus, positioning New Zealand and all Government agencies and society to take the best advantage of a technologically enabled future.

Both parties eventually indicated support for some form of CTO role.  Labour’s ICT manifesto stated that they ‘recognise the strategic importance of digitisation and will appoint a CTO to ensure that digital development is planned to achieve the best national outcomes’.  It looked like things would rocket along as the Cabinet approved the role by early December 2017.  The two aborted recruitment processes have been well blogged about by tech leaders who all have something to contribute to helping define New Zealand’s digital strategy.  Check out the personal experiences of Vaughan Rowsell and Dan Khan.

Last week, the speculation was finally over when we found out what was happening with the New Zealand Chief Technology Officer role when Derek Handley shared an update on LinkedIn.  Having been offered the role, signed the contract and relocated his family from the US, he arrived back in New Zealand to find out that the role had been canned.  What a shocker!  My sympathy goes out to Derek, who is the victim of an incredibly poor process.

Now, I don’t think we should wait for the Government anymore.  Let’s just get on with it!  In the past three years, NZTech has managed to bring together a national Tech Alliance and support 21 tech communities without any Government funding to do so.  Now representing over 800 organisations throughout New Zealand, from tech firms, startups and high tech manufacturers to universities, Government agencies and large corporations like banks, insurance companies, agri-businesses and an airline.   Across these 21 tech associations many are already starting work on national strategies.  The AI Forum has over 100 people voluntarily helping drive working groups, including the development of a national AI strategy.

So guess what I am pitching at the NZTech strategy and planning day this Thursday?  Let’s bring together the people who cared enough to apply to be New Zealand’s CTO.  Let’s develop our own Ministry of the Future and collectively start developing a national digital/tech strategy for New Zealand.

Let me know what you think and are you up for it?

Nga mihi
Graeme Muller
CEO
NZTech

CONNECT

Join Tech Marketers in Auckland and Christchurch on 19 September.  Tech Marketers next meet in Wellington on 27 September.  Please register to attend.

Attend SIBA’s AGM on 27 September and the 2018 New Zealand Spatial Awards on 17 October in Wellington.
Attend the New Zealand FinTech Summit on 29 November in Auckland.

The American Chamber of Commerce presents Networking Global Ambition with Sunny Bates on 16 October in Auckland.  Join the IoT Waikato Meetup on 23 October, featuring Agritech New Zealand.

PROMOTE

Make the most of Expo 2020 Dubai, with NZTE’s Gulf Opportunities Showcase in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch in October.

The New Zealand Transport Authority’s All Access Hackathon is 21-23 September in Auckland.  Join NeSI on 25 September for Machine Learning and Supercomputing in Science in Auckland.

ADVANCE

Callaghan are leading a Kiwi delegation to SaaStr Annual 2019 in San Jose.  Register by 8 October.  Applications for NASA internships and New Zealand Space Agency scholarships close 12 October.  Early bird tickets are available for evokeAG , 19-20 February, 2019 in Melbourne.

Is your company ready to scale up with international growth? Enter the inaugural #TechRocketshipANZ Awards.  Entries close 23 November.  CERT’s Cyber Smart Week is 8-12 October.  Check out the new resources and be involved as an official partner.

Complete BusinessNZ’s Mood of the Boardroom survey.  Save these 2019 event dates; Tech Marketers conference on 28 February, AI-Day on 28 March and Techweek 20-26 May.

Want to know more?  Sign up for the NZTech weekly update, it’s free and will take less than a minute!

NZ tech Inc should go ahead without government

Jackie Clark
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Media Release, NZTech News

The head of New Zealand biggest tech ecosystem NZTech today called on the country to set up a Chief Technology Advisor(s) – without the support of the government.

NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says the government handling of the CTO process has been a ‘shocker’ and now Kiwi tech business and organisations should not wait for government anymore.

“Let’s just get on with it.  In the past three years NZTech has managed to bring together and support 21 tech communities without any government funding to do so,” he says

“Now representing more than 800 organisations throughout New Zealand, from tech firms, startups and high-tech manufacturers to universities, government agencies and large corporations like banks, insurance companies, agri-businesses and an airline.

“Across these 21 tech associations many are already starting work on national strategies. The New Zealand AI Forum has more than 100 people voluntarily helping drive working groups, including the development of a national Artificial Intelligence strategy.”

Muller says he will pitch to the NZTech strategy and planning day on Thursday to bring together the people who cared enough to apply to be New Zealand’s CTO.

“Let’s develop our own Ministry of the Future and collectively start developing a national digital/tech strategy for New Zealand.

“Four years is too long to wait for a New Zealand government to establish a high-level technology advisory role.  A lot happens in the tech world in four years.

“New Zealand firms have sent rockets to space, developed autonomous vehicles and put faces to artificial intelligence. The pace of technology change presents enormous opportunities for New Zealand’s future, yet the government lacks a trusted advisor to help them navigate the path.

“During the 2014 NZTech annual meeting panel discussion with MPs, the idea of a CTO or tech advisor for the government was first muted by Rod Drury.

“Candace Kinser, the chief executive of NZTech at the time, picked this idea up and developed it into a core pillar of NZTech’s 2014 Technology Policy Platforms.

“The recommendation was for the creation of a chief technology advisor reporting directly to the Prime Minister to provide advice on the strategic use of technology across government and throughout society.

“You wouldn’t think that sounds too difficult, unfortunately no party backed the concept in 2014.

Great ideas don’t just roll over and disappear.  During the early months of 2017 NZTech, IT Professionals and InternetNZ brought together a collective of 20 leading technology groups to develop a Tech Manifesto for the 2017 election.

“The call was put out for a Ministry of the Future, a pseudo-agency bringing government and the private sector together, led by a chief technology advisor, focused on positioning New Zealand and all Government agencies and society to take best advantage of a technologically enabled future.

“Both parties eventually indicated support for some form of CTO role. Labour’s ICT manifesto stated that they “recognise the strategic importance of digitisation and will appoint a CTO to ensure that digital development is planned to achieve the best national outcomes”.

“It looked like things would rocket along as the cabinet approved the role by early December 2017. Two aborted recruitment processes have been well blogged by decent hardworking tech leaders who would all have something to contribute to helping define New Zealand’s digital strategy. Check out the personal experiences of Vaughan Rowsell and Dan Khan.

“Last week we finally got to put all of the speculation to bed about what was happening with the New Zealand Chief Technology Officer role when Derek Handley shared an update on LinkedIn.

“Having been offered the role, signed the contract and relocated his family from the US he arrived back in New Zealand to find out that the role had been canned. What a shocker,” Muller says.

NZTech Update – R&D tax credits and Te Reo

Jackie Clark
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NZTech Newsletter

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.

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Job opportunity – Marketing Executive for Techweek19

Jackie Clark
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NZTech News, Techweek

Join a small, tight-knit team that’s passionate about telling New Zealand’s inspiring tech stories to the world. We’re looking for a Marketing Executive to deliver the Techweek19 marketing and communications plan.

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Closer Californian ties crucial for NZ tech growth


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Agritech, Media Release, NZTech News

San Jose, California – Leading New Zealand tech expert Graeme Muller arrived back home from Silicon Valley today convinced New Zealand needs closer tech ties with Californian to help produce a thriving Kiwi economy.

Muller, chief executive of NZTech, was part of a large New Zealand contingent which has been engaging with leading US agribusinesses and Silicon Valley tech firms to learn about US agritech opportunities.

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