From the Minister

This digital technology sector is unlike most other areas of the economy. It is not weighed down by an industrial base. It is an enabler and value multiplier of other industries and a great source of innovation and start-ups.

These are exciting times for the Digital Economy.

I recently released a discussion document on a Digital Strategy for Aotearoa, highlighting just how important digital technologies are economically and socially, how they underpin so much of what we currently do and will be doing in New Zealand over the next few decades. This document is a companion piece – a draft Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) for the Digital Technologies sector.

It puts some flesh on the bones of the Digital Strategy, particularly its pillar on Mahi Ake, Growth. It’s an opportunity for co-ordinated and effective action, a chance to generate real momentum that ensures our Digital Technologies sector can realise its potential and be worldleading when it comes to emissions reductions, inclusion and innovation.

This sector is unlike most other areas of the economy. It is not weighed down by an industrial base. Its limiting factor is often people. It’s an enabler and value multiplier of other industries and a great source of innovation and start-ups, with the creative elements of the sector requiring just a keyboard and a good internet connection.

Based on engagement with industry, the time is right to capitalise on our recent history of success, burgeoning global markets and New Zealand’s growing international reputation as a great place to live and do business. The draft ITP will ensure strong sector foundations – especially skills and talent – and increased Māori participation. In the short term, however, the key to the Action Plan is creating additional high value jobs and export revenue from accelerated growth in highly scalable sub-sectors.

I, as Minister, see significant potential in Software as a Service and Interactive Media. But executing the vision must, first and foremost, come from industry.

The success of this ITP requires us to form a consensus view on the scope of our ambition and how this can be achieved with actions and initiatives that are sufficiently realistic to bring about meaningful change – both short and longer term. By providing a framework and forum for leadership, co-operation and collaboration, the processes we set up together over the next 12 months will give us a chance to embed Digital Technologies as a major contributor to our future transformed economy.

If you haven’t already, this is a chance for all within the sector to get involved.

I want to congratulate those in the industry who have contributed in different ways during this initial phase, including NZTech, IT Professionals, the New Zealand Game Developers Association, the AI Forum, NZRise and many others, for your energy and leadership. It’s exactly the type of partnership approach we need in these increasingly complex economic times.

I encourage you to offer your views and get behind the Action Plan as it is rolled out.

Hon Dr David Clark

Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications