Future Focus Areas

This section covers areas where some preparatory work has been undertaken. These work areas have been identified as important to progress. However, further policy planning, development and/or dedicated funding are required to shape up work programmes in the future.

Data-driven Innovation

Data fuels growth, drives innovation, and enables the development of new products and services developed by the digital technologies sector, including for other sectors. Having greater access to data resources is critical for the future growth of the digital technologies sector. However, within New Zealand, many organisations continue to have low data maturity with relatively few embracing data as a basis for making decisions at the upper management or board level.

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To begin to address these issues, MBIE, together with the i4 Group (a consortium of industry, academia, and not-for-profit stakeholders) across 2021/22 established and executed the i4 Data Driven Innovation Education Pilot. The objective of the pilot was to promote widespread understanding of the value of data and support the use of data-driven technologies to help fuel innovation, productivity, sustainability, and inclusion. This pilot created a platform to share resources, including tools that businesses can draw from to better understand the value of data and the opportunities that the sharing and pooling of data can provide, not only for their organisation, but for the entire New Zealand economy.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI has potential to drive innovation and contribute to improved social, environmental, and economic outcomes for New Zealanders. 

The draft ITP work programme proposed the advancement of an AI Strategy to explore the benefits and risks of using AI. Some initial work was developed by MBIE in conjunction with the AI Forum, on draft “cornerstones” to underpin a future AI Strategy for Aotearoa New Zealand. Future work could look to advance development of an AI Strategy that helps New Zealand leverage the economic opportunities of this technology in a trustworthy way.

To fully realise the economic development potential from AI, it will be crucial to have in place the necessary safeguards to promote an appropriate balance of objectives for both ethical and innovative uses of data. Future work on this issue has relevance beyond the scope of the digital technologies sector. 

One of the forward-looking issues signposted in the Digital Strategy for Aotearoa (DSA) Action Plan is data ethics and the development and use of AI. The DSA identifies there are opportunities in the next few years to raise awareness of the value of data-driven and next generation technologies, including AI. The DSA Action Plan identifies work to build data ethics capability within the public sector and to continue exploring the merits of establishing a Centre for Data Ethics by 2025.

Government Procurement

Each year, the New Zealand public sector spends $51.5 billion on goods and services, which has a major impact on the wellbeing of New Zealanders. Access to procurement opportunities contributes to the growth of export-capable businesses, local skills and expertise, and high-quality employment.

What has the Government achieved to date?

  • Reformed the government procurement policy settings
  • Introduced a requirement for government agencies to consider how to create opportunities for New Zealand businesses for government contracts
  • Created more equitable outcomes for Māori
  • Improved the Marketplace website
  • Launched a suite of common commercial documents
  • Improved the Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS) and government procurement website
  • Published historic GETS contract award notices and GETS data

What is the Government planning to do next?

The Government’s 2030 vision is “Government procurement supports people, communities and businesses to thrive and grow as they aspire to”. To achieve this, a comprehensive, long term work programme will be implemented to position government procurement for the future and ensure that it is a strong lever for advancing the Government’s priorities and contributing to New Zealand’s wellbeing.

Over time, the Government will:

  • Adopt appropriate data standards
  • Modernise procurement by developing a digital procurement platform
  • Continue to evolve the “Document Builder” capability
  • Create and publish a GETS dashboard looking at trends and analyses
  • Develop and implement a sector leadership model for government procurement

Initial priorities for 2023

  • Publish guidance to support government agencies
  • Establish a Data Governance forum
  • Include data standards compliance within procurement technology changes or implementations
  • Publish government spend information and data
  • Determine the best way to publish estimated ICT spend data