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Tech Political Debate live - 5:30pm tonight

ITP Team. 20 July 2017, 12:21 pm

The 2017 election is fast approaching, but which political party really understands the challenges facing the tech sector, and which policies are going to hinder or help transform New Zealand into a future-focused tech-driven economy?

IT Professionals NZ and NZTech have joined forces to organise 2 political panel debates, featuring the ICT spokespeople for all of the main political parties talking about the future of tech and debating which policies are likely to see our sector, and New Zealand, flourish.

The first is in Auckland tonight, with the second in Wellington on 30 August.

Watch on the live-stream

The debates will be live-streamed thanks to InternetNZ - you can view the first one here from 5:30pm.


Focused on New Zealand's Digital Future, the tech manifesto released by ITPNZ, NZTech and 18 other national tech bodies in May this year, the panel discussion will focus on the following policy areas:

  • Tech, Skills and People (education, future of work, immigration)
  • Business and the Economy (exports, security, research funding)
  • Future of Government (procurement, open standards, privacy)
  • Open floor - audience can ask anything tech-related

The panel will be facilitated by Rob O'Neill, the panel debate will kick off promptly at 5:30pm (doors open from 5:15pm), with refreshments and networking following at 6.45pm. 

Political Panelists

Panelists include the ICT spokespeople from all the major parties:

Brett Hudson MP (NZ National Party)

Brett was elected on National's List in 2014 following 20 years in the ICT sector. Following 10 years at IBM, Brett held senior roles in TelstraClear and Oracle before moving into politics.

Clare Curran MP (NZ Labour Party)

Labour ICT spokesperson pulled out of the debate yesterday, as she is camping out in Dunedin's Octagon as a protest against WINZ currently.

Barry Coates MP (The Greens)

Barry Coates is replacing Gareth Hughes as spokesperson for the Greens.

Tracey Martin MP (NZ First)

Tracey was elected as a NZ First List MP in 2011 and is the NZ First spokesperson for both ICT and Education.

Facilitator: Rob O'Neill

Rob has been a reporter, journalist and editor of NZ's tech sector publication for 20 years, including stints as editor of Computerworld, contributor to ZDNet, Reseller News, Sunday Star Times, Fairfax and others. 


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