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100 day vision includes CTO for the nation

Paul Brislen, Editor. 15 November 2017, 6:56 am

Newly minted Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media and Government Digital Services and the Associate Minister of State Services (Open Government), Clare Curran, is preparing the groundwork for the appointment of a national Chief Technology Officer, who will be responsible for preparing and overseeing "a national digital architecture or roadmap" for the next five to ten years.

The role is one many in the industry, including Xero founder and CEO Rod Drury, have called for over recent years, .

The government already has a CTO role, currently occupied by Tim Occleshaw, but it is focused on "delivery of the Government ICT strategy and action plan, implementing ICT assurance, and developing and managing ICT common capabilities across government" rather than a bigger picture portfolio looking at the nation as a whole.

Curran announced the move at this year's NetHui held by InternetNZ in Auckland, where she said consultation with key stakeholder groups would begin shortly.

"This Government intends to progress its goals to close the digital divide by 2020, and to make ICT the second largest contributor to GDP by 2025.

"New Zealanders rightly expect that their government should behave in a predictable, open and transparent way and ensure that nobody is left behind. The internet and digital tools are fundamental to us achieving these goals," she said.

Because her portfolio also includes broadcasting, Curran will be busy working through the thorny issue of what to do with ailing state broadcaster TVNZ and the promised reinvigoration of Radio New Zealand into RNZ+.



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