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We now have a draft plan for the digital sector - have your say on it

Peter Griffin, Editor. 15 February 2022, 9:25 am

After a lengthy period of development, the draft industry transformation plan (ITP) for the digital technologies sector is finally ready for your feedback.

The draft plan represents dozens of workshops, steering groups, industry forums, all undertaken in the shadow of the pandemic, but attempting to grapple with the issues holding the tech sector back from achieving its full potential.

The final document settled on several key areas of focus - developing the country's digital skills and talent pipeline, increasing the number of New Zealand digital technologies exporters, with a focus on the intellectual property producing models of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and interactive media; and removing barriers to increase Māori participation in the sector.

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The report also outlines how a data-driven approach to developing the digital economy could be pursued, with the use of artificial intelligence technologies, with boosted productivity and reduced greenhouse gas emissions among the desired outcomes. 

A desire to boost the international perception of our digital sector is also outlined in the report, which has already resulted in the creation of the Tech Story, which will be unveiled in an online session on February 22.

in the industry foreword to the draft report, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller pointed out that the digital technologies sector has been the fastest-growing part of New Zealand's economy since 2015, with a compound growth rate of 10.1%. But it "hasn't all been tailwinds".

"The sector's dramatic growth has come during tough economic times, major ongoing skills shortages, years of capital constraints and no cohesive domestic policy framework. Imagine what the future might hold, if we could work together to reduce some of these headwinds?" he notes.

One of the key headwinds of the last two years has been the impact of border restrictions on the sector's ability to secure skilled workers. Some relief is finally in sight, with applications expected to open this week for the 600 border exemptions for highly skilled IT workers.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is seeking feedback on the draft digital ITP by 5pm, March, 22.


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