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Political party promises for DigiTech: Act Party

Victoria MacLennan. 09 August 2023, 11:56 am

This is the first in a series looking at what the major political parties are promising in the digital technology domain - for our sector, towards closing the digital divide and looking to the future of work. 

Act Party Policies = Nothing for Tech

The Act party have a nice website with a policies page which lists all of their policies and below that the portfolio’s they are focused on. They have more information in the public domain than most. 

There is no policy or portfolio on digital or technology. There are also no policies or portfolios focused on business growth. 

Reading through Education, the Alternative Budget, Environment and Health etc - they only refer to technology to reduce costs or change service delivery eg: electronic income management.  

What does Act plan to stop funding

This week Act published a list of what government services and projects they plan to defund. Many of these are to the benefit of growing the digital technology industry and improving adoption for the nation as a whole. Their claim - stop work notices will cut $1 billion of waste on day one

In this list Act will stop funding:

  • Fees free - an education policy data indicates has stemmed the reduction in those studying digital tech
  • Callaghan Innovation growth grants - no specific details but it would indicate this means their new R&D grant, growth grant, RDTI, and others.
  • Workforce Development Councils - the organisations created via the Reform of Vocational Education programme designed to understand the future needs of industry and directing the Vocational education system to deliver to meet those needs. 
  • *Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLG’s) - another set of organisations created via ROVE designed to understand the needs of a given region and in turn influence the Vocational education system to ensure it is delivering to these needs. 
  • **Industry transformation plans - these are the initiatives designed to focus on growth of a given industry eg: Agritech, Construction, Food and Beverage and Digital Technologies. 
  • Game Development Sector Rebate - announced in 2023’s budget designed to stop Gaming companies from leaving our shores for sector friendly economies eg: Australia
  • Screen Sector Rebates - in the Act alternative budget. The NZ Screen Production Rebate scheme designed to attract this sector to make their productions here in Aotearoa. 

*it could be argued by some (me whenever I get the chance) that RSLG’s aren’t future focused enough, few have acknowledged the role of digital technology either as an industry or as an enabler for all industries. 

** I co-Chair the Digital Technologies Industry Transformation plan and while they are far from perfect the initiatives funded are important foundational activities needed to increase the workforce, diversity of those we employ, develop education to fill skills gaps and support employers. Act have no funding for any of this in their budget.

Conclusion: Act Party Policies = Nothing For Tech

Act has policies focused on the Agriculture sector and building sector but nothing direct or specific for the growth of other industries. They have a policy around independent contractors vs employees. 

Nothing in their set of published polices that I could see for Tech - as an industry or future of our workforce as a whole or closing the digital divide. 

Hope you found this wee summary useful. Other party policies to come. Ngā mihi Vic 


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