Story image

"Game-changing" tech at the heart of Labour's digital economic upgrade

11 Jul 14

A Labour government will support the ICT sector to make New Zealand a tech-savvy nation and put ICT at the heart of the country's economic upgrade strategy.

Among several new initiatives David Cunliffe announced today are plans to establish 1,200 digital apprenticeships and support first-time entrepreneurs with ‘Garage Grants’.

“Technology is a game changer," Cunliffe says. "We can become a prosperous nation supported by a vibrant IT industry.

“Our focus on investment, innovation and industry will see a digital upgrade to create better jobs that pay higher wages where they are desperately needed."

To boost innovation, Cunliffe claims the party will work with industry and public science bodies to develop new products and technologies.

"We will also back start-ups with ‘Garage Grants’ which will enable entrepreneurs who want to transform their clever ideas into something big," he adds.

“To encourage investment we will provide tax deferrals in the form of accelerated depreciation to ICT manufacturers and research and development tax incentives to encourage investment in new technology and plant.

“To support industry development Labour will review the points system for the migration skills shortage list, and we will establish 1,200 digital apprenticeships at a cost of $2.1 million in the first year.

According to Cunliffe, Labour will:

• Create a government-backed app store to assist fledgling New Zealand software developers to get into the market

• Instruct government agencies to implement a whole of government approach to Open Software

• And establish the role of Chief Technology Officer reporting directly to the Prime Minister and Cabinet

“Labour’s Digital Economic Upgrade requires a hands-on government that knows what it takes to get us there and which isn’t afraid to lead, take risks, and enable people,” he adds.

“There will be a further policy announcement in the future on digital infrastructure and connectivity.”

Labour's plans follow news that New Zealand’s nationwide network of business incubators is being expanded, with government plans to introduce a new type of technology-focused incubator designed to get more high-growth start-ups off the ground.

The list of incubators approved by the Callaghan Innovation Board includes three of the new technology-focused incubators and five founder-focused incubators, previously known as Business Incubators.

The technology-focused incubators will have access to the pilot repayable grant programme announced in Budget 2013.

“The response from the market has been really positive, with a considerable number of high quality applications from across New Zealand,” said Steven Joyce, Science and Innovation Minister, earlier this week.

How blockchain will impact NZ’s economy
Distributed ledgers and blockchain are anticipated to provide a positive uplift to New Zealand’s economy.
25% of malicious emails still make it through to recipients
Popular email security programmes may fail to detect as much as 25% of all emails with malicious or dangerous attachments, a study from Mimecast says.
Human value must be put back in marketing - report
“Digital is now so widely adopted that its novelty has worn off. In their attempt to declutter, people are being more selective about which products and services they incorporate into their daily lives."
Wine firm uses AR to tell its story right on the bottle
A Central Otago wine company is using augmented reality (AR) and a ‘digital first’ strategy to change the way it builds its brand and engages with customers.
DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
Protecting organisations against internal fraud
Most companies tend to take a basic approach that focuses on numbers and compliance, without much room for grey areas or negotiation.
Telesmart to deliver Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams
The integration will allow Telesmart’s Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams to natively enable external voice connectivity from within Teams collaborative workflow environment.
Jade Software & Ambit take chatbots to next level of AI
“Conversation Agents present a huge opportunity to increase customer and employee engagement in a cost-effective manner."