What will New Zealand's digital future look like? Fast internet, cloud, big data and mobility are at the forefront of the next wave of technology change - what's more, they warn that the government must wake up and embrace it.
InternetNZ, NZTech and IT Professionals are at the forefront of a new manifesto put to key government officials and all members of parliament this week. The manifesto is a collaborative effort between major Kiwi tech organisations including TUANZ, Canterbury Tech, VR/AR Association, the New Zealand IoT Alliance and many others.
They state that technology will reach into every aspect of life. The manifesto breaks down sections into social future, economic future, government future and how it all ties together.
NZTech chief Graeme Muller says that this manifesto shows that New Zealand's prosperity is linked to technology and how Kiwis can take advantage of a new digital nation. He believes all political parties should use this manifesto as a guide to take best advantage of a digital future, particularly as the 2017 election approaches.
“The tech sector is now New Zealand’s third largest exporter and is growing fast. The tech sector contributes over $16 billion to GDP and employs 100,000 people. But it’s not just about the tech sector as new digital technologies are driving economic and social change," he says.
“In 1980, solar power cost $30 per kilowatt in the US, now it is as low as 4c per kW. In 2011, the sensors in an autonomous car cost $350,000; they now cost less than $1,000. These are just some examples of how tech is changing the world so rapidly. Tech is crucial to New Zealand’s future."
The report goes on to state that "The current pace of technology change is not expected to slow, with increasing data use, high speed internet access and mobility being enhanced by new developments in artificial intelligence, robotics, genomics and synthetic products. These new advances will require rapid responses from the government in terms of policy, education, investment and regulation."
To make the most of it, New Zealand must plan and prepare for unprecedented change today.
InternetNZ chief Jordan Carter points out that internet connection has fast become essential to everyone's business and personal lives. While there has been massive investment in better internet, there are still challenges ahead.
"The challenge in the next term of parliament is three-fold: continuing to boost rural and regional access; making sure there are cost-effective options for those who can't afford huge internet bills; and making sure that everyone can make better use of time online when they have access. This manifesto provides a route-map for New Zealand's success."
Here are the 12 manifesto tech goals: