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Wellington agency champions NZTech's 'Digital Nation' report

27 Jun 2016

Wellington has immense value to the tech sector and will become more important as IT influence extends beyond the enterprise, the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) reports.

The comments come after NZTech published its report on how New Zealand is embracing technology to become a 'digital nation' and its effects on the economy.

The NZTech report, "Digital Nation New Zealand: An analysis of the impact of the tech sector and technology on the New Zealand economy" highlights how the sector is growing, how it affects all of New Zealand, how it is creating jobs, generating exports and how it is the foundation for all sectors in the country.

It found that 28,749 tech sector firms operate in New Zealand, contributing $16.2 billion (8% of GDP). It is the third largest export sector and ICT's contribution to GDP growth has been higher than any other OECD country from 2001 to 2013.

The report shows that the tech sector employs 98,911 people, accounting for 5% of the workforce. Each tech sector job creates five service sector jobs around it.

The report also showed that telecommunications investment reached $1.7 billion, while those that use data to make decisions provided economy benefits worth $2.3 billion. Increased uptake and better management of data by business and government could boost the amount to $4.5 billion over the next five years.

“The tech sector is an increasingly important component of the Wellington economy, and a priority focus area for WREDA. Tech’s influence extends beyond the enterprises defined as within the sector, and into areas like the IT departments of both corporate entities and government. Its contribution to productivity goes further still, as seen in the range of businesses using software and tech tools developed in Wellington,” says WREDA chief executive Chris Whelan.

Whelan cites the report which shows that Wellington specialises in the more complex technology services, such as ICT, manufacturing, web, mobile and game development and digital entertainment.

“Wellington is positioned to play a key role in lifting the value of New Zealand’s exports, through selling high-value, weightless tech products and services internationally.  WREDA actively helps Wellington tech companies reach these goals,” Whelan says.

The organisation has also helped young Australian tech professionals realise the benefits of New Zealand's digital sector, as well as addressing business needs for skilled applicant. Whelan says their long term goals will forge industry partnerships to develop the "optimal workforce" for the future economic landscape.

“NZTech’s report rightly identifies the importance of developing New Zealand’s tech reputation internationally. Wellington is a leading contributor to that storytelling - the capital of what NZTech calls our ‘Digital Nation’,” Whelan concludes.